December 27, 2009
December 25, 2009
A Christmas Party was given for the children, parents and staff at Mango Grove School in Zambia. This party was hosted at the Heroes' Farm. Below are some pictures that Ronald Chideme (YWAM missionary who stays at the farm and helps GHI oversee projects) sent to us.
Included in the program was a recognition of the children who did well in their education for the school term. (five from each class). This is no small thing for the children to accomplish.
Thanks to some generous people, these children were also given gifts for a job well done.
Here are their pictures below:
It is Zambian custom for employers to give their employees a 13th check. Grassroots Heroes was blessed to have the funds (thanks to you, the donors!) to fulfill this custom for all the staff at the school. As you can see from Sandra’s smile…it is well appreciated!
If you would like to help us continue helping to give hope to the children of Mango Grove School, women’s cooperative, and the staff of the school, please check us out at www.grassrootsheroes.org .
You can also read Greg’s (my husband) thoughts from his recent November trip here.
You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
December 23, 2009
My friend Maria at Indescribable gave me an Over The Top award..Thanks Maria! Check her blog out at http://rpelley1.blogspot.com/ and read about her adventures with some beautiful children from Ethiopia. As always, Maria, thanks for your encouragement.
Okay..I need to answer these questions as part of the deal—Here goes..but it’s late and my brain is fried!
1.Where is your cell phone? no idea!
2. Your hair? turning grey! yikes!
3. Your mother? working hard
4. Your father? fighting cancer
5. Your favorite food? potatoes
6. Your dream last night? can’t remember!
7. Your favorite drink? coffee
8. Your dream/goal? to do long term missions
9. What room are you in? living
10. Your hobby? reading, serving, music
11. Your fear? spiders..yuk…and flying..
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? hmmm…with a social worker degree
13. Where were you last night? home in a blizzard
14. Something you aren’t? hiding emotions
15. Muffins? chocolate cappuccino chunk
16. Wish list item? a soloist’s voice
17. Where did you grow up? some would say I haven’t..but Staunton Va..right where I am still at
18. Last thing you did? emailed Sarah about donations for HH
19. What are you wearing? workout clothes
20. Your TV? flat panel free standing
21. Your pets? 3 dogs, 2 cats, 9 chickens, 2 dwarf rats..fish and frogs in a pond
22. Your friends? the best…
23. Your life? crazy
24. Your mood? unpredictable
25. Missing someone? a friend in Zambia
26. Vehicle? filthy with snow on it
27. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
28. Your favorite store? TJ Maxx
29. Your favorite color? green
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? today..watched a birth on tv
32. Your best friend? loves coffee
33. One place that you go over and over? as much as I hate to say it..Walmart
34. One person who emails you regularly? some guy who promises free financial aid for school ties with the guy who offers medicine for body enhancement…
35. Favorite place to eat? Blue Nile
I am passing this award on to.... Dawn , Dominique, Kim, and Demarie because they were recently took time out of their busy lives to encourage me and pray for me son! So thankful for your friendships!
December 21, 2009
Okay, I know kids will kids and all that junk but last week my heart broke for my little boy.
He was at a sports practice (and let me say that I contacted the coaches and they were wonderful and understanding, wanting to make sure Ab was ok. They are even going to sit down and talk with him at next practice and are going to speak to the one who made the comments—so I am very thankful for godly men!). I was watching from the sidelines and something seemed to be going on but I wasn’t for sure what. I try to be a good mom and let the coaches do the coaching and stay out of it. As we left Ab was very dejected which is so not the norm him. I asked him if he was okay. He said “no, that boy told me I”m not a very good.” OK..we can handle that. I responded with that wasn’t very nice and for him to remember how that feels and to not treat anyone else like that.
We got in the car and continued on and bit by bit he offered up more stuff that was said. “He said he didn’t want to be with me. He said my hair is not good. He said my skin is dirty. He said he won’t be with me next time” I tried to remain calm in front of Abenezer. I confirmed that it wasn’t nice and that I loved his brown skin and curly hair. Thankfully Ab still sits in the back of the car so I could let the tears roll. I felt angry and sad. I felt so bad for Abenezer that over a year ago he was in a place where he was the norm and now he is in a place where he is made fun of and made to feel bad for who he is. Not his shirt, not the way he acts or anything he can change (not that he should) but for who he is as a person.
We prayed for the little boy that night and confirmed with Ab that it was something inside that child’s heart and that it wasn’t him. He listened and said he understood. But how does a 7 yr old perceive all of that? I know how words hurt me and I replay them in my head over and over…and I’m an adult!
I know that it will happen again. We live in a very ‘white’ area. It just saddens me, especially that it came from a little boy. How can such a young child have such prejudices? Learned behavior… How sad, especially because he is missing out on a wonderful friend, Abenezer, who would give you the shirt off his back.
I was very naive coming into adopting a child of color. I knew that racism still existed. I guess I just denied to myself how much was still there. The very same people who tell me how cute and precious Ab is will have negative remarks about the young girl who dates a boy who is black. What changes? When is Abenezer no longer considered cute but a threat?
It just makes me so sad that we can’t look at each other and see how God sees. He see people whom He loves and people that He created. I don’t think He has a grading system based on our skin color.
I would love to hear how others handle remarks such as these.
December 18, 2009
December 15, 2009
Last Thursday I had the privilege of hosting a table at International Justice Mission’s benefit dinner in DC. I always look forward to going to anything that has to do with IJM because I always leave inspired and full of hope. Thursday was no different. We were able to hear from Jeff Blom (president of investigations.) He gave us a look into the life of the investigators in each country. These are courageous men and women who risk their lives for the work of justice. It gave me such hope to hear of changed lives.
As always, Gary Haugen was inspiring. He spoke on generosity and the force that it is. It cannot be contrived or manipulated but is a powerful force that can change many things. It’s very humbling to think of how many people’s lives and changed circumstances depend on other people’s generosity. How generous are we with our time, with our money, our passion, and our heart? Far too often, I am a stingy and selfish. Worst of all, is when I am generous with impure motives. God, cleanse my heart and make me pure.
We were able to see inside the life of a 9yr old girl who was a slave in a salt mine along with her family. Hour after hour, day after day, she pulled a rake in water covering her feet with open sores. They actually showed a picture of the poor child’s feet. Literally made me gasp. Imagine that in salt water. Imagine having no choice and knowing each painful step that you had to do it all day the next day, and the next, and the next. Having no hope of a different life. However, generosity stepped in thanks to IJM and donors! This child and her family are now free…running their own mine (with safe working conditions and just wages) employing 12 people. Lives changed from slavery and despair to life and hope---because of generosity.
I encourage everyone to check out International Justice Mission. They are a worthy ministry who I have seen nothing but integrity from. So much so, that Greg and I trained to become Justice Advocates with them so they we can help to spread the word about God’s heart for justice and the oppressed. Please email me with any questions about this ministry. If you’d like to see more on them, go to www.ijm.org . Be blessed and inspired. Be generous.
Here are some pics from the event.
December 11, 2009
December 8, 2009
December 7, 2009
December 5, 2009
Greg and Frank arrived in Lusaka, Zambia a day late, but ready to work. It was really neat for him to be able to go back to the village. The last time he was there was in Nov of 2007. It was good for him to be able to see the changes that the well, more teachers, and more supplies helped to bring. It was also great for him to be able to see some of the kids again. The same kids that brought his heart to adoption.
They had a lot of meetings ( some hard - some easy). They built and strengthened relationships. The couple (Ron and Angela Chideme) that stay at Heroes’ Farm also work with YWAM and are a great asset to Grassroots Heroes. Electricity was off more than it was on and Angela was determined for the guys to have tea. Greg told her it was okay and not to worry. She said that her mom taught her to always have tea for their guests and was outside in the rain over coals boiling water for tea! They also had a birthday cake for Greg on his birthday.
The school is doing great and the plans are to add another class next year. There are currently 5 teachers and Mrs. Banda (the school mom/lunch lady). The school will have to be moved due to land allocations from the government. (the village is a squatter’s village and the government is now allocating land to the villagers) We are currently receiving designated funds for this project.
The women’s group is excited and determined to get started again working in their cooperative. They bake rolls and make beaded bracelets, door mats, hand bags . They are hardworking women.
View of the village from the ‘mountain’
The play pump at the well that was put.
Only my husband would ask one of the local village leaders to ‘ride the play pump’ with him.
Houses in the village
The house at Heroes’ Farm. It also contains a chicken run, orchard and many other possibilities. The Chidemes hold discipleship training here and allow local pastors to use it as a retreat free of charge. Angela with Greg and Frank
Ron and Angela. It was Sunday and they just came home from church. Angela had preached that morning.
Lucky, who runs the chicken project, lives with his wife Jane and their family at the farm. Greg asked to take her picture and she ran to get her dog. Greg thought it would be a real dog. It was this big stuffed one. It was what she had picked from a deceased loved one’s belongings and it was VERY important to her.
Mrs. Banda—our school mom who made a choice to give up selling homemade alcohol without any prospect of earnings (this was what she used to feed her children). She gave it up and trusted in the Lord to provide because it was the right thing to do. Two families from our community heard her story and offered to pay her wages for helping at the school. God moved on the hearts of people a continent away because of her faith.
Love that Hair !
Greg and Selita…This little girl captured Greg’s
heart when he first went to Zambia. She is full of life!
Protein is greatly needed in the village.
Traditional dancing done by the kids.
Zambia…beautiful people, beautiful children, beautiful smiles.
December 4, 2009
Hannah's Hope is in need of a few larger items. If you would like to help with any of these purchases, send me an email at email@example.com and I can steer you in the right direction!
TV (this will have to be purchased in Ethiopia and of course, will cost a bit more than tv's in the states)
Heavy Duty Food Processor
Please help us bless the children at Hannah's Hope and the wonderful people that help to love and take care of the children.
November 28, 2009
Greg (and Frank) had a very productive trip in Zambia. He should really write this post, but since it’s not on his high priority list, I will do it for him! :)
They missed the flight in Addis and had to stay the night. While this wasn’t ideal because they lost a day in Zambia—Greg got to see the birthplace of Abenezer. (He didn’t travel with me to pick him up). To keep the posts short, I will focus on Ethiopia today and continue on with Zambia later.
Ethiopian Air put Greg and Frank up in a hotel. Funny story is they were both wearing cowboy style hats. The Ethiopian gal asked if they were from America. “yep” Then she asked if they were cowboys. “yep” they answered again…okay…we have cows on our land so I guess technically they can be called ‘cowboys’. This gal also asked Greg if he had heard of the singer Don Williams (a country singer from the 70’s /80s) Greg said yes and the 2 of them sang the song “It Must Be Love” together. I would have loved to have seen that!
When Ab found out that he was in Addis, He became very excited and said “Tell dad to look for a teeny tiny house with 2 beds but only 1 bed is ours but you can’t see it from the road. That’s my house!” Sadly, Greg couldn’t find it! :)
Greg was hoping to meet with Pastor Henok (the pastor from Ab’s parent’s church-but he was outside the city)
The guys took a cab to the market and did some shopping before leaving. Greg got Ab and Rachel new Ethiopian dress clothes.
Close up shot…Can you imagine?
More pics of the city
Beautiful country and people. Our hearts are forever tied to it.