Dec 6, 2012

Thursday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Luke 4

Happy Serve Day Thursday, SHINE girls! Today, we serve others! Who in your path could use a little extra help today? Maybe just a little encouragement? Reach out to them today. 

Sometimes we hesitate and think: "I will do it some other time. I'm just too busy today." 

Instead, let's say: "Today is the day! I will serve! I will keep my eyes open to the needs of others throughout my day!"

Speaking of serving....we are closing in on the end of our SHINE girls serving stories. 

Today, my sweet friend, Lori Caldwell is posting.

Lori graciously took many of our donations that were collected for our SHINE Mission Project. We had such an abundance of donations that we had to spread it over 3 different locations! Yes, for real!

In the very short time that I have known Lori, I am very impacted by her faith and her love for others. She truly has a heart that was made by the Father to serve. 

Lori has a passion for the less fortunate among us, as you will soon see.

 Be blessed and inspired by her story, sweet SHINE sisters. 

Giving Christmas Away
By: Lori Caldwell

Hello, Shine Girls! I am so excited to share something with you today, but first, I want to give a HUGE thanks to everyone who gave to the first-ever Shine Girls’ Mission Project. Thanks to YOU, families in our community will be receiving fresh FREE clothing and toiletry items through the Mission 25 Clothing Center at Journey Church, Covington.

Your donation will make a huge difference to people in need throughout the coming months, and we are so humbled and in awe of the way the Lord has worked through you! It also has served as a great reminder that the Lord is always close to the broken-hearted; He has encouraged and motivated me through your giving hearts more than you could ever know.

The purpose for my guest post today is to tell you about something very near and dear to my heart. I thank Jill for graciously allowing me to share it with you.

Could you visualize something with me for a moment? Close your eyes and picture the children you love most in this world. It may be your own kids, your nieces or nephews, a friend’s children or even the little ones you see every Sunday at church. See their sweet faces, their healthy bodies, their full bellies, their beautiful clothes and shoes. Now, imagine those same children you love so much, but with tired eyes, thin frames, barefoot, dressed in tattered garb, hungry, and alone.

The children I am about to tell you about are just like your children, and the only thing that leaves them in need of help is their geographical location. They were simply born into a harder life than the kids we know. The sad truth is that even the poorest people in our country are many times richer than most of the people in Africa

I urge you to take a moment to let that truth sink in. Even the poorest in our country are many times richer than the people from Africa.

After reading a book last summer called “Kisses From Katie”, I was hit with a huge burden to go deeper in my personal mission of helping others. I realized through the stories of this beloved young girl, Katie Davis, that there is a mission field that most of us never really think about. We are aware of the needs and issues that arise near us, but it’s easy to feel totally removed from the pain of those in other countries simply because we are unaware of it. It’s not broadcast on the news, or regularly discussed around our heavily-laden dinner tables.

But if we consider ourselves Christ-followers, we need to know. We need to be aware of this suffering and ask God to show us how we can help. I feel the Lord has not only raised my own personal awareness, but that He has called me to help raise that awareness to others. And that is why I’m writing to you today.

Through a series of events, I have been led to personally help the children of Blood of Jesus Ministries, an orphanage in the city of Jinja, Uganda, in East Africa. If you have read “Kisses From Katie” you already have a clear picture of what these sweet children are facing. There are so many children orphaned there due to difficult living conditions, disease, and malnourishment. Most Christian families take in kids that are not their own because they can’t bear to see them suffer. Others, like Pastor Ronald Lufafa, take responsibility for an even larger number of kids, creating small orphanages that struggle to survive in an area where day-to-day living is so hard.

What I am asking right now is BIG: for you, me and everyone involved. That is because we become more blessed by giving than receiving. And if we all come together, we could quite possibly be THE BIGGEST BLESSING YET for Pastor Ronald and the 25 orphans he lovingly cares for.

Are you ready? Here is the challenge: That we give some of our Christmas

One year my husband decided to give away his birthday by requesting donations for charity water to help provide clean drinking water for children in another
country. This Christmas I am urging you to do something similar by providing a sponsorship to feed a child throughout the months of December & January. For just $2 a day, you can feed these children while they are out of school for break. So far 3 of these children have been sponsored, which leaves us with 22 more to go!

While our kids have a long summer break and usually spend that downtime on vacation and other fun activities, the kids at Blood of Jesus have their long break now, and spend much of their time tending to the garden and praying for ways to be able to eat every day of vacation. This long break is a big burden to Pastor Ronald because the kids no longer receive the daily meal subsidized by the school. The full responsibility of feeding them falls on him alone. This is an extraordinary burden that we can lift from this Pastor and these children. Here is how we can help.

For $60 a month, for the next three months, you can feed one child. There are 25 children. That equals $3500 to keep the entire orphanage fed during this time. Please prayerfully consider helping this ministry. I know times are tight and pray that the Lord moves us according to His will in this and that He provides in great ways for those who make this commitment. I pray that we can do something really HUGE through the grace of God! You can choose to do the full $60 per month, or just a portion of it if that is all that fits your budget. Of course, if the Lord leads you to do more, we welcome that as well. It’s my prayer that you simply pray then follow the leading that you are sensing from the Lord.

Here is a link to their Facebook page (, and here (  is a link to their website where you can learn more and see the faces of the actual children that you would be helping out.

On a closing note, even if you are unable to help monetarily, I ask you to put this orphanage and Pastor Ronald Lufafa on your prayer list. I also ask you to do me a HUGE favor and encourage Pastor Ronald with an outpouring of LIKES on their facebook page. Feel free to leave any encouraging words that you wish to give. I know that it would mean SOOO much to him as he’s dedicated his life to care for these children.

For more information on this time of year and the needs, please take a moment to read a wonderful blog (  by my dear friend, Kari Apted, who is also a columnist for the Covington News.

Let’s do this! Let’s Shine, Girls, by giving our Christmas away!

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