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13 posts from December 2007

December 29, 2007

Jesus in Disguise

Another video post here before the end of the year. One of the things I discovered while writing Red Letters is that Jesus is often found in the most unexpected places--and almost always amidst the poor and brokenhearted. That's the topic of this video post--maybe the last in 2007!

December 28, 2007

Day 6: Christmas in Mozambique

The ministry of Children's Cup also works in Swaziland, and that's how we met their leadership. We've partnered on a number of projects, including food distribution. This Christmas, we helped 200 children celebrate Christmas in Mozambique with Children's Cup. Below is a report from Isaac and Carol Williams, the directors of the carepoint. Thanks again for making this Christmas a special one for kids in need around the world!

We had a wild Christmas party on the 6th. There were over 500 kids there. Celebration Church in Texas sent a team to help us out. We had a bunch a games, gifts and food for them. The day before the party we gave away clothes. A great gift for them because they have very little clothes. That was prelude to the big day. We arrived at the Care Point about 9:30 that morning and there already about 50 kids there. A few minutes later there were a whole lot more. The kids had a blast and so did we during this day of fun and games. It's very fulfilling to see them with huge smiles because of their new clothes and toys. One thing that stood out to me was that every time I would put on some children's songs over the sound system, they would stop playing, crowd around the music and dance and sing along with it. These kids are growing in the way of the Lord. I thank God for all who have made this party and the project possible. Those that have sponsored these kids and have shown your love to them. They are getting a chance to a better future and you have played a part in that.

December 27, 2007

Happy Holidays from Children's HopeChest

This Christmas, I had the opportunity to inverview George Steiner, the CEO and founder of Children's HopeChest. It was about 14 years ago when God spoke to George, calling him in to orphan ministry. I later met George when my church got involved. This year, I wanted you to hear some special stories directly from his heart. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy this video.

December 24, 2007

Day 5: Romania

Through the fantastic ministry of Claudia and Leandru--friends from Romania--we were able to support a Christmas concert outreach for 70+ orphans.

Over the past several years, Romania has aggressively moved orphans into foster care and group home settings. Right now, Claudia and Leandru support a ministry center for orphans living in a network of foster care homes.

I attached the picture from their party. On behalf of all of them, "THANK YOU" for making this Christmas one to remember.

December 22, 2007

12 Days of Christmas: Day 4 Namibia

Just up the road from our office is Castle Rock, CO--best known for it's distinctive rock formations, great outlet shopping malls, and Hope's Promise. Hope's Promise is an adoption agency and orphan care ministry and one of their projects is in the country of Namibia.

Right now, we're trying to help a willing foster mom in Namibia take in three cousins---all orphans. Hope's Promise needs to place the children soon, or they will potentially be sent to live in an orphanage.
We were attracted to this project because what better thing to give a child at Christmas than the blessing of family. Please pray for the three cousins in the photo. Pray that God would smooth out all the details and bring them home for Christmas.


Namibian Social Services’ determination that the children would be committed to an orphanage in December 2007 if the foster home was not ready prompted a quick plan of action. Made possible by Children’s HopeChest’s generous grant of $1,000 and donations from individual donors, Hope’s Promise staff are furnishing and stocking a home with food in anticipation of the new family’s arrival on December 23. Through God’s great provision, the three cousins and their new family will be home for Christmas.

December 19, 2007

Shoe Drive with Philadelphia Eagle Thomas Tapeh

This week, I flew to Philadelphia to meet with Thomas Tapeh, the starting fullback with the Philadelphia Eagles. What an amazing guy! He's from Liberia, Africa and has an incredible heart for orphans and poor children. In 2008, Children's HopeChest will partner with Thomas to do a shoe drive for orphans in Liberia and Uganda. Everyone is excited about this, including the churches and businesses of Philadelphia. Thomas has an incredible testimony regarding his Christian faith and will be available to speak. If you're interested in having him come to your church, let me know. Pictured from left to right is Teddi Domann, his agent from Domann and Pittman, Jovan his fiance, Thomas, and me. Thanks Thomas, we're excited about this!  Tgiving07hudbdaythomas_109

December 14, 2007

It's Not Too Late

We just took gift boxes of Saints Coffee to all the kids teachers at school. A mug, the Christmas blend, and the new Cinnamon Sticky Bun. They loved getting this kind of a Christmas gift because of the card inside that says, "You've just helped to feed 3 orphans for a month by receiving this gift." It's not too late to have these gifts sent to your loved ones. If you're in the Colorado Springs/Denver area you can pick it up and save shipping. Give a gift that gives back this Christmas!

December 12, 2007

Day 3: Christmas In Swaziland

We just got this report from our team in Swaziland about Christmas Celebrations in Swaziland...we'll post more information as they send it to us. This short report is from Kriek Gerber:

Total chaos! About 400 – 450 children showed up [for the Christmas celebrations]. We tried to count them; there were about 400, but then more came. And we think tomorrow more will show up. But they are all excited; you can see it in their faces. They are doing their care point presentations now and they are competing against each other. Winners will get candy and chips!

Tomorrow we have some activities planned for the morning. They will rotate in their care points. They will have sack races, jumping castle time, soccer competitions and craft time. We are making Christmas cards and coloring Christmas pictures (all about the birth of Christ! No Santa’s or snowmen or reindeer or anything like that) for crafty time. We will try to send that out first thing next week so that the sponsors might get it before Christmas!

Check out Kriek's blog at for even more details.

Bringing Christmas joy to kids like this is a huge blessing for me and Children's HopeChest. There is something "right" about making kids smile and laugh on the advent of the Savior's birth. Thank you for being a part of the 12 Days of Christmas with Children's HopeChest.

December 10, 2007

Church Shooting in Colorado

Of course we are all saddened by the events of this weekend. Many of our close friends were at the church when this occurred. Around 1:00 pm on Sunday, a lone shooter fired shots in the New Life Church parking lot. He then proceeded into the foyer where he was gunned down by a female security guard. Two sisters have died, Stephanie Works (18) and Rachael Works (16). Their father, David, has survived the attack. Please pray for this dear family as well as our city. This is a rough time.

Click here to read the local news story.

"One family is bearing the brunt of grief in Sunday's shooting at New Life Church. The two victims who died after being shot were teenaged sisters, Stephanie Works, 18, and Rachael Works, 16. In addition, David Works, 51, suffered gunshot wounds to the abdomen and groin.  He is in fair condition at Penrose Hospital.  The two remaining victims have been treated and released.  They are Judy Purcell and Larry Bourbannais."

December 06, 2007

Day 2. Christmas on the Beach in South Africa

This past month, Children's HopeChest sent Samantha Kerr on a 3-week trip to Uganda, Swaziland, and South Africa. She was able to attend a Christmas celebration with Pastor Frank Harawa and the orphans of the Luganda Community in Durban. We only met Frank about a month ago, and 5 for 50 is proud to partner with him to bring Christmas to about 100 orphans he works with. Here's Sam's report:

Orphaned and vulnerable children from the Luganda Community just south of Durban, South Africa celebrated Christmas this year on the beach. The party was in two parts: Part I began on a Sunday with a presentation and refreshments with sponsors from a local Durban church (Westville Presbyterian).


Part II was held the next day with over 100 children going to the beach to play in the water and sand. The kids crammed in vans (of which I’m sure there was double the number in the van that should have been) and headed to the beach around 9 in the morning. While they were on their way there, Pastor Frank, his wife Patricia, his assistant Simphiewa and myself (Samantha) headed to the grocery store to buy lunch, beach balls and drinks. What an experience to buy 25 rotisserie chickens and over 100 buns.


When we arrived at the beach, the kids were waiting somewhat patiently and Pastor Frank gave them the rules. Then we headed off to the beach. I wish I could replicate the screams of joy as they chased the waves.

No snow for Christmas but big white waves and the kids had a great time! One of the girls that attended the party lives in a family house for orphans in Luganda. We’ll call her Ann. Ann is 10 years old and has already experienced more pain than a little girl should. Her mother was shot, her dad died of a stroke and she has been raped several times.


When I asked her what she likes about living in the home her reply was “I get to eat every day and have a place to live.”

We must continue to fight for these kids. For the Ann’s of the world. Her life is being redeemed. I found myself just thankful that she could play in the water and the sand. To experience a carefree day at the beach…


Please remember to pray for these kids during this Christmas season. To support the 12 days of Christmas, please go to this link and make a gift today.