To stay united and updated about this process of getting to One Mission Society, what's happening throughout this support-raising journey, and where I am in the meantime!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This and That

Lots of updates around here as December and January have been exciting months in ministry! 

In December, I had the opportunity to share with the Black Culture Club at Bloomington High School South.  One of my college roommates is a teacher there and the club’s sponsor!  She proposed that the club focus on raising money for OMS Homes for Haiti in the new year, so I attended their Kwanzaa celebration and shared with them about my trip to Haiti and how their efforts will be making a difference in Haitian families’ lives!  I loved this opportunity to go meet these students, and I’m so excited to have them working on this project!

Miss Simon gave the students the chance to make a toast with the unity cup.  I loved when a student stood up and said..."Raise your glass if Miss Simon is the best teacher of all time!!!!"  It was so fun to see Steph in her element and watch her interact with her students.  She is using her strengths to make such an impact!!

I’m so excited to share with you that Jessica and I have our first articles in this issue of Outreach!!!  It’s also the first issue we’ve had the opportunity to help proof. Yay!  This is something I’ve been looking forward to contributing to since I started looking into this role two years ago!  Praise God that He has provided this opportunity and the funds needed to get this far!  I’m so thankful!

If you’d like to read the PDF version of the issue go to

If you’d like a print copy and to receive future issues, please email me!

We have a big answer to prayer in that we have hired a contracted web programmer!  Thank you for praying for this!  Our “web guy,” as we affectionately call him, isn’t in our office or an OMS missionary, but it is great to have him working on projects for our website!  Susan and I still manage content on our site, but it has been such a relief for us to be able to pass our more advanced projects on to Ron!

Also web-related, my editor decided to use two stories from this blog on the OMS website!  I had been hoping for the opportunity to share Miss Italienne’s story with more people, so I was excited to hear that she wanted to publish the two posts I wrote about Italienne on our website!

Check out the five new web stories posted this week at!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Remember, Pray, Give

One year ago today, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti.  Its epicenter hitting the town of Leogane (16 miles west of Port-au-Prince), the quake took more than 230,000 lives and more than 1.5 million people are still living in tents a year later.  Some say Haiti has not even begun to recover, and the year since has been filled with other turmoil, including a devastating outbreak of cholera, which took more than 3,000 lives and infected 130,000 others.  In addition, the country has had to weather hurricane Tomas and chaos during the November 2010 election.

Please be praying with me for Haiti!  God is doing exciting things and providing, but there is still so much need.  If you’re interested in giving to Haiti, I’ve highlighted a few projects I’m familiar with.  Obviously, there are many other ways to give, but these are projects I have seen firsthand.  Whether it’s through praying, giving or just learning more, please take some action and remember Haiti and the suffering the people are going through. There are links under each project if you’d like to learn more!

Radio 4VEH- “The Evangelistic Voice of Haiti” started 60 years ago and has been a lifeline for many since the earthquake.  Not only does this station broadcast the gospel and Bible reading programs, but also vital information for survival and medical information in the midst of the Cholera outbreak.  While in Haiti, we distributed these solar-powered, pre-tuned radios in remote villages.  People everywhere had heard of 4VEH and shared with us about the Hope and help it provides.  Click here to learn more or give!

Starfish Kids- This is OMS’ child sponsorship program in Haiti.  For $25/month, you can sponsor a child’s education.  Your sponsorship covers the child’s tuition, uniform, books and breakfast.  Starfish Kids is impacting kids lives in many different schools.  It is my joy to help with this program from the US, and while visiting Haiti, I visited a few different Starfish Kids schools and spoke with parents and staff first hand about the difference it is making.  If you’re interested in giving a one-time gift, your contribution will help provide school supplies or teachers’ training.  Click here to learn more or give!

Haiti Relief Fund- New donations to this general relief fund for Haiti will contribute to the rebuilding of a church in Port-au-Prince.  Some of the fund will also go to Homes for Haiti.  The remainder of the money will go towards Cholera, future disasters, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, etc.  To give to this general Haiti Relief Fund, click here!

Homes for Haiti- In a second wave of relief efforts, OMS’ Homes for Haiti is providing permanent housing for Haitian earthquake survivors.  If you’d like to read about the first recipient, go to my Nov. 29 and Dec. 11 blogposts.  Click here to learn more about the project or give!

Thank you for praying with me and remembering our brothers and sisters in Haiti.


*The above photos of these ministries are pictures from our October 2010 trip to Haiti.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I’ve been challenged a lot recently by others’ radical living.  A few weeks ago, I saw the video below, and it has stuck with me since.  I’ve been asking: how can I live like this, love like this, where I am?  The thing I love about this story is Sara and her roommate’s reckless abandonment of people’s normal concerns for their safety, stability and status, in order to just love on those in need.

Sara's Story from Trinity Grace Church on Vimeo.

The story’s not special because of where she is, it’s special because she made herself available to the need she saw and is applying the Gospel in her life regardless of what the world would view as her self-interest.

Another thing that’s been influencing this thought-process is reading Richard Stearns’ The Hole in our Gospel. The book is about Stearns’ experience and journey, leaving his position as CEO of Lenox (the fine china company) and accepting the position of President for World Vision.

Since returning from Haiti, I’ve started attending the church that the rest of the mission trip team was from.  They have each been such a blessing to me, and all except two of our Haiti teammates are participating in a Sunday school class on this book, The Hole in our Gospel.  There are several other people in class, too, and while I don’t know all of them well, one of the things I appreciate about them is none of them seem satisfied with staying where they are.  Everyone in the class expresses an interest to grow- to learn more of what God expects of us.

So far, this book has been in large part about how we respond to poverty and those in need.  In the first chapter, Stearns describes his reaction after returning from one of his first trips to Africa:

“The media overflowed with celebrity dramas, stock market updates, and Bill Clinton’s impending impeachment hearings.  But where were the headlines and magazine covers   about Africa?  Twelve million orphans, and no one noticed? But what sickened me most was this question: where was the Church? …How could the great tragedy of these orphans get drowned out by choruses praise music in hundreds of thousands of churches across our country?”

Isn’t it true that it’s much easier to stay in our own little bubble as Christians ministering to each other and turning a blind eye to those who are hurting around us?  This saddens me, and I’m guilty of it, too.

The truth is it’s easy to say we want to help, but it’s messy when you befriend someone trapped in a sin addiction; it’s messy when you embrace someone who is in the middle of so much brokenness, he can’t see which way is out; and it’s messy to move to the middle of a neighborhood where screaming and/or violence is a part of everyday life.

So why—when I’m in a place in my life where things are going pretty well, where I’m happy and feel like I’m at rest from striving and wrestling—would something like this video seem exciting to me?   Why would I be motivated by a 22-year-old girl saying she moved from a high-paying job to a neighborhood where “drugs, crime, gangs and prostitution are rampant and violence is a normal part of survival?”  Why am I drawn to stories that involve all this messiness?

As I thought about this on Christmas Eve, I realized it makes perfect sense why all of this would appeal to me… It is because my heart knows I need someone to do the same for me.  These true stories are a picture of what I think we all really long for. Someone to meet us in our mess, show us Light in the midst of our brokenness and give us Hope for something better.  I want my life to be a picture of this, too.

I’m drawn to Sara’s story because I think deep down it reminds me of Someone who had every right to stay in a perfect place free of brokenness and pain, was willing to enter the mess…and not only forgive my mess but run to meet me in the middle of it and enter our world of brokenness, knowing He would be stabbed in the back, but still deciding we were worth it.  That Someone is Jesus, who chose to be “God with us.”