Thursday, January 30, 2014

Family Spotlight: Hartson Family




1.     What is your name and where are you from?
We are both grew up in Pella, Iowa and still live there today.

2.     What is your favorite place you have visited?
We don't do a lot of traveling, but our favorite place we have visited is Ethiopia. When we were there over 2 years ago, we immediately fell in love with the country and cannot wait to go back.

3.     What is your favorite movie?
Jeremy:  Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Sarah:  It's hard to pick a favorite.  I love romantic comedies.  I'm lucky that Jeremy will watch them with me.

4.     What is your favorite thing to do on a date?
We just enjoy going out and spending time together talking.  Our dates usually include dinner and a movie.

5.     What is your favorite sports team, if you have one?
Jeremy:  New York Yankees, Atlanta Falcons, and Iowa Hawkeyes
Sarah:  I don't follow many sports, but I grew up in a family that watched everything pertaining to Iowa State Cyclones, so I definitely cheer for them in any sport.

6.     What is your favorite food?
Jeremy:  Ethiopian
Sarah:  I love to cook, so I enjoy trying new foods, but my favorite is probably anything Italian.

7.     What is your favorite book?
Jeremy:  Crazy Love
Sarah:  Crazy Love

8.     How did you meet your spouse?
We met while we were in high school.  We went to different schools, but both worked at a local pizza joint.  We became friends and later started dating.

9.     Who is someone you would like to meet someday and why?
We both love music.  I introduced Jeremy to Jeremy Camp when his first album came out.  We've been to a few of his concerts, but would love to meet him in person. :)

10.   When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Jeremy:  I wanted to be a doctor until I realized how much schooling it would take. 
Sarah:  I grew up on a farm and always enjoyed spending time outside with my Dad, so I wanted to be a vet.

11.   If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you tell them?
Jeremy:  Don't force your views or beliefs on others. 
Sarah: Develop relationships with others and listen to how they think and feel.

12.   Have you ever tried sushi?  Did you like it?
We have both tried sushi and liked what we ate.

13.   What are two of your favorite websites?
Jeremy:  Guitar for Worship and Ultimate Guitar
Sarah:  Pinterest and Facebook

14.   Do you have any updates on your adoption process?
Right now we have turned in all of our paperwork and are just waiting for a referral.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kidney Stone and Orphan Care

A few weeks ago I (Matt) had the unfortunate experience of passing a kidney stone.  For those of you who have also experienced this "opportunity for growth," you know what I am talking about.  For those of you who have not had this experience, I can sum it up in one word: PAINFUL!



As I was writhing in pain my lovely wife was trying to help by reading all sorts of different things people have done to get rid of kidney stones.  Here are a few that she shared with me:

1. Drink 100% pure cranberry juice
2. Drink apple cider vinegar mixed with honey and warm water (it was disgusting)
3. Jump up and down
4. Drink lots of water
5. Add lemon to your water
6. Drink wheat grass
7. Keep moving

And the list goes on.  Everyone swore by the remedy that removed their pain.  What cured my problem was a mixture of several home remedies.  I don't really know which one was most effective, because I was willing to try anything and everything to ease the pain. 

Thankfully, the stone passed and I was pain free.  So how does this relate to orphan care?  Let me try to explain:

When I see children without families, children placed in orphanages due to poverty, families breaking apart and the children suffering, families being faced with excruciating decisions because of poverty, war and disease, I feel a strong pain for these kids and their families.  I search the internet looking for remedies to help ease their pain.  I read books and talk to people that live among those hurting.  Sometimes the best remedy is providing basic needs, counseling, adoption, reunification, orphanage care, foster care, a group home, etc.  It's not possible to say that one remedy works every time.  Sometimes it seems "cool" to criticize what others are trying when it comes to orphan care.  Unfortunately, it is not that simple.  Children suffer because families suffer because cities suffer because nations suffer because our world suffers.  When it comes to orphan care it seems similar to a kidney stone to me because there are many things you can try to do to help remove the pain; some may help and some may not.  Sometimes you try one thing and tweek it a little or move on to something else entirely when it doesn't seem to work.  But to leave the body in pain because you might choose the wrong remedy is silly.  You try something, you listen to others, you learn and make changes, and you pray the pain will go away.

I am truly thankful for the great people behind the amazing organizations we are working with.  They are trying to ease the pain of hurting children and families.  Thank you New Day Creations, A Heart for Korah, The Crossing, Samuel's Home, Holy Savior Children Helping Association and all the adopting families for loving and caring for children in your own unique ways...because they matter.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Complete the Village



When we say the word "village" here at Village to Village Intl. (V2V) we are speaking of 1,000 people.  It has always been our vision here at V2V to see a "village" (1,000 people) giving $10 a month to help orphans.

This year we are going to focus on completing our first "village."  We have set a goal to find 900 people, who are willing to give just $10 a month, to fulfill our first "village."

We are going to break 2014 into quarters and focus on finding 225 people per quarter.  We will be tracking this progress and posting it on our website and on our Facebook page.

So to be clear, this year we are asking 900 people to give $0.33 a day, which is $10 a month, to help provide care and loving homes to orphans both internationally and domestically.

How do you do this?
1.  You can sign up here on our website.
2.  You can simply text $10 to 574-707-8625 and follow the directions.

What else can you do?
1.  Share this on your Facebook page.
2.  Do you know 10 other people who think that helping orphans is worth $10 a month?  Ask them to give too.
3.  Host an open house and share V2V with your friends. (You can host or a rep from V2V could help you host as well).
4.  Invite V2V to come to a special event at your church (ie. missions conference, Orphan Sunday, etc.)

If you have other ideas or would like to host an event or invite V2V to an event please contact us at matt@villagetovillageintl.com.





Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Family Spotlight: Walters Family




1. What is your name and where are you from?
Bret & Mandy Walters, Warsaw, IN

2. What is your favorite place you have visited?
Mandy - besides Haiti to visit my kids, Jamaica with my husband!  Bret - Jamaica on our honeymoon

3. What is your favorite movie?
Mandy - The Blind Side/Hunger Games, Bret - Shooter

4. What is your favorite thing to do on a date?
Dinner & Movie or an Indianapolis Colts game

5. What is your favorite sports team, if you have one?
The Indianapolis Colts

6. What is your favorite food?
Mandy - Filet Mignon & Crab legs, Bret - Porterhouse steak & lobster

7. What is your favorite book?
Mandy - Anything by Karen Kingsbury, Bret - Deadline by Randy Alcorn

8. How did you meet your spouse?
We met at a restaurant that I (Mandy) was waitressing at.

9. Who is someone you would like to meet someday and why?
Our first grandchild - a grandchild is a very special person in your life and someone you can tell stories to and teach life's lessons. 

10. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Mandy - Wife & Mother,  Bret - Baseball player or Special Forces in the Army

11. If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you tell them?
Do some homework before jumping into something you know nothing about.

12. Have you ever tried sushi? Did you like it?
Mandy - yes, depends on what kind, Bret - yes, its ok

13. What are two of your favorite websites?
Mandy - Facebook & Google, Bret - Facebook & Bing

14. Do you have any updates on your adoption process?
After a year of being in process but waiting we have found it necessary to change agencies and unfortunately begin again with our son. We feel we are on the right path and God is going to bless us with some movement and see at least one of our children home in 2014!

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