Summer 17 has begun!

Summer has begun!

We are thrilled to say that the first team of summer 2017 took off Thursday May 19! These bright, smiling faces are headed to Africa! 

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We have been praying, planning, and looking forward to this very moment for an entire year! 

Our team is prepared to follow God's call and serve, love, learn, and laugh with our Malawian friends. The pure joy that emanates from our children is contagious...we know soon our team will be experiencing that joy and sharing their own. 

There is no moment like pulling into the Grace Center and having a welcoming party sing praises to Jesus and expressing how happy they are to see you. Soon, our first team will experience just that! 

So, they're having fun and experiencing the joy of Jesus...what can YOU do?

1. Pray! 

2. Pray again!

We want to bathe our team and our staff and children in prayer. While praying over Karen before she left God gave me the words peaceful, joyful, productive, and Spirit-filled. Pray with me! 

Set time aside to pray over the summer ahead, pray the blood of Jesus over our team, pray for clarity and direction for our staff and team members as they dive into their projects and grow relationships. 

Stay tuned for more pictures and updates as our team gets settled in! 

Posted on May 19, 2017 .

Growing Healthy Kids and Futures

Think back to the last week...how many different types of foods did you eat?

In the last week I have made Mexican food, Italian food, traditional American breakfast, burgers, fresh veggies, lots of salads, and more. What have you had? What special meals do you have planned coming up?

In America, we very rarely have the same TYPE of meal back-to-back much less the exact same foods BUT...

A really good meal in the villages of Malawi looks like this:

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Nsima with greens or beans. No variation. Super special moments call for goat or chicken and sometimes mornings are marked with porridge but rarely is there variation from these exact food much less types of foods.

Culturally Malawians often expect every meal to include nsima or it is not a meal.

What does this mean for their nutrition?

90% of a Malawian family's diet is corn based with plenty of calories but limited nutrients. The greens that are often eaten in the villages with nsima are low in available nutrients too.

What's the GOOD news?

Our local community in Malawi has seen a HUGE improvement in our children's hemoglobin levels (iron in their blood) and overall health according to out health checks! Woo hoo! Our anemia feeding program is working and the community is getting educated as to what eating meat and a variety of fruits and vegetables will do for their health.

Clean plates and big smiles bring our hearts joy! Imagine how many more plates of food and smiles the future holds as we increase the Grace Center!

Clean plates and big smiles bring our hearts joy! Imagine how many more plates of food and smiles the future holds as we increase the Grace Center!

More good news: Our gardens and farms are producing a variety of vegetables and our children in Timothy and Patricia's Homes are being fed a balanced diet.

As we add the land of the Grace Center our ability to grow these, very necessary, foods only increases!

Our corn goes towards nsima for our kids but the sale of it also goes towards meat and healthy variation...a ground breaking concept in Malawi! 

Join us as we raise the last 1/3 needed for our land purchase! What better way to say Happy Mother's Day to the mother figure in your life than donating towards healthy, happy kids and their futures in her honor?

Posted on May 4, 2017 .

One Word At a Time: Preparing For Summer 2017

We are counting down the days until our 2017 teams head to Malawi!

Whether staying or going God has plans to bless and reach his people and you play an important role! Team work is VITAL whether you are a sender or go-er this summer.

Our teams have spent hours raising funds, praying, preparing, collecting donations, and more. We are so proud of the teams that we are sending this year! Recently during team meetings, Karen asked each team member below for a word describing how they're feeling about the upcoming trip.

Education team

Education team

Evangelism team

Evangelism team

Medical team

Medical team

As these smiling faces complete their final preparations, join us in praying over them and their families. Additionally, pray for the Malawians each person will have contact with. Pray that God will prepare hearts and paths that his glory will shine through our teams and HIS purposes will be accomplished.

 

What word would YOU give to the upcoming summer? Is sponsor a word you're considering? How about partner? We are needing partners to join us in investing in the future of COH and the Grace Center as we secure a vital piece of land. Click the links below:

Posted on April 28, 2017 .

When You Lose Your Heart And Find The Lord: Sponsorship

Have you ever had an experience so profound it changes the entire rest of your life? Has Jesus shown you something so beautiful, so profound in his plan for you that your foundations shook?

If you have been present for a birth, you have witnessed God's kingdom grow. For me, (Kaitlyn here) the moment my daughter was born I realized I had seen God's plan grow. His plan and his purpose unfolded before my eyes with this child HE sent for HIS glory.

That moment happens over and over at the Grace Center...people realize the purpose and beauty of the Lord when looking outside themselves and into the eyes and heart of a child.

Exodus 9:16 says, "But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

What greater news could there be?! God has purpose for you! God has purpose for ALL of us! We wants to use you and those you love to proclaim his name. The Lord of all wants to use you to show his power!


Woah!

Here's something else to process: the Lord wants to use his children you have not even met yet for that same purpose. He has created beautiful souls to glorify himself all over this earth.

What if your purpose is to help someone realize theirs? What if that moment of realization of God's great love and glory is waiting for you behind the eyes of a precious little boy or girl needing a sponsor?

Is God extending his love to you in a new way by showing you more of himself through a new person?

Sylvana found more of the Lord in Malawi. She fell deeply in love with the country and the children and in the process, she found more of the love of the Lord.

Watch her story of sponsorship below and embrace God's calling on your life today! (Get your Kleenex ready!)

We can never know too much of God's glory or beauty! By knowing children in Malawi and inviting them into my heart and my family through loving them and sponsoring them I have seen more and more of the Lord and it's been a truly life changing experience.

Psalm 33:11-12:

But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
    the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people he chose for his inheritance.

Sylvana said it best, "As a result of this of this place, as a result of the LOVE I have found, my role as a nurse back in the states as changed tremendously just because of the way this place has impacted my life."

Let the LORD change you for his glory, let his face shine through you just as his does through Sylvana! Follow the link and join our family through sponsorship.

Posted on April 25, 2017 .