Sunday, December 12

Awake and Alive

For several years now really God has been stirring my heart. He's telling me that, as my blog friend Heidi says, my life is not my own. Well, I guess Jesus actually said it first (sorry, Heidi). For a long time after this began, I was educating myself: reading amazing books, inspiring blogs, having meaningful conversations...immersing myself in the topic of social justice--a topic that was close to God's heart. How do you know that, you may ask? Well, God mentions it over 2,100 in His Main Book, for one. For another, even when it's not mentioned specifically, His character REEKS of it. So, I can say with confidence that God cares about justice. And compassion. And generosity. And so this is where I stayed for a long time. In some ways, I would say far too long. But I trust God. I trust that he knew me. He knew that I still needed to be broken a lot more in order to better understand broken people. I needed to understand desperation and not making it on my own. I needed to understand the hope and love that comes from the Body of Christ stepping in and providing for my family's needs when we couldn't. So even though I feel a little sad and ashamed about time lost, I know that this is better. His plan is always better.

Fast forward to about a month ago. My precious friend Jolene and I were talking and brainstorming about what we could actually do to start living out our heart and passion for people in need (while our Ethiopian cuties played all around us). That quickly developed into a meeting with our husbands to talk about starting a non-profit to better fulfill that dream. Being that Jolene's husband does this kind of stuff for his job, he volunteered to start the paperwork process....and Awake and Alive was born!

Another meeting and several conversations later things are beginning to crystalize. While we don't have an official mission statement yet, we know that our deepest desire is two-fold. First, we desire to help African families (and orphans) both here and abroad. Stateside, we desire to help ease the transition for families (or individuals) coming over from various African nations by plugging them in to services available, driving them around, helping kids enroll in school, connecting them to other Africans in the area, and offering friendship and love by welcoming them into our families. Abroad, we are exploring possibilities with existing NGOs and churches as well as thinking through "adopting a village" by providing various kinds of support to Africans in need. Second, we desire to help educate and provide experiences (see above) to wake up the church to God's heart towards the "orphan, widow, and foreigner." Realizing that we have been blessed to bless, we want to encourage Christ followers to stop learning and start doing. Stop hoarding and start giving. For it is when we refresh others that we will be truly refreshed. And more than that--LIVES ARE AT STAKE!!!

We would love to have conversations with you about this vision that is moving from our hearts to our hands. We would love to begin raising up a team of people who have a heart of generosity towards the people of Africa. We are passionate and excited! Let's dream about it together. What if everyone cared?


Libby said...

this makes me weep. Remember our chat on lake MI shore? sigh..happy tears Dan.

Jeff and Amy McKissick said...

we have Christian friends in the US that just this month brought home a 3 year old from Ethiopia. they have 4 others that are adopted from the US. could i connect you all? how would be best....via facebook? should i give her your email?

Cathy said...

This is amazingly awesome!! It is truly my heart as well. 25% of all of our profits from Home Gatherings is going to orphans and widows and perhaps young women suffering from sex trafficing. God has not made it all clear to us yet, but Africa often is laid upon our hearts as well as the Appalacian area. God is still breaking us, preparing us, and stengthening us for whatever He has in store. Not one day is lived in vain, even the dark days that you've experienced. God is in control and is using them for His greater purpose. We love you and will pray for this very exciting work in your lives. Cathy

Carpenters said...

Danielle, I am so excited for you and this new venture. It is so amazing to see God working through you. I will be praying for your new ministry and can't wait to see the awesome rewards.