Experiencing Generosity on our Adoption Journey

I shared last week that we are back on the road to adoption.  Eli will be one month tomorrow and we are moving forward with the different steps that lead to finalizing the adoption.

As we have relaunched this journey, we have been reminded that we are not doing it alone.  While we knew that was true, people have expressed love and support in a number of ways.

While I enjoy blogging, I recognize I don’t have a huge audience that frequent my posts.  However, what I shared last week brought about a huge jump in visitors.  I know that is because so many have a heart for adoption and shared our adoption story.

We also saw contributions to our Brackemyre Family Adoption Page. It is a humbling experience when people give from their own resources to support what we have decided to do.  We are nearing 50% of our goal on our page and had a couple of unexpected gifts come in the last week.  With that has been given, we have been able to stay current with our attorneys and other home study needs.

If you are one who gave on our page or shared it or read our storyTHANK YOU!

As we continue down the road to adoption, we’d love for you to join us in one of three ways:

1) Visit our AdoptTogether page to read a little more of our story

2) Share our AdoptTogether page with those in your circles of influence. Perhaps there is someone you know who has a heart for adoption.

3) If you are able, you can give through AdoptTogether toward adoption expenses.

We have had people give us diapers and outfits, provide meals and stop in “just to see the baby.”  We are truly grateful and look forward to the next few miles on our adoption journey.

Back on the Road to Adoption

Many months ago I posted about our bump on the road to adoption. We had made connections with a birth mom and were preparing to welcome a new child into our home. Birth mom decided to parent and our journey toward adoption seemed to stall. We had a number of people who had given toward adoption expenses through our AdoptTogether page.

Then last month – enter Eli.

Through a friend of a friend we were connected with a birth mother who was due early July. She decided to pursue adoption with us. We made plans to meet her on a Monday – two weeks before her scheduled C-section. As it turns out, Eli made an early entrance on the next day. Eli spent several days in the hospital and we were communicating with our attorney to get all appropriate paperwork in place so we could gain custody. A week after his birth, we brought Eli home.

Due to the money already given through our AdoptTogether and another grant we received, we were able to cover some of the initial expenses. There are still other expenses associated with adoption, including some due to this being an interstate adoption. We are adopting a Hoosier!

There are at least three things you can do if you feel lead to help with our adoption.

1) Visit our AdoptTogether page to read a little more of our story

2) Share our AdoptTogether page with those in your circles of influence. Perhaps there is someone you know who has a heart for adoption.

3) If you are able, you can give through AdoptTogether toward adoption expenses. While there are many worthy causes and many other families pursuing adoption, we’d love any support people feel led to give.

In our experience, adoption has been a period of waiting and more waiting followed by a flurry of activity to bring a child home.  Thanks for taking the time to read about and even be a part of our adoption journey.

Those Who Refresh Others Will Be Refreshed

I had the opportunity and privilege to participate in a memorial service for a dear lady from our church family a couple of weeks. She and her husband were active members for over 20 years and are well-liked and respected by people in our church and community.

During the service I simply shared some memories I had of this woman, how she influenced her family, impacted people around her and was involved in the life of our church. Mine was only one perspective on a life well lived and it was good to hear from others as they shared their memories.

As I was putting together my thoughts, a verse from Proverbs came to mind.  It is not a passage I’ve used at a funeral before nor have I heard it used by others.   As I looked up the verse and read the preceding verses, it fit very well.

The godly can look forward to a reward, while the wicked can expect only judgment. Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:23-25)

The woman we were remembering was one of refreshed others.  She served at our church.  She gave freely to her family and to those outside her family. She was known as a woman who loved and accepted kids.

…those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed

The wisdom of Proverbs really came to light before and during the service.  As we give freely, we do refresh others and God, whether now or in the future, will refresh us.

…those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed

Good challenge for the day.

Two More Ways to Support Spring Break House Build Trip

1mission_4We are about halfway into our Upward Basketball season where we have been offering concessions to raise money for our Spring Break House Build Trip. Our church family has been very generous in providing items that we use for our concessions. We have donations of Gatorade, cans of soda, chips, candy bars, monetary donations and even pizza that we sold by the slice. It has been a great start to our fundraising efforts.

While we have five more Saturdays of Upward to go, there are two other ways that people can support our Mexico Team.
green bucket

For those in the Wilmington area: Sunday, March 6th will be Green Bucket Sunday.

We have used the green buckets in the past and we will use them the first Sunday in March. The green buckets will be located at the doors exiting our Ministry Center and any money that is placed in the buckets will go toward the Mexico trip.  This is a simple way to allow people to give toward the trip in a way that goes above what they give to the church.

Last year we used the green buckets to help reach our goal of $4,000 to send to 1MISSION to build a home for a family in Mexico. It allowed our who church family to participate, no matter the size of the gift.

For those in or out of the Wilmington area:  Give Online.

A number of months ago our church family was given the opportunity to give online.  So many of the things we do now, including paying bills, is done online.  You can now give to the overall work of WCC or specifically to the Mexico trip through our Online Giving Page.  If you want to give specifically toward the House Build Trip, you can select that in the drop down menu.

Online giving

There are so many great mission organizations and projects being done throughout the world. We are excited about our partnership with 1MISSION and appreciate all the support from our church family and friends. Thanks to all those who are giving toward the trip and praying for our team.

1MISSION Campaign Update – House is Built!

ortiz barajas familyIf you are from the Wilmington Church of Christ or have been keeping up with my posts, you probably know we were raising funds to build a house for the Barajas family in Mexico. I received some good news this week: their house has been completed!

The above picture shows the family with the keys to their home. If you gave toward this project, THANK YOU! What a great work to be a part of. You can read more about the family on the 1MISSION page.

Here are a couple more pictures:

ortiz barajas family 3

ortiz barajas family 4

Spring Break House Build Trip Info Meeting

During Spring Break, 2016, our high school students and adults have an opportunity to travel to Puerto Penasco, Mexico, and help build a home for a family in need through 1MISSION, a community development organization giving people in poverty the opportunity to earn a house by serving their community. Recently I posted some information about the trip and wanted to follow that up some further details.

An information packet is available, which breaks down the anticipated cost of the trip and gives information regarding our schedule, housing, travel, etc. While the packet won’t answer every question, it will provide the basic information for those interested in the trip.

One of the big concerns about traveling to Mexico is safety.  While there are some dangerous areas in Mexico and you should always be aware when traveling out of the country, the area where we will be traveling is safe for travel.  1MISSION has hosted numerous groups and recently hosted 400 students who built 13 homes for families.  Also, 1MISSION just celebrated their 400th home being built!  They have a lot of experience in the area where we will travel and will provide us with good information so we are safe.

Another concern with a mission trip is cost.  Flights out of the country are not cheap and we are doing our best to keep costs as minimal as possible.  Currently, the estimated cost of the trip is $1200.  For our WCC students and adults, a portion of the trip will be underwritten by a generous gift given toward missions.  At least $300 will be available for each WCC student and adult who wants to go on the trip.  Also, we have fundraisers planned to help defray the cost.

We will have an Informational Meeting on Sunday, November 22, immediately following our morning services.  Anyone who is interested in hearing more about the trip or asking specific question is invited to attend.

We do have a deadline set for the trip.  In order to make plans and secure air travel and other details, we are asking participants to make a $50 deposit by Sunday, Dec. 13. That will help us know how many are committed to the trip and we can move ahead with details.

Below is a brief video that shows what a house build looks like.  More information on the trip can be found on the 1MISSION website.  They have a link that provides responses to Frequently Asked Questions regarding serving in Mexico.

Support the Walk To End Alzheimer’s 2015

Walk to End AlzheimersThis will be the third year that I have had the opportunity to participate in The Walk to End Alzheimer’s. My mother-in-law has been battling this disease for a few years now and we are all waking (Cheryl, Andrew, Max & I) in her honor and hoping for a cure.

The Walk is a great gathering of people who have lost loved ones, those who are care-givers for those struggling with the disease and even people who have Alzheimer’s. The primary goal is to find a cure.

My wife has set up our Walk to End Alzheimer’s Donation Page and we would appreciate any support that you can offer.  I know there are many great organizations that are raising funds and not everyone can give to everything.  If you can help, click on the link or the picture above.

This is our picture from last year’s Walk.  Thanks for considering supporting us in The Walk 2015.

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