Foster Care Prayer Vigil

This is the week of the Foster Care Prayer Vigil!

Please take time out to pray for these children and their families.

Here are some people you can pray for:

  • Foster parents
  • Foster children
  • Social workers
  • Therapist working with parents and children
  • Organizations that are placing children
  • The church’s involvement
  • Pray that God would raise up laborers to fill every void: judges, attorneys, guardians ad litem, social workers, court appointed special advocates (CASA), support staff, therapists, and others.
  • Pray that these children would experience God’s love through the love and care given them by all involved in the child welfare system.

For more ways to pray visit Foster Care Prayer Vigil to print out a prayer guide and other resources.


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More on Summit VI

So as I said in a previous post Summit is a yearly conference and this year it was in Minnesota which living in Chicago makes it practically in my backyard or an 8 hour drive away.  I was blessed to be in great company for the drive so the 8 hours flew by,  the time flew faster on the way to MN but the drive home was more effected by my sheer exhaustion and the exhaustion of my car mates.  I wish I had a picture of our car trip up to MN and back because we had some good times but alas I did not have my camera with me.  Although if you go to There’s glitter in my coffee you will meet my good friend Elizabeth who was one of the lovely people I went to the conference with.  Actually it was a facebook post that Elizabeth made that alerted me to Summit, Thanks Elizabeth, you’re hilarious and awesome even if you can’t read a map!  Hehe!

Ok, so on to the conference stuff.  This conference is over two days and is absolutely packed with sessions to educate you on all aspects orphan care from the U.S. foster system to Global orphan care and the stuff in between. I can only tell you about my journey through the conference but I think that you will get a pretty good idea of what a typical experience would be from what I did.


Each morning from 8:30-10:30 was the general session in which corporate worship began in the large sanctuary of the church, there were also a few speakers during this time.  Each evening there was also a corporate session in which we heard a speaker and participated in worship of some kind.  Thursday night Steven Curtis Chapman preformed and Friday the worship band from Bethlehem Baptist Church led worship.

Breakout sessions:

I attended 6 breakout sessions and 1 lunch time session over the two-day conference, here are the breakout sessions that I attended:

  • Church based orphan ministry 101- Overview- This is the session you take if you want to start an orphan ministry in your church, it was really good and if you purchase the book Launching an orphan ministry in your church you will basically have all of the information and more that was presented in this session.
  • Church-based orphan ministry 201- Global orphan care- This session was great the guy who lead is the president of Orphan Outreach.  There was so much information presented and a lot of it was really practical information for starting a ministry in a foreign country.  There were a lot of things about this presentation that Americans need to hear about having relationships with the people we are trying to help.  I am not quite at a point that I would be starting an orphanage or ministry abroad but it really opened my eyes to wanting to work with organizations that have people already on the ground and that really know the organizations they are working with.
  • Engaging Church Leadership- This was an essential session if you are desiring to start your own orphan care ministry.  I learned a lot about how to approach the leadership in our church, things to do and NOT to do.  Loved this session and Daniel Bennett who presented it is a pastor so his perspective was really valuable.
  • Implementing a Balanced Orphan Care and Adoption Ministry in our Church- This was another session that was packed with information.  Bethany Christian Services were the ones that did this session and the videos that you can see on the link I gave are given by the same man who did the session.  The site is packed with information and links to help get a ministry started.
  • How Does it Work? Models of Global Orphan Ministry Based in US Churches- In this session we got to hear from a panel of pastors and ministry leaders that apart of churches or ministries that are doing global orphan care.  It was really informative and really a treat to hear from Pastor Sudaker from India.  I really appreciated hearing his view on short-term missions to India and whether they are helpful or not he told us they are!
  • The Truth About Orphan Care: Are We Doing More Harm than Good? This session was given by Vision Trust, and was really informative and eye-opening.  I walked away from this session which happened to be my last session feeling like I had a much better understanding of the pitfalls of not fully understanding the culture that you are working within.  The goal is to help these countries and to equip them to help themselves and often times that is just not happening.  I really loved this session and how thought-provoking it was.

In one area of the host church there was an area set up for ministries to have informational tables.  I collected a huge amount of information and took home a lot of business cards to build up my contact list.  Some of the ministries that were there were:

Sweet Sleep

Show Hope

147 Million Orphans

Lifesong for Orphans

Hope for Orphans

Of these featured speakers I would say that Stephanie Fast was really awesome as was Mary Beth Chapman.  John Piper was really great too and gave a thought-provoking sermon.  All of the people who spoke during Summit were wonderful and on fire for orphans which was really inspiring.

I can’t wait to go to Summit 8 next year, I have already started saving for Brian and I to make the trip together to where every it is going to be.  The conference was awesome and it was a huge blessing to be able to share two days with people who are advocating for orphans locally and globally and are really, really passionate about Gods call to …care for the fatherless…

A baby in need!

Baby Tarikwa

A message from the director of my agency Adoption Advocates International:

Dear Friends,

AAI has just received this beautiful one month old baby girl named Tarikwa from one of our partner orphanages in Ethiopia.  Tarikwa was born with Spina Bifida and her best chance for survival and minimal lifelong complications lies in receiving surgery in Ethiopia as soon as possible.  This surgery will cost in the neighborhood of $6000, a sum that is far beyond our normal emergency fund.   If you can, please help us provide this surgery for Tarikwa in the next few weeks as we search for an adoptive family for her.  We know that babies with this condition can do very well if given the proper care as soon as possible.  If we are lucky enough to collect more than we need, your gift will remain in our fund for future medical emergencies. Thank you so much for your help.

Merrily Ripley

If you are unable to give but know someone that is please forward this to them!  God Bless!


Haiti

We all know about the earthquake that rocked Haiti, we have all been hearing about the horrendous conditions and the great suffering that is occurring.  I am sure we all know someone perhaps through another that’s life has been touched by this event.  I ask that whether you know someone or not that you consider giving to an agency that can help on the ground in Haiti.  The need is so great and the resources in Haiti are so few, making a donation can make a real difference,

As some of you know my Mom is going on a mission trip to Haiti in late Feb.  The ministry that her church will be working with is El Shaddai Ministries.  If you wish to read about the tragedy in Haiti from people who are living through it you can read the updates that they are posting on the ministries website.  There is also an address that you can send a donation to in one of the posts.

Not only are donations in great need but prayers are also.  Add the people of Haiti to your prayers.

Pray for:

  • Those that have lost loved ones.
  • Those who’s loved ones are still missing.
  • The after shocks to taper off.
  • The funds to be raised so the ministries on the ground can help give aid.
  • Those that are wounded and sick.

Those are just a few of the many things that we can all be praying for.

Please pass along this information, post it on your blog, tell a friend, send an e-mail.  Together we can make a difference in this country.

A worthy cause

Look to your right, you may need to scroll down a little.

 

 

Do you see that purple quilt- that really gorgeous purple, pink and black quilt?  Well, if you click on that quilt you can make a donation to help a young Ethiopian girl travel back to Ethiopia to visit her grandmother, you will also be linked to a pretty awesome blog!

Oh yeah and if you donate you will be entered into a raffle to win that really gorgeous quilt!  So what are you waiting for- click, donate and feel good that you are helping to give a child a trip of a lifetime!

Join the Advent Conspiracy

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“The story of Christ’s birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.

So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists.

And when it’s all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?

What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?

Welcome to Advent Conspiracy.”


This movement really strikes a chord with me as I have long been frustrated with the materialism of Christmas, the stress of the holiday and the feeling Christ has been taken out of Christmas.  I want for myself and my family for Christmas to be different, for it to be Christ centered as it used to be.  I am excited that this year my church is taking part in this movement.  We hope to:

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We hope to bring Christmas back to the way it used to be.

Visit Rethinking Christmas for gift giving ideas that support Advent conspiracy.  Click on the pictures through out this post to see video, get resources and enter the story!

Christmas in October???

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I am one of those people who pretty much loathes seeing Christmas stuff next to the Halloween stuff.  So the thought of Christmas shopping this early does not appeal to me all that much, BUT supporting a worthy cause does appeal to me.  Helping make a difference in a child’s life appeals to me and if I can do something that will bring some cheer into their life at Christmas time, well that is just icing on the cake.  Which leads me to where you might start your early Christmas shopping.  Adoption Advocates International has a yearly Holiday Project to help provide Christmas gifts and a Christmas party for orphaned children at Layla (Ethiopia) and Eban (Ghana).

For a $30 donation, you can provide a gift and a festive holiday celebration for an orphaned child in Ethiopia or Ghana.  We hope to brighten the holidays for over 1000 children in our care in those countries—either residing at Layla or Eban Houses or in one of our orphan student sponsorship programs.

The Holiday Project also provides a gift certificate to each of our hardworking staff members in Ghana and Ethiopia so that they can purchase needed items for their families.

 

You can make a donation in someone elses name if you would like to give this as a gift or you could just add a few orphaned children to your Christmas list.  What ever way you chose you can know that you are brightening the day of a child and a worker.

Another way to get your holiday shopping done this year would be to visit the Benefit Orphans store.  The proceeds from this online store go towards the humanitarian efforts of AAI.

The red Christmas gift in the side bar will link you to the Holiday Project and further down is a link to the Benefit Orphans store.

Enjoys your shopping:)

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