Tag Archives: Advocacy

What do Jerry Maguire and James 1:27 have in common?

11 May

Blog post authored by Matt, Director of Advocacy, World Orphans

Typing this blog post I feel a bit like Jerry Maguire writing the mission statement, “The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business.” Here’s hoping I don’t end up all alone holding a goldfish.

Question … How do you define your faith? No, I don’t want the “being sure of what you cannot see” line we are quick to throw around. I want tangibles. I want your answer to be able to go to class with you for show-n-tell.

Let me put it a different way. If faith without works is dead, and you and I believe our faith in Jesus is alive and well; then what do we point to for evidence?

Unfortunately, the tendency for most Christians is to first look at the following categories:

Church attendance.
What you drop in the offering plate.
Our frequency in studying the Bible.
Certain things you might abstain from (alcohol, certain types of entertainment, etc.)
Milestones in our spiritual journey (baptism, confirmation, etc.)

I admit it, I have been guilty of measuring myself by these standards for the majority of my life. As a result, I developed an unsatisfyingly-hollow “checklist” type of relationship with God. Did I read my Bible today? Check. Did I tithe this past Sunday? Check.

Sound familiar? Continue reading

Ethiopia Journey Inspires Teacher to Do More

9 Jan

Nathan Livesay, a teacher at Sumter High School and former basketball coach, spent nearly two weeks of his Winter Break in Ethiopia with Journey 117, a ministry of World Orphans.

BY JADE ANDERSON janderson@theitem.com  The Item

A trip out of the country can change a person.
“I wouldn’t trade those two weeks for a state championship,” said Nathan Livesay, a former Sumter High School basketball coach.
Last month, the English and credit recovery teacher traveled to Ethiopia with World Orphans, an organization that brings churches in Third World countries together with American churches to help supply basic needs of the children being cared for by the indigenous churches. He learned about the organization through the Willow Creek Global Leadership Development Summit simulcast held at Alice Drive Baptist Church in the fall.
“I was reading the statistics about HIV and AIDS, about people dying in extreme poverty, and the numbers really bothered me,” Livesay said. “I was compelled to go on this trip to put a name and face with the statistics. … Even with basketball, I’ve always had a heart for kids that don’t always have everything they need.” Continue reading

God took Lion King and brought about a life’s passion

5 Nov

Blog post by Breanna A., Team Ethiopia 2011

I can honestly say that what first stirred my heart for Africa was watching Lion King as a kid. I was taken with the gorgeous scenery, catchy music, and wild animals. Now, I know that Africa is not quite how Disney portrays it to be, but that longing to go has been deeply rooted in my heart from an early age. Anytime I was asked that question, “If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?” I always answered with Africa. My passion and heart for Africa has grown immensely from that first experience with Lion King. The Lord has been stirring in my heart and has constantly brought Africa to the front of my mind. To go was never a question of ‘IF’, but a question of ‘WHEN’.

It wasn’t until I began my college career at Kansas State University that I realized exactly what it was that I felt so passionate about. When I came to college, I had no idea about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was overwhelming trying to decide. So I prayed and prayed. I eventually discovered a major called Family Studies and Human Services. I fell in love with the idea of getting to help people as a job! Over the last three years, the Lord has been creating in me a heart for the fatherless. Organizations like Invisible Children, TOMS, Love 146, Not For Sale and Passion Conferences have added fuel to the flame in my soul. But for me, it just wasn’t enough to learn about the global problem of orphaned children, I wanted to DO something. I wanted to CHANGE the lives of these children. I wanted them to know the LOVE and FREEDOM that Christ offers.

I had been searching and praying for an opportunity to serve and volunteer in an orphanage overseas for the past year. I knew the Lord was calling me to go, but I wasn’t sure when or how. But the Lord was faithful and opened that door to my sister and I at Passion 2011 in Fort Worth. They had something called the RightNow Campaign that placed believers with a heart for missions with an organization that fit their passions. We were given the information for Journey117 and made contact with them immediately. Once I found out that they had a trip in December to Ethiopia that would be focused on serving orphans and visiting orphanages, I knew that I was called to go. So, I applied!

Since the day I applied to go, the Lord has been revealing to me His heart for the orphans. I had the verse 1 John 3:17, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” written in sharpie on my wrist for a good month. My constant prayer is that I would never close my heart to a brother or sister in need. That my heart would break for what breaks the Lord’s, and that I would be filled with passion that moves me to compassion. I love how our study book Get Uncomfortable defines compassion as suffering alongside someone and then doing something about it. Passion isn’t enough. My heart for orphans and Africa isn’t enough. God is calling me to compassion. And in December 2011, I will have the opportunity to live life with orphaned children in Ethiopia. I will see their joy and laughter. But, I will also experience their hurt and pain from loss and rejection. I can only imagine how the Lord will use my time in Ethiopia, but I cannot think of a cause more worthy of my life’s dedication than to the advocacy of orphans.

Breanna A. will be serving on the Ethiopia Journey 117 Team leaving in December 2011.

Loving His People

22 Oct

Blog post by Amalia K., Team Ethiopia 2011


Amalia K. will be serving on the Ethiopia Journey 117 Team leaving in December 2011.

Sweetly Broken – Reflections on my Journey to Haiti

2 Jun

Jeni reflects on her recent Journey 117 trip to Haiti in May 2011. To read more of her blog, check out http://sweetlybroken-jenileeann.blogspot.com/

I have been meaning to blog about my journey to Haiti and the amazing ways that God moved in my heart through this trip. I have had a very hard time coming up with the words. But since I have been asked to speak at 3 local churches, I figured it was time to put words to this journey. Praise God that I will bring Him more glory as I share.

I could not have known how God would allow me to be broken when I started on this journey last fall. I knew it would be big, because as I planned and counted the days, trips were never for sure and were postponed. I kept saying, “In God’s time.” I knew in my heart I would get there EXACTLY when He wanted.

I was incredibly sad that I was not able to go in December, but now I see so clearly that He had a greater plan. I ended up going on a Journey 117 trip with World Orphans, totally different than the original trip. It is a journey that is designed to educate you on orphan care and how God wants to use you to bring justice to the least of these. Continue reading

I Hadn’t Planned on Falling in Love with Jesus

8 May

Blog post by Kara H., Team Moldova 2011

“For I know the plans I have for you…”

  1. Graduate from college
  2. Find a nice boy to love and marry
  3. Have a beautiful wedding
  4. Become a mother
  5. Live a comfortable life

Entering college, this was my to-do list.  It seemed pretty simple.  I had seen my older girlfriends accomplish these goals, so I figured it wouldn’t be too difficult.  As I near my graduation day, I look back on my four years at York College and for a split second think life would have been far less complicated and messy had I just stayed on track.  Continue reading

Our Faith and His Faithfulness

7 May

Blog post by Angela B., Team Moldova 2011 

“When our faith intersects with God’s faithfulness, miracles can happen.”  My pastor spoke that phrase on September 13, 2009 and it has been part of my journey ever since.  It was then I realized that God’s faithfulness was there, but my faith needed some work. Continue reading

Illiteracy and the Cycle of Poverty

6 May

Blog post by Callie H., Team Haiti 2011

The inability to read and write plays a large role in the cycle of poverty. Illiteracy limits ones involvement in social and political life and can prevent employment. This can stall one’s ability to break out of poverty if education and/or employment is never obtained. This is an issue all across the world in over 22 countries.  771 million people in the world can not read or write, 64% are women. Illiteracy is also the root for crime, forced labor, child soldiers, and other forms of injustice and poverty. Continue reading

I Will Carry Your Name

1 May

Blog post by Heather E., Team Moldova 2011

Children have always been my heart.  Something about them captivates me.  Maybe it’s their innocence, or their goofy personalities, or maybe it’s how no matter what ethnicity, language, or region of the world they are in, they all laugh at the same things….or maybe I’m drawn to them because they allow me to embrace my inner child without judging me.

Either way, they have the ability to fill my heart with abundant joy.

Four years ago I was a freshman in college.  My life was going in a hundred different directions as I made new friends, maintained a scholarship, and took on a collegiate sport.  Through the chaos, the Lord began quietly pressing on my heart just “orphans.”  For a while I thought about them all the time.  I thought about how I could center my future career on them and how I would adopt and when I would make my way to a third world country to sweep up a handful to love on.  Continue reading