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Archive for the ‘Make Way Partners’ Category

If you’ve read very much of my blog then you know already how near and dear to my heart Make Way Partners is.  They work so very hard to help the widows and orphans in the world and they could use your help too.  Visit the link below and find out some of what they’ve done already and find out how you can be involved in helping to share Christ’s love.

http://www.makewaypartners.org/documents/MWPYearEndNewsletter2012forweb.pdf

Also, please visit the link below to change dot org and sign the petition to request that

UNSC, AU and US: Provide Civilian Protection in Sudan.

http://www.change.org/petitions/unsc-au-and-us-provide-civilian-protection-in-sudan-2?utm_campaign=action_box&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition

It’s amazing to read all that they have accomplished and I know you wouldn’t want to miss out on doing what you can to help them accomplish even greater things in the future!

Make Way Partners Mission Statement:

Make Way Partners is a Christian mission agency committed to prevent and combat human trafficking and all forms of modern-day slavery by educating and mobilizing the Body of Christ.

 “…he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.” Luke 4:18

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I’m going to share a blog post from Matt McGowen, the Senior Field Coordinator for Make Way Partners.  Please read and then share his blog post with everyone you know and let’s help them get this high school built for these kids!  Thank you in advance for reading it, sharing it, for donating, your prayers, anything  and everything you feel led by God to do for these children.

Battle Cry by guest blogger Matt McGowen 

If you’d like to learn even more about how God is using Kimberly L. Smith and Make Way Partners to bring Hope to many who would otherwise not have much, if any, please see my blog post for the contest to win a FREE copy of Kimberly’s book, “Passport Through Darkness!”  Thank you!  God Bless!

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If you’ve read any on my blog, or even more so if you’re a friend of mine on Facebook or Twitter, then you know how touched I’ve been by Kimberly L. Smith’s book, “Passport Through Darkness.”   Her book has started to literally change my life.  It’s changing the way I look at everything in life, including the simple things like having running clean water. I’ve always taken running clean water for granted.  It’s been there since birth and I can’t imagine not having something so seemingly simple. But there are those that do not have running water, that do not have clean water, that have to walk miles to get even dirty water.

Because of it’s impact to those who read this book, I want to see as many as possible read it.  God is using Kimberly L. Smith to open eyes to see needs that are there.  Jesus very clearly tells us in Matthew 22: 37-40 that we are to love God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind and that equally important is to love our neighbors as ourselves.  We read that in our Bibles, most people know those verses well, but what does it look like in a practical way? Kimberly gives us perfect examples in “Passport Through Darkness” of exactly what that can look like.

So here’s the deal –  Kimberly and her organization Make Way Partners will give away a copy of her incredible book to the person that shares this blog post, and/ or my blog in general,  the most (the particulars of how this will work will be at the end of this post).  You can keep the book you win or you can give it to someone else and change their life, either way you will be helping to make a difference for the Lord.  Listen… The more we share this information, this incredible story of love, the more people will be made aware of the great need that’s out there and the more people will be changed and thereby helped.    I am going to run this contest from the second it’s published until Thanksgiving Day (November 22, 2012).

Contest Rules:  To win you simply need to share, share, and share this post and my blog in general,  everywhere – via email, Facebook, Twitter, word of mouth, and so on… JUST SHARE and when you share, ask each and every person to comment below or to email me at LetsSpeakGently @ gmail . com,  and let me know that you’ve shared it with them.

The person who shares it the most will be the winner and the winner will be announced on my blog on November 22, 2012.  Please come back here to look to see if you’ve won around the time frame of 7:00 pm EST. 

Please, above all else remember – Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27   This contest is about sharing a story about what it means to do exactly what this Scripture tells us to do and how doing so not only changes the people being helped, but also how it changes the lives of the helpers.  It’s important – God says so, let’s help others “hear” this story.

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Make Way Partners.  I’ve written about them here before, and on Facebook many times.  But for those that have missed it, they’re a Christian mission agency committed to prevent and combat human trafficking and all other forms of modern day slavery by educating and mobilizing The Body of Christ.  I learned about them from reading the book “Passport Through Darkness”, written by the Co Founder/ President of MWP, Kimberly Smith.

One of the things that impressed me so much about MWP is that they went where no one else would. Places like Darfur, Sudan, and  the Nuba Mountains. Places other people said would be too hard, too expensive, too this, and too that, to get to.  Apparently they weren’t introduced properly to the God that Kimberly Smith loves and serves! Nothing is ever too anything for Him.

It’s now been three months since I first read Kimberly’s book and I can’t rid myself of the imagine of children as young as 3 and 4 being on their own in that land.  A land where they have to hide from the animals, the people that want to sell them into slavery and force them into Islam, and even when they can manage to stay away from all of that… there’s always the lack of water and the starvation that finds them regardless of how good they become at hiding from all the rest.

In “Passport Through Darkness” I read where they passed a little 4 year old boy, that they named John, on a road they were traveling on, but were unable to take him with them (you’d have to read the book for the why and all other important details and you should) and I can’t get him out of my head. To make it even harder to forget this little boy, John, they were able to snap a picture of him and that image haunts me.

Little John

Four.
Years.
Old.

Scared.

Alone.

That just should not be. Not ever. I pray for him and my prayers often end up being that he’s now with the Lord and that his journey to Him was quick and easy somehow.  That his time of such extreme fear, loneliness, hunger, and probable hopelessness was short.   I just can’t stand the thought of him out there still – though he’d be many years older by now.

All of these thoughts bring me back to the fact that I can’t just do nothing.  God has shown me that there is a need for some of His people to get help in so many different ways.  They need to be prayed for, fed, given medical care, shown the love of Jesus Christ that we here in America are so good at talking about.  Now that I have been shown these needs, I can’t un-know it, nor do I want to.

Little John wouldn’t go to any of the camps for people displaced in the wars and the reason was that he was terrified of being snatched and forced to worship a god he didn’t believe in. He was a four year old Christian who loved God more than most of the people I’ve met in my whole life and that…. breaks my heart the most.

What does it say about us here in America, where we’re free to read Bibles and love Jesus openly with no fear of being tortured or killed, that in a place where food is a luxury so you know owning a Bible is rare, that a FOUR YEAR OLD CHILD is a better Christian than so many of us?  That he was willing to die at four years old all alone, and probably not a quick, never mind pain free, death, but instead a slow death by starvation, thirst, lion or hyena attack, or worse.  He chose that because to him it would be better to die in any one of those ways and die a Christian, than to be captured and possibly be forced into doing something that would go against what he believed the God he loved would have him do.

It’s become my belief that while they need us there to help them get food, clothes, and other basic needs, we also need them… We need them to show us true joy in the Lord and what  real sharing looks like.  We have much we can give to them, but I believe that they can give us even more.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28,  “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul.  Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”  It seems that many of them understand this verse in ways that many of us do not. 

He also tells us in Luke 9:23-25, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.  But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.  And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?” 

I believe that Jesus is asking us to give up our lives for His way of life, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of reading in the New Testament to see that the way Jesus lived is nothing like the typical American life is lived now.  I truly want to pick up my cross and follow Him into a completely different life than I’ve ever known, a Kingdom Life where Jesus is truly my Lord.   I have no doubt that there’s a lot of joy waiting there, a different kind of joy than any I’ve ever known so far… a Kingdom type of joy.  A joy only truly following Jesus can give.

Come with us?

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Have you ever prayed that God would use you?  I started praying this a couple of years ago.  I just had this strong desire to be used by my Creator.  It felt like there was something important missing from my life, like I was missing the point to life itself.

Here in America, most of us are raised hearing about and being groomed for the “American Dream”.  We’re taught that success is getting in to a “good” college and then later landing a dream job and making a lot of money, getting married, buying a house in an affluent neighborhood, driving a certain type of car, having children, and even more recently having the right type of cell phone ( you know… the “smart” kind).  During all of that you’re also to begin storing up money in some time of retirement account so you’ll be able to continue having all the best money can buy even when the time comes that you no longer work.

I didn’t follow along strictly to the above guidelines in my life and for many years felt mostly like a huge disappointment.  I felt like I was less than those that did.  I wondered about that.  Somehow it didn’t seem right that money alone could make us successful or worth greater value as people.  The whole thing felt like a lie to me.

One of my parents believed in God and tried to teach me about Him as best as they knew how, while the other wanted to believe in a made up version that suited the preferred lifestyle.  And even though I’d been off and on raised in churches and knew a few things about Jesus, my teen years were sadly spent far far from Him.  Yet He was never far from me it turns out.

I believe He’s never far from any of us.  We may be running from Him at times, or maybe we’ve spent our whole life running from Him, or even have never known Him at all…. but He knows every single one of us and is with each one until the very day that we die.  He’s always there, waiting on us to “see” Him and take His hand and be led by Him to follow Him into His will.  We just have to choose to do so.

During my adult years Jesus has been right beside me, gently whispering to me to “come home” to Him.  Many times I would faintly hear Him, but then life would crowd out His voice again.  Still, He never once gave up on me.  He’s like that you know.  He never gives up on us.

A few years ago He used a woman, a friend, to show Himself to me through her and I’ve never been the same since.  She quite simply lived in a way that I’d never seen anyone else live.  His love and light shined through her, regardless of her circumstances, and I wanted that same love for myself.  I saw what being close to Jesus could mean and I craved that closeness.  His acceptance and His love.

It’s been a journey, these past few years.  I love the way He doesn’t force Himself on us, but instead is such a gentleman in the truest sense.  He courts us lovingly and waits patiently while we make mistake after mistake, wrong choice after wrong choice.  It seems that every time I think I’ve gotten it figured out, He shows me that I’m so very mistaken all over again and he beckons me closer so I can learn.

He’s now answering my prayer to be used by Him.  It’s a dangerous prayer it turns out.  He will gladly take you up on it if you ask Him.  He’s using other people who have prayed the same thing to show me, and lead, and guide me to where He wants me to be.  It’s an amazing thing to watch unfold over time.  I’m learning more and more, every single day, to be more obedient, to say “Yes, Lord” more quickly, and to see Him outside of the box that He’s put into so often here in America.

I can’t wait to see what He brings into my tomorrows.

“But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” ~ Jesus ♥ Luke 11:28

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  I read a book recently.  Normally that’s not anything worth writing about since I adore reading (always have) and read lots and lots of books.  However, over the last couple of years it’s turned into more  like a “I love to buy books and read some of most, but seldom finishing one” thing.  I will literally have anywhere from three to six books that I’m reading at any given time.

I have books all over my house.  I have hardback, paperback, novels, fiction, non-fiction, all sorts of school books for my children (we home-school), Bibles, books about the Bible, a modest collection of books to help me study the Bible, books on my Kindle Fire, books on my iPhone, books on my computer, even books I can listen to while I drive.  I take a book with me absolutely everywhere I go, often even listening to them while in the shower.  No shortage of books to read, just a shortage of time and ability to stay focused on one book long enough to completely read the whole thing.

So, for me to have bought and actually read the whole book in only a matter of days is a really really big deal.

This isn’t an ordinary book though.  It’s a book based on real people, places, and suffering unlike most of us here in America can even begin to imagine and it’s one that, I believe, will totally change the way you look at life.

God tells us in James 1:27 –  Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. (NLT)

In Isaiah 1:17 he says – Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.  (NLT)

We can easily see from these and other verses in the Bible that God obviously wants us to help the orphans and widows and the author of “Passport Through Darkness”, Kimberly L. Smith, along with her husband Milton Smith, are doing just that.  Kimberly has spent years in some of the most dangerous places in the world working to help those in the most need.  She has worked tirelessly in places that other people said were too hard to get to or would be too expensive to do any good.  There is no difficulty or danger too great for this amazing woman, and those that work by her side, to stop them from helping these children that the Lord God remembers and loves.

My intention in writing this isn’t to review her book or to even admire Kimberly Smith, but instead it’s to help, in however small a way, to get the message out to as many as I possibly can that we, especially here in America, need to do more to help the lost and suffering.  I want my little post on my little blog to help inspire those that do read it to get this eye opening, heart wrenching book, “Passport Through Darkness” and not only read it, but also be as changed by it as I have been. Truly, this book will completely wreck you and open your eyes and hearts to the children and the widows, in Africa, but also all over our world.

Do you hear His call?  His call to break out of your comfort zone and break into a life that makes a real difference for those the Bible calls our brothers and sisters.  God doesn’t call heroes to help carry His love, His help, and His Word to those in the most need of it.  No, He calls us – the housewives, the school teachers, the bus drivers, the grocery store managers, the bankers, the executives, the students, the moms, daughters, wives, sons, and husbands and creates, in those that are willing to make that first tiny step, the heroes He needs to change lives.

For more information on Kimberly Smith, Make Way Partners, and how you can help  please visit http://www.makewaypartners.org/director.html . 

You can also visit http://orphansunday.org  and learn about Orphan Sunday (November 4, 2012) and how you and your church, or small group, can help orphans around the world.

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