Thursday, November 5, 2009

News, Take I

Well, I told you a while ago that I had some fun news. Things that were going on in my professional and my personal life. Instead of inundating you with everything at once, I'm going to break it up a bit. A little today, a little Saturday, and maybe a smidge more after that. We'll see. Sorry to be so cryptic! I don't mean to tease...

Anyway, we're going to get things started today with the official announcement of our One Body One Hope capital campaign! Woot-woot! For those of you who have been reading my blog for any amount of time, OBOH isn't new. But the growth and direction of this ministry is continuing to amaze us! It feels new every day. For those of you who haven't heard of OBOH, let me explain.

OBOH began nearly three years ago (almost to the day!) when Aaron and I were in Ethiopia bringing home our son. We stayed in a missionary guest house with a group of people from all over Africa who were in Addis Ababa to attend a Lifewater International conference. One of the gentlemen there was a man named Robert Bimba, a pastor from Monrovia, Liberia. Aaron and Robert became fast friends, and when we left Ethiopia we cemented our relationship with a promise to partner with Robert in any way we could. At first, we helped by starting our own one-on-one sponsorship program--basically Aaron and I sent aid directly to Robert for his family and his church. Then the dry season hit and Abide in the Vine (Robert's church) was full of people who were quite literally starving. Our first food drive happened in February of 2007. We raised $1500 to buy rice for the church and the community. In the summer, we sent another $1500 for rice. Soon, this developed into a quarterly food drive program. From there, things snowballed. People started to get excited about what we were doing, and they asked how they could help. When even more donors stepped forward, we contacted Robert and asked him where the greatest need was. Without pause, he told us about his brother, Immanuel, and the orphanage that he and his wife ran. We listened in horror as we learned about children who were found clinging to dead parents after the civil war that ravaged Liberia. We heard of child soldiers, guerrilla warfare, AIDS, and epidemics. We learned that they slept three to a bed, ate one, scant meal a day, and suffered from malaria and other unidentified illnesses without proper care or medication. It broke our hearts, and led to the creation of One Body One Hope.

You can learn more about OBOH at our website (currently under construction!) or on our new blog. We are so excited about this ministry and where it is going that we've launched a $50,000 capital campaign in addition to the $1,500 a month we currently transfer to Liberia. I invite you to spend some time learning more. Head on over to the blog, click on Our History, Our Vision, and Our Invitation. Or peruse the selection of Christmas gifts that we're offering this year. Please join us in praying for these beautiful people and this amazing country, and become a follower of this blog so you can get regular updates and learn more.

Thanks so much for your time and interest! Blessings to you...