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Photo of the Week: Hope

March 16th, 2015

“Because of the water problems they are not able to work nor send their children to school.” – SOS outreach partner 

Not having proper access to clean water effects every aspect of life. In Mumbai’s slums this is especially evident. Children often bear the burden of collecting water, preventing them from attending school. Without education children become essentially trapped in the cycle they were born into, with little hope of achieving a better life than that of their parents. By providing a water well in a community you are providing essential relief, but also hope for the next generation. The photograph below show children who have grown up in a slum where SOS has helped to provide water wells and daily meals in a number of pre-schools for almost 10 years. Because of these outreaches, children in this community have been able to excel in public school and pursue dreams their parents never thought possible.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

School Children

© Sower of Seeds International Ministries 2015 –  All rights reserved.  All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries unless where otherwise noted. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please contact us.

For nearly a billion people, a glass of water means miles to walk – CNN.com

March 12th, 2015

Nearly a billion people worldwide have limited access to clean water, the State Department says, and the crisis disproportionately affects women and girls.”On average, women in developing countries walk 6 kilometers a day to collect water” because there is not enough of it nearby, Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero told CNN.

via For nearly a billion people, a glass of water means miles to walk – CNN.com.

Photo of the Week: A Hero

March 9th, 2015

“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me.” – Fred Rogers 

Young girls helping to fill water buckets is a common sight in Mumbai’s slums. When basic daily needs like clean water are met, children flourish. A water well in a community means children can play and grow without the worries and tasks of life weighing on them.

Girl

© Sower of Seeds International Ministries 2015 –  All rights reserved.  All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries unless where otherwise noted. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please contact us.

Here is your mother

March 8th, 2015

Guest blog by Jackie Skellie

Every year, March 8 the international community promotes the celebration of International Women’s Day.

Women’s issues like sexual exploitation are increasingly being recognized as universal issues with far-reaching consequences for men and women alike. Our sons and daughters are equally at risk when our society neglects the expression of God’s image in us, whether male or female.

According to the official website of International Women’s Day, March 8th has been a day to celebrate women since 1908.

People all over the world recognize this day to celebrate their mothers, sisters, wives, teachers, and friends and to highlight the unique strengths and gifts that women bring to their lives. It is even considered an official holiday in many countries including Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia, Tajikistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam and Zambia.

Women form an essential part of our communities, our families, our churches, our education systems, and our everyday lives.

Rachel Held Evans, in her book A Year of Biblical Womanhood, came to this realization:
“Among the women praised in Scripture are warriors, widows, slaves, sister wives, apostles, teachers, concubines, queens, foreigners, prostitutes, prophets, mothers, and martyrs. What makes these women’s stories leap from the page is not the fact that they all conform to some kind of universal ideal, but that, regardless of the culture or context in which they found themselves, they lived their lives with valor and faith.”

It might not be apparent to us, but we can and should learn to recognize the valor and faith of the women in our lives today: Whether it be one of the over 9 million single moms in the United States, the women throughout the developing world who have to walk miles every day to get water for their families, or the women who are trapped in sex slavery among the 27 million slaves in the world today, it should our goal as believers to honor and equip women with the encouragement and tools they need to continue making a daily difference in our society.

There is a movement breaking out today that celebrates women freely—that understands the very different way that each and every person is wired and that respects and celebrates those differences. I believe that this movement is one close to the heart of God. I believe that God has just as much love, calling, and destiny for the lives of women as He does for the lives of men. In fact, Paul writes, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). In John 19: 25-27, we see Jesus urging John to care for His mother, Mary, in these words, “Here is your mother.”

God is divinely creative; He has crafted us to express every facet of His being.

Each person reflects Him in a different way that could not be reflected by anyone else. God does not waste anything (John 6:12)! I find it hard to believe that He would place individual and unique gifts into the hearts of His people without the intention of letting those gifts blossom for the glory of His Kingdom.

It is important that we recognize the gifts God personifies in our mothers, sisters and daughters. We can see Him in the way a mother fiercely protects her children, in her daily valor to nurture and her compassion toward the poor, the wounded and the lost.

Women are distinctly different than men, and they have an equally important role to play in God’s master plan for mankind. For He looked at Adam, the very crown of His creation, the most intricate and complex being He made in His very own image, and He decided to add one missing thing: woman.

Stasi Eldredge, acclaimed bestselling author, puts it this way:
“Women have been essential to every great move of God. Yes, Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, but only after his mother risked her life to save him! Closer to our time, Clara Barton was instrumental in starting the Red Cross. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin put fire into people’s heart to end slavery in the United States. Rosa Parks kicked the Civil Rights movement into gear with her quiet act of courage. Eunice Kennedy Shriver created the Special Olympics. Mother Teresa inspired the world by bringing love to countless thought unlovable. And millions of other women quietly change the world every day by bringing the love of God to those around them.”

Let us remember, not only on days like women’s day and mother’s day, that God so loved and valued the world, populated by his children (sons and daughters), that He gave Jesus so we may (all) be reconciled to Him.

 

Leading a Push for Clean Water – NYTimes.com

March 3rd, 2015

Water shortages are endemic in India in the hot months and can turn into far more lethal droughts. But that the protesters were mostly women was a reflection of the fact that, in India and in some other parts of the world, like sub-Saharan Africa, water collection and management is women’s work.As the heat and dust sweep over the plains of the Subcontinent, dragging large swaths of the country into the long dry months of summer, women bear the brunt of water management. But they are also crucial to any significant improvements in the water supply.

via Leading a Push for Clean Water – NYTimes.com.

Senators introduce legislation to end modern slavery | TheHill

February 27th, 2015

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker R-Tenn. and Ranking Member Bob Menendez D-N.J. on Tuesday introduced legislation that aims to reduce forced labor and sexual servitude around the world.  The measure, dubbed the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act of 2015, would establish a private, non-profit grant-making institution known as “The End Modern Slavery Initiative Foundation,” which would work with foreign partners and private entities. “Today more than 27 million people, many of them women and children, suffer under forced labor and sexual servitude in over 165 countries around the world, including our own,” said Corker in a statement. “As I have seen firsthand, the stark reality of modern slavery is unconscionable, demanding the United States and civilized world make a commitment to end it for good,” he added.

via Senators introduce legislation to end modern slavery | TheHill.

Blueprints

February 26th, 2015

By Christie Anthony

Parenting is hard! It is rewarding, and fun and hilarious…but right now, its hard.  Now, we have the triple whammy going: move the almost 2 year old to a big kid bed, break said almost 2 year old from Binky addiction, and said 2 year olds Mom is 25 weeks pregnant and EXHAUSTED.  (Oh that poor daddy!) We are also racing into summer with every week getting a bit hotter, and the normal childcare schedule mixed up.  (whine, whine, whine…this is gonna get better I promise.)

There have been lots of worries as a Momma lately.  “Is he getting enough sleep?” “Is he eating too much sugar?” “Is he watching too much TV?”(shout out to KERA and the ability to turn on a cartoon and pass out for 25 min on the couch while he’s entertained!)  “How are we going to do this with 2?” “what do I do about childcare on days x, y & z…”

In my other life, as a career woman, I’m working on a really cool project right now.  We are in the process of building a food factory that will feed 40,000 kids a day.  The scope of this project is incredible, and really I could talk your ear off about it.  Today, (after my son refusing a nap yesterday, sleeping fitfully last night, and waking bright and early with the energy levels of a holy terror) I sat in a meeting to provide a status update on the project.  So much cool stuff is happening with this project that its almost overwhelming.  But as I sat there over design blueprints, talking about electric loads, HVAC requirements, city permits, Vitamin blend requirements, square foot allotments and the like, I had an overwhelming God moment.

There are thousands of mommas, just like me, sitting in India overwhelmed with trying to take care of their kids.  They aren’t asking the same questions I am though. For them, the greater concern is “What do I feed my child?”  “Will I ever not have to worry about where they are getting their next meal?”  “What happens if we don’t make enough money today?” “What if the monsoon isn’t good enough and the crops fail?”  “Is he going to grow ok?” and unfortunately, the all too true reality is many of these Mom’s are asking if they are going to loose another child to malnutrition.

However, sitting half a world away, I’m watching God move Heaven and Earth to provide an answer.  I get to see the work that goes in on the back end. I was overwhelmed today by looking at those blueprints and watching a solution unfold for so many.  I get to watch piece by piece as God orchestrates and coordinates so many players and relationships all because He hears the cries of those momma hearts.  He sees those hungry children.  He knows everyday that they go to bed hungry and He is moving to bring a solution!

It made me stop and think about those areas in my life where I need solutions.  I have no clue how God is moving on my behalf even now to orchestrate things, but my heart was comforted by the fact that He is.  Its like I saw Him sitting at a table in Heaven, talking over the blueprints of our family tree.  Making plans, orchestrating, taking care of details…and my heart was comforted.  He sees our hearts, our concerns, our worries, and He works on our behalf long before we realize, even when we are entirely unaware, because He cares for us!

Ah, take a deep breath! And, if you want to know more about the Food Factory, I’d love to tell you about it! It’s really cool.

Originally posted on Christie Anthony’s blog 

Mother

© Sower of Seeds International Ministries 2015 –  All rights reserved.  All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries unless where otherwise noted. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please contact us.

Photo of the Week: The Least of These

February 23rd, 2015

Poverty affects children more than any other members of a community. In Mumbai’s slums, children can often be seen wandering barefoot through dirty alleys or digging in trash bins for a meal. They have little hope of breaking the cycle of poverty in their family without help from an outside source. At SOS we believe that Jesus did not come just to give us eternal salvation, but also came to give us life in abundance. The love of Christ shines most clear when physical needs are met along side spiritual ones.

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ – Matthew 25:40

Girl

© Sower of Seeds International Ministries 2015 –  All rights reserved.  All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries unless where otherwise noted. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please contact us.

World Day of Social Justice, 20 February 2015

February 20th, 2015

“World Day for Social Justice comes at a pivotal moment for people and our planet.  Around the world, there is a rising call to secure a life of dignity for all with equal rights and respect for the diverse voices of the world’s peoples.  At the core of this movement lies the need for social justice.

This year’s commemoration focuses on the scourge of human trafficking and the plight of approximately 21 million women, men and children in various forms of modern slavery.  New instruments such as the ILO Protocol and Recommendation on forced labour and human trafficking are helping to strengthen global efforts to punish perpetrators and end impunity.  We must continue to do more.  We simply cannot achieve development for all if we leave behind those who are socially and economically exploited.

In this crucial year for global development, as Member States work to craft a post-2015 agenda and a new set of sustainable development goals, let us do our utmost to eradicate all forms of human exploitation.  Let us strive to build a world of social justice where all people can live and work in freedom, dignity and equality.”

Ban Ki-moon

Secretary-General, United Nations. 20 February 2015.

via Secretary-General’s Message for World Day of Social Justice, 20 February 2014.

What Would You Do For A Cup Of Clean Water?

February 19th, 2015

When water is plentiful, it is easy to forget how precious it is. 

Have you ever thought what you would do if all the water connections in your town were turned off, never to be turned on again? Imagine what life would look like if the only water available lay stagnant in dirty ponds. Imagine that the only water you could gather was killing the children in your town at an alarming rate.

For thousands in India, this is a reality.

Report after report gets turned into our India office, each one having the same urgency and desperation… 

“Everybody wants to talk about it, but no one wants to do anything. I have resigned myself to dying, but my children need water.” – Mother in a remote village
“Because of the water problems they are not able to go to work nor send their children to school.” – SOS outreach partner
“They have to walk long distances to get water, sometimes they are not able to take baths for weeks at a time.” – Indian Pastor
“There are 700 people living in this Village and there is no drinking water.” – SOS outreach partner 

What if you could do something about this?

“The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, their tongues fail for thirst. I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them… I will open rivers in desolate heights… And the dry land springs of water. That they may see and know… that the hand of the Lord has done this…” – Isaiah 41:17-21

You, in partnership with the Indian church, can bring a solution and with it, hope to countless desperate men, women and children. Learn more at www.sowerofseeds.org/water.

Boy at river

Photo by: Janice Meyer

© Sower of Seeds International Ministries 2015 –  All rights reserved.  All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries unless where otherwise noted. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please contact us.

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