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13 posts from January 2010

January 11, 2010

They had too many girls already...

Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

We'll pause and give more thought to the phenomenon of modern day slavery, but there's still a child forced into sex slavery every 2 minutes.  Explore the issue more with our friends at iEmpathize.

Many of the children in the sex trade are orphans with no one to protect and look out for them. I want to tell you about Sveta in Russia, a girl who we helped avoid sex trafficking. Many people read a blog, but over the past year you have engaged the global orphan crisis with your prayers and your finances, and I cannot thank you enough.

Meet Sveta, just one of the many girls you are helping...

Sveta's parents abandoned her to the orphanage shortly after her birth. She was their fifth daughter and her mother and father decided they had "enough" girls already.

As a young girl, Sveta loved animals and dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. She also wondered about her biological family. She knew exactly where they lived, and knew she was the only child they abandoned.

Sveta wanted her parents and sisters to be proud of her.

After leaving the orphanage, Sveta accepted a place in our Independent Living Program. Thanks to the efforts of her house parents, she got into veterinarian school and successfully graduated.

Soon she re-connected with her sister and brother-in-law. Wanting to help her family so much, Sveta allowed them to use her credit card. But when they refused to pay her, they left Sveta on her own.

They told her that a young and attractive girl could easily get a "job" to pay her debts.

Sveta became scared and overwhelmed. She kept this all a secret, locked inside. Then, Sveta was sued by the credit card company. Desperate to avoid jail, Sveta could not think straight and began to consider all her options...she was ready to do anything.

Fortunately, her house parents intercepted one of the notices from the court. The immediately got involved, cleared up the matter with the courts, and helped Sveta avoid further prosecution.

Now, Sveta is married and lives on a farm with her husband where she takes care of many animals as a successful young professional.

Without the Independent Living Program house parents, Sveta very well could have made a different choice. She could have turned to prostitution to solve her problem.

Sveta--without the protection of a father and the love of a mother--could have chosen to become a prostitute.

Sveta is like the thousands of children we are trying to help this year through our sex trafficking initiative (Read more here). Many girls in Russia face similar choices. At HopeChest, we are active about taking girls like Sveta into our living programs and Ministry Centers to teach, guide, mentor, and love them into a healthy adulthood.

January 04, 2010

A Simple Thanks & Encouragement

Thank you for helping to protect, defend, and care for orphans with HopeChest.

Together, our supporters have helped us exceed our giving and ministry goals for our work in Russia, Swaziland, Uganda, and Ethiopia.

As a quick snapshot, our year end campaign raised over $200,000 for orphan ministry in 2010....

  • $31,000 to stop sex trafficking in Russia
  • $90,000 to establish 6 orphan feeding centers and discipleship ministry in Swaziland
  • $41,000 to build a full carepoint development in Uganda complete with kitchen, fence, well, water system, classroom, electricity, latrine, and discipleship.
  • $38,000 for expanding orphan care programs in Russia, Swaziland, Ethiopia, and Uganda in 2010

Thank you and thank you God for this tremendous year-end blessing to our ministry.

In 2010, HopeChest will launch a new partnership with Focus on the Family to reach more orphans in the country of South Africa. We have initial plans in place for countries like India, Guatemala, and Moldova.

I encourage you to not get lost in the numbers and figures. The dollars we raise and the number of kids we serve are just two measures of our ministry programs.

I find deeper encouragement in the individual stories of the kids whose lives are transformed through our ministry.

As you start 2010 with your own personal reslolutions and goals, watch this video of my new friend, Rabia Sayid. I think her resolve will encourage you greatly. This beautiful child has turned suffering and setback into incredible strength. We exist to help children like Rabia grow up to reach their dreams.

Watch this...

Rabia Sayid Story from Children's HopeChest on Vimeo.

Thank you for your support in 2009. To make a gift, go to today. Thank you.

January 01, 2010

How to Accomplish Your Dreams in 2010

New Year, New Results, New Life


Every year I take some time to review the past year and focus on the next. This is the best exercise I've ever seen for turning dreams into action.

Success and failure has to do with remember our abilities. Getting bogged down with past patterns paralyzes our future. Make your goals real by extracting everything you can from last year.  Use it as a weapon and learn from the past. Extract the best and learn from the challenges. If there’s one thing you can use, it’s something to look forward to.


What’s missing in your life? What’s keeping you from accomplishing what God has called you to do? Likely, it’s the fact that there is no compelling future to guide you. 


The Seven Step Process for maximizing your year:


1. Get clear about what happened in 2009. 

First, what were the magic moments in 2009? 

What did you accomplish in 2009?  You can only build on success, that’s where momentum comes from.  Whether depression, sadness, or fruitfulness and happiness.  You’ve got to get that initial momentum. What were the decisions that shifted things, health, business, relationships?  

What are some things you want to duplicate? What would like to repeat?  What choices worked for you? What great things would you like to carry over?

What was frustrating in 2009? What did you hate? What was disappointing? 

What do you not want to duplicate? What will you not stand for? What made your life weak when you settled for lower expectations? What did you learn from these experiences?  What was painful, but valuable?

What decisions did you make that were empowering?  A real decision you acted on that may have been hard but got you where you wanted to be? Maybe it was a decision of something you stopped. What did you decide to change?  Which decision do you want to carry over to next year? Squeeze the juice out of 2009. Two things are sure to shape your life: big rewards and big pain.

2. Get certain!  If you’re going to change anything, certainty must drive your decisions. The difference between David Beckham and others is this: the     person who is most certain dominates things.  Learn how to lock yourself in place.  Change your state and your physiology…a metaphor for the     fire in your life. 

Write down as many things as you can think of that are in your life today that use to be goals.  Is there somebody in your life today you didn’t     think would be there?  Do things exist now you used to take for granted? We forget that if we can dream about anything, we can make it real. You     simply need to show yourself how you did it. I’ve always dreamed…and now I have it. How did you do that?  What was the dream that’s now reality?

Circle two or three things that were impossible or difficult.  How did you accomplish it? You decided this is something you must have…you     focused on it continuously.  Wherever focus goes, energy flows. This is called, “Formative Causation.” There is something connected with your ability to decide and the results that occur.  Thoughts are things.  Thoughts with certainty start to manifest. We always think about the negative,but when you focus on this, what happens? The negative happens. It’s called,  “self-fulfilling prophecies.” Get really clear and go for what’s in your heart. 

3. Get excited. Energy is the force that makes life work. There is power and energy inside of you. Let go of your fear to get your hopes up. Take ten     minutes and write down everything you wish to do to master, helping people, personal development, a foundation, non-profit ministry, your     spiritual life, writing a book, becoming a public speaker, or going on a trip What do you want to see, how do you want to give your life away,     what do you want your life to look like? Write as fast as you can without thinking.  

4. Get focused. Now, circle all of you top goals. Which of these will I achieve in 1, 5, 10 and 20 years? What are the top 4 one year goals you will achieve? What will get you up early and keep you up late? Write a paragraph as to why this is a must for you.  Reasons come first, answers come second. 

5. Get committed.  Now that you are focused on these four goals, schedule some action.  The big question is, “What are some things you need to         do right away to move toward this?” Never, never, never leave the site of making a new distinction and learning something without taking some action in the next moment of attainment. People make goals and never look at them again. When you are ‘in state’ make a decision! Do something in the moment. 

6. Get momentum. What’s the hardest part of working out? Getting to the gym of course. Progress works for you. The first step is the hardest. Think of     one of those goals, what’s one of the most important things you want to accomplish in 2008?  What will give you more joy, and how can you give     more to the people you love? Change happens in a moment. The second you say, that’s it, I’m doing it.  I’m completely out of shape, so I’m     going to walk for 30 minutes a day. Don’t wait for the right shoes, or the right time, now! What’s one small thing you can do to make a step     toward your goals? If you were serious about changing something, no more excuses, if you were committed to changing your career, or time off,     what’s the big step that would commit you? 

7. Get smart.  Make sure you follow through. Do something immediately. Set up a system of measurement. You’ve got to be able measure yourself.     Write it down and create a strategy. Keep that strategy in front of you at all times so you can weigh your progress. You can’t manage something     you can’t measure. Knowing someone’s going to call or follow up, gives you that edge you need to succeed. Check it once a month, and you get     twelve times to make it better, once a week, once a day, it’s going to happen!  Get a system or hire a personal coach, the accountability is worth it.