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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Thinking about ... Golf??

I'll start with this - Our church is hosting a Golf tournament.  Here is the link -

OK, why, besides the fact that millions of people love golf, are we hosting a golf tournament?  The intent is to raise money for our mission trips to Ethiopia.  We go every Spring, and this year we're also going in October.  We always visit the same place - the Children's Hope Chest care point in the city of Kombolcha ( There are 170-200 children who come to this care point.  They receive funds for education, school uniforms and supplies.  They also receive a meal.  And most importantly, they are taught the Gospel.  Our trips are intended to build an in-person relationship with the children and also with the adults (all Ethiopians) who tend to the daily care of these kids.  We think if we do this annually for a decade, we will see tangible results.  Children will come to faith in Christ.  Children will be educated and learn English and gain employment opportunities.  Maybe, this generation will grow up and become parents who do not need American sponsors to help them care for their children. Maybe we are making a contribution that can break the cycle of generational poverty.


What does any of this have to do with golf?

It is expensive to travel to Ethiopia.  Many of those from our church who go on the trips are university students.  They need financial help.  And those who go come back saying, "I want to sponsor a kid."  "I want to raise money to get new facilities at the care point."  "I want to dedicate my life to helping people know Jesus and climb out of the pit of malnutrition and material need."  

Some of the funds raised in the golf tournament will help people go on the trip.  Some of the funds will go to the care point, to help with the many needs at the facility.  I have seen some nasty toilets in my life.  I have not seen many worse than the one at the care point.  The leaders of the Meseret Kristo Church (the Care Point is an Evangelical Mennonite Church) know how insufficient their facilities are.  They just don't have the money for upgrades.  The Care Point would benefit from improved kitchen facilities.  These are examples of the needs.  

So ... Golf!

We want people to play in our golf tournament (click on link at the top).  We want companies to sponsor holes in our golf tournament.  We want God to bless this effort and multiply the money that will be used for our mission in Kombolcha, which as I said we hope will be ongoing for at least the next decade.  We are also praying about adding another site, probably somewhere in the Western Hemispheres, in 2015.  This would be in addition to, not in place of, the work in Ethiopia.

Readers of my blog, I ask you to pray about this effort.  Pray for Children's Hope Chest.  Pray for the One Child Campaign (  That group, led by Caleb David, plans the details of our trips.  Caleb or his brother Josh go with us and act as guides for us.  If you have a mission trip you are planning, contact Caleb.  He might be able to help you pull it off.  Especially call him if international missions are new to you.  Pray for Hope Chest, for One Child, for our church, for the kids in Kombolcha.

And, my faithful readers, pray for our golf tournament.  I am even going to play.  I have never broken 100 (probably never even broken 115 if I honestly count all my strokes).  I am going to play because it is fun.  No, that's not why I am playing.  For me golf is a lot of fun, but when we became parents in 2005, I happily gave it up.  No, I am blowing the dust off my clubs because I believe in this project.  If you can, please sign up to play.  Spread the word.  Tell your friends.  Play golf and pray that God will help us carry out this mission of Christian love in Ethiopia.  

One other thing; if you are moved by the tragedy of orphans and economically vulnerable kids, consider joining us in our work in Ethiopia.  Sponsor a child.  Travel with us.  The trip is March 8-18.  Actually we need a physician or physician's assistant for our trip in October, October 12-21.  If you know a doctor, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner who might go in October, please pass the word along.

Play Golf.  Share the good news.  Love as Jesus loves.

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