Posts Tagged ‘Orphans’

Well, this is it, friends.

Several months ago, we (I feel like we’ve been on this journey together) began reading and weeping over the plight of orphans in the world.

Then we started praying.

Then planning.

Then blogging.

Slowly and steadily, we’ve found structure and focus for our dream of a project that will reach out beyond our borders and give hope to the most impoverished young women in the world. It will also give vision to young women in America who – whether or not they know it or feel like it – are the richest people in the world. If we can send an orphan like Judy to college, that’s amazing and wonderful. But if we can – in the process – create a generation of young women who are concerned with social justice and willing to develop the “spirit of rescue”, then we have done something much, much bigger.

To this end, we have created the Amani Life Project. The word amani means “safe and secure” in Swahili. It will create a way for American women to partner with African women and make a miracle happen.

The Amani Life Project is dedicated to the dream of sending orphaned girls to college. Many organizations exist to help them start a little business or buy a cow or borrow money.  We, however, are committed to the idea of helping orphaned women pursue a college degree (nearly unheard of for an abandoned child in a third world country) and to become WHATEVER they want to become (chills!)

So, you’ve read my posts on the condition of orphans in the world (if you haven’t, check them out – they’re called Tuesday’s Child and are strewn throughout my blog) and now you’ve heard just a little of my dream…so I’m going to go ahead and “do the ask”. Would you like to dream with us? Here’s what we need:

  • Moms who know that it’s time for young women in America to have a cause bigger than who they date or what they wear.
  • Young women who are concerned that the world beyond our borders is not safe for the dreams of their global sisters.
  • Creative thinkers of all kinds (and gender!)
  • Those who are willing to the be the voice for our Amani Girls (the girls from Africa we have chosen to assist in pursuing a college education) on their middle school, high school or college campus.
  • Donations of services such as printing, design work and promotional materials.
  • Those who want to travel and see the world…experiencing and explaining the plight of the orphaned child.
  • Amani Partners: those who “get involved” to the tune of $10 per month and in doing so, help to change the outlook for a girl who would otherwise have a dangerous or uncertain future.

Well, that’s a pretty doable list – and already we’ve had resources dropping out of heaven to help us launch this exciting mission! If you’re ready and want to be a part of the wonder, please, oh, please leave a comment here with your email address. For those of you who are blog-shy, shoot me an email at amanilifeproject@gmail.com. If you just want to know more, steer your cursor on over to our new web site: www.amanilifeproject.com.

It’s time to make a difference,

Bo

P.S.  When you stop by the web site, BE SURE to check out our Shop for Social Justice store – filled with awesome Amani stuff.  And, when you read my clever item descriptions,  take a moment and think to yourself:  Bo really has too much time on her hands.  🙂

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Though I’ve never met this young lady, she’s become dear to my heart over the past few months.  Her name is Judy and she is one of “God’s Dear Somebody’s” at Kings Kids Village in Nairobi.  Judy came to KKV two years ago and she has quite a story.  Her mama died while giving birth to a baby named Siefa.  Judy’s uncle came, took everything they had, and then told her that – now that she was alone – she would have no way of caring for the baby and needed to kill him.  Judy refused and at just 13 years old, began caring for herself and Siefa and hoping she would find a place to call home.  When Siefa was two months old, God led her to Kings Kids Village where they took her and her brother in, giving them a safe home and relief from the constant fear and despair so many children experience as they struggle to be the sole provider for a family left parentless.  Here’s a picture of Judy (on the right) and Siefa the day they came to KKV:

She doesn’t look very happy, does she?  Turns out, Judy had a secret.  She was hiding the fact that she had another brother – an 11-year-old who had stayed behind and was at the mercy of the terrible uncle.  After a week at the orphanage, Judy mustered up her courage and approached “Mama Molly” (my amazing sister-in-law) and told her about Michael.  Molly launched a rescue operation and Michael was soon walking through the gates of  KKV, to join his brother and sister in their wonderful new home. Take a look at Judy now:

I have a video of Judy that is precious to me and I hope to post it soon.  She is a young lady who is full of life and… a certain electricity.  She could be anything she wants to be, and what she wants to be is a pilot.  Does it seem crazy that someone like Judy would imagine that she could become something more than a survivor?  It seems a little crazy to me…and a whole lot “right”.

I think the idea of turning an orphan into a pilot or a doctor or a teacher or a lawyer is just delicious and it gives me goosebumps!  If you feel the same way, please, oh PLEASE show up here around this time Thursday.

Bo

I Dare You.

Posted: September 13, 2008 in Orphans
Tags: , ,

Please note this important statistic: a girl with an education will invest 90% of her income back into her family (a man invests 35% in the family) and yet 99.4% of international aid dollars will NOT go to her.

It’s time to get involved,

Bo

Tuesday’s Child – Vol. 6

Posted: September 9, 2008 in Orphans
Tags: , ,

This week, I have a Tuesday’s Child gift for you and it’s not a puppy (sorry).  It’s the gift of passion.  I can hear you already, “Oh no…not more passion!”  I know how you feel.  But trust me, this is really good!

So, ever since I saw this video,  I have wanted this book:

It was released a couple of weeks ago and I was waiting in line for my copy (where “waiting in line” equals sitting at my computer) and it finally came!   I could try to review and rehash it, but instead I’ll just say:  watch the video (and also this one and this one) and you’ll want to read the book.  Read the book, and you’ll want to do something big with your faith.

Faith is strong.  If it can move mountains, then I have to think it can also rescue orphans.  So when faced with a number like 143,000,000, faith is really quite a gift, isn’t it?  I hope this stirs yours.

Restless and reckless,

Bo

Hey – here’s a question:  what – in your opinion – was the most sinful city in the Bible?  Time’s up!  Did you say Sodom?  Cuz if you did, you win.  Chances are, even if you said something other than Sodom (like Babylon or Las Vegas) it still would have been in your top 5, right?  Yep.  Because there’s no question those Sodomites were sin-FULL.  And I know this isn’t a pleasant question, but what do you suppose was their biggest sin?  What made God so mad at them?  Well, since we have a whole entire word that was taken from their name, you would think the primary issue was sexual sin, yes?  Perversion.  Ew.  Seriously, every time I read the story in Genesis, I just think about what an awful place it was and how glad I am that I don’t have to live and/or visit and/or pass through it’s evil, icky gates.

So, imagine my surprise this week when I ran into a scripture that further explained the sin of Sodom.  I’m not trying to argue that they weren’t perverse…but clearly, there was something else going on that was at least as distasteful to God.  Check it out:

“The sin of your sister Sodom was this: She lived with her daughters in the lap of luxury – proud, gluttonous, and lazy. They ignored the oppressed and the poor.”  Ezekiel 16:49

Now, in case you think this is just another case of Eugene Peterson flipping words around like hotcakes and not actual truth, here’s the sacred and holy NIV:

“Now, this was the sin of your sister Sodom:  She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and the needy.”

Arrogant.  Overfed.  Unconcerned.  That describes my country.  And me.  I am guilty of the sins of Sodom and I am in the middle of repentance – turning to go the other way.

No matter how many photos we look at and how they mess with our heartstrings.  No matter how many tears we cry or brochures we read or good ideas we let fly between our ears, nothing replaces actual movement.  Doing something.  Something big or something small…but something.

Here’s one of my favorite web sites that inspires me to move – I don’t actually know a whole lot about the organization, but I love their site  www.worldorphans.com.

Also, here’s a link to the King’s Kids Village blog – they have some exciting updates and you know why?  Because they’re DOING stuff!

I’m doing some stuff too.  I promise.  And I can’t wait to tell you about it!

In motion,

Bo

Well, rats! Technical issues are giving me trouble.

T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

And that trouble is preventing me from telling you what I SO DEARLY want to tell you. However, my wonderful friend and long suffering mentoree, Elisa, sent me this amazing video this week and I thought it was perfect for Tuesday’s Child. While it shines a light on the problem, it also hints at a solution. Please enjoy the hope of it all.

Doesn’t it just make you want to DO SOMETHING? Me too. Stay tuned!

Believing,

Bo

Tuesday’s Child, Volume 3

Posted: August 12, 2008 in Orphans
Tags: ,

More blessed and beautiful children from Nairobi. Doesn't it make you want to go there?

Oh, goodness…let me first start with an apology. Because of my focus this week on MY child (and my emotional instability upon losing her to the world outside our city), I didn’t get the post ready that I intended – the one that would introduce you to a truly beautiful and heroic young woman whom you most certainly need to know. I promise I will do that. There is also the distinct possibility that I will include an exciting announcement. Next week.

In the mean time, I would love for you to read this amazing and, yes, painful blog post from the Home for Good Foundation. It’s important that you see this before you meet Judy. So, please read. Please don’t back away from the tough stuff…knowing it just might give you all the passion and ingenuity you need to help fix it. So, here’s a story that keeps me up at night:

March 10, 2008

When friends from our home church returned from Africa after adopting two teenage girls, they reported having seen several men hanging around the orphanage gates. A social worker at the orphanage told them the men are predators who wait for the young girls to be released from the orphanage when they age out, which could be anywhere from age 15 to 18 depending on space in the orphanage. This is the beginning of the pipeline for approximately half of the supply of children for human trafficking and the sex slave trade.The director of a well known American adoption agency, told me that he has personally witnessed the predators at the gates of European orphanages, already armed with the names of the girls and the dates they are scheduled to be released.

A pastor who adopted from Russia reported observing two fancy black limousines arriving at the orphanage while he was there. The finely dressed men had come to pick up a strikingly beautiful teenage girl from the orphanage. He couldn’t help but wonder why they would kiss the orphanage director as they left. Was it their thanksfor this incredibly valuable prize they had just been given? Millions of girls like her have been lured into sexual slavery with lucrative job offers from finely dressed men just like these.

So many people have given so sacrifically of their time, their love and their finances to care for these children for as long as 18 years. Its a shame that so many of them will go from the institution directly, shortly or even eventually into the waiting arms of predators and slave traders. But that’s exactly what happens to most orphans and foster children today if they are not adopted.
http://www.howtoadopt.org/TheGreatNeed/ Paragraph 5

Does this information surprise you? Make you frustrated? Angry? Passionate?

Perfect.

With Great Hope for Change,

Bo