In the midst of change…Hope

It’s time to check in with one of our favorite family’s.

The Collie’s wake up everyday with the intent to change the way things currently are. So much so, they are moving to Uganda.

In previous posts, What Does Hope Look Like and The Hands, Feet and Faces of Hope we focused on what Sole Hope is as a whole. I want this post to be all about the family.
Family1.~ How are you feeling right now, in this moment, about the move?  I think each person in our family is handling this change differently.  Overall we are excited, nervous and full of anticipation for the upcoming change in our lives.  

2.~ How have you and Asher prepared the children for such a drastic lifestyle change?  We talk about where we are moving-a lot. We have shown them pictures of the house we will be living in, videos and had many, many conversations about what will be different. I don’t think they will be able to wrap their minds around AFRICA until they experience it first hand.The Children ~ 4 1/2, 7 and 5 days

3.~ Have you been surprised by the support you have received? Is it more or less than you thought possible? In some ways, YES! We love to see when people show us support who were never on our radar. The encouraging words and financial support from our friends and even acquaintances has blown us away. We have learned that you cannot lump your friends and family into a category of givers, because they are your friends and family their support is not guaranteed.Community of supportIt has also been disheartening to see which friends and family really don’t show any sort of support…but we have to remember we are not doing this for them or even for our own ego. This is really not about us, but we do have to continually remind ourselves of that. We are so thankful to God for just providing for our needs daily and teaching us humility and patience through this!

4.~ If you could only list one way for people to get involved and support your mission, what would you say?  Host a shoe cutting party. This gives you a hands on way to get involved while spreading the word about Sole Hope30 pairs of shoes.Baby Shoes

5.~ How does Asher feel about taking a newborn to a country with less than Asher, Silasadequate healthcare?  

Well, scared and excited. I am excited that I get to raise this baby in a culture that I love and that he will know nothing different. There of course is also a fear of the unknown, and in some cases the known! We know of several diseases that plague Africa and we will take all the precautions we can. But, at the end of the day we know we have to trust ALL of our children to the Lord. Crazy to think-but he loves our children more than we do.  Ultimately the decision is about surrender. Surrendering our fears, our lives, our agendas and trusting in the One who called us to this special task.

Be the change6.~ What is the biggest challenge facing your family?  Change. Change is good, but change is also challenging. We also have needs that we are just trusting the Lord will meet once we get there. For example, we need a 15 passenger van to shuttle the teams that come to help Sole Hope, provide medical relief from jiggers and other daily needs. Sometimes trusting the Lord’s will is a challenge…but it is one we feel like we all should take on-even if we are not living in Africa!

7.~ Do you have any expectation of what the transition will look/feel/be like? We are trying not to have too many expectations, but we know everything about this move will be different. The weather, schooling, our work schedules, lack of family nearby, a different church family, how we prepare our food, the precautions we have to take against water, mosquito’s and other things…the list could go on. We have to remain flexible and positive.
Children of Uganda
These are a few of the precious faces that changed Dru and Asher in a way that could not be ignored. There are so many ways to get involved. You don’t have to have an extra pile of money lying around. I’m not going to be polite and say, “If you are unable to help at this time, please commit to praying.” Prayer is of the utmost importance…yes. Faith in action is even more important. So if you are hesitant, lazy, indecisive or indifferent, I’m going to pray that God moves you to action and breaks your heart for what breaks his.

In the meantime, check out our faithful family on our favorite social media
Sole Hope Facebook page. (while you’re there, click the “Like” button.)
Follow them on Twitter
annnnnnnnnd Pinterest

Now that all of our excuses have been eliminated I’m going to make it easy for you to remember the mission. Here is a downloadable PDF Sole Hope Reference Card that will attach perfectly to email, is printable for posting on the mirror, dashboard, under windshield wipers, various places in the community, on your Pinterest board, and makes for a wonderful screen saver.

So tell me, What are you waiting for? Now is the right time.”

1-Minute Meditation: Change

Today, this week, this month, I am focusing on change. Acting now and not waiting around for someone else to do things that are right in front of me. You can too. All it takes is a step forward. There are seven days in a week and someday isn’t one of them. It’s time to act, to speak up, to move. It’s time for change.
Need More than a Minute?:
1-Minute Meditation: Faith
1-Minute Meditation: Everything
1-Minute Meditation: Choice
1-Minute Meditation: Jesus
1-Minute Meditation: Affirmation
1-Minute Meditation: Fear
1-Minute Meditation: Awareness
1-Minute Meditation: Merton Prayer
1-Minute Meditation:
1-Minute Meditation:

The Hands, Feet and Faces of Hope

Never underestimate the power of hope. The potential that it gives the helpless, the change in perspective that it gives the skeptic, the restoration it provides for the lost.

Hope does not come dressed in riches, it comes dressed in willingness to use what one has, to do what one can.

There is hope. It has a face and a name. It has breath and a heartbeat. It has a future because someone like you said, “Why not me? Why not now?
So today I ask you, “What are you waiting for?”Yesterday’s post was an introduction into the world of a mother and a husband who had a vision, made a plan, asked for help and are changing lives for eternity. Asher will be giving birth in October to her and Drü’s third child and a few short months after, they will move their family of five to Africa. Can you even imagine?! I can’t. I wouldn’t. But they can and they are. “Why?” is what you may be asking. It’s what I wanted to know. So I asked.

Q: At what moment did you realize that God was calling you to move to Africa? Was it a moment of terror, excitement or a little bit of both?
A: “It was a growth process and not a sudden “ah-ha!” moment. After visiting several times a year, we realized that with coming and going we could only monitor the growth and success of Sole Hope so far. We knew we needed someone on the ground there who knew the vision of Sole Hope, who we trusted and who was like-minded. We started looking for people to move to Africa to really run our program, especially the first few foundational years.

As no one was rising to the plate to accept this low paying, unclear job in a third world country-we realized we were being called, softly, and nudged but kept ignoring it.  During this time though we were able to grow our relationship as a family, gain clearer understanding of the direction of Sole Hope, and really get to know the community of people we would be going to live and work with, and more of the realities of the problem we would be facing-jiggers.

Of course this was and is scary…we are being called onto a battle ground. There will be sacrifice, suffering and trials.  But we are confident that God will complete a good work in and through us with only His power. There is also excitement as we do love Africa, and this is a new adventure like none we have ever taken before as a family!

Q: Asher, will you deliver your third child in the states? Are you apprehensive about taking a newborn to a third world country? How are your kiddos handling all of the change?
A: “I will deliver our third child in October in the States, and we will move in January. Of course it makes me nervous to take any of my children to a third-world country, but perfect love casts out fear, and I have to hand that over daily to the Lord. We feel this is where he is calling us, so we need to be faithful. It is a good test of faith when you get your children involved. Our two oldest are handling this transition very differently. The oldest is excited, and a bit apprehensive, and the youngest really would be just fine with staying in Asheville the rest of his life.” 

Q: What is your biggest area of need right now? How can we help?
A: “We always need people to keep our family and Sole Hope in their prayers! We don’t take that lightly and are so grateful when people commit to pray for us. Our family raises our own support, just like a missionary would to live and work in Africa. We need people who will come along side our family and support us financially.”

Q: What sets you apart from other organizations ministering in Africa?
A: “We don’t have a tract we hand out, or a church we are affiliated with. We do however have many believers that hold us accountable and check in with us regularly. We are Christians who take very seriously listening to the Lord and following his call on our life. We believe Sole Hope was something the Lord laid on my heart (Asher). We start sharing the Lord by building relationships and letting people get to know us and why we are doing this [Sole Hope].”  

Q: Have you set a timeline for how long you will stay?
A:We know we will be there at least a year.”

Q: How can we keep up with you while you are there?
A: “Check the Sole Hope blog regularly!”

Q: If there was one thing on your “Dreaming BIG” list that you would like to see happen, what would it be?
A: “To eradicate jiggers from an entire village/slum area in a sustainable way.”

Q: Can others bring teams over to help with your mission?
A: “YES! We will have 5 planned trips during 2013 and we are open to organizing small group trips throughout the year as well.

Q: Will there be a mailing address where we can send fun packages to you and the kiddos? 🙂
A: “We would LOVE that!  We will need to get you an address. For right now packages and letters can go to our office in Asheville and be brought with the next team.”
Sole Hope
P.O. Box 1492,
Asheville, NC 28802
or
Sole Hope
2 Wall St. Ste. 114
Asheville, NC 28801

Did I miss anything? Are you as moved as I was by the courage of this little family with big faith? Want to ask them more questions, comment on their work or encourage them on their journey? Leave a comment here or contact them directly. You won’t regret immersing yourself in this cause with these people. No matter the depth of involvement. It all matters.Will you commit to telling at least two people about Sole Hope? I’m going to make it easy for you. Here is a downloadable PDF Sole Hope Reference Card that will attach perfectly to email or print. So tell me, “What are you waiting for? Now is the right time.”

*all media was taken from the Sole Hope Facebook page. Go check it out. And while you’re there, click the “Like” button.
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What does Hope look like?

I am so excited to be sharing this story with my readers. It is one that has been on my heart since I first discovered it.

Many of you have heard of Sole Hope. For those of you who haven’t, I would like to introduce them to you today.

This is not a ploy to get your money. It is a conversation starter to make you aware of what is happening, maybe not in our country, but in our world. It is to shed light on something happening to little ones who cannot help themselves. It is in hopes that you will tell others and share what Hope looks like in the form of human beings dedicating their lives to eradicate a seemingly insurmountable problem.
The following video contains graphic images that may be disturbing to some. Please use discretion when viewing and allowing young children to view.

The first time I saw this video it made me want to know more. I had never even heard of jiggers. I read everything I could on the Sole Hope website and blog. I have to be completely honest, I became physically sick while reading and watching what these children are enduring day in and day out because they lack something that I often always take for granted. Shoes.

Asher, as a wife and mother of two (with a third on the way), decided she couldn’t wait for “someone else” to step in. She had to take action. That is how Sole Hope was born. One woman who had a choice either to ignore what she had seen or follow a calling to be a world changer.

I know for me personally, I don’t realize what my feet, or any part of my body for that matter, does until I can’t use it. Many of the children with jiggers in their feet are completely immobilized and confined to their home. Many don’t have parents or caregivers. Many will die.

This is a precious one whose foot is infested with jiggers. Gross right?! I beg you not to look away. This is about the size of one of my children’s feet. If this was my child, it never would have gotten to this point. I would have taken him to the pediatrician long before it was this bad. They do not have that option.

Now rewind. What if this child was wearing shoes. Not the latest athletic shoe, just enough of a shoe to act as a barrier between them and this parasite? What if this preventable affliction was expunged completely? What if you were part of that? What if you didn’t dismiss it with the thought, “Someone else will do it.” or “I already have my charities mapped out for the year.” Please hear me when I say that this is about so much more than money.

Of course they need financial support, but there are also many other ways that you can step in and make a difference in a huge way.

One way is by being a Sole Hope Ambassador in your area. Sole Hope Ambassadors are people who are pumped about Sole Hope and want to help spread awareness in their own community. This is a volunteer opportunity with perks. If you are interested and want more information click here.

Another way is by featuring these adorable shoes in your store, online, or by purchasing them for the favorite little ones in your life. When people ask you what they are (and they will), be ready to tell them.

You can also host a shoe cutting party. For more information, email Info@solehope.com or call 855.516.4673.

I know this is a lot of information. In an effort to allow you time to process what you have read and seen, we will continue the discussion tomorrow with a Q&A from myself, Asher and Drü. I asked the questions I most wanted to know and thought that you too would want to know. Questions like, “What sets you a part from every other organization with a heart for Africa?

Make sure you come back tomorrow for the rest of the story and a downloadable PDF with useful information.

“These feet are waiting for me…and that keeps me moving on the days when I feel tired and don’t want to do much.” ~ Asher

*all media was taken from the Sole Hope Facebook page. Go check it out. And while you’re there, click the “Like” button.
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