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March 2010

Proverbs 28:13

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy" - 28:13.

When you admit your sins and ask forgiveness, God is faithful to forgive. When you ask others for forgiveness, it is the first step toward reconciliation. Yet pride can cause you to blame others or deny your faults. Is acknowledging your sin a regular part of your spiritual practices?  Read what Jesus said about forgiveness in the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:12 and then read what John wrote in 1 John 1:8-10.


Proverbs 27:8

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"Like a bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home" - 27:8. 

God has a "place' or purpose for everyone.  It involves not only what to do but where you will do it.  Do you know your "place"?  Are you working to expand your place so that you can reach and help more people? Perhaps it would be good today to write down where your place is and what you are supposed to be doing. See how Paul did that very thing in Romans 15:22-24.


Proverbs 26:24-25

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

" A malicious man disguises himself with his lips,
but in his heart he harbors deceit.
Though his speech is charming, do not believe him,
for seven abominations fill his heart" - 26:24-25.

Talk is cheap. How many times have you been "taken in" by what someone convincingly said, or covered your own heart content with dishonest words? Determine today to speak the truth to yourself and others, and allow time for those who speak well to also act well.  Paul addressed the need for integrity in speech with one another in Ephesians 4:25 and 5:19-20.


What Would I Do With Some Money?

I am sitting in class right now and it's pretty boring, so I thought I would share with you my thoughts after my most recent trip to Kenya.  As you know, I started The Sophia Fund to feed orphans and widows and started The Deborah Foundation to establish learning centers in schools and orphanages across Kenya.  On this last trip, we took $3,000 from the Fund and 35 duffel bags of educational resources, which we gave to three orphanages.  You can read about the reaction to these donations on my travel blog, along with one thank you from an orphanage on my personal blog. Here is another short thank-you from one of the orphanages we visited:

I thank God for your visit. You had a wonderful team and the entire Upako appreciate you so much. Your team really moved us and I want to appreciate all for coming. Thanks for the play materials, learning materials and the food support that I received from SARAH Network yesterday. May the Almighty God do you good and keep your ministry - Pastor Francis.

My basic conclusion from the trip is that both the Fund and the Foundation need to continue and expand.  If I had monthly resources right now, here is what I would do to that end, I would:

1.  Hire my son John to run The Deborah Foundation and Sophia Fund.  When he came home to PIttsburgh to help my wife last November, he took upon himself to gather and organize everything that we took over to Kenya and stored for future trips.  He touched every book, toy and pair of shoes and has a heart and vision to continue the work.

2.  Expand The Foundation and the Fund to include other programs beside learning centers and feeding to other aspects of life affecting children and youth in Kenya and Africa. These programs would include:

  • Sports Outreach -- I saw our athletic teams do tremendous ministry through sports on our last trip.  I would work to bring teams to Kenya to gather youth around sports with evangelistic emphasis. 
  • Operation: Petticoat -- The children and especially the teenage girls in Kenya need underwear and feminine products.  They don't go to school when they don't have either of those and The Foundation can help with that pressing problem.
  • Micro-Lending -- In addition to feeding widows and orphans, we would make loans and grants available to buy seed, livestock and other items that can help orphanages and organizations feed themselves and make a living.
  • African Tours -- This last trip was my best yet in providing a comprehensive overview of life in Kenya, with a view toward helping those on the trip to stay focused and connected to Kenya when they return home.

3.  Hire Maggie -- Maggie is a friend who would be my eyes and ears in Kenya.  She is currently unemployed and would be a tremendous addition to our Kenya team. 

If I had $6,000 a month, I could do all this today!  So if you are out there and looking to invest in an opportunity to impact the children and youth of a nation, let me know so we can talk.  I promise you, I will take your resources and provide a return like few others can.  That's not a boast, that is just a statement based on the experience and connections I have in Kenya.  Once we establish this in Kenya, we can easily do this in other African countries.  Pray and let me know how you can be involved.


Proverbs 25:5

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"Remove the wicked from the king's presence,
and his throne will be established through righteousness" - 25:5.

Leaders need good people around them.  No leader is smart, gifted or anointed enough to get the job done. Of whose team are you a member?  Are you contributing all you possibly can? A picture of a great team can be found in Acts 13:1-3What can you learn from that team to apply to your own?


Proverbs 24:9

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"The schemes of folly are sin,
and men detest a mocker"- 24:9.

Schemers and mockers are selfish, trying to impose their insight and plans on everyone else. They are not good team players and consequently seldom achieve anything, but always sound like experts. Do you want to be a valued team player? Then learn to contribute and encourage according to your gifts and experience. This is what Barnabas did as reported in Acts 4:36-37 and Acts 11:22-26.  Compare this to Judas and his behavior in John 12:4-6.


Proverbs 23:12

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to words of knowledge" - 23:12.

You learn with your heart as you remove all barriers to effective listening. Most don't listen well because they are thinking of a response, a question or are just plain distracted. If you are not a good listener, then you are not a good learner!  How good are your listening skills? Read what Jesus had to say about listening in Luke 8:17-18 and see how it ties in to today's verse.


Proverbs 22:4

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life" - 22:4. 

You can never go wrong when you humble yourself and do what God wants.  What's more, God always rewards you when keep Him first and foremost in your life!  How can you humble yourself and fear Him today? You may want to read what Jesus said in Matthew 10:39 and Matthew 16:25 about how to gain and lose life.


A Thank You From Kenya

While in Kenya last week, I delivered $3,000 from the Sophia Fund and 28 bags of educational supplies to establish learning centers in three separate orphanages.  Before we left, some of the team asked if it was worth trying to take over all the books, shoes and educational resources that we did.  It cost us $3,000 in shipping fees alone to take our excess luggage.  After we delivered the goods and they saw the impact it made, they all said, "We wish we could have brought more!'  When you see an orphan who has nothing and how they respond when they see a ball or a book, it is all worth it.  Thank you for making it all possible through your gifts and prayers. (You can read about my trip to Kenya here on my travel blog.)

Yesterday I received the thank you below from the head of one of the orphanages.  Her comments let me know not only that we did important work, but that the resources are having their intended results:

Dear John and the February 2010 Team,
 
RE: GOD BLESS THE FEBRUARY 2010 TEAM FOR THE VISIT TO EACH ONE TOUCH ONE ORPHAN
 
You came, blessed, energized, livened and left an extremely happy EOTOO team of children and founder members.  I could almost touch the reluctance to part in all present at the Children's Home on the 8th of February 2010 afternoon.  All because there was a lot of bonding going on.  And that was God given bonding.  For that, all the gifts and the learning material, and on behalf of the EOTOO Team, I say a BIG THANK YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU.
 
We remained and are still in high esteem, particularly as we open and discover the many learning resources that have given birth to the ‘DEBORAH LIBRARY’ at the Home.  It is a rich collection that is strong enough to stimulate and brighten blessed young minds to grow into intelligent adults.  We have already started putting some of it to use.  The resources will be in full use by end of March when the school holidays begin and the children will be free of their school work and have all the time and attention to learn what else is new
 
First, was their involvement in the Game of Chutes and Ladders.  It was all excitement for them, but for me/us, we have discovered a lot in them; abilities and inabilities to grasp the gist of the game, attentiveness or lack of it, concentration on the game or lack of it and a lot of other observations that will help me/us focus in areas of need for each child.
 
With trust in God, the learning resources will help the children to become better people in their lives. We all wish you a fruitful stay on this earth as you bless the children and other people of God.
 
Yours truly,
Mrs. Alice Kwendo
Programme Coordinator
Each One Touch One Orphanage

Please give to feed or educate Kenyan orphans through my nonprofit organization. You can give through my website or send a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 91099, Pittsburgh, PA 15221. Just let me know if your contribution is to be used for food or books and I promise to use it for that purpose. Just $5 will help me feed an orphan for two weeks!  Do what you can and please do it today.


Proverbs 14:26

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress,
and for his children it will be a refuge" - 14:26. 

Some believe that if they trust the Lord, they will never suffer or be in harm's way. That is not true. You don't need a fortress unless there are powerful enemies who are trying to overwhelm you. The good news is that the Lord is that kind of refuge and His protection extends to the children of the righteousness. Are you aware of the fact that you are in a spiritual war?  Are you taking refuge where you should, or in your own wiles?  See what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 about spiritual warfare and then work to win the battle for your family.