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!

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!

Military Trauma Ministry

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Military veterans fight for our freedoms and serve our country heroically but often times at a very high cost. Our nation’s warfighter’s are among the most at-risk groups of society. This sustained and unresolved trauma has led to 22 veterans a day committing suicide, while the divorce rate for our combat veteran community hovers at 80%.

“After three combat tours, and surviving the Battle of Mogadishu, the first Battle of Ramadi and the first Battle of Fallujah; Ron fell deep into depression and solitude. Diagnosed with a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), PTS (Post Traumatic Stress), and a host of physical maladies – Ron considered ending his own life.” As a God-fearing woman, Helen took matters into her own hands with Christ by her side and her husband as her mission. Through this life experience, God led her into a new mission to help other military veterans find peace, hope, and a fullness in Christ that brings healing to the soul.

Helen

“This was the father of my children, my husband, my partner, my soulmate and my love. Zero casualties were acceptable.”

The vision of Warfighter Ranch in Arizona was birthed through a dream and aims to heal the Warfighter’s of our nation with intention, purpose, and with Christ at the center of it all! Giving all warriors and their families the tools to become the Godly designed people they were created to be. To equip them with the armor of God so that they can be successful in their walk with Christ; and to help them reconnect to their loved ones and teaching them how to connect with new people. Love is the most powerful tool.

This month, Be a Blessing is joining the vision to provide love to the brave, self-less soldiers of this country. Warfighter Ranch currently provides Spiritual Individual/Group Counseling, Biblical Guidance and Teaching, Warfighter Mentorship, and Resource Management. As God continues to grow their ministry, a ranch in Prescott, AZ will be established. It will include: Equine Therapy, Family Connect Therapy, Horticultural Therapy, Scuba Therapy, Wilderness Therapy, and Physical Wellness/Therapy.

God has given Helen and Rob an amazing testimony and dream of helping hurting military veterans and we are so honored to partner with them. As they launch Warfighter Ranch Inc. publicly for the first time this coming March 2020, please pray for open doors, financial provision, encouragement and wisdom to walk where God leads them.

CHECKOUT their website: www.warfighterranch.org

BLESS SOMEONE, JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN … 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. 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.

Christianity in Iran is growing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIND OUT MORE AT: www.heart4iran.com

 

MORE AMAZING STORIES OF WHAT GOD IS DOING IN IRAN!

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

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

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

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

June 20God Is at Work in the Hardest Hearts

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

 

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

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

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.