Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pray & Fast for Goma


Please pray & fast with us right now. The M23 rebels have now entered Goma (DRC's "capital of the east.") Goma is where "Josiah"- the eldest of our referred children- is from. Goma is also where the airport is located. This is the airport "our boys" would fly out of to get to Kinshasa, the capital city (located in the West & where we would travel). The rebels have claimed they have taken the city of Goma (not confirmed) & the UN claims they still have control of the airport (BBC news). IF Goma is taken international aid will most likely evacuate & rebels will head South to take Bukavu. Bukavu is a 3 hour car ride South of Goma. It is the nearest town to "our sons'" orphanage, which is also the orphanage the 8 newly sponsored children live. While the orphanage is very remote & has never been attacked these are all things to pray about. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November's Rare Inspiration

November is generally a slumpy-dumpy month for me. For one, the weather in NY is cold and for a girl who thrives in summer’s heat hibernation mode is sucking me in these days. I don’t enjoy bundling the 4 kiddos for 40 degree temps. I miss ice cream, tank tops, & sunsets at 9pm. Next, my running races are over until Spring & just today I retired my trusty running shoes of two years (sniff sniff).  Also, we celebrate Veteran’s Day & it’s sobering to remember all who have died for our freedom. And… there’s the dreaded Nov 12 (1990) when my own mother unexpectedly died. Also, I decided not to do any fundraising for DRC during the month of November because (1) I didn’t feel called to any specific idea & (2) I wanted to focus on raising awareness & thankfulness instead of asking so…I haven’t had “a project” that gets me going. And, well, having a project makes me happy.
West Point jumper

 I was thinking about all the above today and how I really should blog because it had been a while so I decided to give my ears a pep talk & cranked up some Christmas music via Spotify. I was preparing salmon, picking up toys, vacuuming the living room when all of a sudden, I received a wave of inspiration. As in a comic book strip I began to see 3 images line up…

1.     We received new pics of “our boys” from a gal who spent time in ---orphanage. She has spent a significant amount of time with "Josiah" & knew that "Gideon" is currently being sponsored by her high school friend.
2.     My SIL inquired about sponsoring a child from DRC
3.     Just this morning I received an update on 8 children in that orphanage who need a sponsor.

So… I would love to see ALL the orphans in the ---orphanage sponsored by the end of November! A full sponsorhip. $50 a month for a full sponsorship or $25 a month for partial.
Veteran's Day Hike
So many of you have approached me wanting to help but don’t feel called to adopt. A lot of times that leaves individuals feeling “stuck.” We want to do something, but what? I have an opportunity for you NOW for needs NOW. No long paperwork, legal documents, no mandatory classes. It does mean investing in a child’s life until he/she is adopted. All the children in this orphanage have lost their mommas. Our boys are in this orphanage & it's probably to assume that the families who sponsored them saved their lives—and are continuing to do so until we can get to them.

Would you consider?

Check out this link/blog for their photos & info on sponsorship. Please message me if you have questions or need more info/direction.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012


If I had been born a princess in an Egyptian palace would I have had enough compassion to rescue that Israelite baby out of the Nile? If I had been born with the beauty of Queen Esther would I have opted for boldness & stood before the King to advocate and plea for my people? If I had lived as a German through the Holocaust would I have had enough bravery to hide precious Jews? If I had grown up in the South during the Civil Rights movement, would I have cared enough to friend & defend the African Americans and advocate for them?  
Instead, I was born in the Super-Power of the world where I have never experienced true hunger or persecution.  I am living as part of the richest 5% of the world. On the other side of the world in DRC, however, 4 women/girls are raped every 5 minutes*, boys are being kidnapped and used as child soldiers. For some reason, God has instilled a compassion, boldness, bravery, & empathy in me for this people group. I feel like I have a responsibility, an obligation, ability, and a privilege to love & advocate for these lives- fellow mankind- for my time. 
Luke 12:48
“When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”
So, who/what stirs you? Do you believe 1 person can make a difference? I am  dedicating  this week to sharing stories about individuals making a difference (in your life). Post your stories below or on the Heart for Congo Facebook group (private) and/or page.It is my hope that our stories will build each other up, instill courage, & remind each other that through Christ I/you/we can rise up and step out towards that goal, fear, or dream that stirs me/you/us.

(I understand there is much to be done locally- tending to hurricane Sandy victims, helping overwhelmed moms down the street, speaking up for the bullied child, standing up for the abused, feeding the hungry here- and I will do my part locally, but my heart beats for Africa at this time. My passion is in DRC, wanting to love in the name of Jesus. So, those are who I will advocate for as long as I’m called. We all have an opportunity & responsibility to care for each other, but specifically widows & orphans.)



Saturday, November 3, 2012

WHO is Heart for Congo?

WHO is Heart for Congo?
We are a community of people raising awareness of the current state of DR Congo & bringing relief for those orphans in need, and particularly the children who will never be adopted & will remain in DRC. We will be partnering with a non-profit, Our Family in Africa, to fundraise for these children. The group was started by 3 West Point families (Riley & Michelle Post, Eric & Lana Thornburg, & Dave & Naomi Beskow) all currently in the process of adopting from the DR Congo. We have committed to 12 months of raising awareness & fundraising.

Because September and October were huge fundraising months we will be shifting our focus to raising awareness during the month of November. We will be sharing DRC facts & stats, hearing testimonies of changed lives, presenting information about the non-profit Our Family in Africa, & introducing our 3 local families currently in the process of adopting from the DRC- the Thornburgs, Beskows, & Posts (my family).

Any donations received this month will be going towards finishing a girls’ boarding school in a village outside Kinshasa. This home will safely house & protect vulnerable orphan girls from the harsh realities of the capital city of Kinshasa. These girls will not be adopted. Your kind donations will help us provide ongoing food, water & education for girls that will call this place home.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

October Tally

It’s time to tally up October's fundraising & celebrate reaching our goals!

September re-cap: goal $5,000 to purchase solar panel. Event: Congo Carnival. Raised: $12,000

October re-cap:  $12,000 to feed our soon-to-be-sons’ orphanage in Eastern Congo for 1 year (40ish kids). We used the leftover $7,000 from September’s amazing Congo Carnival to start this project and with your help we surpassed the $5,000 needed to complete feeding these children! October add-on: fixing a kitchen

  •  online jewelry sales from Outreach Uganda (gross income of $1,422 so we’ll get 40%),
  •  Highland Falls Fall Foliage Festival, cash donations & our Open House ($2,900)
  • D’s 10th B-day party ($1,000)
  •  3 bead parties (still waiting on final tallies, but at least $2,000),
  • an announcement about the needs in DRC made by M in a small Michigan church ($1,000)
  • an anonymous family pledge to match up to $1,000 PLUS all those cash donations to me matched ($2,000)

We clearly surpassed the needed $5,000

I LOVE how these goals continue being surpassed because INDIVIDUALS are stepping up with ideas, courage, & the drive to “go for it.” Thank you!

The big question is what will we do with the cash overflow?
We (the 3 West Point families adopting from DRC- more on us later) decided to use $1324 of the money on much-needed-repairs for this kitchen. Below is a picture and some basic information:

40PIECES SHEETS U.S. $ 20 U.S. $ 8OO
BOARDS TRAVERES 10units U.S. $ 17 U.S. $ 170
TOTAL $ 1,324 U.S.

And the rest of the money? Instead of announcing on Nov 1st I’m blaming Sandy & giving myself an extra day :).  Stay tuned tomorrow…