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.

Being Missions Minded

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June 2018 – Missions Month

Sorry there’s no video this month, time has just gotten away from me and if I wait any longer it will be July! I’ve been struggling a bit to find the right blessing that struck my heart. The ideas I’ve had were moved into other months, so I kept asking God for creative ideas and inspiration! I started running into individuals who were sending out updates on some missions trips they were embarking on this month. My thoughts were taken back to the many missions trips I took as a youth and how those times really impacted not only their lives but mine as well. The relationships I formed, the cultures I learned about, the love of Jesus I shared and especially how God opened my eyes to the lives and experiences of others.

Then all of a sudden it hit me… “We want the opportunity to give opportunities”, right? Why don’t we do that for the giver as well as the receiver? Missions trips are an amazing way to reach out to others as well as be touched and changed yourself. If you have never had the chance to join a team and head to another area to minister to others, I highly recommend it!! It will change your life.

I was hesitant as first for a number of reasons but God just kept saying, ‘Sandy, this is how I reach people, as well as how I call the hearts of those who respond’. So I said, okay, and determined that we would be able to donate to the 501c3 organization they are going with and designate our blessing to go to a certain person to help get them out on the mission field. This June is going to be called ‘Missions Month’! We have found 3 people that have been training, reading and diligently working in order to be effective to others as God has called them to go to their Samaria!

One is headed to Russia with an organization called Exodus Cry to reach out to those being trafficked during the World Cup soccer events. One is headed to Mexico to team up with others purposing to teach children about the love of God. The other will be ministering at an inner city church in Chicago for a week.

We are definitely putting our hands and feet and pocketbooks directly on the ground in these locations with a missions mindset! We are believing for God to mightily use them, not only as they go, but also to sow into how God will shape and form their desire to continue to serve the Lord and love on people into their futures!

Have a super blessed month and know that you are highly favored by the King of all things!! We love you guys!

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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!

Foster Care Blessing Update

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I met up with Janet from Project 1.27 today in Grand Junction, CO. We donated over 200 backpacks to their back to school program which will be given out to foster kids in the county. Each child will be able to select a bag and fill it with new school supplies for the coming year. It’s such a blessing for these kids to receive something new that they can call their own. It brings excitement to their school year and provides much needed supplies. I was able to do a really great interview with Janet who shared a lot about what they do and thanked you so graciously for your heart to bless them…. but unfortunately when I got to my computer there was something corrupt in the video file so it won’t open at this point I am unable to post it :-(. BUT… the news channel in the area came and did a quick segment that I wanted to show you! Of course, I said so much more than what they clipped out 🙂 but I’m grateful for the opportunity we had to meet this wonderful organization and share what God is doing through us to touch others!

Written article is on KJCT 8 News

God is moving us forward one month at a time!! 

 

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!

Fostering & Adopting in Faith

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A few years back, I watched a Dateline episode pertaining to kids that age out of foster care. These kids have spent their whole lives without permanent families and now they’re too old to be housed in a foster family. Suddenly they’re just on their own with no place to call home.

That story… honestly… it just did something to me. I found out that each year 26,000 kids age-out of foster care…. 1 in 5 of them will be homeless, half will be unemployed, 42% won’t graduate high school, 71% of the women will be pregnant by age 21, and 1 in 4 men will be in the justice system within 2 years. There’s 400,000 foster kids in the U.S. waiting for permanent families. That’s enough kids to fill two baseball stadiums.

So when thinking about Aprils’ blessing, this story came to my mind and I started looking for an organization that specialized in faith-based adoptions and foster care. What I found was Project 1.27 Ministry based in Colorado. Project 1.27 strives to inspire, recruit and resource churches and families, to foster and adopt kids. The idea being, if each church in Colorado had one family step forward to adopt a child there would be waiting parents, instead of children.

This month I wanted to highlight this incredible need in our country and do what we can to support some of the needs of this ministry in particular. Even maybe to encourage us to pray about what God may have us do long-term. What kid doesn’t want a place to belong? How would my life be different if I never felt the belonging of a family? It’s hard for me to imagine actually. I pray God stirs our hearts to adjust our priorities so we can bring love to hurting kids around us.

May you be blessed this month, knowing that through Be a Blessing, you are helping kids that are looking for forever families. That you know how important you are to them and the opportunities you are sowing into their lives. God bless you my friends… have a great month!

 

Learn more about Foster Care through Project 1.27 … !!

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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!!

Restore One – Trafficking Refuge

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Human trafficking is a worldwide epidemic, a tragedy that affects women, men and children. Yet, we fail to recognize the vast number of males that are affected by this abusive phenomenon. Men and boys throughout the United States are trapped in modern day slavery with little options for recovery care. The movement of sex trafficking has brought large awareness to female victims, but males have largely been overlooked. Cultural stigmas paint an untruthful picture that boys and men who endure sexual harm must be willing participants. This understanding bypasses their need to identify as a victim seeking services. A study by The John Jay College and the Center for Court Innovation estimated that, in 2008, as high as 50% of the commercially sexually exploited (CSE) children in the United States were boys.

“I don’t want to live a pretty life, while others can’t even live”. This is what came to mind as I was reading about this month’s Blessing. They say pictures speak a thousand words but these 13 said it all as my heart was grieving. This July, we are fighting against human trafficking by partnering with an organization out of North Carolina called Restore One. Restore One is a ministry that seeks to open free shelters that offer faith-based residential recovery programs to American boys who are survivors of Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST). Every survivor is treated as a unique individual. Their mission is to repair the damages sex trafficking has done and help them to regain their freedom and ability to reintegrate into society.

According to Shared Hope International 2012 Shelter Report, there are no long-term recovery safe homes within the United States designated solely for male DMST and CSE victims. Last fall when I found Restore One, they were in the process of building a home for boys called The Anchor House. The Anchor House will be their first shelter that provides refuge and restoration to 4 adolescent boys, ages 12–18. It is committed to providing residential care that is trauma sensitive, holistic and Christ-centered. Through the Anchor House program, these boys will not only identify as a mere survivor but as a victorious overcomer.

We believe strongly in this vital ministry and in what they have been laboring to establish. As they open their doors we want to be a part of the ground work! Before a refuge home can be opened, furnishings from bedding and bath to kitchen and living need to be in place. Restore One has created a register for items such as these. This month Be a Blessing will purchase items from this list to bless this organization and help them open the doors to The Anchor House next month!!

Take a minute to check out their website: www.restoreonelife.org.

Thank you for opening your heart to be a part of the restoration to these precious boys. We pray that God will encounter them like only He can do. That He will bring deep healing in their minds and emotions and show them their great purpose in Christ. We ask for wisdom for the staff and direction for their future visions. Lord, be close to those in these horrific circumstances and help them to find their way out.

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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 is compounded by all of us and 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!!