Uganda

Uganda…

We first really learned about this beautiful country in Africa after connecting with a pastor who is serving in the capital of Kampala.

Uganda…

In honor of our new pastor friend, this is where we chose one of our first correspondence children through Compassion International.

Uganda…

This is where the Compassion bloggers were five years ago, and where they are again this week celebrating five years of blogging that changes lives. I mean, it really changes lives. These bloggers are:

Learning lessons about writing and life

Writing about a boy and his best friend

Sharing what Grace really looks like

Sharing how we can help to end slavery and

Reaching around the world through the World Wide Web to encourage sponsors like you and me

 

Wait, you are not a sponsor yet?

 

No worries. You can join us in releasing Uganda’s children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Be sure to follow and support the bloggers as they finish their week in Uganda and beyond.

Day 18: Take a prayer trip across the world

Welcome to day 18 of our 31 days of compassion. Today, we want to take you on a trip, and you can choose your destination from 26 countries throughout Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and Asia. You can even travel to specific regions of your chosen country, such as the northwestern region of the Dominican Republic, the Amazon region of Ecuador, the rural region of Kenya, or the central region of Thailand. You do not need an airplane to take this trip. You just need some time and the willingness to pray for the people you will learn so much about.

 

When choosing your country and/or region, ask yourself these questions:

 

• Has the Lord placed a specific country or people group on my heart?

• Do I have a connection to someone in a specific country or region?

• Is there a culture I have always wanted to learn more about?

 

Where did you choose to travel today? What did you learn about the country and/or region you visited and its beautiful people? What were you led to pray for these people in response to your exploration? Please share your experience in the comments, and encourage others to travel across the world and pray for those they meet along the way.

 

31 Days of Compassion

Plan B: A major update on our Dominican Republic trip!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

 

As we have prepared over the past year to go to the Dominican Republic with Compassion International, we have been blessed by the many prayers and overwhelming support. In order to travel this November, we needed to guarantee we could have the funds available in time for our United States travel and lodging, immunizations, and other incidental expenses. To not lose the already paid for Compassion portion, we needed to make our final decision by the end of August as to whether or not we would go in November. We will not be traveling to the Dominican Republic in November of this year, but instead go to plan B.

 

Anticipating that the funds would not be available in time, we began the process of transferring our registration from the November 2013 trip to the April 2014 sponsor tour. Compassion has graciously agreed to transfer our non-refundable deposits for November to April. The Compassion portion of the April trip is less expensive than the November trip, so we will not owe any additional money to Compassion by traveling in 2014.

 

Through gracious and unexpected donations, we have met our financial goal! Words could not express how humbled we are by the generosity of those of you who donated in faith and support for this dream to be realized! However, as the transfer process was already started upon receiving the final donations, it would not be feasible to reverse the transfer process without major complications and the possibility of not traveling at all. Being that the April trip is over 6 months away, we will also have more time to purchase domestic airfare and lodging, get our immunizations, apply for our passports, ETC. In all honesty, we are breathing a sigh of relief about this. Moreover, the April 2014 Dominican Republic sponsor tour is an extended weekend trip that runs from Friday April 4 through Tuesday April 8. As Andy and I are both college students, we feel this extended weekend trip will better suit our schedules instead of juggling coursework while working diligently to enjoy the weeklong tour in November. With this change of plans, we would appreciate your continued prayers and encouragement.

 

Prayer requests

 

  1. As the November trip dates draw near, please pray for our emotions, as we will not be traveling during this time as previously planned.
  2. Please pray for our final preparations over the next few months to go smoothly and without complication.

 

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. We look forward to keeping you updated as our plans progress and the trip draws near.

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

A year in review: Update on our Nov 2013 Dominican Republic trip

It was a year ago today when we first shared with you our dream of traveling to the Dominican Republic this November with Compassion International as part of a sponsor-exposure tour. On this trip, we will experience the ministry of Compassion first-hand, meet our sponsored child Vladimir, and raise awareness about Compassion’s ministry through our blog and future opportunities. Much has happened in the past year, and we wanted to write and update regarding our fundraising efforts and specific prayer requests.

 

Fundraising updates

 

First, we would like to thank those who have donated to this trip. As a result of our saving and donations, both the Compassion International expenses and our passports have been funded. We are still raising funds for remaining expenses including travel and lodging within the United States, immunizations and Malaria medications, and any other incidentals we may encounter. In continuing to raise the needed funds, we are in the process of researching and planning various fundraising activities, and we look forward to updating you on their success when the time comes. As stated before, any money raised above and beyond the costs of this trip will be donated to Compassion International upon our arrival home to aid their ministry in the Dominican Republic. If you feel led to donate towards this trip, please feel free to go here to do so. Please keep in mind that donations are not tax deductible, as we are receiving services in return for expenses paid.

 

Prayer requests

 

We have seen the Lord work miracles in this past year, and we are trusting that he will continue to do so. Here are some specific prayer requests that we would like to share with you.

 

  1. Please pray for wisdom, peace, and strength for the Compassion staff who are working tirelessly to plan this trip.
  2. Please pray for everyone planning to travel, that all needs would be met and every heart would be open to what the Lord would have in store.
  3. Please pray for the Lord to prepare the hearts of the children, staff, and families in the Dominican Republic as we long to be a blessing and minister to them while we’re there.
  4. Please pray for Andy and myself to continue trusting the Lord for the finances and other trip needs to be met.
  5. Pray also that we will have grace, patience, and flexability with one another before, during, and after we travel.
  6. Please pray for anyone who reads our blog. As we hope to raise awareness of children in poverty and the ministry of Compassion International, please pray for the Lord to open hearts and lead who he sees best to join us in meeting the needs of these precious children.

 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We look forward to updating you again as the weeks go on and our departure draws near.

A dream coming true

Dear family and friends,

In November of this year, Andy and I will celebrate 9 blessed years of marriage. We will also have the opportunity during this time to travel to the Dominican Republic with Compassion International as part of a group of Compassion sponsors. This is known as an exposure trip, because we will be exposed to the ministry of Compassion first-hand.

 

While we do not yet know all of the specific itinerary details for the trip, we do know that we will visit local churches in the Dominican Republic who have partnered with Compassion to provide holistic child development to the children in their community registered in their program. We will learn how these churches and their dedicated staff and volunteers nurture each child’s social-emotional, educational, physical and spiritual growth. We will learn about other programs Compassion implements that compliment the child sponsorship program, and we will visit Compassion’s Dominican Republic country office to learn more about the day-to-day operations of Compassion’s work from a field country perspective and to learn how important child-sponsor correspondence really is! Last but certainly not least, we will have the blessed opportunity to meet and spend an unforgettable day with Vladimir, our sponsored son since 2009.

 

This trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to be able to answer the question “How do you know this ministry does what they say they’ll do?” by saying, “We have experienced Compassion’s work for ourselves.” Not every sponsor will have this opportunity, and much prayer, preparation, thought and planning goes into a trip such as this. We can not walk this road alone. Would you like to come alongside us as we come alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ? If God is leading you to be a part of this trip, here are some things you can do.

 

Pray!

 

• First and foremost, we need prayer warriors to surround not just us, but everyone involved.

• Pray with us for the Compassion staff who are working tirelessly to plan this wonderful trip.

• Pray with us for the sponsors who are seeking God’s will as to whether they should join this trip.

• Pray with us for the staff and children in the Dominican Republic to be blessed abundantly.

• Pray with us for God to break the hearts of everyone on this trip for what breaks his, and for each of us to be open to fully experiencing anything He

has for us.

• Pray with us that God will bless those called to go on this trip with the finances to do so, and that all of the details — big and small will be worked out.

• Pray with us for God to bless those who feel led to financially support anyone going on this trip to overflowing for their generosity and obedience to God’s voice.

 

Financially contribute

 

If God is leading you to help us fund this trip, we want to thank you in advance and we pray that God will bless you abundantly for your generosity!
We are estimating $7000.00 for both Andy and I to take this trip, and if we have budgeted above and beyond what we will need, any excess funds will be given to Compassion International when we return home to further their ministry in the Dominican Republic. Contributions to our trip are not considered tax deductible, as we will be receiving services in return.

 

Trip costs that we are planning for include the following.

Please note: Items marked with a * are paid for! Thank you to those who have contributed!

 

• Round-trip bus transportation between our home city and Chicago

• Airfare between Chicago and Miami

•lodging in Miami

• Passport application fees*

• Immunizations and medications associated with international travel

• Airfare between Miami and the Dominican Republic

• Lodging

• all meals and tips

• travel within The Dominican Republic

• Our sponsored child’s travel for the one day visit

• Guides and translators during the tour

• Admission fees

• departure tax and administrative costs

• Any other incidentals or specific costs we are currently unaware of at this time.

 

Please know that we are working with Compassion International’s tours department to make this trip as cost-effective as possible, and we ourselves will be actively fundraising and financially contributing as well. We understand that with the economy and other pressing financial needs, you may only be able to contribute a small amount. Anything you feel led to give will be greatly appreciated and used with the greatest of care and integrity.

 

You can give securely online, or if you know us personally you can contact us privately for our address To send your donation via mail.

Thank you for your prayers and support as we take this life-changing trip!