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!

Disaster Relief in TN

Monday March 2nd, 10:15 pm the first tornado was spotted 4 miles from Malden, MO. The coming hours thereafter, would produce a series of tornados that tore through four counties in the heart of Tennessee. This fast-moving storm came in the middle of the night and dropped at least one tornado with winds up to 175 mph. While still surveying the damaged areas, it’s possible that one single tornado could have caused 50 miles of damage through 3 different counties.

The last report I saw said it killed at least 25 people, destroyed dozens of buildings and left an estimated 50,000 people without power. At least 48 structures collapsed around Nashville, according to the Nashville Fire Department. More than two dozen buildings and businesses were destroyed or damaged. It will take weeks before some areas will be accessible for travel.

My heart went out to the first responders, those who lost their homes or businesses, and everyone without power for extended periods of time. It only takes a moment for something to change your life drastically. For many thousands of people that moment was this past Monday into Tuesday morning. It was another reminder to me of how grateful to God I am for His continual presence and protection in my life and in those I love.

Let’s pray for those affected as we also extend our hands tangibly to be a blessing to them!

Because of your generosity this month, we have the opportunity to help our brothers and sisters in Christ who are walking this road at the moment. Giving to help provide for some of their needs as they process what has happened and figure out how to move forward. I found an organization called Churches for Christ Disaster Relief Effort. This is an organized relief effort across a church denomination to be prepared and able to respond when disaster strikes. How cool is that?!! I was quite impressed as I read their mission and preparedness in helping others.

“We contact the leadership of local Churches of Christ in or near a major disaster area. Then we send and turn over to that congregation truckloads of emergency food, personal hygiene, infant care, water, cleaning supplies, and pallets of additional basic needs, for them to distribute to the disaster victims. The success of our organization is because of the hundreds of volunteers that help us. Volunteers pack the majority of these supplies in our Nashville warehouse so they are ready to be distributed as soon as they’re received. Every food box, hygiene box, infant care box we send are exactly alike. Donations from congregations and individuals that support us, allow us to purchase needed supplies in large volume, at extreme discounts, whenever we need them. We are able to stretch your donation dollar to buy 3-4 times what you could purchase at retail prices.”

I checked out their action in the wake of these tornados via Facebook. They mobilized immediately by organizing volunteers and sending out supplies to some of the hardest hit areas requesting help. What a sweet way of sharing God’s love and provision to people in difficult times. I love this!

CHECK OUT THEIR PROGRESS! www.facebook.com/disasterreliefeffort/

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!

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.

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.

Nigerian Christians being Persecuted

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All across America our land is filled with ranchers and farmers working hard every day to raise animals, grow food, produce textiles, provide employment, and care for their families. They celebrate holidays, they educate their kids, they attend gatherings, they help their neighbors, they support their country, they cry, they laugh, they do their best to live life peacefully and wholly. Now imagine hosts of attackers coming night after night to raid their land, steal their animals, burn their buildings and take their lives. Americans would be OUTRAGED!! Nothing would stop the people and the government from rising up and coming down hard on them and persecuting to the full extent of the law.

That’s normal… That’s right… That’s justice… we say. We defend our own, our land, our people because we have been given the blessing and the opportunity to do so.

This month’s blessing is facing this scenario and they can do nothing to fight back, nothing to stop it. It’s a horrific story of slaughter, mayhem, brutality and carnage against civilians just like us. People with jobs, families, homes, neighbors, churches… they are no different than us in humanity but completely different in justice and opportunity.

Nigeria is a huge country and the most populous in Africa – a nation of over 140 million people, predominantly Muslim in the north and Christian in the south. This persecution has been going on for years. Christians, especially, are being targeted and annihilated by the Islamist Fulani Herdsman in conjunction with Boko Haram in some areas. They are coming to steal their land and destroy their livelihoods. One report I recently read said that up to 6000 Christians have been killed just in 2018 alone, another one said 8000. Concentrated attacks are taking place in the Plateau State around the city of Jos.

Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi

The brother of a good friend of mine lives in Jos. He is the Anglican Bishop of Jos who I have met on a number of occasions and who was just recently here in Mankato, Mn. His wife runs an orphanage and has taken in countless numbers of children over the years. They have worked tirelessly to protect and give opportunity to the people and children around them. They’ve experienced over many years a level of trust in God that we can’t even possibly imagine in America. Their stories would break your heart. On June 29, his ranch too was raided and cows stolen in the night as one of the members of his congregation interrupted the rustlers and was killed.

This tragedy is happening all over the country and their Federal government is doing nothing to stop it… in fact, a number of news articles state that they are in agreement with the raids and of the Islamists. This is happening now in Nigeria, India, Pakistan and numerous other countries… but DO NOT be deceived… this is going to come to America! Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not in 5 years but Islamists have been very clear for many years that their goal is to convert the world to their ideology or die. Look it up if you’re not aware because there are videos of these confessions all over the internet.

So… what do we do? That’s a tough question and the best answer I have is that we need to pray for our brothers and sisters but we also need to do something to help. If we don’t defend those being persecuted now, who will be left to defend us? We think we are safe, here in our ‘land of the free and home of the brave’… but will it always be like that? I don’t think so. There will come a time when the tide will change and we will face what millions of others have been facing for generations.

This month we are supporting Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi’s ministry. The conflict being faced is at his doorstep and in his community every day. Him and his wife are remarkable and have a mandate from God to serve and love people and help in every possible way. We want to do our part, however small it might be in the grand scheme, to show our support beyond just our prayers. Prayer is good, it’s needed, and I believe God hears and acts accordingly… but… God needs us to step up. Just like the song says… we ask God why he doesn’t do something and I think He responds to us by saying “I did… I created YOU!”

I encourage you to read the articles below and learn what’s happening… ask God ‘what can I do’?

Clergy Killed, Archbishop Kwashi’s Home Invaded

Jos killings are an attack on Christendom

6000 Christians killed by Islamic Herdsman

Help Protect Christians in NigeriaJoin 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.

Church Without Walls – Puerto Rico

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Their story began on September 20th, 2017 as the day when everything changed. It was the day hurricane Maria destroyed their island of Puerto Rico, their worship pavilion, many of their other structures and everything they knew to be normal. With hearts broken and family lives in upheaval, this little church and its members stood strong.

Just last month another power outage hit the US island of Puerto Rico, effecting roughly 870,000 people. There are still about 100,000 people in the dark on a day-to-day basis after 7 months past the hurricanes. That got me thinking… I wonder how the churches are managing not only from their rebuild efforts but also with all the needs they see in their communities.

I found a church called ‘Church Without Walls’ and contacted them about how they are doing. Here was their response to us:

“Wow! We are so grateful you choose us!! Currently, we are raising funds to rebuild our sanctuary that hurricane Maria destroyed. We have been having service on the back deck of our schoolhouse since the main worship center was destroyed. It is a small area but, we are squeezing in and making due. With the loss of our main structure, we also lost all of the contents, sound equipment, everything in our kitchen, chairs and even all of our Bibles.

Although our worship structure was destroyed, we haven’t let it slow us downImmediately after the hurricane, we began giving out free meals to the public. It was a challenge. We each made a dish from home and had to get creative since none of us had utilities, but we knew we needed to help the community. Several of our members served in relief efforts throughout the island. Our church also raised over 100 toys and stocking stuffers that we gave out to needy children.

Currently, we are re-stocking our food pantry by partnering with local grocery stores. We are also looking for families in need of food that we commit to helping regularly. We also recently began going into the local high school once a week.

 We mentor the teens and provide them lunch. We hope to continue those encouraging mentor relationships through the summer. We want to be a church that supports the community in every way possible. We truly want to be the hands and feet of God in Puerto Rico.”  – Bambi W.

I wanted us to have a stake in the powerful future of this church body and the impact they are having on the people around them. Isn’t it super cool that we have opportunity to give someone else an opportunity! To plant a seed for future waters to grow…. that’s our aim this month.

Check out this awesome church body for yourself  Church Without Walls … !!

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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!

Fill that Truck! – Houston Flood Relief

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Last Friday as I was preparing to post the September blessing, I found myself wondering what to do. Everything was planned and ready to go but I kept thinking… how can a devastating flood take place in our nation and not participate in helping others mend their lives. So we changed our plans! This month we’ll be participating in a Fill the Truck event for Houston area survivors. Together we’ll send supplies to those who lost everything in the Harvey hurricane.

I was sitting on my bed last Thursday looking around my room noticing all the things I would lose if my house flooded. The tiniest items on my dresser like my hairbrush, hair twist tie bands, lip balm, or special jewelry from loved ones. It’s really hard to imagine the feeling of loss until you’re in the midst of it.

We will be packing bags of supplies to give to those who lost even the littlest amenities and joining others to fill a semi-truck that will be heading to Humble, Texas, which is a suburb of the Houston area. Items will be brought to the Humble Civic Center Arena, where military personnel and veterans are on hand to receive the donations.

Thousands of people lost everything and will walk a difficult road in the next months and years to come. I find myself praying for my brothers and sisters in Christ whose lives changed overnight that God would give them strength and grace to walk through it and trust Him even more. I pray that their faith would not waiver and that God would open huge doors of opportunity before them. That they would see His hand of favor and blessing and use them to share the love of Christ to fellow neighbors. Mend their hearts Lord, and let them see your goodness.

Whether our nation is in crisis or in peace, God is in the midst. Pray for flood survivors, as well as fire victims in Montana. May God move upon the hearts of our nation!

Click to Follow Our Truck!

Reach out to someone today, right where you are…. Be their Difference!

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Be a Blessing is a fun and fulfilling way to touch lives all across the globe! This movement provides the opportunity to impact various people and causes every month. Each gift increases effectiveness and is used to bring hope and love to hurting people, and encourage organizations as they serve others. It takes 2 minutes to Be the Difference. Join the movement today!!