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!

Medical Kits in Haiti

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American’s have had much ado over the years regarding healthcare and medical ‘goods and bads’, so to speak. We have this opinion, that opinion, this statistic and that one. But, the reality is …. we HAVE medical care and there are certain regulations that prevent the turning away of patients in dire circumstances… not so in Haiti.

Haiti is a world without clinics and hospitals in every town… a world without medicine, without prenatal care, without pediatric medicine, or assistance for the elderly.  Children and adults die daily from fully preventable or treatable diseases like malaria, cholera, and tuberculosis.

DID YOU KNOW:

  • Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
  • Most Haitian people survive on $1 a day.
  • Haiti is the size of Maryland, but has double the population.
  • Haiti is less than 2 hours from Miami.
  • Poverty and devastation doesn’t prevent the people from praising God.

In the mountainous village of Montrouis, Haiti, there is no running water or electricity in homes. Water is retrieved from rivers with buckets and used for cooking, bathing, washing clothes, and drinking. Homes are made of cardboard, tar paper, and pieces of tin or plastic patched together. Medical care is a luxury but this month’s blessing, Life Connection Mission, does a great job at providing care both in clinics, as well as on the road through mobile medical units. Over the years they have provided care from basic clinic assistance to surgeries and life-saving procedures. The mobile medical trips are where we come in! We will be providing 33 medical kits for use in the field throughout the rural areas of the village. Giving much needed supplies as LCM volunteers head out to serve the people that are unable to reach the Montrouis clinic.

We’re so honored to be able to sow this little seed into an organization that has done so much, beyond just medical care, for the people of Haiti. May God continue to bless the hearts of those who serve in this ministry!

Check out their site for more information or to get involved: www.lifeconnectionmission.org

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

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.

We Got the News!

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The news came in and our shoe box gifts were sent to 5 countries!! Click the links below to find out more about the kids we blessed for our November blessing!

SURINAME     —   JAMAICA    —   GUYANA

MADAGASCAR   —   ZAMBIA

 

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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. GIVE A LITTLE BACK TODAY… BE BLESSED ALL YEAR LONG!

The Blessing Tree

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“EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE A BLESSING TO SOMEONE.” This sign was sitting on my friends’ shelf and I thought it very fitting during the month of December. It’s a great reminder that it’s not only Christmas that should give us the desire to show kindness and generosity. The birth of Christ was the greatest gift to humanity. It’s out of gratefulness to our Savior that we extend love to others all year long.

I tend to write messages on my mirror as reminders to how I want to think and things I want to learn. One message awhile back said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” We all have battles, we all struggle, we all get frustrated, especially when God doesn’t move our mountains in our time frames and we can find ourselves in unexpected situations.

Christmas is a great time to remind us that everyone is going through something. It’s a time where we can extend additional thoughtfulness and patience to people around us or to those we don’t even know.

We have had an amazing year blessing people in so many ways and you are all to thank for that! This month we want to spread the birth and love of Christ tangibly and with our hearts to single moms and their kids. So we teamed up with ‘The Blessing Tree’ to adopt 10 people by purchasing gifts to brighten their day. We plan to also enclose cards with encouraging message that share about our great and very personal God.

There’s still a few weeks left in 2018… lets’ find ways every day to bring a smile to someone’s life! You may be the only Christ they will ever see.

God’s favor and blessings to you… See you in the New Year!!

Sandy

 

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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!