Moms4Change

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

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


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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!

 

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

 

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!

 

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!