Join Me in India 2015!

20140801_damoh_0967Photo Credit: The amazing Gary S. Chapman

In March, I had the amazing honor of serving Sole Hope in Uganda alongside 10 amazing Story Tellers. Kari Gibson was on that team and quickly became a friend. We share a similar heart for justice, the poor, missions, the Holy Spirit and dogs. Before our Ugandan adventure was over, she mentioned that she wanted to co-lead a team in India in the future…and…it’s happening this November!

feet 1photo credit: Gary S. Chapman

I’m excited to announce that I will be co-leading a team to India, November 2-12 2015. This will be my 3rd trip to India and I can’t wait to get back! Our trip will include serving orphans in the slums of Delhi, as well as ministering to students in their local schools.

This trip will stretch you in every way possible. You will see the Kingdom of God manifested amongst the poor, your heart will break for the things that break God’s heart, and you will develop compassion for the vulnerable in the world.

The trip is first come, first serve (24 slots available), so please prayerfully consider signing up and paying your deposit ASAP to secure your spot on the team. Once the team is established, we will communicate about our pre-trip meetings, Q&A, and details for the trips.

“We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.”

– David Platt

This quote sums up the primary reason why Kari and I are leading a team to India. For more details + to reserve your spot with a deposit, click here.

 

Rescued As a Family

A mother sits with her children watching as they receive their very first shower…EVER. One at a time, her boys get up walking carefully to the shower stall to get assistance with scrubbing the caked on dirt from their tiny bodies.

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A group of mostly children, wait patiently for the shower sound to stop, so they could take their turn. Looking on felt like crashing a Christmas day celebration as children opened their gifts from Santa. They were eager to be clean and get their new clothes!

Once they exited the stall, wearing nothing but a towel, they were handed a fresh pair of super hero underwear, a t-shirt and shorts. They were proud! Aren’t all kids proud that moment they put on their first pair of super hero themed undies?! My son Mac thinks he is the Sheriff of the house when he slips his on.

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Each kid stood as cocoa butter was lathered over their dry skin bringing back the sheen of their beautifully darkened skin. They were clean and they were thrilled about it! Socks were then placed on their swollen, jigger infested feet, as they prepare for removal clinic the next day.

I was blown away by the resilience and strength of this mom as she solemnly held her infant daughter in one arm and guarded her boys in the other. Her daughter was wearing just an oversized t-shirt and a smile, but played on the dirt covered floor like every other kid would have.

They were being rescued as a family by perfect strangers compelled by the love of God. Dignity came crashing back into this family as they sat back down on the grass cloth as a FAMILY…bodies clean, fresh clothes and hope for the future.

They were being rescued as a family by perfect strangers  compelled by the love of God.

Biblical hope is the expectation that God is going to be good to me in the future. I realized today that it comes in a variety of packages. A future without the pain of jiggers and the resettlement of a family unit with new shoes, new clothes and a new outlook on tomorrow is SOLE HOPE.

 

This is the Way Walk in It

Last night our team shared an amazing meal at a local hangout called All Friends and it was fantastic in every way: food, conversation and ambiance. Dru and Asher shared the story of how Sole Hope got started. It was inspiring to say the least.

As I listened to them share, I imagined what I would have done with the same information and resources. I like to have all my ducks in a row before I start to move forward with most things. I’m realizing that part of this is how God hard-wired me. However, the more I follow Jesus, the more I am realizing that He wants to lead me through His voice, not my natural inclinations.

My Pastor shared with me a word He had recently received from God and it resonated with me. He said, “I like it when God stands out in front waving me towards Him like a Father encouraging his son to walk for the first time. Yet, often times, He stands behind us whispering in our ear, “This is the way, walk in it.”

“This is the way, walk in it.”

 Dru and Asher’s story is one of courage, faith and compassion. They saw a preventable problem, felt the weight of God’s compassion for the people of Uganda, and then developed a plan…all while hearing, “This is the way, walk in it.”

Before there were shoe-cutting parties, jigger removal clinics and local shoe-makers, there was an awareness and a prayer. Dru kept saying at dinner, “I can’t believe that our family is here…and for jiggers?!

Jiggers were just the need, but a deep love for people, partnered with a willingness to DO SOMETHING is what drove a young family from North Carolina to Uganda. The result has been God’s glory and much relief to Ugandan families.

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So what ‘s a jigger? Good question. I had no clue until about 6 months ago. The short version: Jiggers are sand flees that burrow under the skin, feed off of blood and cause severe pain. Much like flees on our dogs in the US, they multiply in droves, taking a simple problem and making it more complex. Some kids can have a few to over a 1000 jiggers at one time.

Removal, education and shoes are the cure!

Many Ugandans feel that jiggers are the result of a curse, so they are hesitant to admit they have them, learning to bear the pain for fear of being shamed by society. Sole Hope works tirelessly to fix, prevent and crush the stigma related to the problem of jiggers.

As I have met people from Uganda and listened to their stories, I can’t help but imagine the whisper, “this is the way, walk in it” that Dru and Asher heard as they set out on this journey called Sole Hope. I know countless families are glad they obeyed!

I’m Headed to Africa!

Today I board a plane to Africa with an amazing group of story tellers. Going to Africa has been on my bucket list, so this is a dream come true for me. Not to mention, getting to serve the amazing people of Uganda with Sole Hope! Wednesday night Ernie came up to me at church, handing me an envelope full of pictures from a Shoe Cutting Party that his BFG (Bible Fellowship Group) hosted! He wanted to make sure that I delivered the pictures to Dru and Asher, so that they could feel love and support from South Carolina. In return, I promised to bring some pictures back of the children that are now wearing shoes from the soles that they possibly helped to cut out.

This is one of the main reasons I LOVE Sole Hope! Yes they are on the ground in Uganda. Yes teams go to Africa to remove jiggers and serve Ugandans. BUT there are multiple onramps for people in the states, like Ernie’s BFG, to get involved.

I am honored to have the opportunity over the next week to tell stories of love, compassion and hope, while serving the men, women and children of Uganda, 2 feet at a time! Stop by this week to see pictures and read #solestories!

Until then, take a moment to get familiar with the story of Sole Hope.