(Be sure to read the prequel, Origins Stories: Guatemala Outreach!, which gives a deeper history of the origins of Shoes & Hope). As Guatemala Outreach! continued to take teams to Quebrada de Agua, Guatemala each year, we would meet with the COCODE (Village Leaders) to discuss the state of affairs in the community. Using an Asset-Based Community Development approach, we would ask them what was good in the community and what was needed in the community? In 2014, their list id
Mission Trips. It all started with Mission Trips. Back in 2004, I went on my first one. I saw it in the church bulletin and it sounded adventurous.....an eyeglass ministry mission trip to Venezuela. A couple weeks before the trip, the State Department warned that it was too dangerous to make the trip for non-essential travel. We ended up in Puerto Rico building a church. Mission Lesson 1: Flexibility. Other trips followed to different places: 2008 Cambodia; 2009 Uganda.
The story of the Poland Day Camp Outreach Team began on a Sunday morning in March of 2004. I and my family were sitting in our usual spot (front row, left side) of our church, Messiah Lutheran Church (Weldon Spring, Missouri). Our Associate Pastor, Chuck Schlie, was toward the end of his announcements for the day and our minds were slowly shifting from church to home. At that point, Pastor Schlie told the congregation that our church had been asked to help recruit people to
Looking back over the last 13 years, since SWAMP-IN was formed, I can come up with many reasons why my family was first drawn to the Cheyenne River Youth Project and the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. I don’t believe in coincidence. God always has a purpose beyond what I can see. In 2002, my husband Mike and I were teaching our sons about American History from an indigenous point of view. While reading the local paper, I saw an ad to adopt ‘Dear Santa’ letters from a rese
At the heart of our Christian faith is a story. As Andrew Peterson proclaims at the beginning of his annual "Behold the Lamb" Christmas concerts: "It's an adventure story about a young hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about the brave prince who leaves his palace, his throne, everything to rescue the one he loves. It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life. You see the best thing about this sto