Jesus told us, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We live in a broken world, with broken bodies sometimes and broken hearts, but in that we have the blessing of being able to cling to Jesus. I pray that our struggles do not harden us but instead we are like soft clay in the Master’s hands. We will not be crushed or broken when things don’t go our way. We’ll allow God in His wisdom to mold us, reshape us, and redirect us according to His plan, as He sees fit (Isaiah 64:8, Jeremiah 18:1-6).
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Cor. 4:7-9
- 1 year ago
- 1 year ago
- 1 year ago
The subject of bullying is still a hot button issue today. This is definitely not a fad that people will move on from once the next big issue comes along. It’s not stopping and it’s gaining national attention as more teen suicides are reported due to bullying. With all the technology around us today that provides communication like email, instant messaging, social media, photo sharing services and texting many can’t escape bullying even within the confines of their homes or safe places. A typical teen may send and receive around 100 texts a day! With all these forms of communication readily available, the opportunity for bullying to occur has increased so it’s no surprise this is becoming a huge issue damaging our society.
We’ve finally learned that the phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a big fat lie. We don’t understand why people do and say such cruel things. We are angry. We lash out. We post images and sayings online with a “take that, stupid bully!” mentality. We answer the bullying with more bullying. It’s become popular to speak out against bullying which started as a good thing. However, it has morphed into speaking out against the bullies themselves. It’s popular to talk about how bad these bullies are, to have the idea that we need to do away with the bullies. THIS is becoming a problem on it’s own. We can’t seem to separate the behavior from the actual human being underneath.
Stop bullying the bullies! “Hurt people hurt people” has become a cliche, but it still holds true. Bullies act like that for a reason. Perhaps, if people actually take the time to invest in them, show love to the seemingly unlovable, hear them out, help them figure out why they act the way they do and show them the way of compassion by example, the bullying will lessen. People will always fail, someone will always get hurt, but our response to that can change.
I know that obviously, everyone isn’t a Christian, but I am reminded that Jesus sought Zacchhaeus for a reason. Saul’s conversion is a big deal for a reason. Jesus told us to “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” He didn’t tell us to love each other until one of you does something wrong and then go to town shaming them and hating them. The popular idea today is to fight fire with fire. However, that does nothing but make a bigger fire. Put that fire out, be the bigger person and show love to the seemingly unlovable.
Hey there friends/bloggy-tumblr thingy! It’s been awhile. I’ll cut to the chase. The time when I start figuring out how I can visit my friends in Haiti, learn more from them, and see the amazing work we have been part of is FAST approaching. Those of you that have been around me long enough to talk about more than just the weather know that when Haiti comes up (naturally that just keeps happening…huh), I can go on and on and on! That’s a pretty accurate picture of how most of my advocacy for our brothers and sisters in Haiti has gone this year. I have also learned that I’m not really great at writing regular blog posts, I super-fail at Twitter and I’m crazy thankful that I can keep up with some of you on Facebook. However, one thing I am good at is hanging with folks over a pint or a meal (heck, there’s been a LOT of parking lot conversations too). We get deep, I try to answer hard questions and really advocate for my friends in Haiti. Some of the blog posts that I still want to explore for those of you that I unfortunately don’t get to talk with in person very often are the different things I’ve learned after being involved with Help One Now, child sponsorship (I got to meet our sponsored child on my last trip), Help One Now’s Garage Sales for Orphans (GS4O), The Adventure Project’s Sponsor-a-Stove program, The Eden Projects, and the Haitian people and why we care.
Even better, by raising funds to go on this trip, I am also raising the funds to help build a house in Haiti as part of the 100 Homes Project. If you decide to help out with funds, you will help build a home in Haiti and as most people know, the people of Haiti are desperate for homes as thousands live in tents or makeshift shelters. Every time we raise the funds to build a home we: provide jobs, prevent trafficking, build healthy families, and help restore hope. I will DEFINITELY be blogging about more of this soon (and not the well-intended, fake soon…I’m really gonna do it!). By being involved and seeing the 100 Homes Project in action firsthand, my passion for Haiti and our brothers and sisters there was deepened. I am excited to return to Haiti and bring back even more good news of the incredible work the local leaders are doing there and how we can support them.
If you want to help out, here’s how:
Donate through Paypal (Any donations made using this link will go directly towards my trip costs and raising the funds for the home).
A very generous friend and her employer wants to match the donations I raise dollar for dollar!!!! To donate this way, you will need to make the check out to me (Andrea Carroll). I can then turn in the funds to the company and it will be matched! Email me or send me a message through Twitter or Facebook to get my address for sending donations (sorry, don’t want to post it publicly).
You can also make donations for the trip/home directly to Help One Now via check if you prefer. Checks can be made payable to Help One Now and mailed to the address below. Please be sure to include my name, Andrea Carroll, on the memo line, as well as “New City Trip”
Help One Now
PO Box 26716
Raleigh, NC 27611
You may ask, “Why go to Haiti?”. There is plenty to do here in our own country. There are already organizations and leaders working there, and Haitians need to rebuild Haiti instead of continuing a posture of dependence. What good could one more visitor/volunteer do? Well, this was not your typical mission trip. Honestly, I am very wary of those (another post for another day).
Haiti had been on my radar for some time as we had some acquaintances that ran an organization there. Also, our church back in TN had a feeding center and school in the D.R. and the idea of Haiti would be brought up as well. Then the earthquake happened and for a short while, the world’s attention was turned to Haiti. Some organizations had already been on the ground doing work there for decades and needed financial resources and help more than ever. Some used the natural disaster to capitalize off of the tragedy of those who were already in an awful situation while others were honest and made the most of their donated funds. Haitians worked alongside trained rescue workers and dug people from rubble. Others carelessly jumped in or flooded the nation with “resources” while some stayed back, let the trained people do their work and tried to learn the best ways to continue job creation and sustainable aid. All this to say, there was one HUGE spotlight on Haiti after the earthquake that has now faded somewhat. However, many have not forgotten our Haitian brothers and sisters.
Help One Now is an organization that hasn’t forgotten. They are a tribe collected of communities, churches, businesses and individuals from around the world committed to rescuing and caring for orphans who have been abandoned, preventing slavery, freeing those who are enslaved, and caring for vulnerable children so that they do not become orphans. They partner with local leaders on projects that must be sustainable, holistic and empower locals (read their about page). This is a tribe that I am honored to be part of and the trip I took was through them. Like I mentioned earlier, this wasn’t your typical mission trip. It was more of a learning journey/pilgrimage. I got to learn from local Haitian leaders who I had been hearing about and praying for that partnered with Help One Now. I got to fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Haiti. I experienced and learned about their culture and began the long journey of understanding the complexities their communities face. Throughout the trip I got to see some of the projects we’ve supported and the positive impact they’ve had. I also have a sponsored child in Haiti. This is something I will definitely be talking about in posts to come. I wanted to see what his life was like. I wanted to meet the leaders taking care of him. Most of all, I just wanted to hug him! There is a small post on the first part of that story here. Any sacrifice or excuse to not go to Haiti with Help One Now paled in comparison to the experience, blessings, and opportunity to advocate that was ahead. When you are called, you go and I’m so glad I did.
learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. - Isaiah 1:17
- 2 years ago
The organization I went to Haiti with asked me to write a post about meeting my sponsored child. Today, they posted PART 1 (Ya, there was a lot to tell so I got a little long winded. Those that know me well know this is NOT a rare occurrence! HA!). Go on over to Help One Now’s blog and check it out!