Showing posts with label resources. Show all posts
Showing posts with label resources. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch

About the Author
Kristen Welch writes the popular parenting blog We Are THAT know the ones. She is an (in)Courage writer, a Compassion International blogger and a regular featured contributor to LifeWay's HomeLife and ParentLife magazines. In 2010, Kristen founded Mercy House, a nonprofit maternity home in Kenya, Africa, which rescues young, pregnant girls from extreme poverty. Mercy House is almost entirely funded by Kristen's blog readers. 

The book's description
In high school, Kristen Welch wore a big sparkly rhinestone "Jesus" pin every day and carried her Bible wherever she went. (Yes, she was that girl). But she didn't realizer her faith, though sincere, was shallow; much like her artificial accessory, it would one day tarnish, no longer a true reflection of who she was. 

Real life and motherhood catapulted Kristen into places and situations she'd never imagined. There came a day when she stood in the slums of Africa, poised on the brink of a risk bigger than any she'd ever taken. And she knew she didn't stand a chance - unless she was ready to put aside the rhinestones and get branded by the real thing. 

Rhinestone Jesus is the spiritual adventure story of one woman who went from living safe, "good-girl" faith that didn't cost much, to realizing that God was daring her to say yes to a deeper, more authentic way. This book throws the doors wide open for any woman who's ever thought of herself as "just a mom". Read it and be inspired. Be empowered. Say yes to God right where you are - and stand amazed at how your life will shine. 

My review
I almost didn't choose to read and review this book, but I'm so glad I did.

I can relate to the author, Kristen on so many levels. I've never worn a sparkly Jesus pin to proclaim my faith, but I have worn a Jesus fish bracelet in hopes others would know where I stood when it came to Jesus. I was a good girl when I was younger - always have been. And like Kristen, God used the ministry of Compassion International to turn my life upside down. And also like Kristen, I'm just a mom - an ordinary person - partnering with God to minister to kids across the globe. But enough about me....let me tell you more about this book and why I think you should read it.

In her new book Rhinestone Jesus, Kristen Welch shares so much of her life with us. She shares what it was like for her as a young Christian, how she longed to change the world and how she struggled through the early years of motherhood and fought hard for her marriage. 

Early on in the book she writes, "The Kingdom of God is revealed in sacrifice and service in the small places, especially to our children. It probably won't make the evening news or maybe even be noticed by our spouses unless we tell them, but in a quiet, obscure place, we are changing the world. Because here's the truth we must believe: we might not be able to change the whole world, but as moms we can change one person's world. And there is power in one." (emphasis mine)

I don't know about you, but I find those thoughts empowering. This is exactly why I sponsor children and why I advocate on behalf of Compassion. Changing the world for one child is worth it. 

Kristen shares about the turning point in her life. After becoming a fairly popular blogger, she was invited to go on one of Compassion's blogging trips to Kenya in 2010. After visiting Mathare slum (which Kristen describes as hell), she asked God why he would allow such a thing. She distinctly felt God asking her the same thing. 

God also used a young boy named Vincent to change Kristen and the way she thought about life. While visiting his home she looked around at his surroundings and his life and couldn't help but wonder why or how he could smile and look so happy. She asked him and he answered by saying, "Because I have Jesus."

After returning from Kenya...after experiencing a paradigm shift...after much prayer for direction...Kristen and her family began to pursue opening a home for pregnant women in Kenya, the first of it's kind. This book not only tells the story of how God used "a day in hell" to rescue Kristen, but also how God used and ordinary mom and family to make a difference and change the world. 

I loved this book and am so glad I had the chance to read it. I received a free copy of the book from Tyndale in exchange for a review. 

If you are a blogger who likes to read, you can get free books to review too. Here are a couple links to get you started - Tyndale Blog Network and BookLook Bloggers. Right now Hope Rising by Scott Todd is available at BookLook.

Monday, December 2, 2013

God's Love For You ~ Bible Storybook

I have another great resource to share with you.... this might make a wonderful Christmas gift for those little people in your life.

A couple weeks ago I shared about the devotional  He Walks Among Us - Encounters With Christ in a Broken World hy Richard and Renee Stearns. Well, they have put together a Bible storybook with a similar focus for children.

It is full of Bible stories that are followed by stories about children around the world. And the photographs are beautiful! Richard Stearns is the CEO of World Vision and has a heart for reaching children in the name of Jesus - just like Compassion.

I bought this book for my girls for Christmas and am excited to dive into it with them in the new year.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Books, Books, Books - New (to me) Books

I love to read and I love getting new books! Over the past few months I've added three new titles to my bookshelf and wanted to share them with you in case you need some new reading material in the upcoming new year.

The first is a devotional called He Walks Among Us - Encounters With Christ in a Broken World by Richard and Renee Stearns.

First of all, this is a gorgeous book. Just look at it. It's full of beautiful photographs and it's laid out so well. Richard Stearns is the CEO of World Vision - a huge Christian ministry that specializes in humanitarian aid, development and advocacy of the poor.

In this book, he and his wife share personal accounts and stories of how God is working among his people all over the world.

The next book is One in Spirit - a collection of devotionals written by Compassion staff all over the world. These devotionals have been shared on Compassion's blog and when I was at Compassion's Global Ministry Center in October, I saw this book in the store. Unfortunately I don't think you can buy this book anywhere except at the GMC store in Colorado Springs.

The final book I have to share with you is one I got for my birthday.... Operation World - The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation by Jason Mandryk

This is a wonderful resource for knowing HOW to pray for the people and country where your sponsored child lives. Every country in the world is included in the book and it's full of information about the country, the people and how to pray.

Do you have any new books you want to share with us? If so, please tell us about them in the comments.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Unfinished by Richard Stearns

As the title of this book suggests, Richard Stearns, author and CEO of World Vision, suggests that there is unfinished buisiness for those who claim to be followers of Christ. God has given us - the church - a mission.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. ~Matthew 28:19-20
Through this command, God invites us to join him in changing the world. This is the foundational message of this book. Stearns explains how God has created each and every one of us to play an important role in creating the kingdom of God here on earth and how we will find fulfillment and joy in accepting this invitation and responding obediently.

Not only is this book full of wisdom, scripture and sound advice, it also gives the reader a glimpse into the life of the man behind World Vision. Richard Stearns is a man after God's heart. He has a heart for motivating and encouraging others to love the poor as God loves the poor. 

One quote especially had me smiling...
"God's deepest desire is not that we would help the poor. God's deepest desire is that we would love the poor; for if we love them, we will surely help them."
This was said to a large group of World Vision donors attending a conference. Doesn't it make you think of the reference to sounding like a gong in 1 Corinthians 13:1?
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do have not love, I am only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal. 1 Corinithians 13:1 (emphasis mine)
Love is the key ingredient. Anyway, back to the book....

This book is a wake up call to every believer. It is not enough to believe....believing is only the beginning. God has given us a mission and we must enthusiastically and energetically answer the call to finish the work He began.

I highly recommend this book, as well as Richard Stearns first book, The Hole in our Gospel.

Have you read either of these books? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Books by Tom Davis

Have you heard of Tom Davis, CEO of Children's Hope Chest? I don't know much about Children's Hope Chest other than it is a child-sponsorship organization. And I know that Tom Davis is a man of God with a heart for the fatherless. 

He's written several books and all the ones I've read are good and worth reading. The Compassion store sells his first book, Fields of the Fatherless

The two books I've enjoyed the most are his two novels - novels "on the edge of the world". Scared (pictured below) was the first one published. 
Stuart Daniels has hit bottom. Once a celebrated and award-winning photojournalist, he is reeling from debt, a broken marriage, and crippling depression. Stuart is given one last chance to redeem his career: A make-or-break assignment covering the AIDS crisis in a small African country. It is here that Stuart meets Adanna, a young orphan fighting for survival. What seemed like a chance encounter will forever change their lives.
You can download the first chapter HERE.

Here's the trailer for this book...

The next book in this series was Priceless.
Stuart Daniels’ next assignment carries him back overseas and into the heart of Russia. Once there, Daniels is persuaded by an old friend to help save two girls from a desperate situation. Soon he becomes a key player in a dangerous campaign to rescue helpless women trapped in the sex-slave trade. What Daniels encounters during his journey will shake his faith, test his courage, and even threaten his life.
 You can download the first chapter HERE. You can also read God's Gal's review of this book HERE.

And here's the trailer for this book...

Supposedly Tom will be writing another book in this series which will be set in Haiti after the earthquake. Even though these books are fictional accounts, they deal with real-life situations that some of our sponsored children face every day.

Have you read any good books lately?

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Dream So Big by Steve Peifer

In his new book, A Dream So Big Our Unlikely Journey to End the Tears of Hunger, Steve Peifer recounts how he and his family found themselves in Kenya for a year of mission work. In an effort to mourn and heal from the loss of their infant son, the Steve and Nancy Peifer and their two young sons went to Kenya. Steve never wanted to go to Africa. Nancy always wanted to go to Africa. Steve sensed God was telling him to "give his wife what she wanted". So off to Africa they went.

What started out as a year long assignment turned into a new life for the Peifer family. Steve had a vision of feeding school children lunch and what started out as one school getting lunch turned into thousands of kids getting a meal every day. Then God gave him another vision - to start computer labs at the schools. Steve and Nancy even adopted twins from Kenya - finalizing the adoption on the anniversary of their son Stephen's birth.

This is a story of how God used a terrible, painful situation and turned it into something greater - for his glory and his purpose. This is a story of a couple - of a family - who said "yes" to God. This is a story of Kenya - a country that is hurting and needs people to step in and feed their children.

I really enjoyed this book and would easily recommend it to anyone who has a heart for Africa and mission work. I did receive a free copy of this book from Booksneeze, in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Citizen Kid Books

Have you heard of this collection of books from Citizen Kid that help inform children about the world?

The four I particularly like, because they address issues that affect holistic child development are One Hen, Mimi's Village, The Good Garden and One Well.

Mimi's Village and How Basic Health Care Transformed It

  • takes place in western Kenya
  • website   
  • the efforts of this book are in partnership with World Vision, a ministry that has some similarities to Compassion.

One Hen How One Small Load Made a Big Difference 

  • set in western Africa, specifically Ghana
  • website

The Good Garden How One Family Went From Hunger to Having Enough 

  • takes place in Honduras 
  • website

  • covers a wide variety of countries with helpful information like this:

And each book gives factual information that goes beyond the story.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Handful of Seeds by Monica Hughes

A Handful of Seeds by Monica Hughes is a beautiful story of a girl who lives with her grandmother. Her grandmother teaches her a very important lesson before she dies, and because the girls remembers what her grandmother taught her, she ends up changing many peoples lives.

The book is not clear where the story takes place, but it is likely in Central America or South America.

The illustrations are beautiful and together with the words, tell a great story.

I highly recommend you find a copy of this book to read. You'll be glad you did!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Only the Mountains do not Move ~ A Maasai Story of Culture and Conservation

In this beautiful book by Jan Reynolds, one can learn so much about the Maasai culture. The book is full of beautiful photographs and wonderful text, telling the stories and life of these people.

The Maasai people live in Kenya and Tanzania and Compassion works in both these countries with the Maasai.

If you sponsor a child who is Maasai, you will definitely want to try to get your hands on this book.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lent and Compassion

Soon the season of Lent will be upon us.

It wasn't until recent years that I began to explore and practice some of the ideas of the Lenten season. Last year I used the wonderful book A Place at the Table to guide me and it was such a meaningful experience. You can read the post I wrote about this book last year, and watch some of the videos which also help explain the concept of this book.

Written by Chris Seay, A Place at the Table - 40 Days of Solidarity With the Poor, proposes adopting a simple diet for 40 days as a way to identify with those living in poverty. Chris is a pastor, a church planter, an author and a Compassion sponsor.

In the first four chapters of the book, Chris lays out the hows and whys of fasting, gives practical tips and tools for making this feasible and talks about the importance of feast days. The rest of the book contains daily readings for the 40 days of fasting and the 6 days of feasting. In order to use the book completely, you would need to start this Wednesday, February 13th. Of course, this is not an all or nothing book. I believe God can use any amount of sacrifice to teach us, grow us and bless us.

Last year I created my own version of this and found it to be a very meaningful way to prepare myself for Easter. I did not ask anyone else in my family to join me beyond sharing one simple meal of rice and beans each week. (Personally I ate simply and blandly for breakfast and lunch. My normal breakfast was plain oatmeal with an apple cut up and for lunch I usually had quinoa and black beans. I ate a normal dinner as I didn't want to prepare two separate things for myself and my family. I also limited myself to hot tea and water, which was harder than limiting what I ate.)

I'm still not sure how I'll use the book this year, but I did want to share this resource with you in case you are interested in using it for yourself.

If you have used this book or plan to, I would love to hear about your experience!

Last year I ran across a list of suggested staple foods for each of the countries where Compassion works. This is not a comprehensive list, but should give you an idea of what you might limit yourself to if you choose to follow a simplified diet similar to that of your sponsored child.

Bangladesh: rice, chicken, beef, eggs, lentils, garlic, ginger, onions

Bolivia: potatoes, carrots, corn, rice, beans, chicken, fish, bananas, plantains, lettuce.

Brazil: rice, black beans, pasta, chicken, potato, kale, banana, citrus fruits, onions, garlic

Burkina Faso: millet, rice, corn, peanuts, potatoes, beans, sweet potatoes, okra, fresh green vegetables, eggs, fish, mangoes

Colombia: rice, red beans, chicken, corn, potatoes, avocados, bananas

Dominican Republic: rice, black beans, bananas, carrots, tomatoes, avocados, corn tortillas, fish

Ecuador: rice, potatoes, chicken, cheese soup/potato soup, avocado, corn tortillas, fish

El Salvador: corn, black beans, corn tortillas, tomatoes, chicken, white cheese, bananas

Ethiopia: injera, lentils, onions, garlic, beef or goat, chickpeas, chilies

Guatemala: black beans, corn, tortillas, rice, eggs, white cheese, chicken, tamales, corn chips, taquitos, tomatoes, avocados, onions, bananas, oranges

Ghana: cassava, rice, sweet potatoes, plantains, bananas, okra, spinach, tomatoes, onions, fish, chicken, peanuts, corn, millet

Haiti: rice, black and red beans, corn, sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados, pumpkin, squash, mango, coconut, sugarcane, chicken, goat

Honduras: rice, black or red beans, tamales, corn, corn tortillas, cabbage.

India: rice, potatoes, onions, garlic, bananas, chicken, fish, vegetables, lentils, garbanzo beans, spices

Indonesia: rice, vegetables, fish, bananas, coconut, mangoes

Kenya: corn meal porridge, flat bread, rice, corn, onions, tomatoes, collard greens, beef, goat, potatoes, chicken, passion fruit, milk

Mexico: corn, corn tortillas, tomatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, pinto or black beans, onion, chilies, chicken, pork, avocado, manog, papaya

Nicaragua: corn, black or red beans, corn tortillas, chicken, eggs, cabbage, tomatoes, bananas, avocado

Peru: Potatoes, pumpkin, rice, beef, pork, corn

Philippines: rice, sweet potatoes, vegetables, bananas, coconut, bread, fish, chicken, watermelon

Rwanda: bananas, red beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes, corn, eggs, chicken, beef, bananas, oranges, mangoes

Tanzania: cornmeal porridge, chicken, goat, corn, peanuts, fish, stewed greens

Togo: corn porridge, okra, spinach, sweet potatoes, peanuts, goat, fish, eggplant, cabbage, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, banana, watermelon

Thailand: rice, beef, chicken, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fish

Uganda: corn, rice, sweet potatoes, beans, bananas, peanuts, chicken

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Jaha and Jamil Went Down the Hill

In the early days of this blog, I posted many, many books and resources I was finding on the different countries where Compassion works.

Recently I've come across a sweet book that highlights several of the African countries where Compassion is ministering....

The author has taken well-known Mother Goose rhymes and written new words which depict life in particular African countries. Each page features a new country. The Compassion countries represented in this book are Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.

It's a beautiful book. I hope you can find it in your library system!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Under the Baobab Tree by Julie Stiegemeyer

Under the Baobab Tree by Julie Stiegemeyer is a sweet story of a brother and sister who are on their way to the baobab tree. Throughout the book the reader learns about baobab trees and how they are used as gathering places. When Moyo and Japera reach the baobab tree, we find out they are gathering there for their weekly church service.

If you have little ones, and you sponsor a child in Africa, this book is a wonderful way to introduce your children to life in the Arican countries.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I Lost My Tooth in Africa by Penda Diakite

I Lost My Tooth in Africa by Penda Diakite is a fun book that tells the story of a young girl who loses her tooth while visiting family in Mali. Although Mali is not a country where Compassion works, this story gives you a look into the life of many western Africans, regardless of their country. Mali is directly north of Burkina Faso, which is directly north of Ghana and Togo. On one page there is even a picture of a bed with mosquito netting around it. It's a delightful book and both of my girls loved it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Countries Around the World ~ DVDs

This DVD series features 9 of the countries where Compassion works - Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Peru and Rwanda.

You can buy them individually if you are interested, but I suggest checking your local library system to see if they have them!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Where Compassion Works

At the advocate gathering this past weekend we were given the following chart. I think this is a great way to look at the breakdown of where Compassion works and at what capacity. I'm sure I'll be referring to this chart often!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Homeschool Curriculum Lessons

Do you homeschool?

That's ok if you don't...this post is still for you.

Someone within the ranks of Compassion has put together some pretty awesome homeschool lesson plans.

They are free. They are downloadable. And they are right HERE.

Are you excited? I am!

Here's a little more info....

Each lesson has a spiritual emphasis, a country emphasis and a scripture emphasis.
  • Lesson 1: Evangelism, Burkina Faso, Romans 12:6-8
  • Lesson 2: Stewards of God's Earth, Brazil, 2 Corinthians 8:1-9
  • Lesson 3: Giving / Tithing, Peru, Luke 5:1-11
  • Lesson 4: Prayer, Mexico, Leviticus 19:36, Proverbs 11:1 and Proverbs 16
  • Lesson 5: Helping Others in Need, India, Nehemiah 2:1-5, 6:15-16
As I was looking through these, many of them looked familiar. Most of these ideas (if not all) have been featured in Compassion's Explorer magazines which are geared for kids. These lesson plans are full of activities, information about the countries they feature and opportunities to dive into and explore what Scripture has to say.

If you have already used these with your littles, I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Jingle Bells

Jingle Bells by Iza Trapani is a very fun book that takes its readers to several countries (including Mexico, Kenya and the Phillipines) through the song Jingle Bells. It's very simple text, along with it's fun illustrations give you a glimpse of Christmas in other countries.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Geography Games

Do you want a fun way to learn about the world?

Do you like to play games?

If you are still looking for a gift or two for your family, consider a geography game. I've found quite a few and thought I would share some of them here. If you click on the title, you will be taken to Amazon where you can read more about each game.

Personally I'd like to try them all. Do any of you have any experience with any of these games?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas in Africa

Here are some books I've found about Christmas in Africa.....

12 Days of Christmas by Rachel Isadora

The Night Before Christmas in Africa by Jesse. Hannah and Carroll Foster

An African Christmas by Ifeoma Onyefulu 

The Night Before Christmas by Rachel Isadora

A Kenya Christmas by Tony Johnston

A Stork in a Bobaba Tree by Catherine House

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