August 23, 2012

Village of Hope! A $10k match + a Kindle Fire!

This is where Greg, Rebekah and Josh are going to next week!!

Every child deserves a safe place where they can be a kid.  A place where they can freely problem solve, use their imagination, develop physical strength, coordination and balance. A place where they can grow, dream, imagine, explore and gain a sense of self.

For many children in Guatemala this is nonexistent.  Many of the children here lose their childhood too quickly due to the stress of just trying to survive.
 Many of us have memories of our childhood days spent swinging on swings, sliding down slides, bouncing up and down on the teeter totter with a friend, hanging on the monkey bars, running through the grass and exploring the world around us. A vital and important part of our childhood development.
The children who come to Village of Hope often have lived in desperate poverty and will for the first time have a safe, permanent place to call home. Our goal is to provide them with the opportunity to grow and develop into the humans the Lord intended them to be through providing a safe place to grow- as every child deserves.
One of our big needs here at Village of Hope is a safe place for the children to play.  Because the facility is built in a mountainous area this isn’t as simple as putting in a swing set and a soccer goal. A large area will have to be dug out, a retaining wall put up to keep the mud from sliding and then the playground will be put in.

View from a different direction...

We have been blessed by a donor who has offered to match up to $10k for the ground to be dug out, a retaining wall constructed, a grassy area planted, and a playground for the children at Village of Hope. For every $1 you give between now and Sept. 6th it will be doubled! What a great way to invest in the kingdom and see your dollar stretched!

AND to make this even sweeter- everyone who donates gets entered into a drawing for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!!!

To give to the 10K match please go to: Lifesong for Orphans and please indicate it's for Village of Hope Guatemala- 10K Match.

Thank you so much!!!

August 8, 2012

Where My Heart First Broke

As I take a walk down memory lane I wanted to share with you where my heart first broke in Ethiopia.  The first part of our trip was pretty uneventful and most of our time was in Hannah’s Hope or the hotel.  (this is for Ab’s adoption in 2008)

We then went to visit another orphanage. We were warned that it would be sad and that the people running it loved and cared for the children but that they just didn’t have the resources they needed.

That was a fair warning.

As we walked in and went to visit the children my heart literally did break in two. I stood over cribs that held several children who just stared back with blank eyes and I was overcome with emotion.

IMG_5834IMG_5833 (2)

Sobbing. Declaring that “It’s not right. It’s just not right”


One of the gentleman on the trip gently said “Charisa, God loves these children” and I continued to sob.


This was one of the pivotal moments for me—that I would go home and DO SOMETHING.

That it just wouldn’t stop there—that I had now had knowledge and I had a responsibility to act.




A friend yesterday posted on facebook that compassion is messy and it hurts.

I agree. It does hurt. But it also (should) propel us to action—

I have hurt more in the last 4 years for others than ever. I have cried for people and children I have never even met. I have given to more causes than we have money for. I have begged God for things that didn’t come to pass.

And it hurt.

But I would not trade this path we are on for anything—

because while I have hurt—

I have also seen miracles, redemption, renewed lives and God move in ways I never would have dreamed.

And that is worth it.

August 7, 2012

4 years ago

Four years ago I was nervous as I could be walking up this path


into Hannah’s Hope to meet this little guy I knew only by a picture:


Kids were running up everywhere and I heard Casey (my niece) whisper.. “there he is!!”

and this is what followed:

We played with cars


checked out his bed:


took lots and lots of pictures


and after an hour or two headed back out on our own…having no clue what the other was saying



Ate lunch together with other families (and shared lots of food)


Nighttime prayers


Woke up in an orphanage one morning…and going to sleep as a son that night.


Oh, what that little guy must have been thinking.  More to come this week. :)

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