Conversations

Update: Haiti Five Years after the Earthquake

Today marks the fifth anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake. The disaster killed tens of thousands of people, displaced more than 1 million, and wreaked havoc on Haiti’s infrastructure and economy. 

Traveling to Sierra Leone to Fight Ebola

Kelly Melton is a Children of the Nations sponsor who’s traveled to Sierra Leone several times with us and other organizations. Earlier this year, she was planning her eighth visit to the country—this time with COTN—when the Ebola outbreak forced us to cancel all Venture Trips to Sierra Leone. Still, Kelly felt compelled to go and use her medical training to help the people there. 

Strange for a Purpose

My wife Jen and I recently took a trip to Seattle to celebrate our tenth anniversary. Our home is in the suburban Midwest, so we got a kick out of sampling city life. In the suburbs, most people are trying to “fit in,” while in the city it seems most people are trying to stand out. People do some pretty strange things to stand out—and some are just plain out of their minds! 

How I’m Making Lent Matter

I had no Lenten tradition, growing up Baptist. But now that I'm a member of a church which does observe this significant Christian season, I desire to celebrate it in a significant way. I've tried different "fasts" in previous years, but this year I wanted to make the season of Lent an intentional time of praying for others.

Why Your Child Is Not Smiling

You know the feeling. You finally get an update from your sponsored child. You feel that there's a photo inside—so you rush to open it. Only to find that your child looks miserable. No smile. Again.

Life After a Mission Trip

I couldn’t wait to go on my first mission trip to Malawi and Uganda four years ago. I spent months preparing for the experience of entering a completely different culture, and I’m glad I did. My team leader mentioned that transitioning back to life at home after a trip might be just as difficult, but I secretly believed I wouldn’t have any trouble. Just in case, I had a little book called Unearth, which was supposed to help with the transition.

Love Risks

I sat on the plane to Sierra Leone, thought about meeting my sponsored child, and cried.

You see, a child I sponsored once broke my heart. 

Rethinking the Classic Nativity

When we take away the festal racket of the Advent of Jesus Christ, put down our eggnog, set down our sugar cookies, and peel back the pine-scented veneer of one “holy infant so tender and mild,” we are faced with a very different nativity. A nativity without hand soap or a space heater. Medicate with enough gingerbread or peppermint truffles and you may forget the ugly reality altogether. 

A Modern Day Joseph: The Evidence of Love through Sacrifice

Christmas is just around the corner, as I’m sure you are well aware. Probably, your family, like ours, has been quite busy with parties, caroling, band concerts, decorating, shopping, baking, and occasionally grabbing a quiet moment to sit by the fire to reflect on the past year. It was in one of those quiet moments that I was impressed by the nativity set sitting on our window sill—a set I picked up while visiting Uganda five years ago.

A Chat with Our First African College Grad

Graduating from university is quite an accomplishment for anyone. But for an orphaned girl in Africa, it’s downright amazing. 

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