Recently, Brookdale Presbyterian Church in St. Joseph, MO put on a Christmas Bazaar to support Hope For Tomorrow Children’s Home. We asked Janeen, one of the leaders of their Hope For Tomorrow partnership team to share about what they did and the impact it will have on orphaned children in Guatemala.
Over Labor Day weekend Kenneth came through St. Joseph, Mo on his whirlwind tour of several churches in various states. He spent a few evenings at dinner with groups of folks from Brookdale Church, in partnership with Hope for Tomorrow through Children’s HopeChest over the past year. A young woman, Erin Lippincott, caught a vision as she listened to Kenneth tell stories of the children there.
A few days later Erin approached the Women’s Ministry Team, sharing with them an idea that caught on and spread like a wild fire through our church community – to hold Brookdale’s first-ever Christmas Bazaar in the Student Ministry Center’s gym early in December as a benefit for the children’s home in Guatemala. The idea was given a huge stamp of approval and Erin went to work organizing a task force and spreading the word through the local newspaper, a talk radio show and “Live at Five,” a daily TV program promoting community events.
Thirty-five vendors, purchased individual spaces for booths, donated items for a raffle during the event and showed up very early Saturday morning, December 1, to set up shop. The Men’s Ministry guys got on board to help unload cars and haul things for vendors. Brookdale women had prepared a very inexpensive, delicious lunch for vendors and shoppers.
Then, at nine that morning, as the doors opened to the community, a steady stream of folks thronged through the aisles, shopping for and finding all kinds of unique items, including several one-of a-kind hand crafted treasures, Holiday food items and gift ideas galore.
Not only did the event raise money for Hope for Tomorrow, it also drew the attention of the community at large to the great needs in countries like Guatemala, where there are so many orphans. Then on Sunday, December 2, the Brookdale congregation applauded Erin and all who worked so hard to make the bazaar such a great success.
“LOST: male dog, has one eye, mangled left ear, paralyzed hind leg, crooked tail. Answers to the name, ‘Lucky’.”
Well, the rocking chair that has been a part of our children’s home for the last several years must be named Lucky because it’s been through it all. The back is completely torn apart, it’s missing it’s back left rocking leg, and the right arm rest is missing! It barely functions as a chair much less a rocking chair. But this is what we have been using to rock our babies to sleep in. Obviously far from ideal.
Thankfully we weren’t the only ones that felt that way, and recently a member of the Asbury Youth Ministry team that came down last month donated the money for us to buy a new rocking chair! But not just any rocking chair…it’s a glider. When I brought it to the home yesterday the ladies expressed a collective sigh of relief and were extremely happy to finally have an appropriate rocking chair to give Angel his bottle or put him to sleep. It may seem like such a small thing, but every resource like this is greatly appreciated by our staff and greatly benefits our children.
So goodbye Lucky, you were nice while you lasted.
The vision we have for Hope For Tomorrow Children’s Home is HUGE! I mean incredibly huge! Our list of ideas, changes, and projects is almost never ending. The only problem we have run into is that our vision is bigger than our bank account, and a lot of the things we desire to do have to get put on hold due to financial constraints. For example, while we’d love to repaint the home in colors that are more indicative of happiness and joy, it’s more important to make sure our children have food for the following month and that we have finances to pay salaries. So while our list is large, some things have had to be put on hold.
One of these items that has been on hold was the purchase of cribs for our newest children. In June we had graciously received a donation to purchase beds for our first 6 children, so thankfully they were taken care of. But when Moses and Luis Fernando came along, we had to pull out the old, and may I say decrepit, wooden cribs, since we didn’t have the funds to purchase new ones. We longed for the day that we would be able to replace these cribs that had paint chipping off, holes in the bottom, and bars that were spaced too far apart. An OSHA nighmare! (more…)
Occasionally, our children’s home is blessed to receive very generous gifts, whether they be toys, food, or clothes. But every now and then we receive a gift that is an obvious labor of love and this is the case with a package of quilts we received a few week ago. A few of the ladies that go to Brenda’s church were kind enough to spend their time and energy making quilts for our children and after a long journey, they finally arrived thanks to a team that brought them down. Each quilt is different from the rest but all of them have a beautiful prayer sewed on to the back and is a reflection of our biggest desire for our children: for God to watch over them and protect them and grow them into men and women that chase after Him. So on behalf of all the children, thank you so much for these beautiful quilts. It’s a tangent reminder of the warmth and protection we receive from Christ himself.
Follow the “Read More” link below to see pictures of the children with their new quilts. (more…)