A Christmas Message from Joe Knittig:
Lead a Christmas season of TRANSFORMATION.
Romans 12:2 says: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Conformity is a drag. It s isolationist; fearful; suffocating. It stifles sound risk-taking. Today it tells us governments should take more money and solve more problems not you through the decisions of your hearts. Conformity today is hand-wringing and regressive. Conformity is bondage.
What I love about The Global Orphan Project about you who engage and give is that you all are a growing Transformational group. You re counter-cultural. Refreshing. Unselfish. Generous. You are willing to take a risk for others with your money and your hearts even when the chips seem down.
I ll prove it
Let s look at 3 pieces of information: 2 big picture and 1 tiny picture.
- First: Philanthropy in America is down. In 2008, giving in America was down 5.7% (adjusted for inflation) the biggest drop since giving has been statistically tracked. The numbers are expected to be worse in 2009.
- Second: Poverty in the world is up. An estimated 1.02 Billion people in the world are chronically hungry (i.e., starving to death). Roughly 100 Million were added to this roll call in the last year.
- Third: Amidst these global trends, there s a plastic bag on the side of a road in Malawi. The bag s contents? A baby girl infected with HIV, a rope around her neck used by a hopeless mother to try and choke the coming misery to death.
The pattern of this world says to grab our wallets and hold tight. Ride out the storm. Protect investments, just in case. These problems are not our personal concern let someone else deal with them until the economy improves. And that little girl: shed some tears, talk about what others should do, blame; but do nothing.
Your way, our way, is different. Here s what we ve done:
- First: While philanthropy trends down, you ve grown The Global Orphan Project. You doubled the growth in 2008, and are on track to grow the work another 25% – 35% in 2009, depending on December’s year-end giving.
- Second: By God s grace, your growth has our organization prepared to take care of many more children going forward not get swallowed by poverty trends.
- Third: That little girl survived. She s the first child in our GO Project in Malawi. Her name is Alpha (First) Alanane (God With Us) Maseko. She s not trash. She s a beautiful child of God. And we ll help our partner take care of her and love her for as long as the good Lord allows. She s a gift. These children, like Alpha, unearth a love in our hearts many of us didn t know we had.
That s TRANSFORMATIONAL. You all drive and inspire this ministry. This Christmas, I want to thank you.
I encourage all of us to kick it to another level. Right now we have the perfect opportunity to grow this work to new heights, counter to trends. Whether that happens is up to all of us.
By God s grace, we re at the front edge of another growth burst. Let s look at 3 countries: Haiti, Uganda, Malawi.
Haiti s been our training ground, our heart and soul. We have more than 2,000 children in care in Haiti, alone. In 2009, in the brutal aftermath of the hurricanes, we ve focused a great deal on shoring-up and improving orphan care and schools in 16 existing children s villages.
Our partners have been able to reunite children in care with family members who once could not care for the children, but are now able and willing to do so (with the church s help). That effort continues. We pray that we ll see MUCH more of this going forward.
We ve sought out Village Sponsors primarily churches, businesses, and families willing to take on an existing village and take it to the next level of care. That means funding needed infrastructure improvements, and taking on orphan care and school improvement costs for three (3) years.
For example, a family in South Florida is becoming a Village Sponsor of Cambry. Churches in Kansas City, Lincoln, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Shreveport, and Las Vegas are stepping-up to become Village Sponsors at existing sites that need this relationship and attention.
If you, your church, or your business are interested in becoming a Village Sponsor in Haiti, Africa, or South Asia, contact us. We d love to make that happen.
We re also growing new villages and homes in Haiti.
Long Hollow Church in Nashville is sponsoring an entire Village in Jeremie from the ground up. Land, church, school, clinic, and a lot of children s homes. We re targeting 300 children over the next year!
Pleasant Valley Baptist Church (right here in Kansas City!!!) is stepping-up in an exciting new project. We re at the front end with PV and a field partner in Haiti to develop a new village at Mole St. Nicholas in Northwest Haiti. Stay tuned for updates about The Mole.
The Nebraska Global Orphan Project is official, focused on taking care of the children Fayeton village in the Gonaive region.
A family in Denver is stepping-up to help with a special needs orphan home in Haiti.
Folks from Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Georgia, Nevada, Michigan, and all over the country are sponsoring homes: $5k to build the home for 10 children and momma; $400/month/home for 3 years to sustain it. This is happening in various locations in Haiti. In Port au Prince; Croix de Bouquet; Northwest Haiti.
We re at the front edge of another growth explosion. And that means operational expansion.
In January 2010, GO Project Haiti will be in operation in Haiti. We will have excellent Field Staff to help our partners oversee the work, train local leaders and caretakers, manage projects, and communicate better with you.
So many of you have walked with us through the brutally hard challenges of orphan care in Haiti. We can t thank you enough.
Uganda is our fastest growing work in Africa. We are thrilled with where we see the Lord taking the work there.
We have 2 existing villages. Our first is in Masaka. This is a small, solid, anchor work in Uganda. The children in care there are thriving two years after they came in totally alone. The other village is in Rakai District, Kyotera the epicenter of the AIDS pandemic in Africa. That village is quickly expanding from 48 children to 120 children. Our local church partner at Kyotera is doing a wonderful job.
Here s a fun clip of the kids with Mike Fox at Kyotera.
For the past year, we ve been laying the groundwork for an expansive partnership with the Church of Uganda. That hard work and planning is now bearing fruit.
Our first 2 villages with COU are under way. One is in Kabale, in southwest Uganda (on the Uganda, Rwanda, Congo border). This work is being funded by an all women s group here in KC, led by our own Marsha Campbell. (Way to go ladies!) It s an amazing story. You ll hear all about it soon. The other village is in Lira, in war torn Northern Uganda.
At each location, by God s grace, we ll bring 100 orphaned children into 10 new local church based homes. Our target is to have the first groups of children at each site in care by the time the next school term in Uganda begins February 1. We are on track for that reality.
We are now starting to plan the next Uganda village in Gulu, also in the north. Truly, as we complete our initial villages with COU, the possibility to develop scores of children s villages throughout Uganda is there in a huge way. Please pray that this will happen.
Like in Haiti, all of the Uganda growth means a growing need for a field presence. In 2010, we will launch GO Project Uganda to help our partners in the field, and communicate better with you. This will likely serve as a hub for all of our works in East Africa.
Pothawira means safe haven in Chichewa, Malawi s native language. We re pleased to report that Pothawira Village, at the direction of Peter Maseko, has launched!
The church, school, and first orphan homes are under construction.
This work epitomizes The Global Orphan Project. Spanish River Church in Boca Raton has funded the church. Mizzou for Malawi a grassroots and viral student group at MU has funded the school. Multiple families have stepped-up to fund children s homes. Colonial Church in Mission, Kansas, has funded 1 well, and Watering Malawi another. One5 (formerly ILF) and a group of St. Luke s docs are planning and funding a birthing center and pediatrics clinic. And Colonial Presbyterian Church in Kansas City (different than Colonial Church) is stepping in to sponsor the Village and care for the children.
This eclectic outpouring of generosity comes together in one simple village, owned by the local church, with all of us in a background supporting role. Only God can orchestrate this.
And amidst this whirlwind we see one simple, representative little girl Alpha. That s us. That s that stuff of transformation. That s The Global Orphan Project.
Pray for the Lord to continue His favor on and multiply this work to show many Alphas the love of the Lord Jesus.
Million Dollar Challenge Update & Unique Opportunity!!!
Donors agreed to match $500,000 dollar for dollar in 2009, as you all contributed funds for these needs and the basic, ongoing care of the kids up to $500,000. We ran the Challenge up through The BIG Event 09, on November 8. This was a huge challenge amidst the fears of a down economy. But you all responded and nearly hit the full $500k!
Way to go! The final tally you gave towards the Million Dollar Challenge was $973,303.10. We fell just $26,696.90 shy of the target.
And as they say in the infomercials: But wait, there s more!!! At year-end, if an individual or group will donate $26,696.9 to hit the full $500k, the matching donors will MATCH this gift. They will put in a full $500k by year-end.
The BIG Event Ã¯Â¿Â½09 Ã¯Â¿Â½ The Power of Prayer
Thanks for making The BIG Event 09, on November 8, such a memorable night.
So many of you who attended have contacted us to ask about our biggest needs, ready to contribute at year end. Ready to spread the word to others.
We ve set out our targets for Christmas and year-end, the most important giving time of the year. We need all of us, all of you, pulling on the oars to meet these needs. Let s make our year-end push a huge success!
What We Want for ChristmasÃ¯Â¿Â½
It s Christmas time. Year-end time. This is the most generous time of the year; a season that launches ministries, like ours, into the next year.
We need your help.
Check out our Christmas Catalog. We have set out our biggest needs; our year-end targets.
Highlighting our push is the most basic need of the kids: FOOD. Outside of funding from home and village sponsors, we expect we ll need to raise another $500,000 to meet the most basic food needs of our children in care, and the children coming in. We plan to use this funding to produce food, too, via agricultural ventures.
We guaranty that every dime donated at year-end will be used in our orphan care programs. 100%. None of it will be used to cover our overhead here.
Here are our asks of you
- Please make a generous year-end donation to launch 2010;
- Push this out to your circles your family, friends, colleagues, churches.
You can give on-line. You can give by check to C3 Missions International, Inc. Just mail us at:
The Global Orphan Project/C3 Missions International
3000 NW 50th Street
Kansas City, MO 64150
You are, indeed, a Transformational group who show your love with your actions first. You are doing something terrific in the world, and just getting started. It s a privilege to be your conduit.
God bless you.