Here I am God. Send me.

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I leave for Bolivia Monday.  In two days.  In 52 hours.

I feel excited, nervous, scared, anxious, but more excited than anything.  I feel ready.  I’m ready to get out of this bubble I live in.  I’m ready to go share all this love I have that is getting ready to explode out of my heart.  Although check back in with me later today and I may be in a corner rocking back and forth in the fetal position freaking out!!!  Last year my daughter and I traveled to Honduras with Children’s Impact Network to spend time and work at the Honduras Life Center orphanage.  I remember the night before that trip, if I could have given my ticket away I would have in a second.  I was sooooo scared, like I’m going to be sick scared.  It ended up being one of the best experiences of my life and totally changed my heart.  I don’t feel that crippling fear this time.  I can’t wait to get down there and love on those boys.  I have my tennis shoes packed and I’m ready to play some soccer.

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I will be staying at the Bolivia Life Center orphanage, a home for boys that have been rescued from abuse and abandonment.  I am soooo excited to have the opportunity to teach a metal stamping workshop at the Bolivia Life Center orphanage LIFEhouse. This is a transitional home for boys who have aged out of the orphanage (at 18 years). Children’s Impact Network provides financial support and leadership for the orphanage in Bolivia, as well as the orphanage in Honduras.  Something I love about Children’s Impact Network is that they are committed to life long relationships with the children they rescue – most from devastating stories of abuse and neglect.

In Bolivia, the boys must apply for admission into the LIFEhouse. This program allows them to continue their studies, get part-time jobs and learn to live independently while still in a safe and loving home with house parents. True part-time jobs which allow the boys time to attend school and study are very hard to come by in Bolivia. I’ve been offered the opportunity to help them. In my workshop the boys will learn to stamp metal – specifically metal pendants which will be made into jewelry and sold to raise much needed support for Children’s Impact Network. The boys will be paid a fair wage upon completion of each bracelet and necklace they make. This will allow them to earn some extra income and teach them a new skill. It will provide them with ownership in the mission that rescued them and gave them a second chance. Most of the boys at the LIFEhouse consider the younger boys still in the orphanage brothers. They love and care for them. This will allow them to help themselves and their brothers.

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Thank you soooooo much to my family and friends who donated money to make this trip possible and also helped purchase all the supplies and tools needed to teach this skill to the boys.  I wouldn’t be going on this trip if it wasn’t for your love and support.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

We will sell the jewelry the boys make on Children’s Impact Online store that we hope to launch late fall.  The boys will also be able to keep all the tools and lots of extra supplies to make and sell jewelry in Bolivia as well!!!  Here are just a few photos of the products what we will be making.  The bracelet is my favorite.  We decided to go with James 1:27 on all bracelets.

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I travel to Bolivia Monday.  This homebody is not sure what to expect, but I’m hoping for an amazing adventure, one that honors and glorifies God.

Here is my prayer that I have been praying:

Dear Lord,

Please make my life a glorious adventure and help me to stop clinging to old ways.  Remove these parts of my life that I keep around only for myself so I will have more room for the parts that glorify and honor you.  Please give me a pure heart.  Please give me a renewed, faithful, devoted, dedicated, steadfast mind and heart.  Please send your spirit to control my mind and my heart.  Please give me a life of power, love, and self-control.  Please give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I may know you better, my eyes of my heart focused and clear so that I can see exactly what it is you are calling me to do.  Please give me a humble heart willing to stand strong wherever you lead me.  Please keep my mind and my heart from being troubled and afraid.  Please help me to be patient, steady, and strong.  Oh Lord, by the power of the Holy Spirit please make me faithful.  Please show me how to think like you.  Please show me how to live like you.  Help me glorify and honor you with my actions and my words.  Thank you for the invitation to work with and follow you.  I accept and confirm that I am your choice.  Please help me be a woman of action for you dear Lord.    Here I am God.  Send me.  Amen.

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xoxoxo Angela

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Ask. Believe. Receive.

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Ask. Believe. Receive.

  I see all the suffering and heartache in this world and I want to make it go away.  My heart breaks for abused children, for abandoned children, for children who are physically hurting.  But where do I start?  How can I help? I’m only one person.  One person who’s an introvert homebody, screws up constantly, and has killed way too many brain cells in the past that I think I’ve done permanent damage.  Where do I start, It’s all soooo overwhelming.

I decided to start with prayer.  The serious ask, believe, receive kind of prayer.  The I know you can do this God Prayer.  The I know you can make my life different prayer.  The change me, I’m ready to work for you prayer.  The difference in these prayers and the ones that I have prayed in the past, is that I truly believed and I wasn’t afraid to ask.  I prayed for an organization I could give my time, my gifts, and my heart to.  I prayed for a glorious adventurous life. I want to break out of this squeaky clean, easy, Harris Teeterish, suburbia bubble that I live in.

He is answering my prayers.  He blessed me with a passion and love for two organizations, Children’s Impact Network and Sole Hope.

 About three months ago I started e-mailing with a friend who just stepped down as Director of Development for Children’s Impact Network due to giving birth to her second child.  I asked Michelle Shott if I could run some ideas by her even though she was no longer on staff.  That began a constant daily exchange of ideas, fundraising projects, and dreams for Children’s Impact Network.  Even though Michelle is no longer on staff and has two babies at home, it hasn’t stop her from continuing the work that she was created to do with Children’s Impact Network.

I was very enthusiastic about the two organizations that I had decided to devote my life to.  And if you decide to devote your life to something you need a t-shirt to represent!!!!  Am I right!?!  I have a Sole Hope t-shirt, I have a Tennessee Vol t-shirt, I needed a Children’s Impact Network t-shirt.  So I went to their website only to discover there was no online store.  WHAT!?!?!  I couldn’t get a t-shirt?????  How was I suppose to support my cause without a t-shirt????  I promptly emailed Michelle and asked why they didn’t have an online store to benefit the organization!?!?  She explained that lack of staff was the main reason.  The small staff they employed was busy and overloaded with important stuff like building orphanages and taking care of the abused and abandoned children they help.  They didn’t have anyone to run an online store, order product, manage the store, ship out product, all those things that it took to get it up and running.

Why couldn’t I do it?

That was the beginning of our dream to create an online store to produce much needed income for Children’s Impact Network.  Michelle and I have spent hours emailing back and forth about product that will sell, meeting with product companies, talking to lawyers about LLC’s, sales tax, and non profits.  We are still in the beginning stages of our idea but moving forward quickly and hope to have the online store up and running this fall!!!  Michelle came up with selling jewelry stamped with phrases like, The Power of One, Children’s Impact Network, and James 1:27 onto metal blanks.  Then we took it one step further…… and here’s how that glorious adventurous life prayer is being answered….

I am soooo excited to have the opportunity to teach a metal stamping workshop at the Bolivia Life Center orphanage LIFEhouse. This is a transitional home for boys who have aged out of the orphanage (at 18 years). Children’s Impact Network provides financial support and leadership for the orphanage in Bolivia, as well as the orphanage in Honduras where my husband Weston, daughter Lilly, and I have all served. Something I love about Children’s Impact Network is that they are committed to life long relationships with the children they rescue – most from devastating stories of abuse and neglect.

In Bolivia, the boys must apply for admission into the LIFEhouse. This program allows them to continue their studies, get part-time jobs and learn to live independently while still in a safe and loving home with house parents. True part-time jobs which allow the boys time to attend school and study are very hard to come by in Bolivia. I’ve been offered the opportunity to help them. In my workshop the boys will learn to stamp metal – specifically metal pendants which will be made into jewelry and sold to raise much needed support for Children’s Impact Network. The boys will be paid a fair wage upon completion of each necklace. This will allow them to earn some extra income and teach them a new skill. It will provide them with ownership in the mission that rescued them and gave them a second chance. Most of the boys at the LIFEhouse consider the younger boys still in the orphanage brothers. They love and care for them. This will allow them to help themselves and their brothers.

Button Bird Designs

Children’s Impact Network trip, Honduras, July 2014

I recently raised the money I need for my trip next month on gofundme.com thanks to some wonderful generous friends.  However we still need $1,149.86 to purchase product and make the online store a reality.  I have volunteered to house the product, manage the store, order product, and ship out orders.  But we need some generous donations to make it happen.  If you feel in your heart that you would like to help us make this dream come true, please consider donating to me or directly to Children’s Impact Network with a note saying the money goes to online store.

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What will your Ask. Believe. Receive prayer be!?

xoxoxo Angela

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Sole Hope, The Nester, and a Big Honkin Tree

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I found out about Sole Hope almost three years ago at the Allume Conference.  I was first drawn to the Sole Hope table by their super cool t-shirts.  I know…super shallow but man am I a sucker for a cool t-shirt.  They also had some type of pattern cutting kit that you could purchase to make shoes for kids in Uganda.  What the what!?!?!  I could cut fabric anddddd help kids in Africa!?!?!  Sign me up!!!  But the more I talked to the volunteers, I totally fell in love with more than just their t-shirts and shoe cutting kits.  This organization totally took hold of my heart right there in that hotel lobby!

Sole Hope is a non-profit organization with a focused effort in Uganda to battle the problem of jiggers. Jiggers are sand fleas that burrow into the feet of thousands of Ugandan children who often live their life without adequate footwear. The result is infection, gangrene, paralysis, and occasionally amputation and even death.

I bought a shoe cutting kit, (and a t-shirt) and left the conference.  At home, I watched the video that was included in my kit with my kids, did a little Sole Hope research online, and then put the kit on a shelf in my sewing room where it sat for the next two years.  Life happened, work happened, family stuff happened.  That kit sat through two years of life and many many sewing room clean ups and purges. I have gotten rid of A LOT of stuff over the past couple of years but something wouldn’t let me get rid of that kit.  The beginning of this year, I started following my heart and I started really praying.  The ask, believe, receive kinda prayers that Mama Terri told me about.  I prayed for several months that God would help me find a place where I could plug-in and help.  Children’s Impact Network had become a huge part of my life.  Then that kit caught my eye.  I pulled it out and spent the next few hours pouring over the Sole Hope website, online videos, and cutting shoe patterns out of my old jeans.  Turns out their State side office was only 45 minutes away from my house!!  Since that day I’ve started volunteering with Holly and Mamma Terry at the Sole Hope office, became a Sole Hope Advocate for North Carolina, and have starting hosting shoe cutting parties!

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Now I get to work around all those t-shirts!  (insert evil laugh here)!!!

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Sweet Holly!

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and her mom…Momma Terri!!!!  Love them both!!!

Just a couple of weeks ago The Nester texted me and asked if I wanted to host a Sole Hope shoe cutting party at the cozy minimalist get together at the barn!!  UMMMMM YES!!!!  Nevermind it was going to be my FIRST shoe cutting party, nevermind I was totally unprepared, never mind I was scared out of my mind!!!!!  YES YES YES I will be there…. and guess what!?!?  It was the best day ever!!!!

Button Bird Designs

We hung out at the barn!!

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

We made new friends.

Button Bird Designs

We took lots of photos of each other!

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

We looked at beautiful imperfect things.

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

We walked around the property!

Button Bird Designs

(I had no idea she was hiding this much wood!!!)

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

We hung out in her house!

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

We visited the locust tree!

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

and then we cut shoes uppers for Sole Hope and the children of Uganda!!!!

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird Designs

Button Bird DesignsThe shoes uppers we cut from jeans will be sent to Uganda and than assembled by impoverished women; primarily widows and ex sex workers.  The sole of the shoe is made out of recycled tires!  Sole Hope then pays a fair wage for these shoes and places them on the feet of needy children after foot washing/jigger removal clinics.

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It was a mighty good day.

If you would like more information about Sole Hope visit their website here.  If you would like to order a shoe cutting kit and have your own party click here.  If you live around the Charlotte area and would like for me to come to your home, office, or where ever you can gather friends and host a shoe cutting party or just give you more information about Sole Hope just contact me up there at the top!!  Oh and if you want to check out those super cool tshirts I was talking about click here!!!!

xoxoxxo Angela

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