A Pink Hoodie


I was recently asked to speak at a ladies’ missions meeting about something near and dear to my heart-  Appalachian Christmas Outreach Backpacks.   ACO Backpacks are a ministry of Baptist on Mission of North Carolina.  I have been involved with this ministry for many years now.  ACO Backpacks are important because, for many children in the Appalachian Coalfield regions, the backpack will be their only Christmas present.  Items included in the backpacks are warm winter clothing items (gloves, scarves, socks, etc.), a new toy, canned food items, candy, hygiene items, a copy of The Christmas Story leaflet, and a Bible (the most important item.)  Normally, I begin packing backpacks near the end of September through the month of October since the collection day is the first Saturday of November.   However, the night before speaking at the ladies’ mission meeting, I felt God nudging me to pack a backpack to show the ladies.   I picked out a backpack that was blue with bright pink zippers and trims.  My plan was to pack this backpack for a girl in the 11-14-year-old age category.  I began packing all the items that go in each backpack. One thing I love to do is coordinate and match items that go in the backpacks so I chose a bright pink Bible and used as much pink as I could with the other items.  I love to pack a warm hoodie or soft sweatshirt in my girls’ backpacks but did not have one on hand as I was packing.   I looked through all the items I had on hand to no avail- hoping for a hoodie or sweatshirt, but finding none that would work.

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

One thing that Psalm 37:4 speaks to me is that when our desires are lined up with the desires God has for us – He will give us the desires of our hearts like a soft pink hoodie for the backpack I was packing.   I have a friend and sister in Christ,  who is so faithful to search for backpacks and backpack items.  Often she leaves the items sitting in my chair at work.   As I went in to work the next morning, I found in my chair several new backpacks and a bag from Belk (a clothing department store in our area).   In the Belk bag was the nicest soft, pink hoodie in a size perfect for an 11-14-year-old girl!   God blessed me that morning with one of the desires of my heart just in time to share with the Ladies in their missions meeting.

Later this year, in December, an 11-14-year-old girl will receive this backpack.   I pray this backpack will be one way God gives this girl the desires of her heart!


Will You Sponsor a Child?


One of the joys I have been priviledged to experience over the past six years is sponsoring a child through Compassion International.

Leading mission trips to Ecuador for my church for the past several years, I had the opportunity to see Compassion at work in a Compassion Center located at a church where we helped conduct a Vacation Bible School in 2013.   I was impressed to say the least.   At this center, the children were fed a nutritious meal each day.   These meals smelled wonderful, and I’m sure were a blessing to these kids!    Upon coming back home, I felt led to sponsor a child from Ecuador.

Child sponsorship has been a blessing for me.   During the past six years I was able to meet my child twice while on my annual mission trip to Ecuador.   I’ve been able to volunteer with Compassion through Compassion Sunday, and at events like concerts as a table volunteer helping to recruit new sponsors.  I have recently joined a group of Compassion Bloggers, and we have a goal this month (7 days of June left!) of 50 children being sponsored!   Would you help us reach this goal?

You might ask – “How does sponsoring help a child?   First and most important, they are taught about Jesus through a relationship with a local church (Compassion Centers).  Sponsored children receive LOVE,  health care and supplements to help with malnutrition, education,  and recreation-   Here are the specific benefits:

  • The opportunity to receive an education:In some cases, this means providing the cost of school fees, clothing and supplies. In other cases, it means providing tutoring, help with homework, encouragement and, if necessary, participation in a literacy program outside the classroom. Your sponsorship will allow one special child to stay in school longer if formal schooling is an option and get the most out of his or her education.
  • The opportunity to be healthy:The health of the child you sponsor will be monitored and care will be provided as needed. Children are taught about hygiene and how to maintain personal health. In addition, and according to their needs, many of the children we assist receive supplementary food.
  • The opportunity to develop self-confidence and social skills:The child you sponsor will be part of a church-based program where Christian adults offer love, guidance, personal attention, guided recreation and safety.
  • The opportunity to hear the gospel and learn about Jesus:Most important, your sponsorship provides the child you sponsor with regular Bible training and encouragement through a local church committed to Christ and the children in its community.

Children can be sponsored through Compassion for $38 monthly.   One of the wonderful things about sponsoring a child is writing your child letters, and receiving letters from your child!   Would you like to share the love of Jesus with someone?   Through writing letters, you can share what Jesus has and is doing in your life with the child.   You can encourage them with Bible verses, and letting them know that you care specifically about them.   Just sharing your life with them makes a huge difference in their lives!

Please prayfully consider sponsoring a child today!   Here’s the link again if you feel led to sponsor!    I would love to hear from you if you decide to sponsor a child.   Email me or comment below.   Thank you for considering this opportunity to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus!  Below are some pictures from 2013, where we taught VBS at the church with the Compassion Center that first began my sponorship journey.

Front Porch Sitting

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.  And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”    Mark 12:30-31

Spring has arrived in the South!   My favorite season full of flower blooms, budding trees, grass becoming green again, birds chirping, Sunday afternoon walks, and “front porch sitting”  is here!   I love porches- front ones, side ones, or back porches!  When spring arrives, it’s time to spruce up the porches, and start enjoying all the beauty of the spring season from a porch chair or swing!    Also, when I think of “front porch sitting” family and neighbors immediately come to mind.    My front porch is one of my favorite places to have some quality quiet time with God-   a great place for me to slow down, and just spend time in the Word or in prayer.  My porch is also a great place to spend time with family and neighbors.   “Front porch sitting” is one avenue to love on family and neighbors.   Jesus tells us to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.   How do we love our neighbors?   Who is our neighbors?    Of course there are our physical neighbors, but actually we have neighbors all over the world.    We have neighbors we have never met on our roads and streets, and all around the world.   Loving our physical neighbors can be as simple as inviting them to some “Front porch sitting” for some sweet tea or coffee, or dropping a meal by, running an errand for them, or just providing a listening ear.   Loving our far-away, never-met neighbors can be harder.  Just knowing how to love them can be a challenge because we don’t have first hand knowledge of their needs.   Sometimes we need to rely on others or different ministries to give us knowledge and opportunities to love on our far-away neighbors.   One great ministry that I have to come love over the past six years is Compassion International.    Compassion focuses on releasing children from poverty in Jesus Name.   I have seen their work first-hand on more than one occasion.   They do a fabulous job of helping children in poverty while sharing the love of Jesus with them.   I want to mention two ways you can become involved with Compassion right now.   First, is through sponsorship of children.   For $38 a month you can sponsor a child helping Compassion to share the love of Jesus with your sponsored child along with helping the child with basic needs, such as food, hygiene, and education.   Second, during the month of April, Compassion has a fundraiser going to help provide mosquito nets to children in Tanzania.  For a one-time $18 donation, these insecticide-treated bed nets will help a child living in proverty be protected against Malaria transmitted by mosquitos, and provide medical support where needed.  Compassion shares that 3000 children die daily as a result of Malaria.   However with the proper tools such as these insecticide-treated nets, healthcare, and education, Malaria is preventable and treatable.  Please consider one of these options to love on some Tanzania neighbors!   Here’s the link for the mosquito/Malaria prevention nets.   Also, take some time this spring to enjoy some “Front porch sitting” with your family and close-by neighbors!

It’s Time to Pack Backpacks!

A couple of years ago I heard about a great ministry called Appalachian Christmas Outreach.  Through this outreach backpacks are distributed around Christmas to areas in need in the Appalachian region.   Last year our church had the opportunity to deliver backpacks to Ministry of Salvation Church in Steubenville, Ohio.   We had a great time meeting Mrs. Dianna who coordinated the effort at Ministry of Salvation.  She made us feel right at home from the beginning!   We enjoyed meeting lots of sweet children receiving backpacks, and shared a fellowship meal with the children and parents.   It was a great time to share the love of Jesus with our new friends!  We plan to go back to Ministry of Salvation again this December!

Mrs. Dianna


Preparing Treat Bags


Giving Out Backpacks


More Backpacks


Sweet Kids


It’s time to pack backpacks again!  North Carolina has set a goal of 12,000 backpacks this year!  In our association, we have set a goal of 500 backpacks!   You might ask “What is in each backpack?”   Each backpack should include a Bible, The Christmas Story, a new toy, non-perishable pop-top canned food items, hygiene items, and small clothing items such as mittens, hats, socks, etc.   Instructions for packing can be found here.

The collection day for the backpacks is November 3rd.   Collection Sites are listed here.  I hope you will consider joining this effort to bless the children of the Appalachian region, and share the love of Jesus with them!

North Carolina is not the only state who packs backpacks for this important outreach!  There are 10 partner states!

Listed below are links to the other state’s backpack info.