Archives For create hope

Could I have about 7 minutes of your time today? I want to tell you about some friends of mine, who just happen to live on the other side of the world.

One of the sweetest girls on the planet, my friend, Siphiwe.

One of the sweetest girls on the planet, my friend, Siphiwe. This moment when she put her arm around me: Priceless.

There’s about 150 kids who are not only my friends, but I am their friend. I genuinely believe they know the Browers and hundreds of others in North America as their friends. We’ve laughed, danced, ate & cried together. (If that doesn’t define friendship, I don’t know what does.) Isn’t friendship built on a common bond of interest in each other’s lives, trust and concern for each other’s well-being? Yes. I love the kind of friend you can call in the middle of a crisis and you KNOW they’ve got your back, no questions asked. We all need people like this in our lives, that show up saying ‘I am pulling for you! Your joy is my joy! Your pain is my pain! WE are gonna get through this.”

This is the kind of friendship that has formed long-distance between our connect community of sponsors through Children’s HopeChest and the children of the Bheveni community in Swaziland, Africa. A partnership. It truly isn’t one-sided. And we truly aren’t the heroes. Ask any member of one of the teams my husband & I have led… the kids & their caregivers are the heroes of their own lives. We’re the loud, obnoxious, over-zealous cheerleaders.

The B-Team worked tirelessly to paint the playground! The children LOVE it!

The B-Team & discipleship team worked tirelessly to paint the playground! The children LOVE it!

 

The children help tend the garden everyday. We were blessed to help a little while we were there.

The children help tend the garden everyday. We were blessed to help a little while we were there.

 

There are several ways we maintain this long-distance partnership:

Sponsorship impacts everyone's lives!

Sponsorship impacts everyone’s lives!

1. Sponsorship – through sponsorship a child in the Bheveni community is guaranteed a hot, healthy meal, clean water, discipleship & life skills training. Through sponsorship, they know they have a friend in North America who knows them by name, prays for them, and wants them to have a successful, fruitful life both here & into eternity. It’s $38 a month per kid, but all the money is pooled for the entire community so no child is left without their needs met, even if they don’t have a sponsor. We often say as a Children’s HopeChest sponsor, we get to mentor a child, but sponsor an entire community of children to band together & lift themselves out of poverty. It’s brilliant & God-inspired because it works – we see the fruit of sponsorship and it’s a beautiful thing, y’all! We currently have 30 new kids who have started coming to the carepoint who need a sponsor.

2. Dreaming Together – And we Dream BIG! Our online community of sponsors, advocates & supporters listen very closely to the vision the Bheveni community members have and do what we can to assist. We don’t do it for them, but assist and simply provide opportunity; whether that be through paying school fees (they have to pay to go to school! I still shake my head at this one. If they don’t have parents and barely have food, how are they to pay for tuition? ugh.) or giving a little bit extra during the holidays so they can build a new, safe community center and finally get electricity, it’s a complete joy to watch their dreams blossom & their futures brighten!

The Dream Building is going up!

The Dream Building made possible by GIVERS like you!

This multi-purpose building will be complete soon and will have electricity!

This multi-purpose building will be complete soon and will have electricity!

3. Visits – We’ve been to visit our friends in Swaziland four times since 2010. We’ve watched them grow up. We’ve led 4 incredible teams. I mean, I can’t even describe to you how amazing our team members are… they are just ready for it all & love the kids as if they were their own. It’s beautiful each & every trip to see the bonds of friendship forged and deepened.

This year, 2015, we are not able to send a team to physically be with the kids, or to physically pray & laugh & dance with the bomake who cook for hundreds of rambunctious kids everyday over an open flame. And it’s sorta crushed us to know a team trip isn’t happening. I pray that the children of Bheveni understand, but I have to put that in the Lord’s hands because otherwise it breaks my heart a little to think they may think we don’t care anymore. One blessing in this? We no longer have to put our time & resources towards funding a trip, but now we can JUST focus on supporting their dreams! Hallelujah for that! It would’ve cost the team a minimum of $20,000 to fly there for 10 days. Let’s imagine this money instead going into the long-term development of the children in a variety of other ways. And it can happen easier than you think.

Even though we aren’t having a team trip, we can & are still being a support to the Bheveni Community… and that’s where you come in.

Today, besides sponsorships, the one way my readers can help is…. drum roll, please…

Buy A T-shirt.

Really.

When you buy a Create Hope T-shirt, the extra funds will be invested into the kids’ lives. And the shirts are rad. Really. One of our 3-time team members designed it and she did a great job! So you’ll get a fashionable Tee and DO GOOD IN THE WORLD at the same time.

A rainbow of gorgeous, tangible hope.

A rainbow of gorgeous, tangible hope.

Your T-shirt will help ensure the kids stay in school, have the necessary school supplies & uniforms, have medical attention when they need it, and who knows, we may even surprise them by having the staff bring a meal with meat in it!

There’s a meal called ‘Chicken Dust’ – it doesn’t sound good but it makes my mouth water just thinking about it . Because meat is expensive, the kids only get this meal when our team comes. Once a year. And if we’re not coming… we gotta get them their Chicken Dust somehow, y’all! The hype around Chicken Dust rivals that of Chick-Fil-A. Now you get me. For all the kids to have a meal with MEAT, it costs appx. $600 US.

And if we raise another $400 beyond that, we can have the staff show up with a 30-day supply of food to the local homesteads. Often these are child-led or grandparent-led homes that are struggling the most. Two years ago we took one of these 30-day supply bags to Grandma Dlamini raising 5 grandkids (because all their parents had died). She burst into tears and said just that morning she begged God for a miracle. They had run out of food that morning. THAT morning… and THAT evening God sent some clueless Americas to show her His faithfulness.

The faith of a grandmother is a powerful thing.

The faith of a grandmother is a powerful thing.

Buy a Create Hope Tee, y’all. 

It’s $30 total shipped to your door. There’s even kid sizes. If you don’t want another Tee but wanna help the Bheveni kids out, click my paypal button on the top right column, and your donation will go towards providing some of life’s most basic needs (like food & education) for my friends.

We need to sell at least 100 Tees. As of yesterday, we’ve sold precisely 11. Eleven. So yeah, we’ve got some catching up to do. Shirt sales end July 27th.

I’m gonna choose to have the faith of Grandmother Dlamini. I’m praying the audacious & desperate prayer for our God to show up STRONG on their behalf through broken, yet willing vessels such as ourselves.

Thank you!!!

Shine On!

Danielle 

#createhope2015

Created to Inspire

June 21, 2015 — 2 Comments

FullSizeRenderFor years now, the words ‘Create Hope’ have been a passionate force which helps me live my life. What else are we here on this big blue ball for other than to create hope & inspire others, and to do it all for the glory of God?

All. Everything we are, everything we do, every talent, even every tragedy can somehow inspire others and ultimately show God’s love. I truly believe this. It’s the way I try to live my life. I don’t always succeed & I get it wrong often, but I want to briefly share with my readers & this community how the Lord has given me a new avenue to inspire people!

I work with elementary-aged special needs children during the school year. Knowing I’d need a summer job, I began searching & praying. I wrote in my prayer journal, “God, how am I gonna juggle everything? I can’t leave the kids alone all day, nor do I want to. You are the Father of creativity. Will you share some of it with me so I can have income and still spend the summer with my family?”

So, that prayer sparked a series of events that has led to this. Live4ChangeArt.

My family & I (and a portion of our town, ha!) are constantly on the search for old leather belts. Why? Because I’m upcycling them into leather cuff bracelets to sell locally & on Etsy. Yep, we are having a blast with this summer gig. And guess what? Somehow God is blessing it – people actually like my bracelets and are buying them almost as fast as I can make them. Even a well-known jewelry maker, Beki Hastings of The Rusted Chain whom I greatly admire shared our bracelets on her Facebook Page last week! Thanks Ingrid Olson for that connection!

What makes Live4Change Art Leather Cuffs different from the rest are the personalized inspirational words I inscribe into each of them. I’m thankful to say not all of my training came from google, youtube or Pinterest!! Through some trial, error & prayer, God showed me a really cool way to add lace & jewels; a technique that is all my own. Hallelujah for creativity! Even had someone try to copy it from my page, so imitation IS the highest form of flattery! ha!

I love the entire process – finding the belts with my family, recreating them into bracelets, added just the right inspirational words, sharing my story, selling them and providing income for my family!

One thing I haven’t shared with anyone is that 10% of Live4ChangeArt proceeds are going to our beloved Bheveni Community in Swaziland, Africa. The proceeds are going to their education fund. In Swaziland, tuition must be paid in order to learn to read & write. If a child is orphaned or multiple children being raised by a single mother, how can they afford literacy when meeting life’s basic needs are already a challenge? So our B.E.S.T. (Bheveni Educational Scholarship Trust) Fund is set in place & is helping to keep nearly 200 kids in school every year! Praise the Lord!

So each time you buy an inspirational bracelet, not only is it inspiring YOU, it is teaching a child to read & write & to value their potential!

See why this is bracelet making gig is so fun!?!? 🙂

And the idea was God-given, He helped me find a talent I didn’t even know I had, and He guides my hands through each step of the process. Leather stamping isn’t easy & sometimes my fingers get pounded instead of the stamp (ouch!), or a snap flies off & hits me in the eye, but hey, I’m still loving it!

One more thing: I’ve been blown away by how many custom/personalized orders coming in. Nearly 75% of my sales are all custom orders. Wisdom. Serenity. Radiant. Shine Your Light (for a whole family!) Proud of My Marine. Attraversiamo (Lets Cross Over). Worth more than Gold. Be still & know I am God.

All words chosen by people who want to wear inspiration on their sleeve. Because we all need reminders of loved ones, reminders to keep moving forward, reminders to pray, reminders that we CAN live this life and all its fullness. Words are special. Just ask God, that’s how He’s chosen through the ages to communicate with us – through His Word, both written & spoken. So yeah, words have power. And meditating on the right words have even greater power.

Did I say this was going to be brief? 🙂 Ha! Impossible.

So that’s my exciting news. Bracelets that create inspiration & bring education!

If you like what you see in these photos, check out my ETSY store. Want a custom order, there’s an option for that too. And be sure to like Live4ChangeArt on Facebook!

 

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Thanks for going on yet another adventure with me!

Shine On!

Danielle

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 9.00.12 AMTake my hand

We’ll make it, I swear!

Ohh! Ohh!

Livin’ on a prayer!

{Bon Jovi, chapter 1, verse 3, Hard Rock Version}

If you are a product of the late 1980s, early 90s, you know this song. Even if you were raised holy… you know the kind of home that did not allow Halloween costumes, rock music, Smurfs or especially the sounds of Scooby Doo to permeate the peace of your home. You may not have been allowed to trick-or-treat, but you knew the chorus of Livin’ on a Prayer, despite your parents best intentions to protect your virgin ears. Bon Jovi was everywhere. *swoon*

And for the record, your parents were probably listening to it when you weren’t in the car!  I know this because my radio station is set according to when the kids are or are not in the car. Can I help it that I like P!nk? Or Usher, usher, usher? Murderous love songs by Bruno Mars? Yes I’m sure I can, but sometimes you just need to cut loose and feel the beat… it doesn’t have to be your life’s anthem and it doesn’t mean you’re going to hell if you still know 98% of the words to Ice, Ice Baby. Alright Stop. Collaborate and listen…

Wait, what was the point of this post?

Oh yeah, prayer.

We need prayer. I need prayer. (if you didn’t already figure that for yourself, after reading the first two paragraphs!)

The Bible says God uses the foolish, ordinary things of this world to confound the wise. I think of this verse so often because I am foolish and ordinary. I really am. Only my closest family & friends know how true this is. Apart from Jesus, I have nothing to offer. And thank GOD for that! Jesus really is the only One worth living for anyway!

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Right click to save this to your Mac desktop!

Now that you are armed with the knowledge I just shared… I beg for your prayers as Mike & I follow Jesus where He’s called us (& our team) once again… to the other side of the earth for 12 days to Swaziland, Africa. I woke extra early this morning with the realization that all of this preparation, all the gathering of supplies, all the coordinating of sponsor letters & cards Here are a few!… it is all because of prayers answered by our Heavenly Father who has brought us all together. Glory to God!

It’s not the prayer alone. It’s the One-Who-Answers-The-Prayers that has made all the difference, who is orchestrating this particular mission & is seeing to it that children of Swaziland, who once thought themselves forgotten, can no longer wonder if they are loved with extravagant, reach-across-the-world kind of love. God goes to great lengths to show His love, doesn’t He? He asks no less of us. For some, it’s a great length to knock on the neighbor’s door and invite them over for a bonfire. For others, it’s a farther distance, but the same faith & boldness are needed for both, so that God’s love can shine through us; not as ones who come to rescue, but simply come to build relationship.

Our team leaves for Swaziland, Africa this week. We hail from Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, and even Minnesota! Will you pray for us & the children?

I’ve made this snazzy daily prayer bookmark. I know, be jealous. I’ve had no professional training in the graphic arts. Yet, this Word document bookmark exists somehow. Jesus.

Here it is…. please, if you haven’t already, start praying cuz

Ohhhhhh! We’re halfway there!!! Ohh-ohh! We’re Livin’ on a prayer!!!

Shine On!

Danielle

Building Hope

July 11, 2014 — 1 Comment

Have you ever seen hope? I’m going to show it to you…. but first I have a huge announcement that has been years in the making!

One of our main goals in partnering with the Bheveni Community in Swaziland, through Children’s HopeChest, is to only take actions that will benefit the children & community long term. We prayerfully look for opportunities (such as health, education, discipleship, etc.) that will empower & create self-sustainability. Soooo….

We are Building: Bheveni Together! God has moved on the heart of a donor to pledge $25,000 to provide a Multi-Purpose Building at Bheveni! Hallelujah! The completed project cost is $30,000 —> we are SOOOO close! Once the project is 100% FULLY funded, we can begin construction.

The community around the carepoint is excited – they have enthusiastically agreed to help do the ‘grunt’ work! Which is wonderful, because this will be their building that will be used in many ways – preschool, library, grief counseling classes, lifeskills training classes, health classes for the teenagers, and perhaps at some point church & further schooling for the older kids. Once the building is complete, we believe there is a way to get electricity to it and only cost about $2,000 more! THIS WOULD BE A HUGE, HUGE Blessing!!!

If you’d like to be a part of ‘Building: Bheveni Together’ let us know! We can hardly wait til this project is fully funded so construction can begin! In fact, here’s a link to give: Building: Bheveni Together. At the link you’ll need to include this info:

Designated/One TIme Gift: {Enter your donation amount}

Reference Number: SZ3006000

Notes Field: Building

Please let me know if you gave, as I do not personally have access to the individual donations. The picture is an example of a similar structure that would be built on the Bheveni property. It is much, much larger that what we have now!

BuildingExample3pics

 

I said I would show you what hope looks like… Next week we are hand-delivering these letters & pictures (and more!) to the children of Bheveni Carepoint in Swaziland, Africa.

These letters & pictures are why I posted this:

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Really though, get your tissue ready because these are precious.

The 7, almost 8 year old Bella made an incredible self-portrait! Her eyes & smiles are REALLY that big! Thanks Bella!

The 7, almost 8 year old Bella made an incredible self-portrait! Her eyes & smiles are REALLY that big! Thanks Bella!

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A Minnesota day care full of happy kids decided to share the JOY with kids in Swaziland! Thanks guys!

Loving the bright colors!

Loving the bright colors!

Can you say WOW?!? These kids have raw talent!

Can you say WOW?!? These kids have raw talent!

The Lollas were so thoughtful to make Banele his own bookmark!

The Lollas were so thoughtful to make Banele his own bookmark!

This goes down as one of my favorite sponsor letters ever! Thanks Isaac!

This goes down as one of my favorite sponsor letters ever! Thanks Isaac!

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Ciniso is going to love this tiger and acrostic sign! He will feel so special!!!

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A dragonfly, a cliff, sunshine & a rocket… its the stuff boys dreams are made of!

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This is the kind of care package that will make any one feel loved by this family! I mean, who can resist a polar bear & a puppy!

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I hope you take time to read this letter. The lost art of actual letter writing… perhaps it will inspire you to write a letter to someone special!

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The 2nd paragraph has tear stains on it, sorry! *sniff sniff*

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If Meluleki ever thought he was alone or unloved… there’s no way he can now.

Now see, these letters aren’t even written to you, these pictures aren’t even drawn for you, but don’t you feel like you just received a ginormous hug from a long-lost friend? Doesn’t it restore your faith in humanity? Doesn’t it inspire you to go create hope in someone’s life?

Shine On! (and go write a letter!)

Danielle

ps. Here’s that link again to invest in Building: Bheveni Together.

At the link you’ll need to include this info:

Designated/One TIme Gift: {Enter your donation amount}

Reference Number: SZ3006000

Notes Field: Building

Hope Is Rising

August 30, 2013 — Leave a comment

It brought so much joy to my heart to read the following post. I love reliving last month’s memories of our first moments with the Bheveni children & bomake. It was such a precious time – as Margo describes – we are no longer strangers, but family. Not only are their names & faces becoming more familiar to us, but their awareness of why we are there is highly evident. We are forming relationships – trusted relationships.

This has been my heart-cry for over three years now, that God would pour His love through us – whatever it takes – so the children would have not only the opportunity for a brighter future, but be filled with a sense of hope, knowing they are valued & are not standing alone. I believe that is happening. Especially when I hear other team members’ experiences, as I’m about to share with you. In a country whose statistics are grim, even threatened by the extinction of the Swazi race – Hope is Rising. Joy is Abounding. God is moving. To the ends of the Earth, the hope of His love & salvation IS growing. 

Many of you are a part of creating that hope. You give. You pray. You write. You go. {You even buy T-shirts & take #selfies just so you can show the children half a world away how much they are loved! More on that subject in a later post.} For now, read the amazing first-hand experience of a woman whose heart has been captured, yet set free to love the children of Swaziland!

—-

The planning for my trip this year pretty much started almost 2 years ago – the day I got home from Swaziland the first time. I knew with the very first smile, the first hug, that it was not if but when I would return.

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The B-Team (B for Bheveni… pretty clever, right?) really doesn’t get serious planning done until the last 6 months or so before we leave. Danielle and Mike, our fearless leaders, do the hard part with the planning – the dates, logistics, the contacts with Children’s HopeChest, setting up the conference calls. The rest of us get to wait for the details. Once the technical stuff is set we get to jump in and start planning the fun stuff: what we’re going to do with the kids. We also discuss what sort of things we can bring to bless the carepoint and the kids. This can sometimes be tricky for us; our first inclination is to try to collect anything and everything that we can. Who wouldn’t want to drop an entire Super Target right smack in the middle of a field and let them loose? But we have to limit what we bring – not only because we have limited baggage space, but more importantly because our visit is not about stuff.Hygiene supplies and underwear are very helpful but they only last so long. Smiles, hugs, laughter – those memories are permanent.

With that being said, I have to say that I had the most awesome time collecting supplies. Each member of our team signed up to bring different items that we planned on handing out. It’s a collect-what-you-can-and-buy-the-rest sort of deal. I put the word out with the items that I wanted to collect and every single item was donated. EVERY SINGLE ITEM. My facebook friends rocked my world – I had stuff shipped to me from different states! I had a trunk load of candy dropped off at my house! I had people contacting me asking what else I needed. And when I came up with the idea of collecting yarn and knitting needles to bring with I had people donating bags and bags of supplies!

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I also felt like this time around I had so much support from friends and family just in general. Not that I didn’t get support during my first trip but this time I really felt the love. Maybe it’s because people realized that it wasn’t just a one time thing for me, maybe (hopefully) people felt connected to my journey and to Swaziland, maybe it was to make me shut my trap because I can’t stop talking about how much I love Swaziland – I can’t really say. I had a lot of people send me encouraging words, people generously blessed us financially, and there were people praying for me, my family, and the entire trip. At the risk of sounding ridiculously corny, I felt like I had my own little “village” cheering me on throughout the whole process of preparing for, and while I was on the trip.

I’ll skip the details of the travel time (a day and a half? two days?) and get to the good stuff: Bheveni Carepoint. We left Johannesburg, South Africa in the morning and drove the 5-6 hours to get across the Swazi border and to where we were staying. We basically dropped our luggage off at the Guest House (that’s where we stay – it’s like a hotel only much smaller) and headed to Bheveni so we could see the kids for a couple of hours. Our team this year had 17 people and of the 17, only 6 had been to Bheveni – but everyone was equally excited. As we approached the carepoint my heart sped up. I couldn’t wait to see everyone again! My mind was racing… would I recognize the kids? It had been almost 2 years since I had seen them. Would they remember me? Surely not. Will the Bomake (Bo-MA-gay – the women that keep the carepoint running) be the same? Will any of them remember us?

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We had discussed on the drive to the carepoint that we were not even going to take our cameras out during this first visit – mostly because we wanted to get (re)acquainted with our friends here and not have it turn into a circus. Also, we Americans can sometimes forget with all of our technology to actually live the moment instead of just recording it.

I tell you, as I stepped out of our bus and got the first real look at the beautiful blue building and all of the children running around it, I got goose bumps and tears in my eyes. I remember thinking ‘I’m home.’

It didn’t take long before we were surrounded with children – giggling, whispering, hands reaching out for hands. We made our way over to the “kitchen” area so we could greet the Bomake and I was surprised and in awe that most of them remembered me. My highlight from the day was when Gcebile, (Nay-BE-lay) the preschool teacher who I bonded with during the last trip, walked up to me and said “Margo!” as she embraced me. That she remembered my name after all of this time – it was awesome.

We spent the afternoon playing and talking and holding and hugging kids of all ages – it was heaven. We got to see the Bomake in action and even help a little – cooking and serving the kids. We got our first look at the garden that has become the pride and joy of the carepoint.

Even though it was only a few hours at the carepoint and it was just a taste of the joy that we would feel throughout the week…. it was an incredible day.

—–

Shine On!

Danielle

The Incredibles.

July 20, 2013 — 1 Comment
The Incredible B-13s

The Incredible B-13s

Incredible. I’ve been using that word so often lately its become the new ‘cool’, the new ‘awesome’. One or two syllable words just no longer cut it! This has been a 4-syllable season, indeed! In. cred. i. ble!  

The past six weeks, especially, have been full of incredible encounters that didn’t happen because of my husband’s good looks (though, seriously he is incredibly handsome – see photo below!), nor did these things happen as a result of my organizational skills (ha!). God showed up. He heard our desperate prayers for mountains to be moved, for heavenly provision to be made, for doors to be opened, and He has flooded us with answering above & beyond what we thought we needed. Glory to God!

One of these incredible answers to prayer came in the form of sponsorship.

151 children now have an advocate who cares, prays, and provides specifically for their well-being!

151 children now have an advocate who cares, prays, and provides specifically for their well-being!

As of last Monday, the 15th, all 151 profiled children at Bheveni Carepoint became sponsored!!!!!

I’m REALLY resisting telling the whole story here! As of a month ago, 49 children at Bheveni were waiting for a sponsor, an advocate. That number, 49, seemed HUGE, but the Lord put the desire in us to have ALL of them sponsored before our trip.

We started praying, knowing that in ourselves we could not make this happen, God had to move. We prayed like it depended on God, but worked like it depended on us – our online faith community stepped up and began talking to their friends & family, their churches, their co-workers, and as a result every single child profiled at Bheveni has a sponsor!!!! Glory to God!

Side note: there are still thousands of orphaned & vulnerable children in Swaziland who need an advocate. One such community of children attend Lesibovu Carepoint in rural Swaziland. Out of 84 children who daily rely on the carepoint for food, 37 still need an advocate. Follow this link to find out more!

In 3 days, Mike & I embark on another journey across the world to a land of people we love & a group of children we’ve come to know as family. This will be our third trip to visit, love & serve the Bheveni Carepoint Community in Swaziland, Africa, and we are taking the biggest team yet.

Our team of 17 adults & teens have been planning and praying for months, all leading up to this trip. A handful of this incredible team went with us in 2011 to visit the children, but the majority of the team are strangers.

Imagine that, going across the world with a group of people you’ve never met, to a place you’ve never been, knowing you can’t afford it, not knowing what you’ll encounter… so, if I know anything about the individuals on this team, it is that they are full of faith. And that’s enough for me. I count it a privilege to have them a part of the B13’s (Bheveni Team 2013).

Perhaps you wanted to come on the trip too, but couldn’t make it happen this year. You can STILL come… through the incredible power of the world wide web!

Throughout our trip, we will have an online diary, of sorts, for the team to share their experiences from the day, as well as photos of the children & the beautiful country, right here on Live4Change.net. Please subscribe via email (right column) so you can be a part of the journey. 

I want to introduce these incredible world-changers one by one. And I ask you to pray for them one by one.

Regina Anderson

Regina Anderson

Regina Anderson is a life long resident of Fort Worth, Texas. She is a licensed attorney and currently represents child protective services in child abuse and neglect litigation for the State of Texas. She is a sister, daughter, aunt and child of the Most High God.

 

 

Sterling Brawley (right)

Sterling Brawley (right)

Hey yall, my name is Sterling Brawley. I am 22 years old, a recent graduate from the University of North Texas with a degree in Criminal Justice. When we return from Swaziland, I will be starting a new job with AmeriCorps partnering with Habitat for Humanity. I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and love sports!

 

Margo Brown

Margo Brown

Margo Brown from Minnesota. I have an amazing husband, Dustin, and three great kids: Miles who is 13, Linus who is 11, and Greta who is 9. This will be my second trip to Swaziland and I can’t wait to see the everyone at Bheveni again!

 

 

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Brittany, Pam, Britt, and Missy Bush

Hi, my name is Britt Bush. I have been an N/C Programmer at Bell Helicopter since 2000. I have been a fan of Bheveni since right before the first trip in 2010. I was lucky enough to go on the next trip and was hooked for life! These kids are unbelievable! They have hopes and dreams just like us, just like our kids. And God is going to do big things with this group because of your love and support and hope you give these children. Thanks for allowing me to be a representative of this online Bheveni community!

My name is Pam Bush. I’m an accountant and live in Fort Worth, Texas. My husband went on the trip to Swaziland a couple years ago. He was really impacted by working with the kids and wanted our whole family to experience the blessing of serving at Bheveni! I can’t wait to get there and share with the kids and meet our sponsored girls!!!

Hey y’all, I’m Brittany! I am a nursing student and have a huge heart for others. I love my Jesus, chips & salsa, baseball (Texas Rangers), baking, fishing, and spending time with my family. I feel beyond blessed to have the opportunity to share God’s love with His precious children at Bheveni Carepoint!

I am Missy Bush. I am a college student majoring in athletic training. I enjoy playing sports and anything outdoors. When I was in middle school I began sponsoring a little boy in Kenya and ever since, Africa has had a special place in my heart. I’m so excited and feel beyond blessed to finally have the opportunity to go to Africa to love on the kids and share the love of Christ with them.

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Kim Caraway

Kim Caraway: I am from the great state of Texas and I graduated from Texas Tech University with a BA in Psychology and a BS in Human Development and Family Studies. I love college football especially my Red Raiders. I have worked for Child Protective Services for 21 years. After reading Radical by David Platt, God called me to Swaziland, two years ago and I made my first trip then. I fell in live with the people especially the children. God has called me to be an advocate for the Swazi children and I am humbled and blessed by this.

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DeNise Cason

DeNise Cason. I am from Alabama and had the opportunity to go to Swaziland in 2011 with an amazing group of people who came together through Children’s HopeChest. My reason for wanting to return to Bhevenni is two-fold. 1 – Out of allegiance to my Lord Jesus Christ it is my duty and privilege to share the gospel with the world. 2 – I want to continue to build and strengthen relationships with the Bheveni community. The people there have such kind and loving spirits. I want to encourage and further their thirst for knowledge of God and His love and reassure them they have friends around the world who love and care about them.

 

Bobbie Dyer

Bobbie Dyer

My name is Bobbie Jo Dyer. I am originally from Tennessee but I have lived in Georgia for 15 years and it has become my home. I have two children: Braden, who is 8 and Brianna who is 4. I have been divorced, after 15 years of marriage, for a very short time but this change has allowed me to receive God’s plan and purpose in my life more openly. I have always felt called to do work in Africa and through his divine appointments and persuasion, I am finally fulfilling this calling. I am excited and eager to meet the children at that care point and to spend time with them, by showing God’s love. And I am ready to receive what it is that God is doing in my life as he draws me closer to him.

 

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Haiden F.

Haiden hails from Portland, Oregon. She is special friend to Sfiso, a young boy at the Mangwaneni Carepoint in Manzini. Haiden is the Children’s Sunday School Director at her church. An avid reader, she enjoys reading books about Jesus while slurping sweet frappuccinos on a warm summer day.

 

Audrey Hensley

Audrey Hensley

I’m Audrey Hensley! I’m from New Boston, Texas and a graduate from the university of Texas at Tyler with a degree in education. I will be teaching 1st grade at New Boston in the fall!!! I felt called to go to Africa so God can strengthen my faith and trust in Him. Throughout this summer I’ve grown to depend completely on Him and trust that He is guiding me in the direction I long to be going. He’s strengthened my servant’s heart while preparing myself for serving these children as well as the kids at camp, and that could only be done when I surrendered the reigns of my heart to Him.

Theresa with her husband, Larry

Theresa with her husband, Larry

Hello, my name is Theresa Schmidt.  My husband and I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  When our children were young I was very involved with the schools they attended.  Although my children are grown now, I continue to volunteer reading with children.  I have a special place in my heart for kids and there are no borders to children in need; thus, I am very excited about our upcoming mission trip to Bheveni Carepoint – Swaziland!  I pray that God abundantly blesses our 2013 mission trip.

 

Millie Snook

Millie Snook

Millie– orphan care advocate. ardent intercessor. washington wahini. northwest native. lover of all things creative. karate choppin organic vegetable shoppin mama. happy helpmate to honey of more than 20. thankful for more years than tears with my hubby. baby whisperer. good steward tho not quite martha stewart. skiing scouting scooting along running trails. flowing on the go yogi. dribbling on the basketball court and sometimes the dentist chair. life is not a slam dunk. we all need Jesus. He’s the only One.

Michael Snook

Michael

Michael– good sport in every sport. super sonics and die hard sounders fan. been called mr hops and by Jesus. reaching for the dunk jumpin higher than the bar. always striving for the PR. ultimate goal is the higher calling. child of the One True King. “A” student. BOOM! BACON.

 

Andy, Danielle, Mike, and Jonny

Andy, Danielle, Mike, and Jonny

Here’s our little family, too. We live in Kimball, Minnesota. 🙂 Our boys will be traveling with us to Swaziland in two years. We can hardly wait for them to meet the Bheveni children that have so captured all of our hearts! They get to be spoiled by grandpa, grandma & their aunties in Minnesota this time around!

 

 

Please keep this incredible team in your prayers! Wanna see those incredible prayers answered? You can! Stay up-to-date on the mission by virtually going with us – subscribe to this blog via email, watch for updates on the Bheveni Carepoint Community Facebook Page, and of course our HopeChest Bheveni Community Webpage.

Shine On!

Danielle Brower

ps. for the record, we are not, nor do we think of ourselves as heroes going to ‘save’ the children of Swaziland, even though I’ve got a super cool picture of ‘Incredibles’ at the top! Jesus is the Hero, and He’s already saved them. We’re going to serve the kids, the HopeChest staff, and the volunteers who serve the kids every single day of the year. Our prayer is that this trip creates continued hope that they are valued, loved, and not forgotten.