See You At The Pole 15 #syatp

This week was See You At The Pole. It is a nationwide prayer event that we encourage our students to be a part of each year. Due to the timing of some of our schools’ events, I was able to be at a portion of two different schools gatherings. Each year when you walk on to the campus, you can sense both the excitement and nervousness as students gather. While we don’t have official number of participants from each year, this year seemed to have a higher number of students present than in years past.

I’m grateful for the students who make it a point to participate in the event and make it a proority to get to school early to pray. I’m thankful for the adults (parents, teachers, church leaders) who encourage the students by their presence at the event. While SYATP started with high school students, it has trickled down to the elementary school level.

There have been many pictures shared on Facebook of the various events. Here’s a brief video of pictures from our local schools.

1MISSION Campaign Officially Complete

1MISSION CompleteFor the past several months we have been talking about and raising funds for our 1MISSION Campaign to help get the Ortiz Barajas family into a home.  We are now officially complete!  Our goal was to raise $4000 and through concession stands at Upward Basketball and a karate tournament, through generous online gifts and money given in the “green buckets” on a Sunday morning, we have arrived at our destination.

Thanks to all those from our Wilmington Church of Christ family for supporting our efforts to partner with 1MISSION.  We look forward to hearing how these funds are used to help the Barajas family in Mexico.

 

Finish Our 1MISSION Project – Fill the Green Buckets

1Mission Finish UpWe are in the home stretch of our 1MISSION project. Our goal was to raise $4,000 to build a home for the Barajas family. We are just $900 away from reaching that goal. We have a couple more weeks to get to the goal.

One way you can be a part of our project is to SHARE our 1MISSION Campaign Page Link. Whatever social media outlet you use (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), you can share the link to give people an opportunity to give and be a part of providing a home for this family. Here’s the link: https://my.1mission.org/t/2539/impact. Copy it and share it.

Another way to be a part of our project of course is to GIVE. For our Wilmington Church of Christ family, we have a practical way to do that. For the next few Sundays, we will have green buckets (see below) by the doors of our Ministry Center. As you enter or leave, you can drop extra change or dollar bills into the green buckets. Everything given in the green buckets will go toward our 1MISSION family.

Join in with us to reach our goal and provide a home for the Barajas family!

green bucket

Adoption Fundraising Continues & We Are So Grateful

Gotcha DayA couple of weeks ago I posted about our Adopt Together fundraising page. We also had a friend send out some letters on our behalf to help with our efforts. We also have a former student of mine who is doing a Thirty-One party for us. Through it all Cheryl and I have been humbled by those who have joined us in this next stage of our lives. We have received gifts from family, friends, a few “back in the day” friends and even some people who have joined us anonymously. Currently we are nearly 50% of the way toward our goal. Again, we are so grateful for those who have decided to partner with us.

Currently, we have received enough to pay for the renewal of our home study, to send the necessary fees to our attorney in Ohio and our attorney in Maryland. We had no idea what the response would be and we are blown away.

We are using the website Adopt Together and are so appreciative of that form of communication and safe place for people to give. This video gives a little bit of the back story of Adopt Together.

AdoptTogether “Meet The Family” from AdoptTogether on Vimeo.

For those who want to be a part of this, there are two ways you can be involved.

1.) Our Adopt Together Page. Again, Adopt Together is a non-profit group and they provide grants to families who want to adopt. The gifts that are given are tax-deductible. You can click on the image below to go to our page.
Adopt Together screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2). Our Thirty-One Event. If you like Thirty-One products or want to buy something as a gift, check out the party This one closes on April 20 so it is concluding in just a few days. Click the image to go there.
Thirty-One page

 

 

 

 

 

We are again so thankful for those who are a part of this adoption journey.

Buy a Thirty-One Product, Support our Adoption

Gotcha DayThis weekend, I got a cool message from one of my former students. When my family moved to Indiana to serve at Cedar Creek Church of Christ, Stephanie was in elementary school. Now (just a few years later) she is a mother of two. Stephanie messaged me and said she was thinking about how she could help us as we pursue adoption. Since she is a Thirty-One consultant, she decided to throw us a Thirty-One party!

If you are not familiar with Thirty-One, they sell bags, jewelry, purses, stationary, etc. The website says they “provide fun and functional products that make life easier.” I have never shopped Thirty-One, but my wife has and I know several ladies that are Thirty-One consultants. You can check out more about Thirty-One’s story on their website.

So, here’s how the party works. We have a unique page where you can browse for products and place your order. 25% of the proceeds from the sales will benefit our plans for adoption. We are grateful to Stephanie for putting this together.

Click on the image below to go to our unique Thirty-One page and you can start shopping. Even if you don’t need anything from Thirty-One, we would appreciate your prayers as we move toward adoption.

Thirty-One page

Our Story of Adoption & How You Can Help

10171918_1417043165228998_7744076981488006083_nIn the past few months I’ve posted about our Gotcha Day and how adoption has impacted our family. Max, who is almost 19 months old, will soon be joined by a little brother.

We have connected with a birth mom who is due June 22. We are making plans to travel to be present for the birth and to get to know the family. We have started the process to adopt again and have enlisted a great team here in Ohio and a great team in Maryland to assist us. Adopting Max happened very quickly and we pulled together various resources to pay for his adoption. Financially we need some help and we are using a non-profit fund-raising platform called Adopt Together to help us raise the necessary funds.

If you are someone (or you know someone) who has a heart for adoption, please visit our page. It tells a little bit more of our story about adoption and gives people an opportunity to help with the expenses. While this adoption won’t cost as much as Max’s adoption, we are seeking financial support.

To visit our Adopt Together page, click on the image below.  On our page, you will be able to read about our plans for adoption and how you can help if you feel led to do so.

Adopt Together screen

Refuse to Drown

Refuse to Drown front onlyIn the epilogue of his book, the author made this powerful observation and statement: “At some point in the process, my eyes were opened to an incredible truth: we can’t do this thing called life alone.” As Tim Kreider shares his painful and powerful story of walking through the incarceration of his son, he underscores the importance of involving and inviting other people into our lives.

When I received Refuse to Drown I already knew the premise of the book – that the author’s son was involved in a murder and the father had to make some difficult choices that would have lasting impact on his son. Knowing the backdrop of the book did not diminish the power of Kreider’s story. Walking with him through the facts of the murder, the emotional struggles of his son, Alec, the discovery of his son’s involvement in the crime, how it impacted both himself and his other children and the heartbreaking choices he had to make, I was drawn into his narrative. As a parent, I found myself hoping for some twist in the story, some unforeseen change that would redirect how the story would end. Unfortunately, that didn’t take place.

What Refuse to Drown does is underscore what Kreider shared in his epilogue – we can’t do this life alone. Alec’s story is a stirring reminder that we need to allow other people into our lives, even when it is difficult and uncomfortable. It was encouraging through the book to see how various people – both friends and strangers – spoke into Tim Kreider’s life and offered the support and assistance he needed.

This book is a compelling read, but especially for those who may be going through a dark season in life. It is a stark reminder that the decisions we make in private eventually become public and that we aren’t alone in our struggles. If you or someone you know is struggling, Refuse to Drown is a helpful reminder that we can’t live this life alone.

Massie Pride Video (Part 2)

massiefalconsAbout a year ago, I posted a video made by a Clinton-Massie student and alum about Clinton-Massie’s run to the state football championship. As just about everyone in our area knows, the team made it back-to-back state titles this year. They played some strong teams in the playoffs and pulled off a couple come from behind victories to become Div IV defending state champions.

The two guys that made the video last year have come out with a part 2. The community is very supportive of the team and this video is just one example. It looks like they had some fun making it, too.

Still Time to Give Toward Alzheimer’s Walk

Walk to End AlzheimersLast week I posted about the upcoming Alzheimer’s Walk that is happening in Dayton. My wife and I have had several friends respond (THANK YOU!) but there is still time for you to get involved. Here’s what I posted last week along with a link to give toward the walk. Thanks for reading!

On Saturday, September 28, I will be joining my wife in the 2013 Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Dayton, OH. My mother-in-law, Phyllis, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and has been living in a care facility for over a year now. The disease is so tragic as it slowly steals away the life and memories of your loved one right in front of your eyes. As with all patients, Phyllis has her good days and bad. Cheryl, her father and family do a great job caring for her.

We are walking to raise money for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. You can donate any amount on-line and it can even be done anonymously, but we’d love to know who is supporting us.

Click on this link – Walk To End Alzheimer’s – to be directed to a page where you can donate toward our walk. Thanks to all those who choose to give!