This Month

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 with the hope of bringing the cause of Iranian Christians and the hope of their struggle, to the mainstream media and forefront of Christian philanthropy. 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

Heart 4Iran Dropbox Articles

 

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.

BLESS SOMEONE TODAY

~ READ OUR PREVIOUS BLESSINGS! ~

July 2019 – Community Outreach

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.

June 2019 – His Oaks Ministry

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. His joy and hope fill their lives and dominating behaviors are crushed under the cross of Christ.

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

This young organization 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.

May 2019 – Golan Ministries, An Immigrant Effort

It’s human nature to survive and refuge 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.

 

April 2019 – Feeding the Forgotten, leper communities

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!

 

March 2019 – Medical Kits to Haiti

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.

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! 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.

 DONATE TODAY… BE BLESSED ALL YEAR LONG!

 

February 2019 – Homelessness in America

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.

 

January 2019 – Loving Our Seniors

They give more generously, donate the most volunteer time, have lived through some of the hardest economic times in the US, served their country unwaveringly, and contain enormous amounts of life wisdom. Our seniors are the heroes of our time and have paved the way for many of us to be where we are.

However, aging is not an easy road to walk and many times our seniors can eventually become the ‘forgotten ones’. Even in the best facilities, loneliness, anxiety and feelings of neglect are a primary cause of poor health among our older adults. No longer being able to choose what they want to eat, where they want to go, and many times what they want to do. This loss of freedom and independence can cause them to lose self-esteem, dignity, joy and love.

Jerry & Dorphia David

This months’ blessing devotes their time and energy giving back to our beloved seniors. Sharing the love and gospel of Christ to a segment of society who is nearing their time of departure. Matthew 20 illustrates that it’s never too late to know Christ and His plan of salvation, comfort and love.

Gentle Shepherd Ministries visits senior care facilities on a weekly basis where they provide one-on-one visits, church services, Bible studies, and grief support to those who struggle with despair, uselessness, or spiritual emptiness. They create a Christ-centered community and provide support, relationship and joy to many of them. The team of GSM reach 70 senior living communities, approximately 700 people a month, and has 70 volunteers ministering to the residents’ spiritual, emotional, and societal needs.

During the middle of last year, God had placed ‘seniors’ on my heart. I’m so pleased to bless this organization and be a part of what God is doing for our beloved elders.

Remember that one day; you will be a senior too 🙂 Lets’ show extra love and care!

God Bless your January, Sandy

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

 

JOIN US TODAY!

 

December 2018 – The Blessing Tree

“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!

 

November 2018 – What Good is a Shoebox?

You buy a shoe, you get a box. That box ends up under the bed for storage or maybe in the recycling tub. What if you could use that basic box to bring joy to a kid somewhere in the world?! An important goal of Be a Blessing is to encourage all of us to actively get involved with our own hands and efforts. Last year a few people mentioned how they missed sending Shoe boxes, so this year we are back at it again through Operation Christmas Child!

It’s not too late to grab a box, buy a few toys and send it off to the hands of an excited child. Each of the kids receiving a box has the opportunity to go through a discipleship program called ‘The Greatest Journey’ where they learn about the gospel and love of Christ. That’s the whole point of what we do at Be a Blessing… meeting people where they are and sharing Christs’ love tangibly, as well as spiritually.

Take a moment to read the stories of those whose lives have been changed through a gift in a shoe box.

 

As Be a Blessing puts together our boxes, YOU CAN DO IT TOO… RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE with your own hands! It’s so easy! See below for all the information you’ll need to make this happen on your end. Then find a location in your area and drop it off… that’s really all it takes to touch a life you may never meet. We get to send a gift of Christ’s love to the other side of the world in a matter of weeks… It’s truly amazing!!

Get helpful Instructions and Ideas

Donate shipping online and Track Where your Box Goes!

Find a Dropoff Location Near you:

Partner with us this month… it doesn’t take much! 

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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!

 

October 2018 – Casa Dayspring

I was able to hear back from Casa Dayspring after the video was recorded so I thought there would be no better way to introduce this month’s blessing, except from the recipient himself! Hear directly from Roger (the director) below, on how much your blessing is going to impact their lives.

“Sam Lee had told me about your organization.  I am so thankful that you have considered our work at the children’s home. We started the home around 7 years ago and have grown rapidly once the news got out that we were there.  The needs are so great, and the children have had such a terrible past before they came.  Most come from a past of abuse and neglect and were placed with us by social services.  They will be with us until they are grown.  We operate a school at the home since most of the kids we receive have not been to school.  Many come at 8 – 12 years old and cannot read or write. We work toward getting the kids back into a public-school setting by high school.  We have three boys in college that were unable to read and write when they come to us 7 years ago. They also work at the house teaching the younger kids in our school.  We use a program from the government that takes the kids through middle school.

At the current time we have 23 children at the home ranging in age from 3 to 18, but we are so over capacity that we are having to turn children away every week.  Knowing the needs that our current children arrived with and the life they had before they came, it just breaks my heart to think we cannot help any additional children until we are in our new facility.  We are making great progress on the construction but as you noted the electrical service is still one of those needs that must be met before we are able to move in.  We spent the week painting and finishing up the wiring inside the building and are ready to connect to the power but need the service brought in from the highway and a transformer purchased and installed.  Your donation will help us do that.”

We will be donating finances to help with the electrical system within the new orphanage… Let there be light! Both in their hearts and in their building!

Check out their Website and Facebook pages!

button_joinustoday

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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. Join us today!

 

September 2018 – Door of Hope

God reminded me earlier this month that He is looking more for our heart, than our sacrifices. A grateful heart in every circumstance trusting in Him for guidance, provision, acceptance and every good thing. It would be fairly easy for me to journal one grateful thing each day and I probably should… but that might not be so easy for someone else.

You see, I’ve been blessed with a great family, a protected childhood… an abuse free life to be honest. Oh, I have my issues but a ton of people can’t say they’ve had an abuse free life. They go through life very differently than I do and many times they hide what they have been through. They don’t know how to work through it nor do they have anyone standing with them. This morning as I was thinking about being thankful, my heart went out to all those who are struggling to see the goodness of God.

This heartbreaking reality is our focus for September. Recommended by one of you, I want to introduce you to Door of Hope. Diane founded this organization 4 years ago after surviving 25 years filled with every form of abuse. That experience gave her a unique understanding of the needs of abused women and children. Door of Hope equips people to live free from abuse and trauma through safe housing, education, support groups, trauma recovery, parenting classes and prayer ministry. It’s a safe place for women, men, teens and children to find God’s healing to overcome the trauma they have experienced.

A neat thing about Door of Hope is that not only do they care for people on an individual basis, but they also hold conferences and workshops to educate and train pastors and ministry leaders to know how to help. It’s difficult to know what to do or say, or how to really help, so including that in their vision makes perfect sense and helps tackle a wide spread concern.

Testimony – “How hard life is after being attacked and abused from age 5…dirty, unloved, not accepted, alone and asking myself, “Why me?” This conference showed me that I am worthy, innocent, valuable, clean, and most of all, loved.”

I can’t even imagine what that person went through but I know that God saw it all and it broke His heart. I love when people take their pain and turn it into a rescue for someone else. So I encourage you click the link below and take a look at this ministry. If you know anyone who may benefit from their services, share it with them. Life is too short to live broken and hurting when God has so much freedom available for you. Find the right people to help and these guys are a great place to start!

I appreciate you guys listening to my heart every month. Most of all… I love that we get to bless people and be a part of what God is doing…. just because we can. See you next month.

Please check out their ministry!

 

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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. Join us today!

 

August 2018 – Community Outreach

Nothing we have and nothing we pursue will ever be as valuable as what we do. How we treat others, the love we give and the generosity we sow into someone’s life will always fill our hearts with joy and bring honor to the Lord. We never want to forget that human interaction is far more impactful to a human heart than electronic gadgets, however wonderful they may be. We need to make ourselves available to have conversations with people, to show through our actions and our interest… the love of God.

August is a month where we want to be out there… involved in our communities and being the salt and light to everyone we can. To be extra kind, to do good things for others and to make someone’s day! This Saturday, August 4th, Be a Blessing will be partnering with Love In Mankato by donating diapers to be given away during this community event, as well as donating our time to volunteer! Open to anyone, this event focuses on giving to others from what God has given to us. Each year this event draws my heart in because of how important it is to reach out beyond our normal schedules, our comfortable friendships, and our natural tendencies. Putting ourselves into a position for God to use us, however He sees fit and then watch what He does in someone else’s life.

I would like to encourage you all to look around in your community this month to find ways in which you can serve someone else. Someplace you can volunteer or help another person or organization. Give someone a ride, surprise a stranger with a compliment, help the lady with 3 kids and a cart of groceries, sow into the life of a child… there are so many ways in which we can give of ourselves without spending a dime!

So this Saturday we’re going to try coming to you live from the event here in Mankato at Sibley Park as we’ll also have a table out there giving out information about who we are. If you’re in the area, please stop by and say hello… I would love to meet you!

Hope you have a super productive month… get out there and go bless someone!

Community Outreach — Love In Mankato

 

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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.

 

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July 2018 – Nigerian Persecution

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.

 

June 2018 -Being Missions Minded

Thinking about this month of June, I’ve been struggling a bit to find the right blessing that struck my heart which is why this is a bit late. 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!

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!

 

May 2018 – Church Without Walls, Puerto Rico

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 stuffer’s 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!

 

April 2018 – Project 1.27

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 are 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 100,000 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 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!

 

March 2018 – Espwa Berlancia – Malnutrition on Haiti

“I will fight… what you were fighting.”

We are fighting against malnutrition in the beautiful country of Haiti. The incredible blog post below by Rhyan (the founder of Espwa Berlancia) says it all.

“Emano came to me in the late afternoon, the setting sun reflecting off the deep shadows of protruding bones. I gathered his 20lbs in my arms and something inside of me cracked.

I hold a lot of malnourished babies. Most of them live but many do not. I hold them and I meet their needs and I disassociate when I have to because if I didn’t I couldn’t do this. This “job” that doesn’t end at 5pm, this job that both fills and destroys my heart. Emano broke me wide open. I couldn’t stop the wave of love I had for him with all the strength of my flesh. Disassociation wasn’t an option. I knew that this was going to hurt like hell. I knew the pain that was likely, but I was powerless to hold it at bay.

I heard the news as I was sitting down to breakfast early on Sunday morning. The food we had prepared turned to sawdust in my mouth and it was all I could do to choke down the bite I had taken. I wanted to scream, to take out all my anger at the injustice of this world on a plate of eggs. I wanted to hate food. I wanted to throw it against the wall and curse it and blame it for the death of every baby I have held and loved and watched slip away.

Instead, I got up from the table where my own children filled their bellies and I collapsed into the corner of their tiny playroom off the kitchen, trying to stifle my sobs.

Emano was dead. Not a malnourished foreign child. Emano.

Once you have seen the shuddering and groaning and pain of starvation you will never forget it. Once you’ve watched it tear through the frail body of a 5-year-old child the image will be burned in your mind forever. Once you realize that thing you do every day without even thinking about is the thing that would have saved his life, you will never, ever be able to erase that from your mind and you will never, ever be the same. You will never be able to turn off that burning desire to kill what killed him.”

Learn more about Espwa Berlancia in Haiti!

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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 to encourage organizations as they serve others. It takes 2 minutes to Be the Difference. Join the movement today!!

Just 5  bucks to be the difference – JOIN US TODAY!

 

February 2018 – Action 169, Fighting Human Trafficking

I had the privilege to attend the Justice Awakening Conference in Minneapolis with Action 169 the weekend before the Superbowl. It was an eye-opening night with great worship, prayer and teaching from those in the trenches giving their heart and soul to bringing an end to sexual exploitation. We sponsored a few survivors with the opportunity to attend this life-changing and healing weekend. Futures are reborn and destinies are changed when people see and feel God’s love for them, what they can be and how they can help those who are where they have been. These kind of blessings are more than just financial… they are pathways to hope and restoration. Your giving changed these ladies lives over the course of this weekend. It’s more than dollars that you are investing!

ACTION169 IS A SURVIVOR LED ORGANIZATION BUILT ON AN APOSTOLIC PROPHETIC FOUNDATION OF PRAYER TO END COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND SUBSTANCE USE THROUGH CHRIST-CENTERED PREVENTION, INTERVENTION AND HOLISTIC RESTORATION CARE SERVICES.

Learn more about Action 169.

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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 used to bring hope and love to hurting people, and to encourage organizations as they serve others. It takes 2 minutes to Be the Difference.

It takes $5 a month to be the difference – JOIN US TODAY!

 

 

January 2018 – Christ Public School, Pakistan

Greetings to you this 2018! We apologize for being a bit delayed this month but we found an amazing blessing from Pakistan to share with you… this time via video! Please excuse the lighting and fuzzy appearance… it’s a work in progress. 🙂 Hope you enjoy hearing about our January blessing…. its going to be a fantabulous year!

Learn more about Christ Public School in Pakistan.

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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 used to bring hope and love to hurting people, and to encourage organizations as they serve others. It takes 2 minutes to Be the Difference.

It only takes $5 a month to be the difference – JOIN US TODAY!