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


 

If Jesus Was a Blogger… May 4, 2010

Filed under: Across My Heart,Across Our World,VIsion — daniellebrower @ 6:45 am
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He’d probably own the domain name IAM.com and have the coolest blog ever.

He’d speak your language whether it’s Ebonics or Greek, fo shizzle!

He’d be able to pull you out of that numb stupor you find yourself in. He’d know what you need to hear & write inspirational stories everyday that you just know are written for you. You’d be glued to his RSS Feed, just waiting for the next post to appear.

He’d be funny, engaging, insightful, and His words would bring about change in our world.

He’d fight for the poor. He’d scream on behalf of the needy. He’d beg you to take action.

His words would seem to jump off the screen. And sometimes, maybe more often than you’d expect, His words would offend you. Yep, you’d be offended by Jesus… {GASP!}

Offended just enough to keep reading. You’d hang on His every word, even when it makes you uncomfortable in your ergonomically correct office chair.

Yeah, JC would no doubt have tons of subscribers, yet not all would be supportive. There would be websites dedicated to removing IAM.com from the web. I guarantee His comment sections would be abuzz with discussion & controversy.

He’d have more Twitter followers & Retweets than Ashton Kutcher  – and He’d follow your tweets too, of course because He’s interested in everything you have to say.

He’d have even more fans on FaceBook than that quirky Christian guy Donald Miller, writer extraordinaire. Trust me, if you don’t know Donald Miller, you should. He’d tell you so himself. Donald Miller on FaceBook

I want you to be just uncomfortable enough to take action.

I wanna blog like Jesus.

 

What moves you to get off your butt and do something? April 20, 2010

Filed under: Mom Matters,VIsion — daniellebrower @ 1:24 pm
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What moves you to get off your butt

& do something?

For some disciplined people little things move them to change.

Can you feel my jealous sarcasm already oozing from the screen? Yeah, you know the ones that get on the scale, have gained  1.43 pounds, who suddenly realize they better make a change before it gets any worse!? and then DO IT!!!! This might even be you! I congratulate you  in a confused, envious, what planet were you birthed on, sort of way. 🙂

That’s not me, in case you didn’t guess. And anyone who knows me would tell you the same (if they had the guts!).

I’m the one that steps on the scale & questions the integrity of the machine. If it says I gained a pound… even 20 pounds, I try to reason it away, “That stupid scale! I knew I should’ve bought a digital one, ‘cuz this one has a mind of its own!” I’m the delusional one that tries on jeans and thinks, “I just know they are making clothes sizes smaller to fit skinny girls with no hips. The cut of the jeans is made for a 12 year old’s body! Darn America’s obsession with a size 2!!!!”  Okay, you get my point. Enough about my self-induced delusions!

What moves YOU to change? Catastrophes? Like Hurricane Katrina or more recently the earthquake in Haiti? To be honest I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t do much to help in these tragedies. I prayed for the people & the volunteers, but it didn’t cause me to make a change or to give in the way that it did many others who sacrificed their time & resources to help.

A few weeks ago, though, something clicked for me, and it wasn’t my mouse. I started researching (keyword: started) topics I’m interested in. I’m interested in all sorts of things like scrapbooking, making money, coming up with lame jokes, cooking, music, movies, planning events, and books. At the moment my favorite fiction books are The Twilight Saga. I know, I know I hear the groans! Can’t help it, it’s an addiction really…

Okay, back to my point. My answer to what moves me is this: Passion. Passion Moves Me. In any form, it stirs my soul when passion is involved, (which actually would explain my Twilight obsession). So, I started researching topics I’m passionate about, not just interested in. That research led me to articles, books, websites, videos of injustice that, in my head I knew was happening, but my heart hadn’t connected. Yet.  I got to a point where my stomach felt sickened and quite frankly I was pissed (yeah, i said it) that I’ve cornered myself into this little bubble of my comfortable life.

Let me stop here & say I really do love my stay-at-home mom life, my family, and I do my best not to take anything for granted. But educating myself on what’s happening in my both my town & across the world brought my life into perspective. I needed to change!!! Not wanted to. I needed to be moved out of my complacency. My heart began to soften & look outward. I need to challenge this Comfortable American Mom {CAM} to do more. I challenge you as well. Here’s the knowledge you NEED to have.

Photo Courtesy of Dan Fellner, http://www.FellnerTravelInfo.com

We can be a passionate voice for those who can’t speak for themselves – the orphaned children who have been stripped of their families due to the AIDS pandemic in Swaziland.

Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS anywhere in the world.

If you are a 15-year-old Swazi, your chance of reaching 30 years old is only 6%.

I read  that by the year 2020, if the death rate continues to soar, there will be

NO ADULTS LEFT in SWAZILAND!!!!

***

We can be a passionate voice for the young women who are being sold, SOLD! into sex trafficking.

In Moldova, a small country in Europe…

There are more than 250 brothels in Chisinau, the capital city.

One of the greatest targets for sex-trafficking are girls

who leave the orphanages.

There are 30,000 women who have literally disappeared in Moldova,

many of them believed to have been captured for the sex trade industry.

Yeah, it’s an industry funded on the

repeated rape

& brutality

of women.

I will be talking about them a lot in this blog. It’s not pretty. It’s ugly. It’s despicable.

Before knowing all this, we could have easily turned aside… NOT NOW!

With knowledge comes a responsibility to make change.

When change comes, chains are broken, and joy abounds!!!!


So this week, go about your days with this new knowledge. IF you let these words & truths pierce your heart, you’ll find yourself thinking about them through this week in some random way. Please take time to pray for these orphans & slaves. And think about how you can get off your butt & do something. And I mean that in the nicest way.

Keep Lovin’ Moms!

 

Bloggish? Huh? April 18, 2010

Filed under: Mom Matters,VIsion — daniellebrower @ 1:41 pm

Do you speak Bloggish?


The language of blogging is definitely foreign to me. Not really the writing part. I’ve been journaling for years sometimes with a keyboard but mostly with a pen & paper. It’s the techy part of blogging that feels like a foreign language! Really, I’m supposed to know what  it means to put an RSS feeder on my dashboard (not the car kind) or register a domain name? That kind of mumbo-jumbo has been what’s held me back for a while now from taking the leap in blogdome.

I began to think of avenues in which I could use my voice, my knowledge, as small as it might be. I knew if I could get over the fear of the Bloggish language, blogging could be a lifeline of communicating the needs, within my sphere of influence. Out of this is born the blog, but also a movement.

The Moms4Change Movement.

Four areas of passionate change is what I’ll be encouraging you through.

1. Across Our Hearts – it all starts here, y’all. If my heart doesn’t change, neither will my actions.

2. Across Our Table – from our hearts to our dining table, let your active compassion stir your family as well. Ever seen a kid who humbly serves? I have, and let me tell you, it’s amazing!

3. Across Our Street – as you & your family’s hearts begin to serve each other, your eyes will be opened to real needs that you can meet in your neighborhoods & local schools.

4. Across Our World – this is the movement. A wave of changed hearts, serving one another in communities, begins to flow to other communities, reaching as far as we can to make a difference in someone who’s hope for their very life has been shattered.

Okay, Moms! I know many of you are creating change for your community & world. I wanna hear about it!

You are an inspiration!

Please take a minute or two to tell us what you’re doing.

Let’s spread hope and tangible CHANGE across our hearts to across our world!

Keep Lovin’ Moms!

ps. I’m conquering my fear of Bloggish & it feels wonderful!!! It’s not impossible, after all!

 

What’s your Legacy? April 14, 2010

Filed under: Mom Matters,VIsion — daniellebrower @ 3:47 pm

If there’s one thing we humans all have in common… no matter our social status or our geographical location… can you guess? That’s right! (I knew I had smart readers) We all will eventually come to the end of our life on earth. It’s a fact. There’s no way around it. God did not create these vessels called physical bodies to live forever. For Christians, we know that our spirits live on forever. But sometimes I think that the knowledge of a ‘higher life’ hinders us from really fostering the heart & will that it takes to show people we care & make a true difference in the lives we touch here on earth, in these earth suits, ‘cuz well, ‘real’ life begins in heaven, right???? Wrong. It counts. Now. Today. This is Real.

How do you want to be remembered when your time on earth is done? What will the people closest to you say about you… not just at your funeral, but in the months & years that come after your death?

I’ve been following Todd Smith’s blog & Facebook page for a few weeks now. I find he’s very insightful in many ‘little matters’. I read his blog post today & wanted to share it with you. After reading it, come back here & leave me a comment.

What Will Be Your Legacy? | Little Things Matter.

What’s one thing you want to be remembered for? And how are/have you made that a reality? I think we can all learn a lot from this & from each other. After I hear back from a few of you, I’ll share my greatest desired legacy & how I am attempting (slowly) to make that a reality!

 

Making a Difference April 8, 2010

Needs.

Everywhere we look, both inward & outward, there are needs.

Answers.com has several definitons of the word ‘need’ that I’d like to share with you. Stay with me, I have a profound point!

  1. a condition or situation in which something is required or wanted: crops in need for affection.
  2. something required or wanted; a requisite: “Those of us who led the charge for these women’s issues… shared a common vision in the needs of women” (Olympia Snowe)
  3. Necessity; obligation: There is no need for you to go.
  4. A condition of poverty or misfortune: The family is in dire need.


To get to my point, the fourth definition is the need I’m referring to. While the first three are true, let’s discuss what I feel is the deepest definition of the word ‘need’.

For me, blogging is born out of need. My own, but more importantly my awareness of others’ needs. Do I need to make a difference? Not for my own self-righteousness. But do others need me to make a difference? Yes. Those that are in the condition of poverty or misfortune NEED someone to speak on their behalf. They NEED a voice to bring awareness to their NEED.

Ultimately I believe this is why Jesus came, because He knew we NEEDed a Savior to bridge the deep cavern that separated us from God. He sacrificed His own desires, His own needs of comfort, His own needs of security and well being to meet the NEEDS of the poor & brokenhearted that have no hope.

I really don’t want to over spiritualize this, but I do think it’s worth stating that Jesus is still meeting the needs of the poor & destitute. How is He doing this? Through us. Through people willing to tell the truth of what is happening to others in our world. Awareness is my goal. I believe awareness is the conduit towards change & fulfillment of needs.

I want (and dare say I have a need!) to be the change & inspire change in four main areas.

Across my Heart

Some days, I’ll be honest, I feel as though I’m just taking up space, just the shadow that follows my family around cleaning up after them & getting them to school on time. Do you ever feel that way? I keep thinking, wasn’t I created for more than this? Of course being a Mom is my highest calling & I’ll never want otherwise. I’m just saying that I can do more locally & globally to make an impact. Not only can I DO more, I can BE more. I want my heart & my children’s hearts not only to feel sympathy for those in need, but to break, to truly empathize with such active compassion that no amount of self-interest will stop us from helping them. My heart longs to bless & pour hope into the world – my world. I encourage you to keep serving your family, and perhaps serve them even more diligently by showing them a greater world with needs that we can meet. When we leave this world, let’s pass the legacy torch of pro-active, joy-filled servitude to our children’s generation.

Across our Table

As a Mom, I am keenly aware of my boys need for a mom to take care of them. Not just their physical needs like cooking & cleaning & clothing, but also their need to be nurtured. I’ll admit that it feels like 95% of my time is spent on their physical needs being met, but this doesn’t make their need for love & acceptance any less important. God has put an innate desire in children to be loved & nurtured, to be wanted. I’m so glad I’m a Mom!

Have you ever had the thought or even said, “If my kids only knew how good they have it…” I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve said that to my boys, “You do NOT know how good you have it!” If that is the case, then let’s show them what to do with all that good they have! Let’s teach our kids to be GIVERS!!!! Yeah, kids are selfish by nature, but they have tender hearts (somewhere along the road to adulthood, our hearts can lose their tenderness, if not cultivated). Yes, let US cultivate our children’s hearts by showing them that there are needs all around us & all over the world. Let’s bring them on this journey with us, allowing other people to speak into their lives, let them SEE the needs & BE APART of serving the needs.

Across our Street

Do your kids know that there are very likely students in their class that go to bed without dinner on a regular basis, simply because their parents can not afford it? Do they also know that they can make a difference & bring about change for that classmate? One great way to do this I believe is to inspire the older kids, junior & senior high to help out in their local elementary schools. And once you see these pre-teens & teens in action, you can’t help but be inspired yourself. In February, our local 5th graders put together a Food Drive for the entire Elementary School. They worked so hard & inspired over 1,700 pounds of food to be donated by CHILDREN for our local Food Shelf. Amazing! Let’s find out the needs in our neighborhoods, our kids schools & inspire our kids to bring about change across the street & in our community.

Across our World

I’ll say it again. God has put an innate desire in children to be loved & nurtured, to be wanted. This statement rings just as true when it comes to children that you & I have never met who live several thousand miles away from us. These children are in the condition of poverty & misfortune. They have physical needs that I want to bring awareness to, but also need to be loved, to know someone cares about them. As a Mom, I’m sure your heart aches to know any child is alone in this world. Many have lost both parents and siblings to AIDS and other preventable diseases. What are these kids to do when there is no one to take care of them, to show them how to survive, to provide food and clothing, to hug & kiss them? They still need MOMMIES!!! Fortunately there are ministries in Africa who are working day & night to meet the needs of these children, some with whom I’ll be connecting with on my blog. But more Moms Making a Difference are needed, more funding is needed, more awareness NEEDs to be brought. So lets start to do our part!

Passion ignites passion. I’m determined to make a passionate difference in the world & inspire Moms who read this blog to make a passionate difference in the lives you touch as well. Moms – I’m sounding a Call to Active Compassion! Let’s begin the journey!