Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Heartwrenching Story


My daughter, Amy Breedlove, posted this article on her adoption site (her family is adopting a baby from Ethiopia). I forced myself to read it because I want to be kept aware of the conditions, situations and circumstances in which women all over the world live on a daily basis. Even though the story is VERY difficult to read, I urge you to do so because we all need to know what is going on and take a stand for these women. Don't ask yourself if you can make a difference, just do it!!

Here is the writing from Amy's blogsite:

I recently read an article from Glamour magazine that I saw posted on a fellow adoption blogger's site. This article is so heart wrenching...when I say that, it doesn't really describe my feelings to the fullest...I just can't come up with better word. My heart actually hurts right now...I feel like I could throw up. I know after describing this, you probably don't want to read it. PLEASE, PLEASE read it anyway!


This is an article about the atrocities that are occurring in the Congo as we all go about our lives here. As we go throughout our days without fear, tuck our kids in safely at night, and sleep night after night nightmare free...horrifying things are happening to women (our sisters) by the thousands. I honestly feel heartbroken right now and my eyes are making a steady stream of tears.

Click here for the article.

Click here for a sample letter and the address to mail your letter to His Excellency the President of DR Congo, Joseph Kabila Kabange, urging the Government to do more to stop violence towards women and girls in the Congo.

Thanks for reading the article - now go write your letter and put it in the mail. I just posted mine and mailed it from Macedonia.

Shelia

Friday, September 07, 2007

Missions In A Small Church in Texas

Priddy, Texas, is a small community about 75 miles west of Waco. Located in one of only a handful of counties in Texas without a regional airport, most people would hardly notice Priddy as they drove through, much less the unassuming church building on the edge of town. Even the nearest Dairy Queen, a constant in small-town Texas, is in the next community down the road. Yet the members of this little church profoundly impacted the lives of 40 children and their families half a world away.


Butch (pastor) & Nan Pesch

In December 2005, Darrell and Kathy Smith, field personnel with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, were invited to speak at Priddy Baptist Church by its pastor, Rev. Butch Pesch. After a 90-minute drive from Abilene, where they were spending their time on off-field assignment, the Smiths were greeted warmly by the members of the little church. Neither the congregation nor the Smiths realized the future impact this group of missions-minded folk would have on each other. Surprisingly, this group of about 50 has been strong CBF supporters from its inception, yet had never had anyone from the organization speak at their church.




Darrell and Kathy spoke of the culture of Macedonia, of the religions, languages and ethnicities. They showed pictures of water projects and environmental challenges; they told stories of strange food and special relationships; but it was the pictures and stories about the kindergarten that struck a cord with this congregation. After eating lunch with the pastor, his wife, and a few church members, the Smiths returned to Abilene – and God began working on the hearts of the members of Priddy Baptist Church.



In February, Rev. Pesch again asked the Smiths to return to Priddy. This time, however, they wanted to know more about the kindergarten project. Unbeknownst to Kathy and Darrell, the kindergarten had touched the heart of this church and given them a vision for where God was working. Their small congregation had several teachers, social workers and foster parents among its membership. The stories of the children and families of the poorest of the poor in Macedonia were familiar to the families living in a small town in Texas. And they wanted to help!


And help they did! This small, seemingly insignificant church provided many thousands of dollars to abundantly provide for the education of 40 very disadvantaged children from the ghettos of Skopje, Macedonia. Priddy Baptist members paid for all the summer expenses of the kindergarten, such as rent and utilities; they sent money for backpacks and supplies for the kids as they entered first grade; they provided over half of the costs of the school for an entire year; and now, they have covenanted to do the same again this year, while at the same time faithfully giving to the CBF Offering for Global Missions. If a small church in Priddy, Texas, can bless the lives of so many children without a hope for the future, so can your church!



Arville & Shelia, Butch (pastor) & Nan, and Darrell & Kathy



Arville visiting with a charter member of the church