Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bands and Big Ticket!

Hello Blogland,

Long time no see.  These last few months have been a whirlwind of awesomeness.  Since I started full time with World Orphans in February, the momentum and work load has increased steadily each month.

Anyways, my goal with my blog was to continue to provide you with ministry updates and I have failed at that.  I am going to try to improve though.  To start, I will share my July newsletter, which really is about June, but whatever.  It is a bit on the older side now, but it still gives you a glimpse at what I have been up to lately.  Hopefully, I will remember to post my August one sooner.

The beginning of June was spent finalizing plans for my month-and-a-half long nomadic journey full of work events.  Then, on June 15th I headed home to Ohio to spend a few days with my family before heading to Michigan where the fun began.
"To the World" Worship and Justice Tour: On June 21st, I met up with two bands, Bluetree and The Informants, who were finishing up their World Orphans Worship and Justice Tour.  They had been traveling around Michigan playing in churches and other venues for the purpose of creating worshipful experiences and promoting justice for orphans.
            I joined the tour for the last few shows to help recruit Rescue Partners and to sell jewelry handmade by women in Guatemala and Haiti.  On Sunday, we played at an amazing church full of people with hearts for the world.  That morning alone, 21 new people signed up to be monthly partners with World Orphans.  Their support, along with all of the other Rescue Partners provides for our international church projects who are still awaiting U.S. church partners.  Thanks to Rescue Partners, these churches are able to continue providing holistic care for the orphans and vulnerable children in their community.  Over the course of the whole tour, 58 people signed up to play this important role.
Big Ticket Festival:  After the tour wrapped up, it was time to get ready for the main event: Big Ticket Festival (BTF).  It took two full days of set-up to get the World Orphans experience tent ready to go.  This preparation including cleaning out an old school bus, tearing cardboard, slinging mud, modge podging, hanging burlap, spray painting, stringing clothes line, and much more.   The result was a six-minute-long audio visual presentation that left many in tears.   The journey took people from the comforts of everyday life through our true brokenness, and into the life of an orphan in Cambodia.  They also were given time to pray for orphans and those in need around the world.
            Throughout the festival over 2,000 entered the bus and went through the World Orphans experience.  At the end, they expressed their sadness, conviction, and desire to do more for orphans with the staff members and volunteers working inside the tent.  Then, they stepped out into my tent where I shared about Rescue Teams and other ways to get involved.  It was such a blessing to empower people to turn their emotion into action. 

Amie and Me working the tent
            I had some great conversations with young people who hoped to get their youth groups to form Rescue Teams, adults who wanted to get their businesses involved, and many individuals who had great ideas for fundraisers.  The many different ideas included dirt bike races, hiking events, pie auctions, running ½ marathons, YouTube videos etc.  I look forward to following up with these passionate people and hopefully helping them start their Rescue Teams.
            In addition to serving at the experience tent and my own Rescue Team booth, I was also able to represent World Orphans in several other ways.  At least once or twice a day, my supervisors chose me to speak on stage to invite people to get involved with World Orphans.  Though a few of these stage times were sprung on me last minute, I had a blast at every one!

Selfie from the Worship Stage
            Also, on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, I helped out with the large appeals from the Main Stage.  On two of the three nights, Jared Faelleci, a volunteer advocate and public speaker for World Orphans, spoke about the work being done in Iraq.  He explained how God is using World Orphans to provide refuge for those fleeing ISIS.  Then, he asked the audience to give generously to support the over 600 refugees in our care.  Over 30 of us wandered through the crowd of 10,000 people carrying buckets to collect the donations.  Later, our hearts raced as we counted the money.  All of us were praying and hoping for $10,000, which would really mean $30,000 thanks to two matching donations.  Guess what.  God showed up!  The crowd donated $10,005!
            On the last night, Aaron from Bluetree made an appeal for Rescue Partners and 31 people responded.  Plus, others made one time gifts, which will also be used to provide for the children care for by our international church partners.
Aaron Boyd of Bluetree speaking about World Orphans from atop a bus
            Serving at Big Ticket Festival and alongside both bands was incredible.  It confirmed to me that I am just one person in the midst of a much greater movement.  God is at work through His faithful servants and He is providing for orphans.  Thank you for being a part of it all!

Hope you enjoyed the update!