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Photo of the Week: According To His Riches

June 30th, 2014

“There were 700 people living in this village and there was no drinking water. It was such a blessing to them when the work of digging the well was completed. When the hand pump fitting was finished, there was such joy on their faces. The entire village came when we dedicated the bore well. The children in this village are now very happy. They rushed the well, wanting to drink directly from the hand pump.” – SOS outreach partner.

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”- Philippians 4:19-20

Young girl

 

All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

Building Our Future

June 26th, 2014

Sari Lady

 By Season Fulton 

This morning on my way to work as I listened to happy, peppy music, I drove passed a large crane lifting a piece of cement. A new bridge was being built. A moment later I passed a team constructing a parking garage and another working on a hospital. In the ten minutes that followed, I spotted workers installing pipes, signs and sidewalks. The song mentioned something about the future and I thought about my own. This is what my community is building for our future, for our children’s future. These roads and hospitals will be here long after we’re gone.

I arrived at my office and sat down to review new pictures from our projects. The images appear to be from a time long past. Barefoot, dusty children and dry, colorless landscapes contrasted only by bright and glittery fabric masking an old woman’s wrinkled skin, falling over her shoulder and draping down to frayed and darkened ends that hung just above a sooty floor. These were people who don’t dwell in the future but simply try to make it through today alive.

As I noticed the bright, woven fabric of the woman’s sari again, it reminded me of us. Like a tapestry, common threads connect us all. Some of us are the brightly colored portions that stay safely wrapped around her face. Some are the frayed edges, torn and muddied, barely hanging on. But as a shawl salesman in Bombay once showed me, it only takes one thread to unravel the whole fabric.

It is a painful and heartbreaking thing to see people like these in extreme, urgent need. We’re often so far removed from them and it is unlikely that we’ll ever come face to face with somebody like this in our everyday lives.

The Internet has opened portals through which these images of suffering appear normal. Being half a world away can make pictures seem as unreal as the pictures we see of surface cracks on Mars, but the woman in the picture I look at this morning is feeling and living and breathing the same breath that God grants us all.

We are connected in time. What we are neglecting today could unravel tomorrow.

If we don’t give attention to those living on the edges of society, we risk building a world that, when failing at its margins, may just as easily fail at its core.

Because our organization helps to drill water wells throughout India, I hear the quote often, “water is essential to life.” This true statement means so much more when I hear it from those who do not have it.

For those without water, this statement is referring to more than a shower and clean hands. Having water means that getting an education becomes a possibility for a girl. Having water means health for another day of hard work. Having water makes life possible. SOS helps provides water to communities all over India and because it meets a need today as well as a need in the years to come. I have been blessed to see many communities changed by a water well, to shake hands with teary-eyed grandmas who put their hand over their hearts in gratitude. This means life to their babies, and an end to generations of death and disease. Yet it is so simple to us.

That is a future I want to be building for my children; one built with strong bridges and paved with acts of kindness… one with water for a thirsty world.

“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4 

Originally posted:3/20/14

 All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

FBI: 168 children rescued, 281 pimps arrested in sex-trafficking crackdown | WJLA.com

June 25th, 2014

WASHINGTON AP – Nearly 170 victims of child sex trafficking, many of whom had never been reported missing, were rescued in the last week as part of an annual nationwide crackdown, the FBI said Monday. FBI Director James Coney announcing the arrests and rescues. Besides the 168 children rescued from the sex trade, 281 pimps were arrested during the same period on state and federal charges.”These are not faraway kids in faraway lands,” FBI Director James Comey said in announcing the annual enforcement push known as Operation Cross Country. Instead, he added, “These are America’s children.”This is the eighth such week-long operation, which this year unfolded in 106 cities. The FBI says nearly 3,600 children have so far been recovered from the street.”I hate that we have to do this work – hate it,” Comey said. “I love the people who’ve devoted their lives to doing this work. There is no more meaningful work that the FBI participates in than rescuing children.”

via FBI: 168 children rescued, 281 pimps arrested in sex-trafficking crackdown | WJLA.com.

Photo of the Week: In Deed & Truth

June 23rd, 2014

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot 

In India approximately 1.83 million children die annually before completing their 5th birthday, most of them due to preventable causes. Combined effects of inadequate sanitation, unsafe water supply and poor personal hygiene are responsible for 88% of childhood deaths. (UNICEF)

$7.77 can save the life of a child.

“But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” – 1 John 3:17-18

Boy

 

All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

Trafficking in Persons Report 2014 Released

June 20th, 2014

This month the US Department of State released their annual report on global human trafficking.

In a statement, John F. Kerry, Secretary of State, said, ”We each have a responsibility to make this horrific and all-too-common crime a lot less common. And our work with victims is the key that will open the door to real change—not just on behalf of the more than 44,000 survivors who have been identified in the past year, but also for the more than 20 million victims of trafficking who have not.”

India has made some improvements according to the report, and is listed as a Tier 2 Country, listed as being a a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.

Read the full report: Trafficking in Persons Report 2014.

What Would You Do For A Cup Of Clean Water?

June 19th, 2014

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 from 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

All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

Photo of the Week: I’ll Be There To Help You

June 17th, 2014

“I don’t think that God says, “Go to church and pray all day and everything will be fine.” No. For me God says, “Go out and make the changes that need to be made, and I’ll be there to help you.” – Elvia Alvarado 

Water sources in rural India are scarce and frequently contaminated. In many villages and towns, water related illness is simply a part of life. Women and girls can find themselves searching for miles to find water every day. When families run out of water, thirsty children can’t help but drink the water that is available.  The water from these contaminated streams and stagnant pools is often lethal.

A water well in a community changes everything…
Every gift of $7.77  can give one person clean water for life.
For as little as $7.77  can provide a young girl with the freedom go to school, receive an education and have a brighter future.
$7.77 gives a new-born baby a fighting chance to live past the age of five. 

Woman

Woman carrying water back to her hut in the heat of the day.

 

All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

A Father’s Voice

June 12th, 2014

“When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it—she’d know everything!—she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband, and he ate.  Immediately the two of them did “see what’s really going on”—saw themselves naked! They sewed fig leaves together as makeshift clothes for themselves.” - Genesis 3:6-7 The Message (MSG)

Adam and Eve tasted the fruit of the one tree Father God said to not eat from. Verse 8 says, “They heard the sound of God strolling in the garden.” They realized their nakedness and hid.

Have you ever asked yourself what they heard? God doesn’t have legs or feet or even a body for that matter. What did they hear? What sound does God make?

The answers to these ponderings were played out in my house night after night when my three oldest children were little girls. The main living, kitchen and master bedroom were upstairs, and the downstairs basement contained a den and the bedrooms where my little girls slept. A certain time every night we would kiss them and pray for them before sending them to bed. As one can imagine they stayed up playing most nights. If the noise level rose too much, I, Dad, would begin the journey downstairs toward the sound of my non-sleeping children. Without fail, about the third or fourth step down, one of the three would sound the alarm that Dad was coming. They could tell by the sound that it wasn’t Mom coming down the stairs. Mom’s presence didn’t evoke the same fear coming down the stairs as Dad coming! I would hear a loud whisper, “Dad’s coming!” and by the time I reached the bottom, there was complete silence. Three little angels were snuggled under their covers, the lights were off and they were “sound asleep.”

It is hard to describe, but those of us who grew up with a father in the house knew his sound. The same was true for Adam and Eve. It’s no different between us and our Heavenly Father today.

I remember playing football in high school in front of thousands of people. High school football is a big deal in Texas communities. I played linebacker and my dad had been a coach most of his life. He wasn’t coaching my team, but he would sit in the sea of spectators and watch the game.

Many times in the middle of the action I would hear his voice – distinguishable from the noise of the crowd giving me instruction. Somehow I could always hear him when he  yelled, “It’s a pass!” or “shift to the left!”. Why could I hear him? It is because I knew the sound of my father. I trusted that his direction would position me for success.

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice” (John 27). This Fathers’ Day I pray you hear the voice of your heavenly Father telling you how much He loves you and all the great things He has in store for your life.

I love being a father to my four children. I am sure that is how God feels about us!

Dwayne

Dwayne Weehunt and his oldest daughter Christie (Weehunt) Anthony a few months after her birth in 1986. Dwayne and Leslie have three daughters and a son.

All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

Photo of the Week: Someone Like You

June 9th, 2014

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss

Two young boys playing on a water drum in rural India. When the basic needs of a community are met, children flourish. Joining hands to give people proper access to water, food and sanitation helps transform even the toughest situations. Would you join us in providing basic needs for communities all over India so that children- just like these- can have a hope and a future?

“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

Boys

 

All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

Guest Post: Pam Mueller -10 Ways to Celebrate Global Day of Prayer – June 8, 2014

June 5th, 2014

Pam

 Pam Mueller has been on staff with S.O.S. since 2008. She also serves on the leadership panel for Project Red Light Rescue. Pam is passionate about serving the poor in India and other developing countries. Pam graduated from Oral Roberts University with a B.A. in Spanish and Business. Pam and her husband Mark have been married for 26 years and have four children.


Sunday, June 8, 2014 is the Global Day of Prayer.

Day. Of. Prayer.  A whole day of prayer? Yes, some of our brothers and sisters throughout the world will pray the entire day. I admire them for their stamina. I admire the believers who regularly pray for hours and days because prayer is their way of life.

Me? I want to be a prayer warrior. Some days I am, but on others I get too busy, and I forget. I forget the joy of connecting with God’s heart when I pray. I forget the exhilaration of seeing an answer to prayer. I forget that prayer is not a duty, but an invitation.

It’s an invitation to talk to the One who made me and loves me more than I love myself. An invitation to call out to the One who can actually re-make that which is broken. An invitation to do something that will last forever.

I want to stop forgetting and pray more! That is a lifelong goal. If you’re like me, sometimes we need to ask God to forgive us for our prayerlessness. Ask Him to change how we think about prayer. And after that, we can throw off false guilt and start where we are. Pray a little more. Or pray a lot—the invitation is deep and wide.

So the Global Day of Prayer is not a guilt-producing day of more prayerlessness. It’s an invitation. Would you join us in praying on the Global Day of Prayer?

Here are 10 ideas to get you started (or you can come up with your own!):

  1. Get up an hour early. Spend that hour worshipping God.
  2. Take a walk with a friend. Pray together as you walk.
  3. Pray for each member of your family, by name, specifically for what is going on in their lives right now.
  4. Giving thanks is a form of prayer! Play a game of “hot potato” with your kids. Sit in a circle and toss a potato (or other non-injuring object) around the circle. When holding the potato, each person must thank God for something. A person is “out” when they can’t think of something within 5 seconds, or they repeat something already named.
  5. Gather your small group or a few friends to pray for your church and your community.
  6. Fast and pray for God to come and change a desperate situation that you know about.
  7. Participate in a GDOP gathering in your area. See GDOP USA.
  8. Record (or skip) your favorite TV show and pray instead for a nation at war or people who are starving in another part of the world. (Yes, I know, I’m getting up in your business now.)
  9. Pray for the church worldwide—for the kingdom to expand, for unity, for strength for those who are persecuted, for awakening of those who are asleep.
  10. Pray for one of Sower of Seeds Ministries’ projects that we do in partnership with the church in India: water wells, schools, feeding, rescue from sex trafficking, or orphan care.

The possibilities are endless! May your prayer habits, and mine, become ever deeper and wider.

Prayer

All written material and photographs belong exclusively to Sower of Seeds International Ministries ©2014 All rights reserved. To request permission to re-post or use any material found on this website please email: Info@sowerofseeds.org

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