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 14, 2012

Giveaway Winners!!

Thank you to all of you who donated to the trip to Awassa! We really appreciate you partnering with us!

Our goal was $2000 and you helped us to get to $1446.30! 

Thank You!!

Now, our winners!

Tonya S. is the winner of the candle sticks.

Cindy I. wins the bag.

Kathleen Pasakarnis wins the bracelet.

Thank you to my pal Traci at Project Hopeful for keeping track of all donations and picking names!

We will keep you updated on our trip and Project Hopeful Awassa! It’s not too late to donate if you feel led. We’ll keep the paypal button at the top left.  :)

Thank you again!! Your generosity confirms the Lord’s work in this!

~Greg and Charisa

August 10, 2012

Project Hopeful Awassa Update!


God has been AMAZING so far providing the resources and people to make this happen! Greg and I have been blown away!

Our page on the website is being updated but I wanted to give you guys a heads up!

We still have some needs and opportunities that need YOU!

We have 4 children  3 children that need FIGs (families in the gap) at the orphanage.

Jegnaw --boy 1 yr 10 months

Kirubel-- boy 1 yr and 8 months

Muse-- boy 1 yr and 1 month--- HAS A FIG NOW!!

Yabets-- boy 1 yr and 4 months

It causes me to pause with some heartache that these boys were probably there when my son was. Yet they remain.

We also have some children in the community that still need FIGs as well:

Community Children:

Henock 6 yrs---HAS A FIG NOW!!

Henock is a healthy six year old boy who lives with his mother. She struggles to provide for their needs and is in need of a FIG!

He is a sociable young man who prefers his studies over play time. He is a rising first grader who wants to be a doctor when he grows up.

His favorite subject is English

Debrework 12 yrs

Debrework is a happy twelve year old who lives her older brother. Both parents are deceased. She is a healthy fifth grade student.

Getasetegn 7 yrs

Getasetegn is a healthy seven year old boy who lost his mother to AIDS and lives with his father

Mintamir 5 yrs

Mintamir is a happy five year old girl. She had lived with her mother who recently passed away and is now with her older sister. She is healthy and shy. She enjoys studying Amharic and would like to be a teacher.

Nathanel 2 yrs

Nathnael is a two year old boy who lives with his grandmother

Yohannes 1 yr –HAS A FIG NOW!!

Yohannes is a one year old boy who lives with his mother. His father abandoned them.

Sintayehu 2 yrs --HAS A FIG NOW!!

Sintayehu is a happy two year old boy . His mother left when he was only two months old. He now lives with his grandmother to whom he is very attached.

TWINS! Girumnesh (f) and Girumneh (m) 2 yrs old

Girumnesh (girl) and Girumneh (boy) are two year old twins! Their mother died and they are living with their father

Eshetu 18 yrs

Eshetu is an eighteen year old who lost both his parents and lives with his aunt. He is quiet and suffers with headaches and chest pain.

He will enter twelfth grade and likes Math, Chemistry and Biology and would like to be a doctor.

In your role as FIG advocate you can:

· commit to praying regularly for “your” child or family

· financially support for $30 per month

· join in special fundraising efforts to pay for special projects to benefit the orphanage as well as the children and families in the community

· participate in mission trips

If you are interested—let me know at and I can send you a picture and more information and how to sign up for your $30 per month donation.


We also in need of donations for cribs!  We have a need for 4 more cribs (we have had 2 donated so far!! thank you!)  at the orphanage that cost $80 to $100 each.


All cribs have been purchased!!  Thank you!!


If you’d like to donate to this go here:

Select FIG AWASSA ETHIOPIA INITIATIVE in the drop down box and put your amount in and type in cribs in the comment box.  It will then take you to a paypal page to complete your donation.  If you could also email me at to let me know so we can make sure it’s allocated properly.

Thank you for standing with us for these children!!

And..don’t forget—you have 1 day left to be one of our partners for the trip in October!  Just donate $10 or $20 at the paypal up at the top left and we will pick winners for our favorite Africa items giveaway tomorrow evening!!

Check that out here:

Blessings to you!! Have a GREAT weekend!


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. :)

August 3, 2012

I kinda like this girl.

You know this girl here?


I kinda like her a lot.

She saved and worked to pay her fare to Guatemala in September and just decided she was going to use almost all of her saved up money (that she was saving for a car) to go to Awassa with Greg.

Yep. She’s like that.  She will be chief photographer of this trip and will supply all of our FIGs with some wonderful photos.


Want to see more of about our trip? and how you can partner with us?

and maybe win some cool items from Africa?

Go here:

and for the Flashback Friday I do occasionally:


She’s still that goofy.


Have a great weekend!

August 1, 2012

Life and Hope

I posted over on The Forgotten Blog today….

Head on over and take a look!!

Also..don’t forget that we would love for you to partner with us and help us get to Awassa for Project Hopeful-Awassa!

On August 13 I will be giving away 3 of our favorite items from Africa to people who donated.

See here:

Won’t you join in with you $10 or $20 donation and be part of bringing life and hope to the area this sweet boy is from?  You can donate up at the top left of this blog.

Thank you to all who have donated so far! We cannot do it with you!


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