Moms4Change

Moms bringing awareness & missions outreach to the needs of women & children locally & globally, with some fun mixed in!

Go! Go! Goooooo! June 9, 2010

Filed under: Across Our World,Swaziland,VIsion — daniellebrower @ 7:20 am

Hands-On Missions Outreach

Swaziland, Africa

Beveni Carepoint Children Saying Thank You!

Here’s the thing. I don’t have to convince you. I believe God has already been tugging on your heart & putting desires in you to serve in the mission field.

God has clearly shown me that my job is not to change people’s hearts & minds, but to find people whose hearts & minds want to be changed.

Well, here’s where the rubber meets the road. Here is your opportunity. And mine. You see, for over a year now my husband & I have felt that stirring & tugging in our hearts to serve on the mission field, specifically in Swaziland. And here we are, with an opportunity to go. We’re not gonna let a little thing like lack of finances get in the way.

I believe if God gives you the vision, He also makes the PROvision!!!!

~~~~~~~

Children’s HopeChest Swaziland Beveni Carepoint Trip

September 18th-29th, 2010 (two days to travel both ways)

$1300-1500 land costs and $1200-1500 airfare = $3000

(Totals are appx. only and on the high-end)

Land costs include: hotel, all food & ground transportation

Air costs include: airfare in & out of Johannesburg, Africa

While in Swaziland:  There are different activities the team can be involved in, ranging from work projects, house visits, life skills training, VBS, caring for the caregivers and disciplers, in addition to loving on the children! If you have skills you would like to use to serve the Beveni children and adults, let me know!

~~~~~~~

I have all the forms you will need and can email them to you promptly, but here’s the basics you’ll need to have to me before June 24th. Yes this is quick, but God is quicker!

*Passports (a quality photocopy of the picture and signature of traveler)

*Children’s HopeChest Short Term Missions Application

*$250 per person – first deposit can be paid online with a credit card if necessary

The application & first deposit deadline is coming soon. No time to waste!

Please contact me right away if you desire to go! It’s not too late!

Danielle Brower

Danielle.moms4change@gmail.com

P.S. Go! Go! GOOOO!!!!

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Seizing the Opportunity! June 7, 2010

Filed under: Across My Heart,Across Our World,Swaziland,VIsion — daniellebrower @ 6:03 pm
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I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. ~Helen Keller

My husband said it’s a test. A test to see if I’ll live out what I’m preachin’ about here on my blog.

Well, I think he’s somewhat right. {By the way, he’s right 90% of the time, which can be annoying}! 🙂 Love you, Honey!

Instead I choose to look at this as an opportunity presented to me that I can decide if I’ll live it out or see the opportunity passed to someone else. I’m seizing the opportunity.

What on earth am I talking about?

Siphiwe is being cared for body, soul & spirit through the Beveni Carepoint in Swaziland

Many of you know that we sponsor a young Swazi girl, Siphiwe, through Childrens HopeChest. Swaziland’s population is approximately 900,000 and HopeChest has 19  Carepoints throughout the country. HopeChest along with Adventures in Missions ~ Swaziland ministers to the spiritual, educational & physical needs of children in the area, many of whom have been orphaned by one or both parents chiefly due to the spread of the AIDS virus.

Siphiwe is helped at Beveni Carepoint along with 131 other vulnerable and orphaned children in Swaziland and is the gathering place where many of them get the only meal they eat for the day.

Each Carepoint in Swaziland has a Sponsorship Coordinator in the States that oversees sponsorships by sharing the needs & updates of the Carepoint & HopeChest ministry. Beveni Carepoint Sponsorship Group is an online community that stays connected to each other and the needs of the children via Facebook. Beveni Carepoint FaceBook Community Group

{Stay with me, I have a point! 🙂 I want to make sure we’re all on the same page!}

Beveni’s current Sponsorship Coordinator is a vibrant woman named Deb Gangemi who resides in Florida with her husband and two boys whom she homeschools. She has been the coordinator for about a year and a half. She has done an amazing job at keeping the needs & heart of Beveni Carepoint at the forefront. She has lived & served out of her humble heart & desire to see all the children cared for. And God has shown Himself strong & generous, hasn’t He?

Deb asked if I would prayerfully consider wearing her shoes as Beveni’s Sponsorship Coordinator. These are big shoes to fill. I did not make this decision lightly or quickly, but at my core know this is the next step God is taking us through.

I am so honored & humbled & horrified! 🙂 That’s right, scared.

Honestly, everyone, I am not qualified. I have no idea what I’m doing or what I’m committing to. Granted both Deb & HopeChest are organized & extremely helpful, but I’ve got a steep learning curve ahead of me.

Thank God my story doesn’t end there!

If there was ever an opportunity for God’s strength to be made perfect in my weakness, it is NOW! I can’t rely on my wit or charm or experience to do this task set before me. Therefore, it forces me to rely on Jesus and humbly come before Him (and you) to seek His heart & direction for Beveni’s children & volunteers who work with them.

Deb & Family ~ thank you for your service to Children’s HopeChest, Beveni & the children, the sponsors. But above all else, thank you for serving our Jesus from your heart. In doing that, you have served us all as His hands & feet. I know you will continue to do the great things He has called you to do for this hour! Thank you!

Sponsors & Beveni Facebook Community – I’m one of you. We have a heart to love on the children who need it most. We have a deep desire to spread the love of Jesus to the ends of the Earth. We long to be a voice for those who on their own have absolutely no platform to make their voice heard.

The vision of the Beveni Carepoint Online Community remains the same – to love, bless & pray for these 132 children as if they were our own, and to give them a hope for the future. You’ll be hearing from me shortly with information about the Swaziland/Beveni Missions Trip coming up in September. Prayerfully consider your part in it.

I am here to serve the children and you, the sponsorship community how ever the Lord directs.

This is an opportunity of a lifetime that my family & I look forward to with excitement & humility. I’ll warn you now…

get ready for a wild, miraculous, joy-filled ride folks! God’s dream for Beveni is bigger than we can imagine!!!!

Please drop a note and say hi, if you can! I’m looking forward to meeting you all!

Keep Lovin’!

Danielle Brower

danielle.moms4change@gmail.com

Moms4Change Blog


 

The Nation of Orphans

Filed under: Across Our World,Swaziland — daniellebrower @ 5:32 pm
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Swaziland, located in South Africa has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world, giving it the name

‘Nation of Orphans’

Swaziland’s general population in 2005 was 1.3 million. In 2009 the population fell to 900,000.

Nation of Orphans

There are between 120,000-150,000 orphans, which is appx. 14% of the population, expected to rapidly increase in the next two years to well over 200,000 orphans.

Much of this is due to the HIV/AID epidemic. HIV infection rate is at 44.6%. Statistics say that 70% of kids will be HIV+ by the age of 15! If you are 15, your chance of reaching 30 years old is only 6%.

I read that in the year 2020, it is expected that no adults will be left in Swaziland. Swaziland has the lowest life expectancy in the world– 28 years old.

“Pure and faultless religion is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”

James 1:27

Photo Courtesy of Dan Fellner; http://www.fellnertravel.com

May Moms4Change be a symphony of voices with compassionate hearts & hands, who will stand in the gap  for a Nation of Orphans. A Nation of Orphans that cry out for their basic human needs to be met – food, water, education, and medical treatment that they may fight against the death of their children, families & country.

Do you hear their cries? I pray that today you hear & say, “YES! I’ll be the one to help! I’ll be the voice that cries out with you to those who can make a difference. I will stand in the gap for you, Swaziland.”

Shine On Sisters!

 

Finally! UN Outlaws Child Abuse May 28, 2010

Filed under: Across Our World,Europe,Russia,Swaziland — daniellebrower @ 1:11 pm
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Please take time to read this brief, but informative article via Tom Davis’ Blog & Childrens HopeChest.

Too Many Children in our World Suffer Appalling Abuse

Today, the UN outlawed abuses inflicted on children including prostitution, pornography, and the sale of children. I don’t know why this took so long, but good for them. It’s good to see world leadership stepping up and doing their part to protect kids from abusers.

What if the church stepped up to do something radical? What if the church said, “If there are any children in the world in danger of being exploited sexually or trafficked, we will take them in. We’ll find families. No questions asked.”

That’s the kind of Acts 2 love and sacrifice that would change the world.

New York — The United Nations on Tuesday launched a major campaign for universal adoption of treaty protocols that outlaw the sale of children, child prostitution and pornography, and protect youngsters in armed conflict, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for full ratification by 2012.

“The sad truth is that too many children in today’s world suffer appalling abuse,” he told a ceremony at the headquarters of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in New York, marking the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the two optional protocols strengthening the Convention on the Rights of the Child by providing a moral and legal shield for youngsters vulnerable to prostitution and pornography or caught up in armed conflict.

“Two-thirds of all member states have endorsed these instruments. On this tenth anniversary of their adoption, I urge all countries to ratify them within the next two years.”

Mr. Ban cited recent advances: the release three months ago by the Maoist army in Nepal, under UN supervision, of more than 2,000 soldiers who had been recruited as children; the UN-assisted freeing of children from the ranks of armed groups In Côte d’Ivoire; the prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of former Congolese militia leader, Thomas Lubanga for war crimes against children.

He noted, too, that fewer and fewer states now permit children to join the armed forces and reiterated his previous calls to the Security Council to consider tough measures on those states and insurgent groups that still recruit children. From AllAfrica.com.

 

San Jose CA… Extinct by 2050? May 11, 2010

Filed under: Across Our Street,Across Our World,Swaziland — daniellebrower @ 7:03 am
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San Jose, CA Population just under 940,000

San Jose.

The 3rd largest city in California.

Know anyone who lives there?
Imagine in 40 years from now all the people who call

San Jose their home are dead.

All 939,899 of them.*

Not because of an earthquake, but from preventable disease & poverty.

40 years.

What would you do to save San Jose’s people?

~~~~~~~~~

Photo Courtesy of Dan Fellner; http://www.fellnertravelinfo.com

In Swaziland, Africa

this is a REALITY.

Right now.

According to the UN statistics

By the year 2050,

the entire population of Swaziland could be dead.

900,000

Literally Dead.

Wiped off the face of the earth by

famine, disease & crimes against its children.**

What WILL you do to save Swaziland’s people?

Let’s be the HOPE to this dying country.

~~~~~~~~

Now obviously I have stretched this comparison for all it’s worth. I hope you hear my heart behind comparing two completely different cultures.

More important than cultural differences is the paramount similarity:

HUMANITY

We are all human beings deserving of safety, love, education, health care, and a future for our children. I admonish you to let that soak in. We are one with the Swazi people.

Awareness is needed. Workers are needed. Teachers are needed. Funds are needed. There’s not time to say, “somebody else will do it.”

It’s time to be awakened from our comfortable slumber and reach out with all we have (and compared to them, we have a lot), and give in whatever way possible.

Don’t allow yourself to be burdened with guilt so that you harden your heart and close your eyes.

So today, all I’m asking from you is this: Think. Take a few minutes to read further statistics below about the Swazi people, whose hope is quickly dying without the world stepping in to help them.

A crazy thing happens when we think ~ we start to question. We start to get upset because of the injustice. We start to FEEL other people’s pain & suffering. And watch out, because when we start to FEEL, we become passionate & moved (no one is guilting us) with active compassion.

Allow the fact that an entire civilization could be dead in your lifetime, to penetrate your conscience and soften your heart towards change. It’s not a popular topic, trust me, to talk about people across the world that we’ve never met. But when did doing what’s popular get us anywhere?

SOS {Shine On Sisters!}

*Report taken from 2007 Top 50 Cities in USA

**This post contain even more alarming facts & statistics The Nation of Orphans

 

An Orphan Spirit, Part Two April 16, 2010

Filed under: Across My Heart,Across Our World,Swaziland — daniellebrower @ 7:19 am

If you haven’t read my last post, please do so. It is Part One of the story.

For those that have them, this is a typical Swazi home

Redemption. Deliverance. Rescue. Don’t we long for it? God brought redemption to me, a little girl missing her Daddy, in a form I didn’t expect. My Mom remarried an incredible man, whom I’ll refer to as Lee. Lee, I don’t think could’ve loved me more if I had been his biological daughter. Seriously. He never once called me his step-daughter. I was his. He was mine. And nobody better say differently! His tender heart softened mine so that I let him into my world and heart. In fact, it was with Lee that I first saw the Save The Children Infomercials on Sunday afternoons. I kid you not, every single week, every single show he could not keep from crying when he stared into those little black African eyes. His compassion astounded me. He made me realize these are REAL kids. They need food! They need parents! He & my mom gave their support to Save The Children whenever they could. Redemption.

So yeah, I identify with the Orphan Spirit, but even more so I identify with REDEMPTION. I’ve experienced both & I can tell you that through the years, my void of loneliness & fear was replaced by ONE man letting Jesus soften his heart to children – both to me and to children he’d never met.

I want to tell you that I did find & contact Steele when I was in my mid-twenties. Honestly, I can’t even remember how I found him. I wanted him to know I forgave him & I had lived a good life. Ultimately, there was no redemption for me personally. Hopefully there was for him.

It is because I identify with this Orphan Spirit and experienced redemption in my own life that I feel so passionately for the children in Swaziland whom I know have been abandoned, left to themselves, I sense a measure of their heartache. And I know there are other Moms4Change that can make a difference, whose hearts have been broken, who are willing to be the voice crying out on their behalf, who want to reach across our world to help a child in need of love.

These are  the children who have been orphaned because disease and famine have stolen their parents. Can you imagine being that parent, knowing you are dying, having to leave your little kids to fend for themselves? This happens everyday across our world. Swaziland’s population is currently around 900,000. Of that 900.000, nearly 150,000 are ORPHANS!

These kids in Swaziland need someone – a Mom – to give them some hope of being loved, adored & cared for. To let them know they ARE worth being loved & they do belong to someone who cares about them. We all may not be able to go to them physically but we can sponsor them, send notes of love and pray for them to know God’s love. One person choosing to love, made all the difference in my life.

God is in the redemption business… and so am I!!!!

Orphans being fed at one of the CarePoints

If you wish to find out more about sponsoring an orphaned child in Swaziland, please email Deb at bevenicarepoint@comcast.net, or leave me a comment saying you want to help and I’ll connect you with Deb. I know specifically of 3 children who had previously had sponsors who now are in need again.

Keep lovin’ Moms!

 

An Orphan Spirit, Part One April 15, 2010

Filed under: Across Our World,Mom Matters,Swaziland — daniellebrower @ 9:52 am
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I’ll admit right off that this is a difficult post for me to write. I’m having to dig up some deep emotions

that took root in my heart when I was just a little girl.

What brought this to the forefront is a live streaming webcast of a Colorado Pastor’s sermon I listened to this past Sunday. The crux of his message was answering the question, “Why do people feel like they don’t belong?” This sermon could have went any number of ways and most of us would relate in some fashion or another. His first answer to that question hit me like a ton of bricks. The Orphan Spirit.

The Orphan Spirit is one of the leading reasons people feel like they don’t belong or  ‘fit’. I don’t believe it’s literally a ‘spirit’, but a type of individual who struggles as if they were orphaned. There are adults that grew up literally without parents, and are the definition of orphan. Of course, we readily see why an orphan would feel haunted with the thought that they don’t belong or aren’t wanted, after facing the ultimate rejection by the very people who birthed them.

But there’s another kind of orphan, those with the Orphan Spirit. These kids may have had parents physically present at one point, but absent emotionally, never really connecting with their kids. I think it would shock us all if we knew how many kids’ parents never said “I love you”.

I can imagine both sides of this Orphan Spirit. One I don’t have to imagine.

You see, when I was 5 or 6 (details aren’t clear), my birth father (whom I’ll refer to as Steele) & mother divorced because of their volatile and violent relationship. My mother did her best to take care of me and my older half-brother, while trying to keep food on the table, after Steele left. He left her and us with nothing. He took everything, including the heart of his little girl who could not figure out why on earth Daddy would forget all about her. He never called. He never contacted me. All the birthdays & holidays came & went without anything. Honestly, as far as I knew, he could be dead. And to help myself cope with it, I often pretended he was dead.  Most of what I knew of him could be found on my birth certificate.

Today, as I’m writing this, is Steele’s birthday. It brought up some emotions in me that I thought I’d dealt with. The truth is at my core I’ve always had a fear that everyone else in my life that said they cared would eventually leave too – my mom, my husband, my friends. This has been the deep struggle of my life – that I’m not worth anyone’s time.

I know what it’s like to be rejected by a person that helped give you life. There are many children, like me, who’ve had one or more parents walk away and never look back. We spend our lives overcoming that “Orphan Spirit” of fear & abandonment. Moms ~ maybe you know exactly what I’m talking about. This could be your story. You now are a parent who feels so much love for your child you could never imagine doing to them what was done to you.

Yeah, I know that as a kid I couldn’t have seen all that was going on in my parent’s marriage or the real reason Steele left. But that’s just it, kids don’t know. So what do they do? They think it’s because they did something wrong. They weren’t good enough. They didn’t love Daddy/Mommy enough. They were in the way. They spend their life trying to measure up.

I like to end my posts on a positive note… and I will. This is Part One of the post. In Part Two I share the redemptive side of the story. No, Steele never came back to make our family complete. This redemption story is so much bigger than that.

Keep lovin’ Moms!