Vlog #3/Video/Pics – TD’ers Bringing Hope to the Orphaned Overseas

Hey TD!

After quite an amazing first week of summer camp for orphaned children in the Big Country with special needs, three of our TD’ers have returned to us – Josh, Melody T., and Elissa – impacted and changed. They also got to visit one of Show Hope’s care centers (one of the ones we raised money for with V4V!).  Here are a couple of pics from the care center:

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Megan, Calvin, and Brianna still remain there, serving a second week; this time with more “typical” (no or less special needs) orphaned children.  It’s still been pretty challenging (as you can hear from the vlog), but also very rewarding:

Things have still been really good. The kids are having a really good time. Honestly, I’ve been encouraged by the kids this week. I didn’t have to take a caretaker’s role this week, but instead one of a friend. We’ve done so many things together: Basketball, football, soccer, ultimate frisbee, joking, a skit, cards, Chinese chess. They’re honestly like younger brothers. I’ve gotten to talk about faith with them a little and am hoping to encourage them in their walks with Him. They are probably believers along with most people in their orphanage. They actually did a prayer night two days ago and some shared testimonies. Anyways, apart from that, I’ve just been humbled more …” Calvin

Please keep them in your prayers as they finish off their weeks and return soon!

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Christmas at the Care Centers!

Hey TD!
In preparation for our Voiceless for the Voiceless (V4V) campaign to provide significant help and ministry to orphaned children with disabilities in Show Hope’s care centers in China, I want to share with you an email TD received today that made me smile!  Each picture tells a story … His story.  Thanks for your faithful support in sponsoring these children each month.  – Arthur
Here’s the email:
Thank you for joining us as a Show Hope Care Center sponsor! You are helping to provide life-giving care to children like Aurora, Suzy, and Dondeena.
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This time of year, our Care Centers in China are full of so much Christmas cheer! We started the season off with caroling, and the kids loved all the singing, dancing, and guitar playing! The children at Maria’s Big House of Hope have also enjoyed making reindeer and Christmas tree crafts, and the kids in Zhengzhou have enjoyed dressing up in Santa hats and taking festive photos as they play with tinsel.

We are so grateful for your generosity over this past year, and for all of the precious children who received such amazing care as a result. The impact you have on their lives is immense, and we cannot thank you enough for your faithful support. May God’s richest blessings rest on you today and always.

Merry Christmas!

Show Hope

All I Want For Christmas …

Show Hope

Hey TD,

If I had to choose a “verse of the year” for me, it’s a no-brainer.  Hands down it’s James 1:27:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

This Christmas season has been a daily deluge of that for me and my family as we work through the extremely extensive adoption process.  Being buried in paperwork can sometimes obscure the vision of what it is we’re trying to do.

Perhaps that’s why I found myself tearing up in my car when I listened to “All I Want For Christmas” by 5-time Grammy Award winner, Steven Curtis Chapman, a couple of weeks ago.  It was a great reminder of why God gave His church the James 1:27 command and who it is we are to be helping in His Name.

I hope you’ll listen to the lyrics and begin praying for the orphaned children with special needs in China that we’ll be seeking to help during the upcoming Voiceless for the Voiceless (V4V) campaign that TD will be engaging in, in the near future.  Enjoy! – Arthur

 

TD This Friday – Look Inside!

Hey TD!

We’re excited for TD this Friday at my household (… well, most of us), as you’ll see in the video (incl. special guest appearance by …)  We’ve got a great TD planned this Friday, chock full of goodness! What do we have planned, you ask?

  • Well, Show Hope is coming!  Yep, Phil and Dan from Show Hope are on a West Coast tour right now with Steven Curtis Chapman, Mac Powell of Third Day, and Brandon Heath.  But they wanted to break away from the tour for a day to come visit TD!  They will be driving up Friday from San Diego to come be with us, and then will drive out to Phoenix on Saturday morning to rejoin the band for the Saturday night concert!
  • We’ll be unveiling TD’s theme for the year and I’ll be giving the opening address that will begin the process of what I believe could be a life changing year for many of you.
  • We’ll explain some of the new happenings and initiatives at TD.
  • Great worship and great fellowship, beginning with the Pre-TD Party at 7:15 p.m.!

So, make sure you come out to TD this Friday, be ready to hear from the Lord, be ready to engage with your fellow TD’ers, and be ready to have a good time!

See you Friday!

–  Arthur

TD Fri. – LG Study & Orphans Update

Hey TD,

Continuing our “Are You Serious?” Summer studies, we will continue to dialogically explore passages of Scripture that give us serious truth that we often don’t take too seriously; truth that we acknowledge with our heads, but when push comes to shove, we don’t stand by with our lives.  Either Scripture doesn’t really mean it or we don’t; but someone isn’t really serious.

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This week, we will explore “Marriage and Divorce” – both very common (too common) amongst Christians, our church included.  We will need to come open-handed and open-hearted, truthful yet sensitive, desiring to really see what the Lord’s intentions and directives are, willing to call a spade a spade, and resolving to live His way.  Once again, we will study in an open architecture, group study format.

Prior to our study, we will also hear and see the latest from all the orphaned children we are sponsoring in Africa and China.  We will also show some video footage taken last week of the girls with special needs we are sponsoring in China!  It’ll be a great time to get to know them better and pray for them!

See you Friday! – Arthur

“Thank You!” from the Orphaned

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Hey TD!

A big thank you for tangibly giving and tangibly showing hope to children who have special needs and who have been orphaned on the other side of the world!  As you can see, your gifts were received!  They will be used to further serve and care for children like these.  After spending time with them at four care centers in China, we experienced first-hand that not only are these children with special needs, but they are just plain special! Incredibly special!

I spent part of our long flight home looking up every verse I could find in the Bible relating to orphans or the fatherless.  What’s clear is that they have a very special place in God’s heart and mind.  To serve children who have been orphaned is to get close to God’s heart:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Jam. 1:27 (please notice the final clause also, a clause many of us are not taking seriously)

So, while we’ve done a good thing in sponsoring 7 children who have been orphaned (please pay your sg leader!), and we’ve done a good thing in buying supplies for them, is there opportunity for us to go from good to great?  You bet. To live excellently and greatly for the Lord is our call:

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” Col. 3:23

“Whether then you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:31

As I told you during our last TD meeting, we have some potentially impactful days ahead of us at TD, as we make more of a conscious move towards God’s heart; but it won’t happen without buy-in … and sacrifice.

We’ll get into more later, but begin with thinking through this question during the week. Take it seriously (God does) and work through it:

Why does God have such a strong heart for the orphaned and widowed?  What is it about them that drives His heart so? 

– Arthur