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17 posts from March 2007

March 29, 2007

Run For One

This Labor Day weekend 2007, Children's HopeChest will be hosting our first ever 1/2 marathon to support orphans around the world in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This event is called, Run for One and athletes who run will be running to champion the cause of a better life for one orphan in Africa and Russia. The good news is that you can walk, jog, or run - your choice! To sign up please go to the website at www.runforone.org. My 10 year old, Hayden, is even running! I am convinced that we can all change the world for one orphan and this is your opportunity to do it. You will be connected with the orphan you are running for, develop a relationship with them, and even visit them if you so choose. Here is a printable file with all the info:Download run_for_one_color.pdf

This event will also host the release of of my new book: Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds.  We will be hosting a book release party at this event and I would love to see you there. Please email me with any questions.

March 27, 2007

More On Uganda

Uganda is one of the few countries in the world to implement a successful program to reduce the number of HIV infections. Interestingly enough their success has come not from handing out condoms, but on teaching faithfulness and abstinence until marriage. To read the history about HIV/AIDS in Uganda, please click here.

March 25, 2007

Orphans in Uganda

It looks like we, at Children's HopeChest, will be opening up Uganda in the near future. Uganda is the home to over 2 million orphans according to UNICEF, and that was in 2003. 1 million of those orphans are orphaned due to AIDS and estimates say that number will rise to between 8-10 million by 2016.

Africa_march07_429 I have a good friend named Peter Mutebi, who is Ugandan and has planted hundreds of churches throughout the country. Peter has also single-handedly, been taking care of hundreds of orphans, and he needs our help.

How can you help? Many of you have asked me this dozens of times. Simple. We need to sponsor 200 Ugandan orphans who are in two orphanages right now. They have little food and are in desperate need of help. Two churches, or two companies, can easily get these kids in a sponsorship program. You can be the catalyst to make this happen. Email me and I'll tell you how. We will also need funding to get the project running. To hire staff, buy equipment, etc.

I'll be taking a trip later in the year. Interested?

March 22, 2007

Where's Your Next Meal Coming From?

After returning from Africa, I can't get my mind off of my abundance and their lack. What do I mean? I get up in the morning, have a piping hot Starbucks, a big breakfast, a nice lunch meeting at PF Chang's, and a huge dinner with my family in the evening. I don't think twice about what I'm going to eat. In fact, I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want.

But not the African orphans I just visited. Most days, they don't get a meal - not a single one. When they do eat, it's very simple. Mostly just corn-mush. Maybe a few beans if they are lucky. Rarely any vegetables, meat, or fruit. All things I take for granted.Africa_march07_130 They can be fed a basic meal, five days a week, for only $1.50. The price I pay for a pack of mints, string cheese, or a sports drink.

My belief is that everyone can do something to help Africa. Everyone can feed an orphan for at least a month, if not a year. So the next time you spend that $1.50, remember what it could do for an orphan in Swaziland. It could be the difference between life and death.

March 20, 2007

Bono's Standing Ovation

I've been in Africa and a little behind the times, but thanks to my friend, Ken Nussbaum, I'm caught up. On a side note, Ken and I used to serve together in a youth ministry in Dallas, Texas. I love how the internet brings lost friends together! At any rate, watch this the whole way through. You'll be blown out of the saddle!

March 16, 2007

We Can Help Africa

Many of you who viewed the video blogs asked the question, "What can I do to help?" It is true that the needs in Swaziland are desperate, but any little you do can go a very long way. Let me point you in the direction of helping. We are all "One Family" in God's eyes. We need to help our  brothers and sisters.Africa_march07_432

If you'll review the video on Harsh Realities we shot in Swaziland, there's a girl named Tobile who is the head of her household. Tobile is all along raising 4 other sisters, 2 of which appear in the vblog. When we entered her home, there was nothing to eat except a few rotten cabbages and rotten potatoes in the floor. $80 provided food and supplies for Tobile and her 4 sisters to live for the next 3 months. Soap, detergent, medicine, 50 lb bags of food, chicken, etc. She'll continue to need that help so you can give directly to her. She was kicked out of school because she didn't have enough money to pay school fees. She owed $500, we helped her. She has one more year left and she will need to be sponsored. I asked her what she wanted study in the University one day, and she told me she wanted to be a lawyer so she could help other people. Amazing!

Tobile's story is one of many. We are helping all the kids in Pastor Walter's area whose parents have died of AIDS. You can click the charity badge on the right and give directly to Africa or other children like her. Just designate Tobile's name and it will go to her and other kids in the same position. That's something you can do now!

You can come on a trip to Africa and meet these wonderful kids yourself. The next one is in June. Or, you can begin to influence people concerning the needs of Africa. Get your church or organization involved to sponsor an orphanage, create a blog like mine to raise awareness, start a small group of advocates who are creating ideas to help the poor, the orphan, and the HIV infected. Whatever you do, start somewhere!

March 15, 2007

Back Home From Africa

Hey everyone. It's good to be back home with friends and family. I feel quite good and am not suffering much jet-lag except for the fact that I'm up at the crack of dawn! At least it's quiet and I can get some things done. Thanks for you the encouraging comments you left for the prayers you offered up.

Over the next few weeks, I want to share with you more details about the trip and about the lives of the people we touched. I'm more convinced than ever that all of us must do something, whatever it takes, to put out the flames in Africa. It can be done one life at a time but inaction will not help us. The question isn't "Can we do it?" but "Do we have the will to do it?" This quote from Gordon Brown, British Chancellor of the Exchequer sums it up concerning the needs of our world and specifically, reducing the needless deaths of 30,000 infants in our world every day:

"And let us be clear: It is not that the knowledge to avoid these deaths does not exist: it is not that the drugs to avoid infant deaths do not exist; it is not that the expertise does not exist; it is not that the means to achieve our goals do not exist. It is that the political will does not exist. In the 19th century you could say that it was inadequate science, technology and knowledge that prevented us from saving lives. Now, with the science, technology, and knowledge available, we must face the truth that the real barrier is indifference."

March 12, 2007

Thank you and Goodbye From Swaziland

We're on our way home. Thank you for joining us on the trip.

Download the original version of "Thank You and Goodbye from Swaziland."

March 10, 2007

Safari

Come with us on safari on our last day in Swaziland.

The Girl in the Wheelchair

This short video is of a beautiful Swazi girl who is confined to a wheelchair. We're not certain of her life circumstances, although there are many children who are victims of terrible physical and sexual abuse. There is a persistent myth throughout southern Africa that having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS. The younger the virgin, the more potent the cure. She--like all the other children--came today for food.

Download the original version of this movie.