Guest: Awake and Alive

For several years now really God has been stirring my heart. He’s telling me that, as my blog friend Heidi says, my life is not my own. Well, I guess Jesus actually said it first (sorry, Heidi). For a long time after this began, I was educating myself: reading amazing books, inspiring blogs, having meaningful conversations…immersing myself in the topic of social justice–a topic that was close to God’s heart. How do you know that, you may ask? Well, God mentions it over 2,100 in His Main Book, for one. For another, even when it’s not mentioned specifically, His character REEKS of it. So, I can say with confidence that God cares about justice. And compassion. And generosity. And so this is where I stayed for a long time. In some ways, I would say far too long. But I trust God. I trust that he knew me. He knew that I still needed to be broken a lot more in order to better understand broken people. I needed to understand desperation and not making it on my own. I needed to understand the hope and love that comes from the Body of Christ stepping in and providing for my family’s needs when we couldn’t. So even though I feel a little sad and ashamed about time lost, I know that this is better. His plan is always better.

Fast forward to about a month ago. My precious friend Jolene and I were talking and brainstorming about what we could actually do to start living out our heart and passion for people in need (while our Ethiopian cuties played all around us). That quickly developed into a meeting with our husbands to talk about starting a non-profit to better fulfill that dream. Being that Jolene’s husband does this kind of stuff for his job, he volunteered to start the paperwork process….and Awake and Alive was born!
Another meeting and several conversations later things are beginning to crystallize. While we don’t have an official mission statement yet, we know that our deepest desire is two-fold. First, we desire to help African families (and orphans) both here and abroad. Stateside, we desire to help ease the transition for families (or individuals) coming over from various African nations by plugging them in to services available, driving them around, helping kids enroll in school, connecting them to other Africans in the area, and offering friendship and love by welcoming them into our families. Abroad, we are exploring possibilities with existing NGOs and churches as well as thinking through “adopting a village” by providing various kinds of support to Africans in need. Second, we desire to help educate and provide experiences (see above) to wake up the church to God’s heart towards the “orphan, widow, and foreigner.” Realizing that we have been blessed to bless, we want to encourage Christ followers to stop learning and start doing. Stop hoarding and start giving. For it is when we refresh others that we will be truly refreshed. And more than that–LIVES ARE AT STAKE!!!
We would love to have conversations with you about this vision that is moving from our hearts to our hands. We would love to begin raising up a team of people who have a heart of generosity towards the people of Africa. We are passionate and excited! Let’s dream about it together.
What if everyone cared?

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