Friday, February 17, 2012

Because of YOU, we're thankful!

So, we've been talking (Jolene and Danielle, that is), and we realized something. We've been SO focused on our goal of raising enough money to start this school, that we haven't stopped enough to say thank you. This epiphany shocked and horrified us. We NEVER wanted that! We're the first to say we have so much to be thankful for...and then we didn't live that gratitude by expressing it to those of you who have done so much to help. So, in the vein of better late than never, please accept our most heartfelt gratitude for this past year:

THANK YOU to anyone who came to an event that helped raise money for the Bright Future Academy.
THANK YOU to those of you who have offered us an encouraging word....or lots of 'em!
THANK YOU to anyone who has prayed for us, Awake and Alive, our families, or the people of Kechene.
THANK YOU to those who have offered their services in any way.
THANK YOU for the much-needed advice in all things non-profit.
THANK YOU to those who sent money in any increment at all.
THANK YOU to those of you who have successful blogs and allowed us to be guest bloggers.
THANK YOU to those who have liked us on facebook.
THANK YOU to those who have encouraged others to like us on facebook.
THANK YOU to those who have watched our videos.
THANK YOU to those who are thinking and praying about going on our mission trip.
THANK YOU to those who have done fundraising for us.
THANK YOU to those who have bought our t-shirts and wear them as conversation starters
(or just wear them because they're pretty stinkin' cool!)
THANK YOU to those who have watched our children so that we can get stuff done
(including our amazing, stupendous, marvelous husbands)
THANK YOU for believing in us and that He who started a good work, has even more in store!!!

You fill our hearts with gratitude as we sit and reflect on all that has transpired this year and all who have come alongside us to make this dream in our hearts a reality. When we count our blessings, You are them.

Monday, February 13, 2012

School Updates

We were able to Skype with our in country contact this last week.
He told us that we will know the children by name in July!
This of course made my heart burst with excitement,
as we will then have specific children to begin praying for
I love it!
We also now know that we will be renting a 3 room building in Kechene for the children. Ethiopian law requires us to have one room for the children's class,
one room for an office, and one room for storage.
The building will be structurally sound for the children but our in country contact would love if our team would take some time to paint and decorate the classrooms for the children!
He had mentioned something about a mural and painting the English Alphabet and numbers on the walls. I (Jolene) am not talented in that way, what so ever, so hopefully one of you who are feeling pulled to come with us is.
There is also an opportunity for us to put on a bible school for the children
and share the love of Jesus with them through
songs, crafts and stories!

While we are there we will be spending a lot of time with the children and families that the school will be benefiting. This time will be spent getting to know each one of the children in the school so that we can set up a sponsorship program for them, in hopes that we can get each child in the school sponsored so that we can send MORE children to school next year! This is vital for the continuation of growth in the school.

Will you please continue to pray for Danielle and I, the staff that will be hired and the children that will be attending the Bright Future Academy! Thank You!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I love this quote. Because, you know what? It's so true. Does it mean that if we give all we have to the materially poor that we won't become materially poor? No, that's not what it means at all. To me, it means that generosity produces more riches than we could ever imagine. And that's how I want to live my life. Hands open--to God and to others. When we hoard at any level, it doesn't make us more alive or free, but more uncaring, more unfeeling, and more afraid.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Glimpse

Here is another unedited clip of Kechene. This is a video of a man working HARD in is home to provide for his family! When we visited his house he didn't stop working. I was in awe of his drive to work! This man was the provider for his house hold and he knew what he had to do! And that was and is to work hard to provide for his family! This was a rare glimpse of a man in Kechene who is standing strong for his family and working hard for his family.

During our trip in September 2012 we will be spending time with many of the families, just like this family, who will be touched by our school. What a privilege it will be to build relationships and friendships with these courageous people!
Please give what ever YOU CAN to help us start Bright Future Academy in Kechene, Ethiopia! Many young children's lives will forever be changed because of your gift!
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