We have found ourselves in late winter, with flurries of snow, chilly winds, and snuggling up to the stove or in our sleeping bags. It seems like just yesterday we were wiping sweat, wishing for an air conditioner in the heat of Africa. Somehow, we have managed to miss the worst of winter, unless we consider a few days in China. . . Then fast forward into summer (Africa), into perfect spring weather (India), and now back to end of winter. Here are some pictures from our village.
An abundance of hot drinks, hot chocolate, teas, and coffee are available throughout the day. Breakfast consists of oatmeal, cereal, or toast with jam. Lunch has been a variety of sandwiches with fried eggs, cheese, tomatoes, sausage, etc, and soup or baked potatoes with all the fixings. The evening meal brings many reminders of home as we enjoy BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes, cheeseburgers, French fries, cheesy potato soup, spaghetti, and many other delicious dishes.
Ministry involves a large variety of activities, yet there is flexibility and freedom in choosing what we feel God is calling us to do or go. There are many opportunities to go prayer walking through different villages. Many times these walks lead to conversation with babushkas (grandmas) or others in the village. There is almost always a translator with us because most people do not know any English. Others can choose to hang out at the orphanage, helping kids with English or playing soccer. Also, playing soccer in different villages provides an opening to conversations about faith and God. I have really enjoyed the physical labor ministry here at the camp, mostly helping split wood for the stoves. We are planning to work on a few of the babushkas homes in the village, fixing roofs, etc. I’ve also gotten to help out in the kitchen quite a bit as well.
Kids are our future. The new generation that will take over where we leave off. But why wait until they reach a certain age? Kids can help create a better future now, regardless of their age or even ability. Kids CAN change the world. The following are 3 examples of kids changing the world.
- Alex Scott was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (a type of childhood cancer) before she turned 1. After turning 4 years old, she told her mom that she wanted to raise money through a lemonade stand so that she could give the money to doctors to “help other kids, like they helped me.” Raising $2,000 through her first lemonade stand was just the beginning. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation raised over $1 million throughout her life, which ended at the age of 8 years old. But thats not all, 10,000 volunteers continue her legacy by working at 2,000 Alex’s Lemonade Stands around the country every year to donate to cancer research and helping children with cancer.
- When Ryan Hreljac was 6 years old, he was distressed to learn that African children had to walk many kilometers every day just to collect water. So, he began doing household chores and speaking publicly about clean water issues in order to raise money to build a well at a Primary School in northern Uganda. Ryan’s Well Foundation has completed 667 projects that have brought access to clean water to over 714,000 people in 16 countries.
- At 9 years old, Katie Stagliano brought home a cabbage seeding from school. Through her care, her cabbage grew to 40 pounds and Katie donated it to a soup kitchen. The cabbage then helped feed over 275 people! Seeing the difference that fresh produce could make at soup kitchens, led Katie to begin Katie’s Krops. This organizations provides thousands of pounds of fresh produce to help people in need. (source)
It seems crazy that these kids are doing things that most adults don’t think they can do. But thats the great thing about kids. Not only can they dream big (like adults), but they believe in their dreams (not many adults do). If our kids can dream big and believe in those dreams, surely we as parents can come alongside them through encouragement and doing our part to help their dreams come true. For every story of a child changing the world, there is a parent or other adult in the background helping to fit the pieces together.
Lets let our children spark inspiration and excitement so that we can change the world together!
Ask your child today, how they would change the world. Then leave a comment below with their answer.
Recap of our ministry in India. I was so glad to finally eat a cheeseburger after leaving India, but the Indian children, cows wandering in traffic, nose piercing, and wild rickshaw rides will forever bring a smile to my face!
Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease, yet a child dies every 60 seconds from Malaria. The good news is Malaria deaths are down by 33% since 2006, and more lives are being saved every day. Last Thursday (April 25th) was World Malaria Day. A day to acknowledge those suffering and a day to educate people so that they will be inspired to help change the statistics of Malaria.
What is Malaria?
This disease is caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which then bites humans. Symptoms are typically high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. The malaria parasite is found in red blood cells of an infected person. So, when a mosquito bites an infected person, it carry’s with it a small amount of blood which mixes with the mosquito’s saliva. When that mosquito bites another person, that parasite is injected into the person being bitten. Malaria can also be transmitted through blood transfusions, organ transplant, or the shared use of needles or syringes contaminated with blood, as well as from mother to child before or during delivery. (CDC)
Not a pretty thought. But vital information that can help rid the world of Malaria.
With that in mind, Malaria is NOT a contagious disease. In other words, it is not spread from person to person like a cold or from casual contact.
Malaria is usually found in tropical and subtropical countries. Occurring in more than 100 countries and territories, about half of the world’s population is at risk. But some countries have eliminated malaria or the type of mosquito is not found there. For example, Malaria in the United States was eliminated in the early 1950′s (although there are 1,500 cases each year, mostly due to traveling).
Malaria can be prevented or treated through the use of antimalarial drugs, mosquito nets treated with insecticide, Anti-Malaria Soap, and early diagnoses.
Check out the links below for more information on fighting malaria and simple ways that you can make a big difference.
- Nothing But Nets Campaign: Send mosquito nets to at-risk communities.
- Malaria No More: Join a movement.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: More details, and how to protect yourself.
- Nets for Life Africa: Another organization sending life saving nets.
Which of these could you jump on board to support in the fight against Malaria?
Are you a parent? If so, you have the opportunity to change the world for the better or for the worse.
1. Positive Attitude
2. Build up your child
3. Love all
4. Teach responsibility
Parents, we change the world through our children. Let’s make the most of it and teach them the lessons that will make the world a better place.
What can you do today to help your child change the world in a positive way? Please comment below!
On our last night of ministry, we had the opportunity to go back to a slum area that we had visited the week before. There is a row of small brick homes, with panels of tin as makeshifts roofs. The women crotch outside their home with their small cookfire that makes up their kitchen. The children are scattered among the homes playing or helping with the meal. Many of these children are from our school, and this is a chance to see a glance of what life means to them. They grin from ear to ear in excitement when we pile out of our rickshaws. Running to greet us and grab our hands, they call for their friends so that they can show us off! Knowing the visitors is taken as such a privilege to these kids. We are invited into their midst and begin the evening singing songs from school.
We perform a skit and share a testimony, your typical outreach routine. It was after the planned segment, that I encountered one of my most memorable moments since arriving in India. We decided to sing, “Hallelujah, Praise(ing) ye the Lord.” The song that requires two groups, one singing the Hallelujah part and the other singing the “Praising the Lord” part as well as much jumping up and down! Somehow we were able to persuade many of the men to join us in this song. I stumbled upon pure joy in watching and joining these men and children jumping and singing, especially when everyone would be mixed up and jumping at the wrong times! Although the idea of the song performance was ruined, these men had huge smiles on their faces. Joy and laughter radiated from their face. I couldn’t help but laugh along with them and that joy I experienced continues to overflow within me. Just another reminder that true happiness and fulfillment in life doesn’t come from how much money we have, or how we look, or anything of this world, but only from the one who sacrificed everything so that we could have freedom and eternal life, Jesus Christ!
What do you do when you discover a heartbreaking reality? For most the answer would be sadly, nothing. But for some, that reality won’t leave them alone, until a dream begins to form. A dream of reversing that reality and making the world a better place.
Meet Alex Kuhlow. A missionary in the Philippines, who is changing the world.
YOU can be a part of this movement. YOU can help the Kuhlow’s change even more lives. Threads of Hope is looking for people who will faithfully pray and search out venues to sell their products. Or you can click here to purchase bracelets to support these families.
Please check out Threads of Hope and prayerfully consider what you can do to change the lives of families in the Philippines.
This month in India has flown by. We have only a few days left for ministry and will then be in Delhi, Thursday thru Saturday. Our days here have been busy yet relaxed. We have a similar routine each day, yet we are always ready for a change in plans! Our mornings begin with breakfast at 8:30am, usually toast with peanut butter & jelly and hard-boiled eggs; sometimes they will serve fried eggs or oatmeal.
The rickshaws arrive around 9:30am for our ride to the school. There are 50 children enrolled in this small, Christian school. Most of the kids come from the slums and very poor families. This is their only hope for education. These adorable little children break my heart. They greet us each morning with bright smiles; their eyes searching for hope and joy. Ranging from three to ten years old, they gather in the one room building. We spend the morning singing songs about God’s love and mercy, sharing Bible stories, making crafts, playing games, and then we help teach them English. I have been teaching the older kids and I love to see the eagerness they have to learn. We finish the morning with exercise and give each child crackers.
The rickshaws drop us off at the base, just in time for lunch at 1:30pm. Lunch and dinner consist of rice or chapatti with lentils, beans or chicken in a sauce. Our contacts have also treated us to meals at their house, including grilled cheese sandwiches!! The afternoons are free, providing opportunities to rest, go to town, and have team meetings. Ministry in the evenings comprise of house visits or outreach gatherings in small communities. We sing worship songs, perform a drama, and share our testimonies. Believers sometimes treat us to chai tea and sweet crackers before we head back to the base. Dinner is served around 8:30pm.
Friday, we traveled to the Ganges River. This river is a very holy place for many religions even though it is considered one of the most polluted rivers in the world. There are many temples and idol statues. We spent the day prayer walking, shopping, and exploring the area. We ate lunch at the Tiptop Restaurant overlooking the river as well as enjoyed popcorn from roadside venders!