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Since partnering with Noonday, I have been exposed to some incredible wisdom and teaching. Specifically, my view of the command to "love thy neighbor" has been challenged in a big way. I used to kind of accept this as meaning "be nice to those around me". I've come to realize that my "neighbors" are not just those people who may live on my street, or even in my city... those whose lives may occasionally brush up against mine. Today, with all of the advances in technology and in travel that exist, the number of "neighbors" who I have the ability to impact, and whose lives and stories affect my own, is staggering. And the "love" part? Well, I believe that to show real love is to put another's needs before my own. In thinking about this, and turning it over in my mind, here is what I found, plain as day: My *needs* have been met. Far surpassed even. I have shelter, clothing, and transportation. My family and I have plenty of food, access to clean water, and high quality medical care. I have countless options for employment, as does my husband, thanks in part to the college educations that we both obtained relatively easily. I've never experienced slavery or abuse, or been faced with the decision of what to do with my children because I cannot afford to keep them.
My heart is heavy for my "neighbors" around the world who can't say the same, and I long to use the abundance in my life to empower those in need.
Our trip to Rwanda will be led by Africa New Life Ministries, a group that exists to break the cycle of poverty in Rwanda. In 1994 Rwanda suffered a swift and devastating genocide, which stripped hope from the nation, and left it with over 600,000 orphans and an explosive HIV/AIDS outbreak. Today, Rwanda continues to rebuild and reconcile. Since 2001, Africa New Life has established schools, vocational training, spiritual support, and the sponsorship of over 4,000 children! During my trip, I'll be visiting and assisting with these programs. I will also be spending time at the Umucyo sewing co-op, working with the ladies that Noonday Collection put through seamstress training two years ago, and as a result are now supporting their families with dignity! I am over-the-moon excited to meet them, encourage them, and help further the impact of their work in any way that I can.
My comfort zone does not and has never included sales of any kind. It most definitely does not include asking women to invite me and my product into their homes, and then standing up in front of their friends to TALK about said product! But when this "product" is essentially hope for families in need, and transformation for poor communities, I I can't help but make the choice to daily step over the boundary of my comfort zone. And you know what? I have discovered such purpose and unexpected joy on the other side! In order to take the next step of this journey, though, I need your help. I would love to be able to fund this trip independently and without the vulnerability of asking for help. But the truth is, I believe that raising support is part of God's plan for those he sends. If I could write the check without telling my story, no one reading this would have the chance to be affected by my words, my story. Not to mention, I can't just write the check! We are already using savings, tax return money, and choosing to postpone a family vacation to fund our trip to serve in Colombia with our church in June! The opportunity to travel to Rwanda came up suddenly enough that your support will be necessary to get me there, and I'm pretty sure that's the way God wants it ;)
Will you consider supporting me in one or more of the following ways?
*giving through this site
*booking a Noonday trunk show in May (as all of my commission will be going to this trip)
*purchasing from my sale albums on Facebook
*praying for my heart and my safety as I prepare to leave my comfort zone very, very far behind. <3
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