Homeless Youth Amid COVID-19

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Sheltering in Place is inconvenient at times, it slows us down, and it keeps us from going and doing all the things we are used to occupying our time with. We miss seeing family and friends, attending events and many other activities. But what does ‘shelter-in-place’ mean to someone who doesn’t have a ‘place’ to shelter? This month we bless an organization reaching out to homeless youth in New York who are living on the streets, who are fearful of what’s happening and who have no place to isolate themselves. Hats off to these amazing people giving hope, care, faith and encouragement to thousands of youth across many cities of America.

This month we’ll be partnering with Covenant House in New York City by providing supplies and needed items for their youth shelter. I’ll be heading to their Amazon wish list and picking out a few things that they are in need of. In this time of turmoil and unrest, we can still reach out to bless organizations as they reach out to serve people in tough circumstances. What an amazing opportunity God has given us!

Watch the News Report interviewing the CEO of Covenant House… from FOX News:

Let’s pray for those on the front lines, those affected personally, and for the healing of this nation!

CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE!  www. covenanthouse.org

Touching someone’s life that you will never meet is one of the most self-less gifts you could ever give. Bless someone today… JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN!

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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. It doesn’t take much… Join us today!

Books for Kenya

Having witnessed injustices, inequities and disparities to those burdened by poverty both in America and in Africa, Lance & Julie realized how important community development was. While doing work at a regional hospital in rural central Somalia, they fell in love with the people of Africa. They saw firsthand that basic needs such as clean water, safe sanitation, nutritious food, health-dental care, adequate shelter and education can be hard to come by in vulnerable communities. That experience burdened their hearts with the desire to empower people and transform communities.

With Community Development as their mission, Hope Without Borders was launched in 2007. They became actively involved in initiating, planning, designing, implementing and monitoring projects, whether in the US or abroad. Providing health care and skills training to individuals, refugees and families in need. Purposing to help individuals take ownership and ensuring the continuation of programs and projects that would bring about life-changing and sustainable success.

Learning new skills, technologies and capabilities allows someone to change their life and as they teach these new skills to someone else, it in turn, helps the entire community.

WHERE WE COME IN – BOOKS WITHOUT BORDERS is an ongoing project they established to help make it possible for kids and adults to receive or further their education. Reading is an important skill to develop as it opens numerous doors and allows children to explore the world around them. When adults can read, it provides the ability to gain new skills and trades which in return allows them to raise their family and provide well for them. Hope Without Borders has distributed close to 4000 books in the US and overseas.

THIS MONTH – we will be blessing Hope Without Borders with 150 new, Level 1 reading books! When I contacted them, they mentioned that this was the age group and reading level they were most in need of. This month it’s our privilege to provide reading materials to broaden and enhance a child’s learning ability and capacity to see greater things ahead!

“We pray that God will continue to open wide the doors and pathways that lay before Hope Without Borders. That God would grant wisdom and direction in every area of their ministry and in the lives of their families. That they would not grow weary but would be encouraged that God sees them and is overjoyed with all they continue to do to serve His people. We thank them for their obedience and consistency to move with the Lord, and pray that God would overwhelm them this year… that it may be their best year yet!”

CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE!  www. hwb-intl.org

Touching someone’s life that you will never meet is one of the most self-less gifts you could ever give. Bless someone today… JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN!

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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. It doesn’t take much… Join us today!

Spirit of Christ, All Year Long

HAVE A FABULOUSLY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I’ve been baffled for a long time at the notion within our society of ‘The Christmas Spirit’ during the month of December because our general culture doesn’t celebrate or acknowledge the importance of the life of Christ as being THE GIFT of Christmas. Yet they have taken on the same holiday as a means to giving gifts, showing extra kindness, reaching out to the down and out, or good tidings of joy to all people.

All of these things are good and at least show that we haven’t lost all our humanity and they clearly illustrate how the birth of Christ has impacted the world, whether they accept it or not. But, if there is no cultural basis anymore of Christmas being about Christs’ birth, then why do we hear about giving to the poor or helping in local shelters, or giving of your time and energy to help others so much more during Christmas?

Let’s not forget that these needs and sufferings of others are present all year through. This is what makes Be a Blessing so amazing! All of you give every month to people you don’t know, to impact lives you’ll never meet, and THAT’S what the Spirit of Christ is all about.

We couldn’t do this without all of us together and for you I’m so grateful.

We are ending this year at Be a Blessing with the intention to share the Spirit of CHRISTmas through gift cards to a shelter. Giving their guests the opportunity to spend time outside of the elements in a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. I spend hours of time inside my safe home, on my couch or sleeping in my own bed, while others that are also employed but can’t afford housing, are living out of their cars. It’s heartbreaking to ponder but praise God He has blessed us so we can do something tangible to help!

Be grateful for everything, BUT ALSO intentional with how we use it…

With these thoughts in mind, I would also like to propose a 2020 Budget Referendum! I’m a big fan of allocating personal finances into separate accounts for different needs, as it helps me stay focused on being intentional with what God gives. So, I was thinking…. what if we all budgeted a certain amount each month, maybe $5, $10 or $20, to give to someone JUST BECAUSE!

Send a card to someone going through a hard time with a gift card inside and an encouraging note. Or use it to fill up someone’s gas tank, or save it for a few months and pay someone’s electricity bill. Maybe you’re at Walmart and the person next to you is having a rough day and is showing high levels of frustration. How cool would it be to pull out a card just to brighten their day?! There are so many amazing things we can do with very little all year through, if we choose to be intentional.

BLESS SOMEONE JUST BECAUSE … GIVE WITH US TODAY!

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

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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!

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.

Doing Good Revives You

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We spend our days caught in a time warp. Our buzzer goes off every morning and we’re off to the races trying to accomplish everything on our list. Attempting to keep it all together so none of the balls we are juggling fall out of line. We tend to be over-stressed and exhausted with no spare time to enrich our hearts and encourage our souls… let alone think about someone else!

God knew this human tendency. What’s even cooler is that God created us to be revived and encouraged by the act of serving others!! The common phrase ‘it’s better to give than to receive’ is based on scripture (Acts 20:35) and is actually backed up by scientific research. Reaching outside your world for someone else’s sake reduces stress, improves your emotional well-bring, and brings many physical benefits. Your mood changes, your self-esteem goes up and you just feel happier. God intended for this to be the case. He wanted us to be in-tune with other people because He is a God of relationship both toward Him and towards others. He didn’t intend for us to go through life’s hills and valleys by ourselves.

Benefits of doing good include:

Helping others feels good – it promotes positive physiological changes in the brain associated with happiness, it improves social support, leads to a more physically active lifestyle, and distracts us from our own problems.

Reduces isolation – People facing activities, such as volunteering, helps reduce loneliness and isolation.

Provides a new perspective – It allows us to see our own blessings as we stop focusing on what we feel we are missing and the stress it causes.

It’s contagious! – Acts of kindness have the potential to make our world a happier place.

Relieves stress – Positive emotions reduce stress, boosts our immune system, and keeps us relational minded.

Rids us of negativity – Kindness can help decrease feelings of anger and hostility, which can stabilize our overall health.

Help us live longer – Studies of older people show that those who give support to others live longer than those who don’t.

Benefits of helping others can last long after the act itself by providing a ‘kindness bank’ of memories that can be drawn upon in the future. You can help others by volunteering, mentoring, serving at your church, helping your neighbor, or getting involved with a good cause. It can be private, public, at work, at home, at the shopping mall, or at the drive through. Offering to get a co-worker a cup of coffee or bringing in breakfast can heighten your brain sensors and provide the start to a great day! This month we want to encourage all of us to intentionally think about ways we can reach out, big or small, to impact the people God has put around us.

As an organization, we’re going to get involved with a local community outreach by supplying them with Trapper Keepers for their backpack blessings. These bags will go to children of all ages who need a little bit of extra help getting the supplies they need to start another school year.

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

BLESS SOMEONE TODAY

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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!