Posts Tagged ‘JDRF’

My favorite five missions or charitable organizations (in no particular order)…

Great_CommissionI can’t narrow it down to five total so I picked five which operate nationally or internationally (which I’ll blog about today) and five which are more local in nature (next Friday). Each is unique in who they help – from women and children in Uganda, to women and children in Cedar Rapids, Iowa…I love missions, spreading the love of Jesus and helping those in need.

#1 – Amazima Ministries

One of my favorite books is “Kisses from Katie,” the story of an 18-year-old girl who gives up her comfortable life in the United States to become the adoptive mother to thirteen girls in Uganda. katies-story-buttonIt was a life-altering book for me and I’ve been challenged while following Katie Davis’s story of radical love. Katie started Amazima (“truth” in native Luganda language) Ministries, with a mission to help educate and empower the people of Uganda with God’s love. They operate The Amazima School, a scholarship program, the Masese Women’s Beading Circle, medical care outreach and a farming outreach. One year for Christmas I gave some special friends earrings formed from beads made in the women’s beading circle. They were beautiful and I loved knowing I was helping, in a small way, to give these women a purpose and an income.

#2 – Youth With A Mission

In a nutshell, Youth With a Mission (or YWAM) is a global movement of Christians who have dedicated themselves to serving Jesus, no matter where He calls them to go. Originally intended just to get young people involved in missions, YWAM now involves people of all ages, in more than 1,100 locations in over 180 countries, with a staff of over 18,000.  I did my own two-week YWAM intensive when I was 15 years old. It was terrifying to think about spending two weeks with total strangers going door-to-door telling people about Jesus. By the end of that time, I was bolding stopping people on the street and inviting hitchhikers to receive Jesus as their Savior. If you are looking to invest in missions around the world, YWAM has done it well for over 50 years.

#3 – JDRF

I’m sure I don’t need to say much about juvenile diabetes. We all have friends and family who suffer from this life-threatening autoimmune disease. The JDRF organization, through volunteers who either have the disease or parent children who suffer with it, works tirelessly through various events to raise money for research to find a cure. My best friend in college recently passed away from the effects of a life-long battle with type 1 diabetes. Improvements in treatment have been made since her diagnosis back in the early 70s, but so much more needs to be done. I love walking with my friend Sandi and her daughter Celia as we inundate the NewBo area of Cedar Rapids for the One Walk event each May. It is inspiring to be even a small part of this movement to find a cure.

#4 – Samaritan’s Purse

“Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God,” famous words from founder Bob Pierce. Samaritan’s Purse’s mission is to follow Christ’s example by helping those in need and proclaiming the hope of the Gospel. They do this in so many different ways: medical missions, feeding programs, clean water & hygiene education, construction projects, human trafficking prevention and discipleship training. Sam_PurseThey are on the front lines of any disaster relief efforts both in the U.S. and internationally, especially in the current refugee crisis, earthquake and flood recovery and in war torn regions of Iraq. As a family, we first started working with Samaritan’s Purse through their Operation Christmas Child program, where we bought small age-appropriate gifts, packed them in shoeboxes and sent them off to the Samaritan’s Purse center in Minneapolis. From there, hundreds and thousands of shoeboxes are sent each year to children all over the world.

#5  – Child Hope

We have sponsored a number of little girls through Latin American Child Care, or as it is now known, Child Hope. We started way back when our youngest son started asking for a baby sister. Not happening. But he seems satisfied with the little girl we “adopted” through LACC. For $36 a month, Child Hope provides a safe environment where a child receives a Christian education alochild hopeng with preventative medical and dental information. More times than not, that monthly stipend provides a school uniform, hot meals and needed medical attention. At
Christmas and birthday time, we send a little extra so our little girl receives a special present just from us. We have welcomed each picture and personal letter throughout the years. We are on our third child since they grow up and move out of the program eventually, but each one is special and we are blessed to be able to assist a small child hear and learn about the love of Jesus.

Jesus said that we were to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Though we can’t all go away from home, we can pray and use our resources to see the good news of Jesus spread all over the globe. I hope you have a favorite charity or missions organization you give to regularly. It is one our greatest joys to give so others can hear and know about Jesus.

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