Friday, December 13, 2013

Day 17 of Giving That Gives Back: Lovely Links From Friends

So have I ever mentioned that I have been blessed to know and meet some really super cool people? God seems to just know who to bring in to my life to keep me inspired and buoyed with hope that we can use our gifts to shine His light into the world and transform lives.

Back at Idea Camp in September, I spent a very hysterical and enlightening few hours with some amazing women. Today I want to share with you links to some of the causes they are passionate about and some of the things they are doing to change lives.

First, let me introduce you to my friend Britany. She and her family are waiting for God to add a precious person to their family from Ethiopia. If you have followed an adoptive family through the wait for a referral, it can be agonizingly difficult and easily lead to listless despondency. But that is not how Britany and her family are doing this waiting thing. They instead have launched a campaign of love in Ethiopia, to take care of vulnerable children and make sure they are cared for. Just look at these faces. They started out with 155 kids needing sponsorship. But because THEY TOTALLY ROCKED IT, half those kids are now sponsored. But there are still 88 waiting. And 100 more kids they have not yet profiled because this first batch was priority. So if someone would please go get sweet Mimi and then tell me what her letters say when you get them, that would make my world. Or Bethlehem? Because, seriously? That is some Christmas joy right there.

Now, let's talk about another cool chick I know, Lindsey. She is mama to two beautiful kiddos from Ethiopia too. And so part of her heart is in Ethiopia. And she has some pretty awesome talents she's using to bring transformation to families there. Like writing a book about a little boy's search for water in Africa to teach, inspire and engage kids about the global water crisis. I Walk For Water is lovely to look at, fun to read, and every child I've shared it with has enjoyed it and begun thoughtful discussion immediately afterwards. And every book purchased provides clean drinking water for one person in Africa for seven years. Double awesome. Lindsey shared this link today to the Children's HopeChest shop on Story Company. I'll take one of these flower cuffs in every color, please. And the chevron necklace made by deaf artisans in Kenya? Need it for sure. Lindsey also introduced me to LOPA Art which promotes and sell original art by Ethiopian artists and some amazing leather bracelets as well. Poke around their photos. Beautiful.

Are you starting to see why I loved hanging with these ladies? Just wait. There's more.

Erika came along on our taco and guacamole adventure as well. She and a friend just began an amazing project called Somebody's Mama that is linking women up to learn and engage with global women's issues. That tribe recently rallied to provide a mom from our St. Francis Emmaus Center with a year's worth of formula for her baby. It's a great tribe and I highly recommend you jump in! Somebody's Mama is in partnership with 4 H. I. M. Just go check out this video about their poultry project at a school in Togo. Amazing. We are hoping to learn more from them as we develop our Chicken Run project in the future.

And then there was Jen. She's responsible for the partnerships behind the beautiful products that are turning up in the (in)courage marketplace. She led the development of the lovely new tableware line from Dayspring. And she recently went to India to hang out with the team from JOYN India and meet their artists. Because she's awesome like that. I love JOYN's products and was so happy when they were featured in the new TOMS marketplace. Don't you love that TOMS page? You could make a homeschooling day out of following all the graphics there!

So, yeah, it was a pretty cool lunch. Did I mention we got lost, invited ourselves through the back door and traipsed through the kitchen to get there? Yeah. Because awesome is as awesome does. I hope you learn as much from these ladies as I have. And I am so grateful God brought each of you into my life!\

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