See you all at TD next week!
Kodi’s performance on America’s Got Talent
The abortion debate is in full swing and the United States Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s legislation that requires burial or cremation of a baby’s body following an abortion. Yet, it declined to consider the constitutionality of Indian’s law that bans abortion based on sex, race, or disability.
Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger advocated for the compulsory segregation or sterilization of the “unfit” as well as eliminating the “unfit” before they are born, so they would not become a burden on society. What a slippery slope. Who gets to determine who is “unfit”? Who gets to define a “burden” and the criteria used to determine that? Who determines that one life is more valuable and meaningful than another? On what basis? Says who?
If God created us and actively gives and sustains the lives of every human being on the planet each and every moment, is stands to reason that He, the Author of Life itself, alone has the right to determine its worth. What we find in the Bible is that God bestows inherent dignity and worth to EVERY human being, as each human – no matter how different he/she is than others – is valuable and bears His image.
Watching Kodi Lee’s amazing performance on America’s Got Talent illustrated that for me, as many would consider him “unfit” to live and a drain on society’s resources. Others argue on the basis of “compassion” for those with disabilities, stating that eliminating them would be a compassionate act, putting them out of their misery and sparing them the indignity of being reminded every day they’re alive that they aren’t “normal.” Who would want to live that way? That’s cruelty, they argue.
In my experience with those with disabilities and their families, I have found exactly the opposite to be true for both the disabled and their families. Many affected by disabilities are actually quite happy, and their families feel immensely blessed to have them in their families.
Watching Kodi and his family affirmed all of that for me. We are not defined by our abilities or lack of them. We are defined by the value God places on us and goes straight to who we are – God’s image bearers. – Arthur
All year, we’ve been offering opportunities for you to love God by loving your neighbors, especially those close to God’s heart – the orphans and widows. Not many of you have made the effort to take advantage of the opportunity to bless God’s heart in this way, but you can this Saturday by befriending and hanging out with some wonderful elderly friends. It’ll be a feel-good time of encouragement, doing what’s right, perspective, and fun. The residents at the Care Center are so special and rich in heart, you’re sure to be blessed.
We will not be visiting the orphanage this month.
For the Care Center, meet at the Hsiehs’ at 9:30 a.m.
Please let your small group leader know if you can make it.
It is with profound sadness that we share the heartbreaking news that Molly Holt, daughter of Holt founders Harry and Bertha Holt, passed away early in the morning on May 17 in Korea. She was 83 years old.
In South Korea, Molly was known by many names, from the Mother Teresa of Korea to the Mother of all Korea’s Orphans. Although she devoted her life to caring and advocating for children and adults with medical, developmental and physical needs in Korea, she leaves a legacy that is felt around the world.
Born on November 24, 1935 in Firesteel, South Dakota, Molly was the second eldest daughter of Harry and Bertha Holt, who pioneered international adoption in the mid-1950s and later founded Holt International. Molly attended high school in Creswell, Oregon, and later graduated from both the University of Oregon and Sacred Heart Hospital, where she earned a nursing degree in 1956.
The summer of that same year, Molly traveled for the first time to South Korea — fresh out of nursing school, and ready to help her father care for children left orphaned and abandoned in the wake of the Korean War. A devout Christian like her parents, Molly had a vision for her future while in Korea. “I felt that this was where the Lord would have me be for the rest of my life,” she later said.
Molly would go on to spend most of her adult life at the Ilsan Center in Korea, a nurturing, long-term care home that her parents built in the early 1960s for children and adults with special medical, developmental and physical needs. As a nurse and foster mother to the residents of Ilsan, Molly worked to ensure they received the specialized care they needed to reach their potential and live as independently as possible. Through her tireless advocacy, Molly also made it possible for many children in care at Ilsan to join loving, permanent families through adoption. Today, hundreds of families adopt children with special needs every year from countries around the world. But long before it was common, Molly actively sought families for the children who others considered “unadoptable.” Like her parents before her, Molly helped change the culture of adoption by showing that every child is equally worthy of love and acceptance, and that every child deserves to be part of a family.
Only a few times in her life did Molly leave the Ilsan Center for extended periods, and only to pursue additional training so that she could better meet the needs of the children and adult residents of Ilsan. She studied at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, attended Korean language school and Multnomah School of the Bible, did post-graduate work in special education at the University of Oregon, and in December 1991 she earned a master’s degree in special education and rehabilitation from Northern Colorado University. Throughout her life, she received many honors, including a presidential award, the National Order of Civil Merit from Korea in 1981, World Vision’s Bob Pierce award in 1984 and in 2009, for her lifetime of dedication to orphans and people with disabilities, she received the Royal Order of Merit from the king of Norway.
Diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2013, Molly nevertheless remained steadfast in her commitment to the children and adult residents of the Ilsan Center. Despite her declining health, she said that she would devote her remaining life “to the things that she loves with her whole heart.” Molly never married or had children, but to the residents of Ilsan — many of whom are now in their 50s and 60s — Molly was their only family. They called her “Unee,” or big sister, a name that Molly cherished.
“Molly Holt moved so many with her tireless and admirable efforts, especially for those children with mental and physical disabilities,” says Stephen Noerper, senior director of the Korea Society and senior advisor to the United Nations. “As a brother of adopted, special needs siblings, I salute and admire her legacy of service. She offered six decades of tireless devotion, stood as a credit to her brave parents, and touched, formed and grew many through her compassion. The Korea Society and the entire community of those bent on international friendship and support extend deepest condolences to her family and friends and the entire Holt organization. To Molly Holt’s nobility, spirit and service, all tribute and our love and heartfelt prayers.”
Of Molly’s passing, Lee HongKoo, former prime minister of the Republic of Korea, wrote, “The contribution of Molly Holt to humanity and humanism … is a historic achievement. The modern history of Korea will record her achievement with gratitude and admiration. Many of us in Korea join the Holt adoptee community in recording our love and farewell.”
“I am saddened to hear of the passing of Molly Holt,” says Oregon senator Ron Wyden. “Although she lived most of her life in Korea, all of us in Oregon consider her an exceptional Oregonian. Molly leaves a legacy of caring and compassion that will endure for generations to come. Her devotion to orphaned children in Korea and around the world touched the lives of thousands of children and families and changed the hearts and minds of many more for the better.”
Steve Stirling, president and CEO of MAP International, lived at the Ilsan Center in Korea before he was adopted in 1966, at the age of 11. “I thank God for Molly for faithfully serving those in need through Holt and living in Ilsan to care for disabled residents,” he says. “While we will miss you now, I will rejoice when we unite for eternity in Heaven with our Lord and Savior Jesus. So long for now until we meet again in our forever home.”
Please pray for Molly’s family and for the many people who have loved her that they might find peace and comfort in their memories.
Services for Molly will be held in Korea at 10:00 a.m. on May 21 at Holt Ilsan Center of Korea. Molly’s family requests that gifts be made in her honor to the Molly Holt Fund for Children With Special Needs. If you would like to share memories or photos of Molly Holt, please email them to email@example.com.
By Robin Munro
We’ll be in our small groups on Friday, further exploring God’s calling for Downward Engagement. We’ll continue diving into Luke 14, after having a great start last Friday under Daniel’s facilitation.
Contact your small group leaders for the place and time your small group is going to meet.
As we continue our theme of “ENGAGE: Living Life in HD,” and after exploring the Upward and Outward engagement followers of Christ are to have, we now turn our focus to the Downward engagement that is absolutely essential to the Christian life. It’s not optional, nor just for those called and “gifted at that sort of thing.” If you are a follower of Christ, it is your calling to engage in Christ’s Name with those deemed and treated societally as the “least of these.”
This Friday, we’ll begin exploring the who, what, when, why, where of this calling and why it’s just as much for our benefit and blessing as it is for theirs.
Please read through Luke 14 in preparation for our eye-opening study together.
***We will end TD at 9:30 p.m. this week in order to help move things around at church in preparation for all the room changes as a result of starting the new building project.
***TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. INQUIRE VERY SOON!***
One thing that made Los Angeles Lakers legend, Magic Johnson, one of the best basketball players of all time was his resolve to continue to get better each year; and the summer is when he went to work on adding new dimensions to his game before each new season.
Summer is an awesome opportunity to for you to “up your game” too. Whether it’s going overseas or staying in the US to serve others in Christ’s Name (and growing immensely in the process) or going to a special conference focused on helping to equip you better for the journey ahead, prayerfully consider how you can make the most of this summer to grow in honoring the Lord.
Here are some trips to consider that some fellow TD’ers and TD leaders will be participating in – Bring Me Hope’s Summer Camp, RZIM’s ReFresh Conference, and our very own Youth Summer Missions Project (YSMP). Check them out below:
Bring Me Hope Summer Camp 2019
Week 1: July 8 – 12 (Hsiehs, Calvin)
Week 2: July 15 – 19 (Calvin)
Week 3: July 22 – 26 (Megan, Calvin)
Week 4: July 29 – August 2 (Megan, Calvin)
Our five day summer camps center around bringing forgotten children out of orphanages to experience a week of fun, love, and attention. This often includes many firsts for the kids—their first time swimming, eating ice cream and hearing “I love you”. Demonstrating God’s love in action is what camp is all about.
Most overseas trips end when you fly home, leaving you with only memories and pictures. However, our desire is for you to continue to have an impact long after you’ve left camp. Through our advocacy program, you can bring awareness to your child’s needs and even help find adoptive families. Our goal is to equip volunteers to defend vulnerable children.
DAY 1: The kids are coming! Today, you become a proud “parent” as you and your translator(s) are paired with 1-2 children to form a family group. Spend the day getting to know each other before you begin an amazing week of camp!
DAY 2-4: Let the fun begin! Camp is filled with activities for your family group to enjoy together. From arts & crafts to talent shows to dance parties, this is a week for your child to explore new experiences in a safe environment. You will have the unique opportunity to empower these children and show them unconditional love during camp. These are the moments that Bring Me Hope Camp was created for!
DAY 5: Today is the day that the children go home to the orphanage. It’s a bittersweet celebration of the relationships you’ve created and how far your family group has come in just 5 short days. It becomes more than just the last day of camp; You are left with memories and passion to do something about this orphan crisis.
AFTER CAMP: Bring Me Hope will provide you with the skills and training to make a greater impact on these children’s lives when you fly back home. You will be given the privilege to be an advocate for the children’s needs and help them find adoptive families!
If you have detailed questions about the camp, you can ask Megan, Calvin, Rebecca, Elissa, Sissi, or Abigail, who all have been. Check out BMH Summer Camp and contact a TD leader if you have interest in going this summer.
If you are interested in doing the Bring Me Hope internship, ask Megan, Calvin, Angela, Sissi, or Aileen what they’ve been doing: BMH Internship
“ReFresh: Ready For College?” Conference for High School and College Students
Hosted by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM)
July 18-21, 2019 @ The Zacharias Institute in Atlanta, GA
“I’m lost. I’ve gone to find myself. If I should turn up while I’m out, tell myself to wait here.” These words, written on a sign in a bookstore in downtown Atlanta, capture the feeling of displacement that High School and college students across America are struggling with today. We don’t know who we are anymore. In a world swept up in identity politics, our own identities, both as individuals and as Christians, can feel less secure than ever.
This summer, at our annual ReFresh: Ready for College? conference, we will be addressing the question that Jesus himself once asked his disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” This was the most important question that the disciples had to answer, and our response to this same question remains just as critical for our own lives. Truth, justice, morality, sexuality, freedom, meaning, love, identity: everything that we care about, everything that we live for, all of these are grounded by the answer to that one question. To know Jesus is to know ourselves. Only when we are confident of who he is can we be sure of who we are, and what he has called us to.
So if you’re a junior or senior in High School or a college freshman, then don’t miss the opportunity this coming June to get time away with each other, with members of the RZIM speaking team, and most importantly of all, with God.
Check out ReFresh: Ready For College for more info and contact a TD leader if you are interested.
YSMP is our youth short-term mission trip to the Native American reservations in Arizona. The dates are July 5-13, 2019 and the cost is $170 per person. Our two-fold purpose and prayer for this mission trip is:
1) To participate in the proclamation of God’s glory in the gospel by bringing annual short-term support the local church pastors and congregations within the Native American Reservations in Arizona. Our aim is to hear the needs and vision of the local church pastor and assist the church with our team.
2) To provide a learning experience for our youth and other church members who want to explore cross-cultural missions. We desire for participants to get a sense of the devotion to Christ, training, focus, and flexibility it takes to be on mission, to be challenged to share their faith, and to have their eyes opened to the need for the gospel in less-reached areas.
Each year the YSMP coordinators touch base with each church in the reservation sites to see what kind of support they would like from the STM team. Generally, what that support takes form in:
1) VBS and Youth Camp
2) Visitations and Evangelism
3) Adult Bible Studies
4) Work Projects and Harvest Night
Prayerfully consider joining us on this short-term mission trip! If you have any questions, contact Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org.