I know you thought I forgot about my giving Thursday post...but I didn't.
This Thursday I wanted to highlight a way to give that is very near and dear to our hearts. Giving to help give children families. Adoption is expensive. Some would argue that it shouldn't be as costly as it is, that things have gotten out of control. There is some truth to that, but it does not provide an excuse not to adopt or not support those who are. The expense of adoption is a huge barrier for most families. I know when you are looking at adoption expenses that reach five digits it can be so overwhelming. Most of us never have a clue how God is going to bring the money. Sometimes He provides through income increases, sometimes it is a windfall of money, sometimes people obtain loans, sometimes He provides through His people.
Scripture is so clear that we ARE to care for orphans and widows. We are all in some way to be involved in visiting them in their distress. While some may open their hearts and homes others can make their call a reality by giving financial support. I believe I can say with certainty, that the blessing that the adoptive parents and children receive on earth, pales in comparison to the reward those who give will receive in heaven. The financial gifts make it possible for children to have a family, and I believe that this is PLEASING to the Father. This is one of the many ways that God gives us the opportunity to store up treasure in Heaven. I remember one day at home group, Gabriel (a sweet little guy who is five years old) came running up to us excited as can be. In his hand he held some change. He gave it to us with such joy. He wanted to help, in his words, "Bring our black babies home." I proudly deposited that change into our adoption account knowing that Jesus was well pleased with little Gabriel's giving. It may not of been much in an earthly sense, but I am thinking all of heaven rejoiced at this little boys obedience and faith. I believe one day he will receive a rich reward from his Heavenly Father for helping to give two orphans a family. I just want to encourage everyone to do the same. Find an adoptive family to support with prayers and some of what God has blessed you with.
In light of this weeks idea for giving, I wanted to have a contest for a particular family. I have a friend, whom I have never met, but love nonetheless. We share the common bonds of shared faith and a passion for orphans. Her name is Keltie and her blog can be found here. Her and her husband are in the process of their second adoption, and like their first adoption, this one has been filled with numerous challenges and disappointments. During this adoption they have lost a referral of two children they had grown to love and had to choose another adoption organization to work with. As you can imagine, they have lost a lot of money during this process. Our family has wanted to do something to help theirs for quite some time.
A while back I came across this website. This story has left a permanent impression on me. Long story short, this pastor preached a sermon on the parable of talents and then gave everyone in the congregation a small amount of money, based on their age. He encouraged them to use their talents, to grow them. Then they would bring the money back in six months and see what God had done. They had given out $16,000 and six months later
had $280,000. They used this money to start an adoption ministry. This is quiet a story and I encourage you to read it in it's entirety. This story coupled with another woman who raffled off an ipod on her blog, was the inspiration for this idea.
As I said, Richard and I really wanted to give something to this family, even before they had the problems that they recently encountered. It seemed to us though, that while our small donation would help (and I know they would be incredibly grateful), in the grand scheme...the big picture of that 5 digit number, it seemed that our money wasn't even going to be a drop in the bucket. We wondered how we might "multiply our talents." Thus the idea was born, that we would take the money we were going to give them, and purchase a prize that would be given way via my blog.
So here is the scoop:
I have brand new, never been out of the box, 8GB ipod touch I would like to give away to someone. On the side bar of this blog will be a button so that you can donate to help this family bring home their two beautiful children from Africa. For every $15 you donate to their adoption fund, I will place one ticket with your name on it, into the drawing. If you give $15 you get one ticket, $30 two tickets...and so on. I will run this contest until midnight March 31. On April 1, 2009 I will have the drawing to pick the winner of the ipod touch, and announce the total amount raised as well as the winner on this blog. I am not sure how I will do the drawing just yet, but I know it will be in a group setting, so that everyone knows that the drawing was fair. Make sure that your name and email are included in the note when you donate, so that I know who the tickets belong to, and so I can email you for your address should you be the blessed winner of this very cool prize...an ipod touch!!
Here is where I need your help (well I need you donate too), you see that blog button on the top right of your screen(thank you to my eldest for making that for me), it is big on purpose. I am asking you to put that on your blog too. Maybe even write a post about this contest, and send people over to donate to the this family's adoption. The blog badge is integral, because once I post a new post, the old ones rarely get looked at. So in order to keep people giving for the full duration of the contest, we have to get the word out and keep it in the forefront, so that people can continue to give...and get more chances to win this ipod touch. If you link to this contest on your blog, by placing the button at the top of your page, email me your blog, and I will enter your name into a separate drawing for the book "There is No Me Without You." Sorry, no ipod for linking to the contest, only a chance to win a fantastic book.
So one more time here are the rules: For a chance to win an ipod touch
- Donate and get 1 ticket in the drawing for every $15 donation
- 1 winner will be drawn on April 1, 2009
- No one who lives in my house is allowed to join in this contest (much to their dismay)
- ipod touch will be shipped to the winner on or before April 4, 2009
- Include name and email in the note of your donation
Rules to win a copy of the book There is No Me Without You
- Place the blog button at the top of your blog and leave it there for the duration of the contest, and get one ticket in the drawing to win the book.
- Write a blog post about the contest and receive another ticket to win the book.
- Post about it on your facebook account and get another ticket.
- Email me your blog address so I can confirm you have posted.
- Winner for the book will be drawn on April 1, 2009
- Book will be shipped on or before April 4, 2009
- No one who lives in my house is allowed to join this contest either
Please remember that I am just one woman, trying to do the best I can. I will do all I can to run this contest with the up most integrity in an effort to serve the God I love so very much. If you have questions or need to let me know you have posted the contest link on your blog, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate and enter to win click the donate button, on the top right of this page. You do not have to have a pay pal account to donate. At the left there is a place to click if you don't have a pay pal account.
Thank you for your participation! We are looking forward to watching what God will do through His people.