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8 Nov 2013

Upcoming Opportunities to Help GLA

Posted by TomVanderwell. No Comments

While we weren’t actually in an elevator, I had someone ask me, “So, can you give me your elevator pitch?”   What’s that?  It’s a 30 second synopsis of who you are and what you do.

“I work from here to connect people in the 1st World with opportunities for them to make a difference for the kids in Haiti, particularly the kids at God’s Littlest Angels.”

He understood very clearly and we had a very interesting conversation after that.   Why do I tell you that?

Because there are three specific upcoming opportunities for you to make a difference for God’s Littlest Angels and the kids there.

November 29-December 1 - Family Christian Stores, through their James Fund, is donating 100% of their proceeds for all sales to help us build Ft. Jacques.   How awesome is that?   On Black Friday, they are giving up all of their profit to help orphans in Haiti.   Check it out here http://www.familychristian.com/haiti#.Un0K7Pmsidn  - and I’ll be talking about it more as the time draws closer.

December 3 – The Friday after Thanksgiving is known in the United States as “Black Friday.”   The following Monday is known as “Cyber Monday” (because everyone who didn’t brave the stores is shopping online while they are supposed to be working.   There is a movement out called, “Giving Tuesday.”   What does it do?   It urges people to support the charity of their choice and to do so as a reminder of how much we have been given and how God has called us to share what we’ve been given.   You can go to http://community.givingtuesday.org/News to read more about it.   What are we hoping to do on that Tuesday?   Raise $3,000 specifically so that 15 of the kids who came to us last year from Kenscoff can sleep in their own bed rather than on a mat on the floor.   More to come as we get closer.

GLA Holiday Day – I’m still working on the details but this is going to be something that 100% of our supporters can participate in.  It’s an international yet community based opportunity to encourage everyone to do something to help the kids at GLA.   I’m not going to say much more than that for now because the details are still being worked on.

Thank you so much for your help, your caring and your devotion to our kids,

Tom

 

 

8 Nov 2013

Another 31 miles today! The Walk to Haiti Keeps Moving……

Posted by TomVanderwell. No Comments

While we’re not moving real quickly, the walk to Haiti is making progress.   We’ve raised over $3,600 so far and we’re just south of Laramie Wyoming.

Here’s a map of where we’ve gone so far.   Remember, every $15 donated moves us 1 mile closer to our goal.   And we’re going to be stopping by some supporters houses to have a virtual cup of coffee and hear a bit of their story on the way.

See below for some more ideas and things we can all do to help this along……

Thank you very much for your support!

Tom

The Walk to Haiti Map

So what are we working on to make this walk happen faster?   At a date to be determined (soon) we’re going to have a GLA Day.   What is that?   It’s going to be a day between now and Christmas where we encourage everyone to do “something” to raise money for GLA on that particular day.   Lots of ideas, lots of possibilities, lots of details to come.

Stay tuned…..

Tom

 

7 Nov 2013

Our Greatness? Hah!

Posted by TomVanderwell. No Comments

My daughter sent me this quote from Richard Stearns (World Vision):

“”With nothing but a sling, a smooth stone, and faith in the God he served, David slew his Goliath. So, too, Moses challenged a pharaoh and parted the Red Sea with a shepherd’s staff. Peter, a simple fisherman, stepped up to the lead the early church, and Paul challenged the Roman Empire from his prison cell with nothing but a pen. When people act in God’s power, Goliaths fall.
I find great comfort in knowing God’s plan for us does not rely on our greatness, but rather on His…. No Goliath you face is mightier than the God you serve.”

For those who care about injustice, about evil, about poverty, about “at risk” children, about sex trafficking, about corruption, about…….  (insert any of the evils and injustices in the world), this is an important thing for us all to remember.

I know many of us (I do) wrestle with the fact that this is such a big challenge.   How do you impact a problem that affects the lives of millions of people?   I’m only one person, how can I make a difference?

David was only one person.

Moses was only one person.

Peter was only one person.

Paul was only one person – and he was in jail.

But they all had God on their side.

So, if you’ve got God on your side, set your sights high!

God’s got this – and He is using you and me to make a difference.

Join me today in giving thanks for the opportunity to make a difference and the God who cares enough to send us to fight for those who can’t.

Tom

 

1 Nov 2013

Somehow doesn’t work…..

Posted by TomVanderwell. 1 Comment

Yesterday morning, while bringing my younger 12 year old to school, I was listening to one of the local Christian music stations (www.wcsg.org) and they were having their annual “Share-athon.”    It’s their fundraising drive that they do every year because they are a commercial free radio station.

My kids like listening to their morning hosts (John and Amanda) and while they were talking about the importance of supporting charities that you believe in, Amanda said something that has really resonated with me.   What did she say?

“When it comes to mission work – whether it’s missions here or all over the world, somehow doesn’t work.   You can’t just say, “We’ll come up with the support somehow. You need people backing you up.”

Somehow doesn’t work.   We need people backing us up.   That’s why I’m here.   I’m here to get people to back up our staff in Haiti, I’m here to get people to back up the 140 kids who are our Angels.   I’m here to help spread the stories, provide a window into Haiti and get you and your family and friends “backing us up.”

Somehow doesn’t work – will you help?

Our kids will all be better off for it.

On behalf of the kids, thank you.

Tom

 

28 Oct 2013

A Conversation with Molly and Joyce…..

Posted by TomVanderwell. No Comments

I believe it was in the summer of 2011 and we were riding up from the airport with Molly and Joyce. They came to pick us up because this was the first time our kids have been back to Haiti and they wanted to greet them at the airport. It was a fun reunion and we all thoroughly enjoyed seeing Haiti through the eyes of two of it’s children who haven’t been there for 7 years.

While we were talking, the conversation turned to the team that we had from our church and what their expectations were. One of our team had been to Haiti before out in rural Haiti – as in sleep on the ground in huts, latrines, the whole bit.

I don’t remember if it was Molly or Joyce but one of them said something that has stuck with me ever since. “Because of the support of so many people (people like you and me), they don’t have to live in those type of situations. That allows us more time to get to know the kids, work with the kids and try to help them where they need help.”

That gives them more time to focus not only on the nutritional health of the kids but also the social, educational and emotional health of the kids. More well adjusted kids fit into families better.

Think about that for a minute. Because GLA has supporters who support us enough, we can live in relatively “upper class” (for Haiti) dwellings. Because our facilities are “nice” from Haiti standards, we don’t have to spend 8 hours a day hauling water or things like that. Because of that, we have the opportunity to live with, encourage and help the kids grow and develop.

Is living at GLA as good as living with family? No, but it’s better than it could be because of you.

Will you help us with that?

Three ways to help:

  • Go to the button on the right and make a financial donation to our operations fund.
  • Make a donation to the building fund to help us move it “one step higher” and get everyone to Ft. Jacques.
  • Tell 10 of your friends and ask them to consider supporting GLA yet this year.
Thank you to Molly and Joyce (and the rest of the staff in Haiti) for the work you do day in and day out taking care of our kids. Thank you to those who help and support us.

It does make a difference,

Tom

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28 Oct 2013

“Put Me In Coach, I’m Ready to Play!”

Posted by TomVanderwell. 2 Comments

So, this morning, as I’m coming out of the fog after my alarm went off, I have this phrase of a song going through my head, “Put me in Coach, I’m ready to play, today…….”

At first, I was confused because I had no idea where that song came from. Well, Google showed me that is was an old John Fogerty song. The only way I could have heard it was if it showed up on my Pandora “Classic Rock” station. I kind of shrugged it off and said, “Oh well……”

But then I got to thinking about it more……

Here we stand at the beginning of a new week, isn’t that exactly what we should be saying to God, “Put me in coach!” (aka “Here am I, send me!)

If you read it on Facebook last night, you’ll know that we got a very tiny very sick baby in last night. Already Britany, Dixie and the staff have said, “Put me in Coach!” as they have cared for this little one. (By the way, if you don’t already like the God’s Littlest Angels page on Facebook, why not?)

There are a lot of kids at GLA who are waking up this morning needing to be fed, cared for, taught and loved. “Put me in coach!”

There is a lot of expense that needs to be “covered” to keep all of the kids well cared for. “Put me in coach!”

There’s a lot of Ft. Jacques that needs to be built yet. “Put me in coach!”

There are a lot of adoptive parents in waiting who are “thirsting” for someone to understand and wait with them. “Put me in coach!”

There are a lot of adoptive parents with their kids home who are struggling with feeling lonely and dealing with the scars their kids have. “Put me in coach!”

There’s a lot of staff at GLA and elsewhere who are working so hard on behalf of the kids but are exhausted, mentally and physically. “Put me in coach!”

Are you ready to play? Are you ready for whatever position God has called you to?

“Put ME in, Coach, I’m ready to play, today!”

Tom

27 Oct 2013

Please pray for Loveson……

Posted by TomVanderwell. No Comments

Loveson is approximately 1 year old and weighs 10 lbs.   Dixie wrote about him on the blog at http://godslittlestangelsinhaiti.org/andlifegoeson/2013/10/20/nine-babies-admitted-to-the-nicu/.   Please pray for him that he would continue to improve in his ability to eat, to gain weight and to overcome the challenges that have been thrown at him during his first year.

Pray also that God will be with Britany, Dixie and the rest of the staff as they care for Loveson and his mother.

Thank you for praying!

IMG_3596

26 Oct 2013

Please pray for Graceley and his Mom

Posted by TomVanderwell. No Comments

Graceley came from Real Hope for Haiti on October 15th.   He’s not even 1 month old yet.   His mother came with but then had to leave and go to the hospital because she was ill.

Pray that Graceley will continue to grow and develop and stay healthy.   Pray also that Graceley’s mom would recover and be able to come back and eventually bring her little boy home.  Pray also for Britany and Dixie and the staff as they care for a lot of really tiny and needy babies.

Thank you for praying!

Graceley-on-Arrival-15-October-2013-4

25 Oct 2013

Pay It Forward…….

Posted by TomVanderwell. No Comments

So, tonight, my 12 year olds (yes two of them – and they aren’t twins!) and I watched the old movie, “Pay It Forward.” I was amazed at how applicable the movie and the “themes” in the movie were to adoption, the orphan care challenges and working and caring about Haiti and the people there.

Let me explain. The short version of the theme of the movie is that a 7th grader, when challenged by his social studies teacher in a project that will supposedly change the world. He comes up with an idea to do 3 “big” things for people that he didn’t know who had a need and then urge them to pay it forward as well – so 3 becomes 9 becomes 27……..

The concept is that you do something that is big and has the opportunity to change the life of the recipient with nothing to benefit you – and then urge them to do the same thing.

Now let’s step back a bit to earlier today. In the last 24 hours, I’ve “heard” rumblings of problems down in Haiti (nothing to do with GLA). A lot of the rumblings may turn out to be either non-truths or “enhanced” facts. But even if only half of it is true, there are people who need help. Oh and there’s 130 some children at GLA who need help too.

That got me thinking……

If everyone who reads this takes the challenge and does 3 things for people in need (particularly in Haiti) and urges those three people to do something and forward it goes.

Think of how much of a better place this world could be if everyone “paid it forward.”

So what can you do to help three people who are involved in missions, in Haiti, in adoption, in foster care, in orphan care so that their world is a better place?

Three becomes nine

nine becomes twenty seven

Twenty seven becomes………

Are you ready?

I am!

Tom

25 Oct 2013

Berthran and Berline

Posted by TomVanderwell. No Comments

Twins who had a rough start.

A mother who wants to keep them – but needs a little help.

Please pray that they get the help they need, grow and continue to do well and that Mom can care for them after they go home with her.

Pray a prayer of thanks too that our staff can be used in a small way to give this family a second chance.

Thank you for praying,

Bejamen-and-Bergemane-on-arrival-24-September-2013-7

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