Thank you!

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Anna checking shoe sizes.
Anna checking shoe sizes.

My party went well and we had lots of fun. My friend Allison tried to hide from every picture my grandma and mom would take, but every once in a wile, my grandma would sneak a picture of her without he noticing. We got all the shoes we needed and have some extras for the girls to grow into them. I had so much fun doing this, and I hope it makes you as happy as it does me to help kids around the world who don’t have shoes or clothes. THANK YOU!!!

– Anna

 

Check out the pictures!

 

 

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Shoes for House of Hope – The Details of Anna’s Birthday

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If you haven’t already read Anna’s very first blog post about what she wants to do for her birthday, you’ll want to check it out first:  My Birthday (Anna)

Here are the details if you’d like to join us!

Date:
March 8, 2014

Time:
1-3 PM

Location:
Rockville Christian Church

click to enlarge
click to enlarge

Type of Shoe:
The girls at House of Hope will be very grateful for anything you provide.  But what they need most are good, sturdy shoes that can be worn to both school and church.   They will get the most use out of the shoes you provide if you can buy something in a neutral color with a good, strong sole.  Here’s a picture of what Anna bought for Loumaintha.

Anna will be inviting a whole bunch of girls her age, but anyone who would like to help us provide shoes for the girls at House of Hope is welcome to contribute!  Choose a girl and buy some shoes! 

  1. Take a look at the pictures of the beautiful girls below. Find one that captures your heart.  Click her picture to see her name, if she has already been provided for, and her shoe size.
  2. Let me know which girl will receive shoes from you (so we don’t end up with duplicates and missed girls).  There are lots of ways to contact me:
    • by commenting on this post below
    • e-mail
    • text or call to 765-592-1517
  3. Bring the shoes to (location to be announced soon) on or before March 8.

If you don’t have time to shop, you may also donate $20 or more toward the cause and we will buy shoes for any girls who have not yet been provided for.

Thank you for loving your world!

Shoes to grow into provided by:

  • Jon Bonomo
  • Brenda Hall
  • Ava Pharr

My Birthday (Anna)

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House of Hope Orphanage - Port-Au-Prince, Haiti
House of Hope Orphanage         Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

Hi! It’s Anna and I wanted to tell you about my birthday party! So, for my party, instead of a present I would like to ask you to bring a pair of new shoes please. I know that sounds a little weird, but it’s for a good cause. I decided for my birthday this year, I would have everyone bring a pair of shoes so that I could send them away to an girl’s orphanage in Haiti! My grandma and grandpa’s  church started that orphanage. Isn’t that cool!? One of my grandma’s friends named Holli just came back from the orphanage. When she was there, she took pictures of all the girls and measured their feet. I heard about sending shoes to an orphanage in a T.T.I. (The Time I) on Disney Channel.  I don’t think I need a bunch of toys and stuff, when some kids don’t even have shoes!!! I have at least 4 different pairs! And another thing is, once their shoes are too small, they can’t just run to Walmart. I bet there isn’t one store close to the orphanage! Probably, they only get their shoes from people who send them to them. In fact, that might be the way they get their clothes too. I hope you will be able to come to my birthday party and help out the girls in Haiti!!!

My mom will tell you all the stuff you need to know:   CLICK HERE!

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Shoes for Loumaintha!

The Winter Storm

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Today marks the fifth day since I’ve been in the outside world… sequestered in our home by the Great Winter Storm of 2014.  Facebook is flooded with people going stir crazy and desperate to get back to work, school or even to the grocery store!  I’ve really enjoyed the extra time with the family and the complete lack of a schedule.

69720One of my friends posted an update on Facebook that brought tears to my eyes as I thought of my Jewish friends.  I want to share her words – not to make anyone feel guilty for any grumblings they may have uttered, but because it is good food for thought.  Unless you know me very well, you might not know that I grew up in a cabin, built by my Dad, that was only accessible by four wheel drive.  In the winter, it was often only accessible by foot.  We would hike up our 1/2 mile very steep hill in the dark, bitter cold and slippery ice all to arrive at a cold, dark cabin (we heated with wood and didn’t have electricity for four years either… it’s a long story).  I write all of this just to say that my parents taught me a valuable lesson in these times.  They always made us list all the ways we could think of that it could be worse.  It helped us see our situation in a better light.  It’s a practice I still use today.  Having had the privilege of hearing first-hand stories of Holocaust survivors, there is no question in my mind that no matter what trials I face in my life, it is nothing compared to the horrors and hatred these people endured.  I pray that God will bring them healing and His love, that can melt away the winter of the past and bring the spring.

You guys know me, my sense of humor (or lack of) I love making people smile, but I can’t help that this post is going to be more on the serious side. I’ve just re-read my favorite books of the WWII era. First up was my favorite All But My Life, by Gerda Weismann Klein. She was a teenager in Poland when the Germans invaded her country. She lived the war years in slave labor and at the end of the war was sent on a death march as the Nazis felt the end of the war was coming. For 3 winter months, she and her 3 friends from Beilsko walked and slept outside or in barns until they were liberated by American soldiers in early spring. Can’t help but think of her as this snow falls and we’ve had our bitter cold temps. The 2nd is called Bitter Freedom which is about a Jewish couple who was hidden by a German citizen. They dug a hole under his basement and stayed in that hole for 22 months, not standing or making any noise while German officers were above them all day. So as we talk about cabin fever I think of her being down in that place for all those days, trying to be quiet so no one could hear them. These stories get me every time, making me wonder if I could have made it through. Read them if you get a chance.

-Joanna Clapp

We are looking very forward to our return to Poland in a few months, and we appreciate your continued prayers as we make some important decisions… When should we plan on leaving, given that the end of school is pretty questionable at this point?  Can we raise enough funds to purchase our airfare in the prime price window (which is just a month away)?  How long can we stay?  Does God want us to take the lead on the Russian Children’s Camp?  Does God want us to organize a team of short-term workers?  I don’t know the answers to these questions yet, but I can hardly wait to greet my Jewish friends, make some new ones, and pour some love into them!

In The Footsteps of Paul

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Apostle-Paul-Second-Missionary-Journey-Map

I love reading Paul’s letters to the churches.  They are full of encouragement, teaching and sometimes reproach – all of which applies to us today just as much as it did to first century churches. Paul was able to give these things to the churches and pray for their differing needs because he KNEW them.  He says hi to people by name and speaks about very specific situations.  He visited them and invested himself in them.  He connected them.  “The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings.  Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets in their house.” (1 Corinthians 16:19)

During our last time in Poland, Ben was able to do something that reminded me of this.  He and Dave Hatfield traveled to several churches that are under the care of Polish Christian Ministries.  Their visits were meant to do much of what Paul did with his visits and letters.  These are churches that we continue to pray for, and hope to have contact with again.  As part of his role with the board of directors, Ben also has a list of US churches that support PCM, and by extension the ministry of these Polish churches, which he has committed to pray for.  So here is what God has laid on our hearts.  How can we effectively pray for these churches when their support of PCM is really all we know of them?  Do they know all the good things their financial contributions are going towards?  We want to visit them, get to know them, so we can pray for them on a deeper and more personal level.  We want to share with them what we as a family have been able to see and do in Poland, giving them a personal connection with real people that are passionate about this ministry. So we feel that God has grown in us a prompting to begin our own tour of churches.   Our little family won’t bring the wisdom and guidance of the great apostle Paul, but we feel God has some plan in mind from this leading, so we will obey.

If you’re still reading this, you must either be bored or you really care about this stuff like we do!  Either way, we ask you to pray for us as we do this. We’ll start with PCM supporters closest to us, and then include some other churches that may be looking to grow their missions giving.  In addition, there are a couple of other areas of ministry, unrelated to PCM, in which we feel God’s nudging.  When Ben pursued his ministry degree and ordination, we didn’t really know where it would lead.  Ben isn’t designed for church office hours and Sunday morning preaching.  But God seems to be molding together a unique and unconventional sort of ministry for us, a collection of ways for us to share hope and joy with some people who just don’t know where to find it.  We’re pretty excited about that, but we need your prayers for guidance, wisdom and obedience.

We have recently printed some prayer cards with our contact information on the back.  If you want to commit to praying for us and would like one, please send your mailing address to rbporter15-poland@yahoo.com

We have recently printed some prayer cards with our contact information on the back. If you want to commit to praying for us and would like one, please send your mailing address to
rbporter15-poland@yahoo.com

Goodbye, Poland :(

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I have another 30 minutes before my alarm, and I should be getting as much sleep as possible before the long trek home.  But I woke up and I can’t go back to sleep.  I’m just sitting here thinking about how much we’ll miss this place and the work we’ve been doing here.

IMG_3211Yesterday, we were able to spend some time sight-seeing Warsaw.  We went to the Palace of Culture, the new History of the Jews museum (which isn’t fully open, but was still nice), Old Town, and Chopin Park.  It was a beautiful day for walking around some of the most beautiful parts of the city.

Our flight to Chicago leaves in about 4 hours, after which the dear Pat and Janet Fahey will drive us back home to sleep for a couple of days.  Then it’s back to “normal” life.  I hate to say I’m dreading that, because my “normal life” is a good life.  But I will miss this.

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Please pray with me for God’s blessings on those we’ve had the joy of being with this last month …

  • The Korytkowski Family (who currently has no water in their home – a problem that seems to be creating other problems as they try to fix it!)
  • The Christian church in Ostróda, Poland
  • Polish Christian Ministries & Dave Hatfield
  • Impact Europe Ministries
  • The Holocaust Survivors in Israel
  • The children from Kaliningrad
  • The moms and dads of Ostróda that have lost a child

Saying Goodbye

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2013-06-27 22.01.00

It was pretty hard to keep to just teary eyes, and not a flood of tears, as we said goodbye to many people we have come to love today.  The Russian kids – knowing that we may not see them again, and wondering what God is going to do in their lives.  Tara and Jenny, who we only were just beginning to get to know, but love so much already.  Sasha, Oksana and the Korytkowski family…. I can only hold them tight and pray that God will allow us to serve together again next year – anything else is unbearable.  It will be another couple of days before we have to say goodbye to Pasha, Tanya, Debbie and Dave.  (Thankfully, we don’t have to say goodbye to Mala!)

We’re on our way back to Warsaw.  I’m riding the famous PolskiBus, which actually has free WiFi!   We will spend a day in the city before our flight home on Sunday.  Say a little prayer for our kids.  Ethan was just staring out the bus window, which isn’t like him.  I asked him if he was ok, and he said that he is sad.  He’s “just going to miss Poland so much.”  Then a few minutes later he realized that he does miss watching TV!

2013-06-27 21.37.54We thank you all for your prayers and ask that you keep right on praying as we head home.  Pray for the sadness in our hearts, pray for save travels, pray for the seeds that were planted to grow like crazy, and pray for our future service in Poland.  It boggles my mind that God would choose to involve us in this work as He has.  But just as it felt “unfinished” last year, we feel a very strong message in our hearts that this “missionary” thing is an ongoing part of our lives as servants of Christ.