USA Praises and Prayer Requests

United States

August 2011

Praise God that the Third Annual Run for Africa 5K race in Orlando, Florida, was a huge success! The July 30 race drew more than 500 participants and raised awareness and financial support for COTN’s ministries.

The people of Cornerstone Church in Long Beach, California, packaged 40,000 meals for our children on July 16. Praise the Lord for this.

Please pray that God will provide enough supplies to send to our children for the upcoming school year.

Last month we bid farewell to Shawnie Keith, assistant to COTN Founder Chris Clark. Shawnie is pursuing a new career in her home state of California. Pray that this transition will be smooth for Shawnie and for COTN. God bless, Shawnie!

July 2011

We thank God for all the volunteers who helped beautify our COTN–USA and International offices in Silverdale, WA, during the United Way Day of Caring on June 22!

Our Southeast Regional Office in Orlando, FL, is hosting the 3rd Annual Run For Africa 5K race July 30. Pray for God’s blessing on that event.

Praise God for two new staff members! Welcome to Jeff Davis, our new Senior Director of Administration, and Christine Daniel, our new Partner Development Coordinator.

June 2011

We praise God for all our partners who love our children! In the final four weeks of our 2011 Hunger Campaign, more than 8,000 volunteers packaged 1,322,474 meals for our children at five Meal Marathons. Additional volunteers joined in at smaller meal packaging events around the country, to feed even more children. Thank you to everyone who made our Hunger Campaign a success! Pray that the meals packaged will arrive safely to feed our children.

Pray also for God’s blessing on our Run For Africa 5K, taking place July 30 in Winter Springs, Florida.

May 2011

We praise God for all our volunteers. On May 1, thousands of people from thirteen California churches came together to package more than 1 million meals at our first ever Million Meal Marathon! The meals will feed thousands of our children in Africa and the Caribbean.

We will host three more Meal Marathons this month in California and Washington. Visit www.cotni.org/events for details and to join us.

Our staff in the United States had the opportunity to gather last month for our annual Homecoming Week in Silverdale, WA. Staff members from our offices in Washington, California, and Florida met to pray, teach, learn, and connect with each other. It was an exciting time for us to share what God is doing through COTN.

Pray that God will help us maintain our focus on raising children who transform nations.

April 2011

Our partners at Newlife Church in Silverdale, WA, launched a campaign in March to find sponsors for more children! The goal is to find sponsors for 5,000 children through five organizations, including COTN, in the next year.

As part of the campaign, COTN brought Susan Ibrahim, a child from our Banta Children’s Village, and Kadie Kobba, vice principal of our school in Banta, to Silverdale, WA, to surprise Susan’s sponsors. Please pray for Susan and Kadie as they travel and share their stories with the local community.

Our staff at the COTN Southeast Regional Office in Orlando, FL, needs a new home. Please pray that God provides a permanent space.

March 2011

Our Southeast Regional office in Orlando, FL, hosted a benefit concert February 17, raising money and awareness for COTN’s ministries in Africa. The event, called “Band Together: A Concert for Africa,” drew about seventy people who donated money and learned how to get involved with COTN. Praise God!

Our annual Hunger Campaign kicks off this month! Pray that God continues to bless us with the resources to feed all of our children throughout the year.

February 2011

God continues to bless us in many ways. Our Sustainable Development department has received the generous donation of a Flip HD video camera from a supporter of our program. This camera will be very useful for the upcoming microfinance visit to the Dominican Republic. We have also received some donated water testing kits which will be used to test water in Altagracia!

Please pray for our California field offices, as they are working on several events including preparations for Real Life Church (RLC) Million Meal Event, as well as events in Santa Barbara, Mission Viejo and a new church in the San Francisco Bay area.

January 2011

COTN welcomes Don Ekstrand, Area Office Director for Arizona. He and his wife Barbara are excited to get ministry underway in the Phoenix area. Keep them in your prayers as they undergo training and begin building relationships in the Pheonix area.

Praise God for the donation of a warehouse in Bremerton, Washington! The 3,000-sq.-ft. space will be used to gather donations and host meal packaging events. This is truly an answer to prayer. Plans are underway to convert the warehouse on our Silverdale campus into office space and a meeting area for the expanding COTN–USA and International staff.

Our California team is currently working with Real Life Church to plan COTN’s first ever Million Meal Marathon. Please pray for the success of this event.

December 2010

As we end 2010 this December, we have much to praise God for. We are wrapping up our Some Kind of Miracle season and are so blessed to have grown by adding many new partners. God truly is great.

Our Board of Directors has grown with the addition of many new faces. We thank them for all their time and talent. God has blessed COTN with so many wonderful people. We held a board meeting in December and discussed budgets for 2011. Please pray that God blesses the board members with wisdom and guidance for another fruitful upcoming year. Also pray for the expansion or our offices in Portland, Oregon, and Arizona, that everything runs smoothly and on schedule. Please continue to pray for the new ministry launching in Haiti and Liberia.

November 2010

Autumn brings changes in the weather, and more changes in the staff. COTN–USA is thankful to welcome four new AmeriCorps interns into our feeding departments in Seattle and Silverdale, Washington. The interns will serve for a full year running meal packaging events, fundraising, and promoting our Ready Relief™ program to local schools. They have already led several meal packaging events, and we are grateful for their enthusiasm and hard work.

As we wrap up our Some Kind of Miracle benefit season, we praise God for partners who gave generously to our education fund. In addition, over 75 children have been sponsored through events so far! Those who hosted events were encouraged by people’s heartfelt response to our vision and the transformation taking place in our children’s lives. The opportunities available for our children are boundless, thanks to your generosity. Please pray for a continued good response to the sharing of our vision.

On November 18th, staff and volunteers in Kitsap County, WA, will load a Food/Education shipping container bound for Sierra Leone. We are thankful for all the donations and hard work of individuals who have filled this container with SmilePacks, food, books, classroom furniture, and supplies for our guest house construction. Our staff and children will be truly blessed by your gifts. Please pray that full funding will be provided for shipment, and that the container will safely arrive on time in Sierra Leone.

Please pray that all of our children find sponsors and that all children benefit during our upcoming Christmas campaign.

October 2010

In September, COTN staff members from around the USA (and even Ireland!) convened in Silverdale, Washington, for an all-staff Corporate Week. The time was spent prayerfully considering strategic plans that will continue to provide for our children overseas.

The biggest topic for the week was the upcoming reorganization of COTN–USA and COTN–International. New departments of Administration and Operations will be added, with a greater expansion of Field Services, including new offices in San Diego, Portland, and other offices.

The expansion comes with many needs, including more staff and volunteers. COTN is currently seeking an Administration Director, Operations Director, various program directors, plus a Ruby-on-Rails programmer for our web team, and volunteer data entry clerks for our Finance Department. Please visit our website at www.cotni.org/jobs for more information.

As our staff grows, more space is necessary, the sooner the better! Our facilities team is working hard to gather resources to build a second story to our warehouse, which will include offices and meeting space for our growing family. Any help is appreciated! Please contact Dave Schertzer at (360) 698-7227 or daveschertzer@cotni.org to get involved.

September 2010

COTN took part in Presbyterian Church of the Mater’s Vacation Bible School in Mission Viejo, CA, at the end of July. The children enjoyed activities such as watching a Google video showing the distance from California to Malawi.

Sara booth, COTN–USA Orange County Coordinator participated as “Missionary Sara,” teaching the children how to package meals to ship to our children. She was amazed and inspired by the enthusiasm of the children. “One particularly mature fourth-grade boy walked up to the food packaging station and began giving his fellow classmates instructions ,” Sara says. “When we asked the boy how he knew this already, he said ‘This is my fifth meal packaging event. I LOVE these things! I know the drill!”

August 2010

Back-to-school time is coming soon, and COTN has launched our Send a Child to School event to promote the education of our children.

There are two ways to get involved:

  1. Provide an education for a child through sponsorship.
  2. Gather school supplies and School SmilePacks™.

Visit www.cotni.org/send-a-child-to-school for more information.

July 2010

COTN–USA is growing and changing. New members of COTN–USA’s Board of Directors are California pastor Matt Hammett in San Diego, art educator Bonnie Steele of San Clemente, California, and marketing consultant Jackie Lang from Bellevue, Washington. They are excited to use their skills and experience to expand COTN’s ministry.

An August opening is slated for a COTN office in San Diego, California, according to Holly Cunningham, San Diego City Hub Coordinator. Summer fundraising activities for the office include barbeques, and youth and church events. Donated office space is still being sought in San Diego. “We hope to open our office doors with at least two staff and our intern Meghan Bonine by the end of August,” Holly said.

Do you have 1,500 - 3,000 sq. feet of warehouse or office space in Orange County, California? Pray that the Food Packaging Center in San Juan Capistrano can find a new location. The center provides opportunities for groups to package meals and learn more about COTN ministries.

June 2010

“Lentils, rice, chicken, spice” was muttered by hundreds of volunteers as they packaged meals to a successful conclusion of the COTN 2010 Hunger Campaign. COTN shipped 712,000 meals to Malawi, Sierra Leone and the Dominican Republic.

The campaign included packaging events in Washington and California. Washington highlights include 1,100 volunteers, who manned the Seattle and Silverdale Meal Marathons as well as community efforts in Yakima, Walla Walla, Kitsap County and Puget Sound. A tremendous thi

rty-five children received sponsorship at these events.

Three California events culminated in 63,000 packaged meals. “Together, we made a huge difference in feeding our children, so they grow up strong and healthy,” said Dave Schertzer, COTN–USA Resources Director.

May 2010

COTN is happy to welcome two new staff members to our Silverdale, Washington, office. Danielle Arrant joins us as our new Volunteer Coordinator. Melissa Dylan joins us as our new Editorial Project Manager. Both Danielle and Melissa come as answers to many prayers, and we are blessed to have them join our staff.

Please be in prayer for our founder, Chris Clark, as he seeks God’s will before making a final decision about the possible expansion of COTN’s ministry.

April 2010

Our annual Hunger Campaign has begun! Each year, the entire organization rallies to support our Feeding Department, which provides nourishment to our children by packaging meals and funding our in-country agricultural projects. Please join us in prayer for funding and volunteers as we aim to package 650,000 meals by May 30.

Please be in prayer for our International Board of Directors this month. They desire God’s guidance and wisdom as they make several momentous decisions about the possible expansion of our ministry.

March 2010

Join us in prayer for COTN Founder Chris Clark, who, after a few days at home in early February, returned to the Dominican Republic to oversee development of our long-term plans to aid the Haitian people. Please ask for strength, endurance, and wisdom for Chris and the Board as we continue to seek God’s wisdom on our plans for Haiti.

Please lift up the staff in our Venture Department, as well. They have been hard at work for the last two months, orchestrating a host of Haiti response teams on top of their normal workload. We thank God for new staff members: Stephanie Joyce, the Florida Venture Coordinator, and Kathy Lathrop, serving as the Venture Emergency Coordinator.

February 2010

We thank God for all of our faithful partners who have risen to the occasion to serve the people of Haiti. We are awed by your overwhelming response in this crisis, and we pray God returns the blessing many times.

Please continue to pray for strength and endurance for Chris and Debbie Clark, who remain in the Dominican Republic to organize our efforts and work

out a long-term plan. We also encourage you to visit www.cotni.org to find updates and current needs of our ministry.

December 2009

On August 30th, Brian Bauer, Phil Herron, and Bekah Walker began the Delivering Hope Tour—a cross-country triathlon to raise money for Children of the Nations’ I Love Baseball™ program. Nearly three months and about 5,000 miles later, the trio completed their journey in Key West, Florida!

The Tour raised over $9000, and “the best part is yet to come,” said Brian. His hope is that the connections they made across the country will continue to get involved and support the vision of COTN and the ILB program. After Thanksgiving, Brian and Bekah joined ILB’s USA Coordinator Ben Holman in the Dominican Republic to work with the players and make plans for ILB’s future.

Meanwhile, with Christmas coming, each country is preparing to hold a Celebration event. But this year, the donations received for this are far fewer than in years past. Please join us in prayer that God would multiply our resources and enable us to bless all of our children.

November 2009

Flood Church of San Diego, CA, surges toward the goal of sponsoring 200 Malawian children before November 21st. On that night, their sponsorship initiative will conclude with a benefit event they call Illumination, where they hope to raise $15,000 to construct another Children’s Home in Uganda!

Our Some Kind of Miracle season is coming to a close. Many have been exposed to the ministry of COTN, and many children have been blessed by new sponsors, all thanks to your efforts. At the same time, we have only raised about $10,000 for the General Education Fund—a far cry from the $150,000 goal. Please

pray that this God-sized need will be met.

October 2009

Our Some Kind of Miracle season is well underway! We realize that COTN’s ministry grows best when people personalize it—when this is not just a good cause, it is your cause. To that end, in lieu of holding our traditional banquets, staff and loyal supporters are hosting more intimate Share the Vision™ events in their homes, where they can share personal stories of how they have seen God at work here. We hope these gatherings will be an effective way to introduce people to a ministry where they can make a difference.

Please join us in prayer this season as we try to reach some God-sized goals: seventy-five Share the Vision events hosted, 350 children sponsored, and $150,000 for our General Education Fund.

September 2009

I Love Baseball’s “Delivering Hope Tour” left Seattle on Sunday, August 30th, on the way to the Florida Keys. As Bekah Walker drives the support van and coordinates the trip, Brian Bauer and Phil Herron are running (through Yellowstone and other national parks), swimming (in Lake Michigan and other bodies of water), and riding (everywhere in between) across America in an effort to raise $300,000 for the I Love Baseball (ILB) program. ILB plans to use the funds to build athletic and educational facilities in Barahona, Dominican Republic.

When not traveling, the trio will speak at Minor League baseball games, schools, and other organizations about supporting Children of the Nations’ ILB program.

August 2009

Dave Schertzer, the COTN–USA Resource Director, said he is “constantly amazed by the creativity of our SmilePacks coordinators and their events,” referring to Patty Waterhouse of Salem-in-Larue Methodist Church and the community of St. Louis who created the first ever “SmilePacks Canoe” to collect school supplies, hygiene items and backpacks for our children. SmilePacks are a great way for supporters around the world to show compassion to the children who live in the countries COTN serves. Praise God for dedicated and creative supporters!

Praise the Lord for Jim and Vicki Wilson who have just come on staff with COTN. Jim will be taking up the position of Chief Operating Officer to oversee the USA operations. Jim has extensive experience in Human Resources and was most recently an Executive Pastor in Portland, Oregon. Vicki owned her own business and worked for a time as the COTN Volunteer Coordinator in our USA office. Jim and Vicki will move to Washington to join Children of the Nations in September. Praise the LORD for HIS provision in finding a Chief Operating Officer for COTN–USA!

June 2009

Praise God for the five local interns who will be giving their time and expertise to Children of the Nations in the U.S. this summer—four in the Silverdale, Washington office and one in Florida. Amy Scott, an event management major at University of Central Florida, will help publicize, organize and plan the Florida Satellite’s “Run for Africa 5K” that will take place on July 11. Kerry Ryan is studying graphic design and will help with design and photo organization in the COTN–USA Communications Department in Silverdale, Washington, while Alex Clark, a journalism student from Puyallup, Washington will work in the Communications Department, helping with writing articles and updates.

Kristin Plyler, from Northwest Nazarene University, will be interning in the Education Department in COTN’s international office Silverdale, Washington. She’ll focus on creating a leadership program for teenagers in each of our countries to be tutors for younger children. “I'm excited to be a part of the COTN team and I can't wait to get started on doing whatever I can to help wherever I can,” says Kristin. Please pray that these students will benefit from their time with us and that God will grow them in the process.

May 2009

The week of April 19–24 COTN celebrated our biannual Homecoming event, a time when all USA staff comes together for a time of reflection, renewal, and refocus. The week was a great success! We kicked off with a staff retreat at Seabeck Conference Center where we spent time with God refocusing our vision on Him and praying for the coming year. The remainder of the week consisted of strategic planning, bringing the team up to speed on this year’s goals, and hosting a launch party to celebrate the COTN’s re-brand coming in the next couple of months! Praise God for how far He’s brought us these past 14 years, and pray with us that this year we meet, and exceed, every one of our goals!

April 2009

Wendy Brown, our Education Director at COTN–USA, has put together a Global Book Club to bring more awareness to schools in the US regarding the literacy needs around the world. September 8 is International Literacy Day, and she plans to mail out kits to all participating schools so they can share about global literacy issues on that day. Part of the proceeds from purchasing the kits will go toward libraries for our schools in Africa and the DR. Pray that she reaches her goal of 1,000 classes participating this year!

April is Homecoming month for COTN–USA! Praise God for the opportunity for our entire US staff (US Headquarters in Washington state, plus Florida and California satellites) to come together for prayer, worship and training. April 19–24 will be an enjoyable week—a time set aside for reflection, renewal, and refocus. Please pray for everyone this month—that we may grow together in unity, gain clarity of vision, and come away energized and inspired to take on the coming year.

March 2009

The Florida staff now has new office space! Volunteers are coming in to paint this month. The move is planned for March 28th and April 1st the lease begins. Also, a local business has generously donated warehouse space right across the street from the new office! Praise God for meeting this need.

COTN is embarking on an exciting new program called the Advocates Council. In this program, people will hold meetings in their homes all over the USA to talk about COTN in a presentation called “Share the Vision.” On April 30th the first official gathering will take place. Pray for the successful launch of the Advocates Council, that God may use this new venture to expand our ministry!

February 2009

Praise God for the recent approval by the Department of Defense to ship five containers of food and supplies from the USA to Malawi! Please pray for final shipment preparations, volunteers to load them, and safe transport to Malawi.

Please keep our Venture Department in prayer as they interview and select global interns and intern team leaders who will be serving in our countries this year. Praise God for the many young people interested in serving our children! Do you have a grandchild or know a college-age young adult that might be interested in spending a summer with our children in Africa or the Dominican Republic? Encourage them to apply online.

January 2009

Our COTN–USA staff are thankful for a new year to minister to children with the hope and prayer of raising them to transform their nations! Please pray for our board members and founders Chris and Debbie Clark to have wisdom as they lead the organization in the new year.

Our feeding department has set a goal of packaging one million meals this year! Please pray that the Lord would raise up new churches, organizations, schools, and individuals to partner with us in reaching this goal. This year, in addition to the 285K Meal Marathon event held in Silverdale, Washington, an additional 285K is being planned for Seattle. At our 285K Meal Marathon events, volunteers work together to package 285,000 meals—the approximate number of meals it takes to fill a 40-foot shipping container destined for Africa.

November 2008

Our family is growing! We are greatly encouraged that 122 new sponsors joined the COTN family in the month of October! Praise God! And as our Some Kind of Miracle benefit season came to a close last week, we are equally encouraged by the many, many people who have been “adopted” into the COTN family after attending one of our benefits and hearing the testimonies of our children from Malawi.

In the past few months, COTN has coveted your prayers for our financial situation given the current economic conditions. We have witnessed many answers to prayer and God’s hand providing for our children during this time!

COTN welcomes volunteer Mark Ditlefson to our Silverdale office. Mark will specialize in procuring and maintaining vehicles in all of our countries! He has extensive experience in automotive repair and a great heart for missions!

September 2008

Praise God—all of our summer interns and COTN staff have safely returned to the United States after a meaningful summer of ministry in Africa and the Caribbean! Please lift up our returning staff in prayer as they transition to the upcoming year in our USA offices. Pray that they share what they experienced and that it will energize our USA staff to better serve our children.

We are thankful for all our Venture Team members who served in each of our countries this summer. Please pray that each person will continue their involvement with the children they met and remember the lessons God taught them.

During September, COTN is continuing its first sponsorship campaign! We hope to see many new people join the COTN family and change a child’s world through sponsorship. Last month we had forty new sponsors, and we hope to have even more this month!

August 2008

Please pray for COTN–USA graphic designer Karen Johnson, whose husband Frank died in a tragic accident on July 27. Please pray for God’s peace and comfort for Karen and her family as they grieve.

Thank you for your prayers for a Chief Operating Officer to join the COTN staff in Silverdale, Washington. Several candidates have been interviewed. Please continue to pray that the Lord would guide board members in this process.

July 2008

Last month we welcomed Larry Arnold to the COTN staff in Silverdale, Washington! Larry will be serving as our Donor Care Coordinator. Please pray that the Lord will continue to provide staff who have a heart for the mission of COTN and skills that match our personnel needs—and specifically for a Chief Operating Officer.

Please pray for our preparations for the Some Kind of Miracle benefit season this fall.

Praise God for the increased support we are witnessing in the Silverdale, Washington office! In the past month, we have welcomed many new volunteers and received over 700 SmilePacks!

The COTN–Florida satellite has a storage unit full of donations for our children in Malawi! This future shipment will include over 1,600 pairs of shoes collected by Northland Church in Longwood, Florida.