April 21, 2014

A story you should read…

I recently had the privilege of attending Winsome retreat in Pennsylvania and had a fabulous time. Met some lovely people and made some new friends.  I also took a killer hike that I was quite proud of myself for at the end! :)

I specifically loved meeting and hearing from  Nasreen Fyneweyer .  Some people just pull you in and make you feel like you just want to sit with them a while and glean from their experiences and wisdom. Our breakout session was not long enough at all for me.

I then found out Nasreen was adopted and that made me even want to chat more. I desperately want to learn from adult adoptees.  Thankfully I didn’t have to stalk her too much as she has a blog that she shares her experiences.

I would love all my adoptive mom friends (and others!)  to read Nasreen’s  The Love Strong Chronicles: My Story, This World, Our God

I think it would bless you. A lot.

April 16, 2014

Seeking Justice—After the Red X day.

This post has been floating around in my head since the End It movement. (which I whole heartedly support and agree with)

However…..for change to happen…..we HAVE to take it beyond that.  Creating awareness is the beginning.  Action should follow.

Micah 6:8

As Micah 6:8 says we are to “act justly” 

After our local Nefarious event I received a lot of questions.  Many people were confronted with the depth of trafficking for the very first time and realized what a wide scale problem it is and also how close it hits to home.  People wanted to know what they could DO. How they could help from their little corner of the world. 

To answer that question,  below are some ACTION points for fighting trafficking.

1) Educate others on trafficking.  This is a crucial element in the fight against trafficking because there are so many people who do not know about it at all or the depth of the problem.  Once people know, a response is required. One response is to do nothing or react with apathy. Another response is to become more knowledgeable on the subject and to begin to share with others the hard facts of human trafficking.

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
― William Wilberforce

2) Support organizations that fight trafficking or provide aftercare for those rescued.






http://newcreationva.org/ ----local to Harrisonburg, VA


3) Support and volunteer at local women’s shelters.

4) Become an advocate for vulnerable children in you area. Become a foster parent, provide respite, support foster parents, become a CASA volunteer or a mentor.

These children are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. See the post I wrote at TFI’s blog at this link for more details: http://www.theforgotteninitiative.org/blog/2013/08/advocate-wednesdays-human-trafficking-and-foster-care/

5) Support organizations that fight poverty and empower men and women so that they do not end up a statistic or being taken advantage of in their desperation. 

There are many are great organizations out there that fight poverty. Do your research..…of course you know I am partial to Project HOPEFUL Awassa!

6) Stand against injustice. Whether it’s inappropriate joking in the workplace against others, racist attitudes or bullying choose to make a stand.

7) Fight against pornography. So many times this is thought to be just “entertainment”.  It is not. It fuels trafficking and leads into other sins. 

Great blog posts on that:




from a friend whose job is to investigate sexual internet crimes:

“Great article . Just more evidence and reiteration of what I see in my profession. Please keep sharing this. It is so much a reality for our youth. The socialization and sexualization of our children is at every corner.

The proliferation and availability of electronic devices and the ever changing apps of social media has created a catastrophic cocktail that is destroying the souls and lives of our children. Unfortunately, parents are allowing these devices to babysit their children and are leaving a dark, ugly and evil world at their fingertips.
Whether out of negligence, inattention or ignorance it is being allowed in the home, the responsibility is being left up to the children and not being controlled by the the parent(s).

As I have said and will continue to say... We need to stay in our children's business, any and all of it.

With the proliferation of internet availability, social media and etc, the pornography industry and the demand for it has gone through the roof.

Most have no concept nor want to believe that this behavior and activity is the engine behind human trafficking along with money, drugs and etc.

And churches have become a flock of ostriches by burying our heads in the sand refusing to do anything and get involved.”

8) Educate your children.  Teach them about the pitfalls of pornography and how it invades your soul.  Teach them to safeguard themselves.  Give them rules for the internet and phone. Then enforce those rules! Check out their Facebook, Vine, Instagram and other accounts. Demand access and passwords.  Not to snoop or pry—but to safeguard. They are CHILDREN. They need protection and we as parents are responsible for their welfare and protection.

9) Shop with purpose. There are so many great places to shop from that are fair trade and that support men and women around the globe who work very hard for very little and that ensure that fair prices are paid for their wares.

Delicate Fortress is one of my favorites and who I work with but there are so many out there! These are great places to do your shopping!

My friend Leigh created this list of places she loves to support: http://www.leigh-onedayatatime.blogspot.com/2013/11/my-christmas-list-shop-with-purpose.html

Another friend Lauren over at Mercyink posts about fair trade items often and this post explains why fair trade matters.  http://www.mercyinkblog.com/2013/04/why-fair-trade-matters.html

10) Use your voice politically. Let your representatives and political leaders know that this issue is something you care deeply about.  Call them, email them, write letters, and even visit them in person.  They do hear you when you reach out.  A great site to help you to do this is: http://freedomcommons.ijm.org/

11) Put the trafficking hotline in your phone. Call 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733). The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls and texts from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

12) Pray. Sign up on your favorite organization’s email lists and pray for their needs as they work.   I have seen first hand how prayer make a difference in huge ways .


I know there is much much more to add to this list. Please feel free to comment with your favorite organizations and other ideas and actions you think should be on this list and I will update it!

Powerful video on this:


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke 


Isaiah 1:17

April 3, 2014

Bona, Ethiopia Water Project Update: Let justice roll on like river

Current amount left to raise:  $3865  $790!!!  $690!!

  • 43.4M people in Ethiopia don't have access to safe water. This is over half of the population.
  • Over 67 million people don't have access to adequate sanitation in Ethiopia, almost four-fifths of the population.
  • Around 33,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation in Ethiopia. (statistics from wateraid.org)

YOU can make a difference.  (scroll all the way down to see details on the project)

Here’s where to give your tax deductible gift:


Thank you to Funky Fish for giving profits from these earrings to our project.

Loralee's Water for Orphans earrings-faceted amazonite and swarovski crystal earrings


Big thank you Lauren at mercyink for designing this necklace for Project HOPEFUL Awassa!

She is donating $10 of every sale to our clean water project in Bona, Ethiopia!

JUSTICE Scripture Faith Necklace Pendant - for Project Hopeful AWASSA

Reads: "Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.”  Amos 5:24

Buy it here:


She has also designed and donated this print for every $25 donation.  You will be emailed a download link for a high quality graphic.



Water.  Think about your last 24 hours.  How many times did you use water?

Do you remember each time?

you wake up. use the bathroom and flush the toilet. you wash your face. wash your hands. brush your teeth. get a drink of water. make some coffee. cook some breakfast. wash dishes. more family gets up. repeat. wash some clothes. wipe down some counters. cook some more food. give the kids more drink. give them all a bath.

and that last sip of water before they go to bed.


Imagine if every time you needed water instead of going to your sink and turning the faucet on, you went to this:


And when that was empty you made the trek here:


to refill a container like this:


And this is the water that you got.


We can change this for the people in the pictures above. At this exact watering place.

We can make that become something like this:                                         

(this is the completed spring water project in Aleta Wondo)

Our next project is in Bona Kiike Kebele.

This area was chosen due to the great need and in agreement with the staff in Ethiopia and the local governing officials.  The local community will also be mobilized to support the project to give the residents there a sense of ownership and to ensure the long term sustainability of the project.

This area is more expensive than your normal well due to the terrain and amount of piping needed.

Currently we have a great start on the needed funds thanks to donations given at Christmas for water. 

We need approximately $4500 more.  $3865 more!  $790!!  $690!!

That seems like a lot. But it’s not to God. Or to a motivated bunch of passionate people. :)

Here’s where to give your tax deductible gift:


and fill in the amount at Fresh Clean Water.

If you’d like to donate by check or if you’d like to donate in honor of someone email us atcharisa@projecthopeful.org

If you’d like host a fundraiser for this at your school or church and would look some information on how to do that feel free to send us an email for that too!

Let’s do this and give the families in this area fresh, clean water!

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