Gifts of Hope

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“Always Prefer Others… and be okay with it.” That’s what God has been speaking to me about these days. I am too quick to be impatient with the driver in front of me or the light that takes forever to change, the person who cuts in line, the annoyance of interruptions in my schedule, my food that is taking too long, why someone is reacting so harshly, ‘do I have to stop and pray for them?’, and the list continues.

God is highlighting that if I always prefer others before myself, then patience would guide my life and self-sacrifice would be the forerunner of my actions. Wouldn’t that be something! 😊

While praying for this month’s blessing, I began to realize that what we do each month together is an act of ‘Preferring Others’ with our finances and compassion. It’s walking in obedience to put someone else in priority. Focusing on someone else by sacrificing out of our own hand. What a beautiful Word! He’s encouraging us to continue. He’s showing us that what we are doing matters. He’s bringing revelation outside from Be a Blessing, to encompass our everyday thoughts and actions.

Gifts of Hope, through Samaritans Purse, is an act of obedience to the call of God to give, give and then give again. Not to sound redundant, but we are a ridiculously blessed people. I don’t think we can fully fathom that what feels normal to us, would be the life of a king to someone else.

Most of us are aware of Operation Christmas Child or otherwise known as Shoebox Gifts, but Samaritans Purse also has a gifting program that we will be partnering with this month, where we can purchase specific gifts ranging from $5 to $35,000. This organization literally affects every area of the globe in numerous capacities all year long. It’s truly amazing how God has increased and blessed them through the obedience of Franklin Graham over the decades.

OUR GIFTS THIS MONTH WILL GO TO:

Touching people you will never meet, is one of the most self-less gifts you could give. It’s truly an unbelievable opportunity we have that other generations did not!

BLESS SOMEONE FROM YOUR BLESSINGS… GIVE WITH US TODAY!

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Every month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunities! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits and to participate in His vision to transform hearts, so that they may know Him! Each gift brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others. Join us today!

Cambodia Flood Relief

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I got word last month that disastrous flooding was happening in Cambodia! Thousands were displaced, roads were destroyed and bridges had been washed away. People were hungry, wet and many huddled together under tarps or make-shift scrap as they shelter from the rain. They needed help and Relevant Expeditions reached out to us asking for our support, as they prepared an emergency outreach to bring relief. We supported Relevant Expeditions back in April when we bought rice for five leper villages in India. They also do work in Cambodia and have existing churches in this region with connection points to provide assistance.

The main part of the flooding was in Northern Cambodia which borders Vietnam and Laos. They started working with 10 unreached people groups that live in that region. Most of which, are poor farmers who live and farm small 1-2 acre plots. Most survive on less than $1.00 a day. They lost their crops and had probably eaten any seed they had left for the next crop. This was a very serious situation for thousands of adults and children who had no hope that any help would arrive.

Relevant Expeditions knew this was an opportunity to show them the love of Jesus. As they provided aid packages, their indigenous missionaries also went to care for the people, share the Good News, and potentially plant more churches among the affected regions.

Sept. 14th UPDATE… DIRECTLY FROM THEM!!

I just received an update on their progress last month and into September… I know it’s more reading but… you’ll want to know this!

“Really excited to share that our team in Cambodia made the 4 hour arduous journey once again to the flood ravaged village we’ve adopted in Northern Cambodia.  This area borders Laos and Vietnam. Because of our partners like you, we were able to provide emergency supplies for an additional 100 families on September 12th one month after the flood.

Each family received 50 lbs of rice, a case of sardines, a water filtration system, noodles, mosquito nets, blankets, and other needed items.

 Our team became a delegation of local and national leaders. Which is great as this really gives us great favor in the region with government leaders that are endorsing our ministry. 

A Cambodian TV team heard that Relevant Expeditions team members were going to this location and they showed up to cover our distribution.  Our team reported that many, including political people, responded to the Good News of Salvation!

 Our teams did a great job keeping the distribution well organized, orderly and safe. Often people with good intentions don’t consider that a large group of desperate people can quickly result in unsafe situations.  Our team was fantastic!  Special thanks to our team that work so hard to do these distributions. Sokhon and Esther, our Cambodian leaders, are shown here praying for an elderly couple after they had given the needed supplies and a gift of money as well.

 For those who provided for this emergency outreach (THAT WAS US!), Thank you for helping us bless these very poor people with aid in their time of need. It is in these times that we are able to provide for people’s needs, seemingly out of nowhere. They see that there is something real, something genuine, and something miraculous with this man named Jesus.

 With this door opening and favor being given by the government there is more that we want to do here.  This is a divine opportunity for us to share more about the Gospel through acts of caring humanity.  Homes need to be repaired and they need further help with food and other necessities.  We also hope to be able to help them with rice seed to replant the fields that were destroyed by the flooding.  Last but not least, we hope to be able to establish a church in this region.” 

Cambodia is our September blessing. Our support was sent last month so we could help right as it was needed. What an honor for them to reach out to us, knowing our hearts to serve and bless others. Below is a link to their website, if God lays on your heart to get involved in a personal way… I just love Pat & Jim, their hearts are always for the gospel to go forth in every circumstance!

Checkout Relevant Expeditions

 

August 12 – Floods strike Preah Sihanouk, kill three and damage roads

August 10 – Floods force thousands to evacuate

Thank you for all your prayers as we continue to bless others…. JUST BECAUSE WE CAN! 🙂

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Each month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunity! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the world through established faith-based non-profits. We partner with His vision to transform hearts with the Gospel of Christ. Each donation brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others.

Christianity in Iran is growing

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Iran’s government continues to be one of the most brutal regimes in the world today, but God continues to move! Christianity in Iran is growing through underground church networks at a faster rate than one might expect. As we know, media portrays only what they want us to see and rarely the inside facts. I am inspired to tell you a story about how God is moving in amazing ways within the country of Iran.

Online news articles (links below) began sparking my curiosity so I began searching for how we could get involved. That’s when I found an organization called Heart 4Iran! Heart 4Iran was birthed in 2014 to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Farsi speaking peoples of Iran and beyond. H4I brings new believers from the point of interest to a position of influence, engages the unreached to complete the Great Commission, and inspires partnership with the story of God’s love for the Iranian people. They currently work with over 100 partners to reach Christians in Iran. In 2018, they sent 1,980 printed Bibles into Iran through in-country partners and their call center has had over 700 daily engagements with viewers of their satellite TV network, Mohabat TV.

I was able to chat with Jessica from Heart 4Iran about their ideas, plans and a bit of their beginnings. She expressed so many amazing testimonies about what’s happening in Iran. They have the unique honor of providing resources and connections to people in these underground churches. It just blessed my heart! Here’s a quick testimony from their Call Center.

TESTIMONY – Fatemeh was a long-time isolated convert and had never dared to tell anyone she was a Christian, for fear of persecution. Her only connection to Christianity was with our satellite television network and 24-hour call center. After watching MyKelisa’s “Sermon on the Mount” series, she was convicted as to why she never went public with the wonderful work that Jesus did in her life. She then called the counselors and received regular prayer and guidance. Shortly after, she was arrested for communicating with us through social media. After she spent two weeks in jail, her faith was deeply strengthened. When her day in court came, the judge asked if she was a Christian. To her surprise, she proclaimed her faith in Jesus. The first time I proudly proclaimed my faith was in a court room of all places!”, she told us later. She bravely professed God’s works and later on told us that it was “the Holy Spirit that gave me the courage to do so.”

This summer, Heart 4Iran is embarking on a faith-filled initiative called the 2019 Summer Awakening! By August 31st, they are purposing to raise $750,000. These funds will allow them to intensify their efforts in making the Gospel more accessible to the people of Iran by:

  1. Increasing the number of secret, underground house churches in key cities inside Iran, to further the Gospel and discipleship for believers.
  2. Adding to the number of people manning their call center, allowing thousands more the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers about Jesus and the Christian faith.
  3. Ramping up the distribution of Bibles in Farsi (their language) so that more and more people will come to know God’s Word and follow Christ.

THIS MONTH… your contributions will go to supporting these initiatives in Iran! Please click on the links below to find out more and to read about what God is doing. In the midst of darkness and pain, God is still moving and healing and showing Himself strong. Please pray for Christians that face such hard conditions that they would be protected and they would continue to find strength in their Faith. Pray for God’s love and hope to continue to penetrate these areas and for the hearts of people to find peace in His goodness!

FIND OUT MORE AT: www.heart4iran.com

 

MORE AMAZING STORIES OF WHAT GOD IS DOING IN IRAN!

July 3 – MENA region returning to spiritual roots, claims ministry leader

July 9 – The church in Iran influencing the region for Christ!

June 28 – Tens of Thousands of Iranian Muslims Are Turning To Jesus through Watching Christian Satellite TV

June 27 While US and Iran Go Head-to-Head, Iranians Are Turning Their Hearts to Christ like Never Before

June 20God Is at Work in the Hardest Hearts

June 18The real story in Iran isn’t political, it’s spiritual

 

Thank you for all your prayers as we continue to bless others…. JUST BECAUSE WE CAN! 🙂

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Each month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunity! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the world through established faith-based non-profits. We partner with His vision to transform hearts with the Gospel of Christ. Each donation brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others.

Life Dominating Behaviors – His Oaks Ministry

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Behaviors are a difficult thing to change at any age. Our behaviors come from instinct, environment, experience, culture, biology, etc and have the ability to control our lives in positive or negative ways. Life dominating behaviors such as depression, addiction, anxiety, PTSD, mental illness, along with life circumstances keep many people from living a healthy and productive life and often times are a path to prison. They wear us out, break us down and make life feel hopeless which leads to more addiction. However, vicious cycles of life can be broken off through an encounter with Christ!

This June, we are partnering to break off life-dominating behaviors!

His Oaks Ministry was birthed in 2011, with a vision and passion to reach men who are stuck in these cycles and need help finding their way out. Serving men 18-35 years old, this transition home and unique program provides the help men need to rebuild their lives, restore relationships with God and families, while entering back into society.

Most of the men who enter this program come into it beaten down by sin and life in general. This Christ-centered, residential, discipleship environment gives men an opportunity to break free from the strongholds that have sabotaged their life. They enter His Oaks dead in sin but wake up to a relationship with a living Savior while discovering their identity in Jesus. Joy and hope fill their lives and dominating behaviors are crushed under the cross.

Solid biblical foundations and the authority of the scriptures is used to teach Godly living. Residents participate in Bible studies and training sessions throughout the week, as well as work duties around the house, in various community/neighbor services, and eventually in their own jobs. By living, studying, and working together in an atmosphere of Christian love and understanding, each man is given the opportunity to walk in victory!

Checkout their ministry to learn more! www.hisoaks.com

His Oaks is fully funded by the faithfulness of God and the charitable giving of others. Most men who enter this life-saving program are unable to fund their own stay. It’s because of your generosity that we will be able to come alongside them to help continue their amazing work with the men God brings!! Thank you for all your prayers as we continue to help others.

BLESS SOMEONE TODAY… just because you can! 🙂

 

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Each month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunity! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the world through established faith-based non-profits. We partner with His vision to transform hearts with the Gospel of Christ. Each donation brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others.

Golan Ministries – a Migrant Aid Effort

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It’s human nature to survive and refugee crisis’ are happening all over the globe. Migrants that come from southern countries toward the U.S. border are nothing new. The sheer numbers as of late are looking for a new life. That has brought emergency humanitarian need and a lot of opinions. As the government and organizations try to handle the influx, it’s imperative that we do not forget that these individuals and families are loved by God. If I was in their shoes, I would probably be doing the same for a chance at life.

Jesus walked in the midst of turmoil to bring love and peace and then called us to do the same.

In the meantime, I believe we should be the hands and feet of Christ to bring the hurting to God’s love and salvation. Pastor Navarro from the West Brownsville Baptist Church in Brownsville, TX and his congregation are doing just that.

Golan Ministries, a branch of West Brownsville Baptist Church, was formed last April. The Mexican Consulate in Brownsville, TX contacted Pastor Navarro for assistance with the summer 2018 border crisis. They converted half their church into a respite center for asylum-seeking immigrants. They serve Guatemalans, Salvadorans, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, Cubans and Venezuelans. Golan Ministries provides monthly financial assistance to their church plant in Chiapas, Mexico, where migrants have been flocking for help. In addition, they distribute goods at a local immigration center and travel across the border with backpacks of supplies to Matamoros. Golan Ministries just received the opportunity to manage a 40-bed Brownsville shelter, no longer subsidized by the city. The shelter will temporarily house migrants as they enter the U.S. from Matamoros to apply for political asylum.

Setting aside political complications, Golan Ministries’ mission is to extend love, dignity, respect and compassion to all asylum seekers and refugees.

 

Pastor Navarro and Golan Ministries certainly have their hands full! THIS MONTH we have the privilege to extend our support to partner with Brownsville and I can’t be more excited! It’s been on my heart for months to find a ministry on the front lines helping migrants physically and spiritually. The biggest needs are for practical items such as: clothing, toothbrushes, sanitary supplies, towels, Tracfone’s, activities for kids, serving utensils/plates, hair brushes, diapers, Spanish Bibles, etc. We get to purchase items from their wish list on Amazon to help fill these continual needs as people keep coming.

Check out this News clip: RESPITE CARE CENTER in BROWNSVILLE

Join us for just $5 a MONTH … you’ll be blessed all year-round!

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Each month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunity! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the globe. Supporting and encouraging faith-based non-profits and participating in their visions to transform hearts with the Gospel of Christ. Each donation brings hope and love to hurting people.

Feeding the Forgotten, leper communities

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You might think Leprosy, an age-old disease, has been cured. However, over 100 countries, including the USA, still report cases each year. Although a treatment exists, many people do not have access to such life saving measures and the disease continues. Often exiled to separate communities, they live in a poverty state without hope.

ENTER… APRILS’ BLESSING! Our blessing this month has opened their heart and compassion to leper villages in India, along with other programs in over 16 nations. They won over my heart just by reading their website and Facebook page. The door opened after the 2004 tsunami in southeast Asia. As a result, God began to pave the way to touch far more lives than they could have ever imagined!

WATCH THIS! …. SUPER SWEET VIDEO of their full ministry! https://vimeo.com/287399689

 

“Although we are doing a lot of humanitarian targeting right now – our greater vision is long term. By long term, of course, we mean eternity. We want to connect with the Christians of Asia and bring them a sense of freedom and a greater understanding of who God is.”

HUMANITARIAN RELIEF  –  TRAINING INDIGENOUS LEADERS  –  SHARING THE HOPE OF CHRIST

Their ministries across multiple Asian Nations include: Disaster Relief, Children’s Homes, Evangelism, Building Homes / Emergency Shelter, Sanitation Projects, Feeding Programs, Rice Distribution for Lepers, Bible School Ministry, Drilling Water Wells, Leadership Training and Development, Pre-schools and Education Initiatives, Church Planting.

We will purchase bags of rice this month to be distributed between 5 leprosy villages! This food is more than just food, it represents hope to the lives of those that society wants to forget. We thank them for their obedience to what God has called them to do, for their obvious love of people, and for their passion to change the world around them!

Please note: Due to security concerns, they have asked us to be careful in presenting their organization. I’ve included an awesome video but I did not want to make too much mention of their information on social media. So… check out the quick video!

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Each month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunity! Striving to be a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits. Participating in Gods’ vision to transform hearts with the Gospel of Christ. Each donation brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others.

Join us for just $5 a MONTH … and you’ll be blessed all year-round!

Homelessness in America

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Have you ever imagined yourself walking through a period of homelessness? Everything you own packed into your car or in the backpack you’re wearing. No where to wash your face, no table or couch to eat your dinner, no way to bathe your kids. How do you tell your kids that you have to move around every day because we can’t afford a place to live? Maybe some of you have been or are homeless.

The book of Acts talks about the early church and how they brought food, goods, and supplies together to help each other out. No one ‘went without’ it says. I believe Christ established the church to take care of the homeless and broken and to give a hand up out of love… not to pass judgement, not to critique ‘The why’ of someone being homeless, nor to stand by in silence. Compassion is what Christ modeled for us.

I wondered what the data might say regarding homelessness in America, so I did some searching and here’s a bit of what I found from www.endhomelessness.org.

January 2017 Homelessness

  • A majority of the homeless lived in some form of shelter or transitional housing
  • 34% lived in a place not meant for human habitation
  • 7% of all people experiencing homelessness were single individuals
  • 3% were people in families (adults and children)
  • 2% of people counted were veterans
  • 4% were unaccompanied children and young adults

The good thing is that since 2007, homelessness has decreased overall and across every sub-population nationally by 14.4%. However, between 2016 and 2017 the number of people experiencing homelessness has increased nationally by 7% percent. The largest increases in that time period (2016-2017) were among unaccompanied children and young adults (14.3%), individuals experiencing chronic homelessness (12.2%), and people experiencing unsheltered homelessness (9.4%).

This month we are supporting a super cool idea called ‘Connections Shelter that’s being coordinated by multiple churches. Since finding permanent building space can be tricky, these churches came together and established a system where by each facility rotates weeks of caring for the homeless population in their city. I had the privilege to volunteer this week at one of these churches and I was so impressed with their organization and flow of the evening. From volunteer scheduling, to food preparation, to their hospitality towards their guests; it was an honor to watch and do my small part with them.

Check out their site: www.connectionsmankato.org

Here’s the thing – these churches are from different denominations, their theology beliefs are different, they have different opinions about stuff but they found a way to brush that aside and focus on the needs of people. They provide beds, food, games, friendship, and safety to those who need it most. I can’t say enough about the amazing coordination and love they have exhibited together over the past few years. Hats off to you guys and Thank You for following the Lord’s direction to serve others!

 DONATE TODAY… BE BLESSED ALL YEAR LONG!

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Every month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunities! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits and to participate in His vision to transform hearts, so that they may know Him! Each gift brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others.

Serving Seniors

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They give more generously, donate the most volunteer time, have lived through some of the hardest economic times in the US, served their country unwaveringly, and contain enormous amounts of life wisdom. Our seniors are the heroes of our time and have paved the way for many of us to be where we are.

However, aging is not an easy road to walk and many times our seniors can eventually become the ‘forgotten ones’. Even in the best facilities, loneliness, anxiety and feelings of neglect are a primary cause of poor health among our older adults. No longer being able to choose what they want to eat, where they want to go, and many times what they want to do. This loss of freedom and independence can cause them to lose self-esteem, dignity, joy and love.

Jerry & Dorphia David

This months’ blessing devotes their time and energy giving back to our beloved seniors. Sharing the love and gospel of Christ to a segment of society who is nearing their time of departure. Matthew 20 illustrates that it’s never too late to know Christ and His plan of salvation, comfort and love.

Gentle Shepherd Ministries visits senior care facilities on a weekly basis where they provide one-on-one visits, church services, Bible studies, and grief support to those who struggle with despair, uselessness, or spiritual emptiness. They create a Christ-centered community and provide support, relationship and joy to many of them. The team of GSM reach 70 senior living communities, approximately 700 people a month, and has 70 volunteers ministering to the residents’ spiritual, emotional, and societal needs.

During the middle of last year, God had placed ‘seniors’ on my heart. I’m so pleased to bless this organization and be a part of what God is doing for our beloved elders.

Remember that one day; you will be a senior too 🙂 Lets’ show extra love and care!

God Bless your January, Sandy

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Every month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunities! We become a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits. We participate in His vision to transform hearts and bring them His love! Each gift brings hope to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others. We are blessed by blessing them!