Sunday, October 30, 2011

harvest party

Psalm 107:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures for forever. This was the theme for today's Harvest Party at Harvest Vineyard. 75 kids. 50+ adults from Harvest, the neighborhood, and Orchard Hill. Dancing and singing to God. Adding leaves of thankfulness to the Thankful tree. Bobbing for apples. Drawing on pumpkins. Tossing bean bags. Bingo. Coloring. Face paint. Good eats. Old friends. New friends. Much for which to be thankful. God is indeed good!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


This fall, some African-American friends and Native American brothers have been sharing with me a different version of American History than I grew up learning in school and from media.

As Christ-followers, we are to seek peace and reconciliation among people. I agree with the core convictions mentioned in a workshop that I took at ccda a few weeks' back:

1. Confession is at the core of transformation.
2. Anemic confessions lead to negligible transformation.
3. Authentic confession demands confronting authentic history.

Monday, October 24, 2011

kids in the kitchen #3

God put children on the earth to help us Type A personalities learn to roll with the punches a little! When I was able to turn the corner and be okay that things were going to roll quite differently than My Plan this evening, I could enjoy watching the creativity and delight of children and adults alike as they decorated Halloween cookies. It was fun to see how engaged and creative the students were as they went to work on those cookies, and how enjoyable it was to connect with the children during Kids in the Kitchen tonight.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

power of a letter

When I was in fourth grade, my teacher, Ms. Adams, wrote and sent a letter in the mail to my parents. The letter expressed her appreciation of my work in her fourth grade classroom as a peer reader. I had been a strong reader and was paired with students in my class to work on reading skills and comprehension with them. I'm quite sure my work in her classroom and her letter to our home influenced my decision to become an elementary teacher out of college, as well as fueled my confidence as a reader.

This is only one story of the power that letters have had on me through my years. So, today, when I watched children and families write letters to their sponsored children in Mozambique, I was so excited as I imagine the children receiving the letters in their homes.

Orchard Hill families are sponsoring over 325 children in the Gorongosa Region of Mozambique, and every time a letter gets sent to a child, a Food for the Hungry staff person translates the letter into their language while another FH staffer personally delivers and shares the letter with the family.

What a great opportunity to make a friend across the globe! What a great way to encourage and share Christ with a family in Mozambique! Listening to Halkeno today share with us the power of a letter, he said, "Letters are transformation." Don't under-estimate the power of a letter....letters have been used by God in my own faith and development, and I know these letters are being used by God to grow and develop the faith and lives of our sisters and brothers in Mozambique.

Ice Cream Social for Sponsoring families Today at Orchard Hill Church

Kris thanks Sheilla who translates many of the letters we send, and Halkeno, the director of child sponsorships in Mozambique.
The Rose family write letters to their seven sponsored children. One child per every person in their own family.
Suzi and Aaron Wikner look up a Scripture to include in their letter.
The Karsjens Kiddos include some awesome stickers on their letters!
Megan and Kelsie finish writing letters to their sponsored children.
A bookmark is a perfect homemade gift to send along in a letter.
Marianne and Antonio hold up a picture of the young man they sponsor through Food for the Hungry.