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10
Sep

Why BINGO?

Every year we have an amazing fundraising event where we all gather together and play Bingo. It is an absolutely fun night where you have the opportunity to win prizes, have a great time, eat delicious food, and also help save a life from the dangers of the streets of Armenia, Colombia. Here is a post from one of the people that participated in one of our Bingo events. He had the amazing opportunity to go and spend some time with the kids and see first hand the impact that it makes. It really goes beyond just a fun night. Thank you Roger for your love and compassion towards our kiddos in Colombia.

 

My name is Roger Ramirez and I volunteered this past June in Armenia, Colombia.  Colombia is a beautiful country.  High rolling mountains.  Salsa music.  Passion for soccer.  Green coffee plants.   The Spanish language.  The friendly people.  It was all lovely.  I met the once in a lifetime person, Sonia Quintero.  She welcomed me to her home.  A complete stranger and she opened her heart to me.  I became one with her family.  A family that consisted of about 25 kids, all living in a 5 bedroom house.  The beds slept on, purchased with funds from Little Changes International.  Before that, the kids would sleep on the floor.  The tables where we learned math and English, the same tables where we ate our meals, were also possible because of LCI.  The food we ate, about half was donated from the Mercado, the other half was paid for with the little money saved up.  

 

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Gathering the food and bringing it back home took about 4 hours of work.  It was truly a sight to behold.  As the food laid on the floor, we each grabbed a piece, peeled off the fungus, cleaned what remained, and I remember thinking, “this isn’t the freshest looking food, but thank god, food for one more week.”

 

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Sonia does this every Saturday.  As the days went on it became clear how pervasively woven LCI is in the everyday operations of the foundation: housing, cloths, tables, beds, food, transportation, books, shoes, healthcare, school supplies, etc.  Just about everything could be traced back to the generous donations and good work that LCI and everyone else involved does.  

I was at the foundation helping Sonia for about 3 weeks.  I taught and tutored the students in math and English.  I did a little fitness and enjoyed playing soccer with them.  These kids, they start out life with little to nothing, or worse.  It is beyond words, the spirit of these kids in the face of enormous odds.  

 

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Without Fundacion Sembrando Esperanza, Little Changes International, Bingo Night, the generous donations, and Sonia Quintero, these kids would be sucked in to street life, and quickly; hunger, drugs, crime, loss of dignity, loss of spirit, loss of meaning, loss of life.  You all directly give them hope at a chance for better days.  

The Seeds of Hope kids have a huge part of me.  I still speak with Sonia and the kids via Skype.  My goal is to expand and enrich the education of these kids.  My dream is to help bring about a transition of the foundation in Armenia in to a boarding school.  

If you would like to be a part of this project don’t hesitate to contact us at info@little-changes.org. We would love to speak with you and hear what your thoughts and ideas are. Maybe you are not at a place in your life where you can make the leap of faith and spend three weeks with these lovely kiddos, that okay! By you participating in the Bingo fundraiser you are making more of an impact that you will ever know! The wonderful thing is that even if you can’t make it to the event, you can still participate and win! Here is the information about our BINGO!

 

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24
Aug

IPad Air 2 Raffle!

The raffle is back!

We are gearing up to do our fourth annual Bingo night. If you have yet to find out about it, let me tell you just a bit! We are doing a fundraising event for our Seeds of Hope project. This super fun night of Bingo will help our children stay off the streets and be in a home where they are loved and cared for. They also get to be back in school and make a new path for their lives. They get to write a different end to the story that has been their life thus far! It is an honor to get to be a part of this ministry that helps these kids change things for their lives and for those around them! What better way to do this than to have an awesome fun night of BINGO!

Even if you can’t make it to our live bingo event, we are having a separate raffle where you could win a Apple IPad Air 2 or gift cards to places like Amazon! You can’t go wrong here, it’s a win win for all!

 

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Here is how it works:

  • Every raffle ticket costs $5.00. You can buy as many tickets as you want. The more you buy the more likely you will win!
  • If you share our “event” on FB and like our LCI page, you will be given an extra raffle ticket to get you that much closer to winning the grand prize!
  • You DO NOT have to be present to win the raffle, but it does make it a lot more exciting if you are there!

If you have any more questions you can contact us at http://little-changes.org/contact/

SO, are you ready to RAFFLE?

Get your raffle tickets here:




 

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4
Jun

Pure Love

As we walked around the village of Manga, we made home visits to the mothers whose babies had already graduated from the Milk Project.  On one visit we met a little 10-year-old boy whose face will forever be ingrained in my mind. This boy’s story is so sweet yet so sad, and my heart breaks for him but also rejoices that there are people as selfless as he is.

 

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This little guy’s mother was very ill when she had his two younger siblings – twins. She could barely take care of herself, much less take care of her kids. His brothers were becoming ill because of malnourishment and by the grace of God, the little boy heard about our clinic and decided to take his mom and the twins to the clinic to ask for help. The mom carried one baby and he carried the other. While the twins were still in our project, the mother passed away, yet he continued to take the babies to the clinic by himself. The clinic is about a 30-minute walk from his home. He did this until the babies were healthy enough to eat regular food and now both of them have graduated from our clinic and are well. They have survived what is one of the most critical developmental ages for their brain and body.  Lack of nutrition during the infant months brings many issues, but by the grace of God and the strength of this boy, these twins were able to avoid that.

 

This little one has no mother to watch over him, to love him, to care for his needs. He had to give up the chance to go to school in order to watch over his younger brothers and to take care of things at home. However, we rejoice in knowing that the babies are doing well. They are strong and they love their older brother so much! This kid – he has a heart of gold – his smile penetrates the soul, he inspires me to be content, to love sacrificially, to love deeply, and to love like Christ, who gave up His life so that we could be loved and redeemed.  He makes sacrifices everyday for his little brothers. That’s powerful!

 

I’m thankful for all of you out there who support us financially and helped this little boy have a place to take his family when they were in a desperate situation. I thank you because you are helping to save lives, bring hope, and make an impact in more ways than you will ever know. This little boy is proof that what we are doing here matters and we are all in this together. Thank you for helping us make a difference in this world, one baby and one family at a time.  If you know of someone who would be interested in partnering up with us please do not hesitate to reach out to them.  Help us share so that we can improve and grow, and be able to help more families in need.

 

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21
Feb

Reality Check

In a small village, in a place so removed from my world, many MANY miles away from home we get to be a part of a movement. A place where babies are given the opportunity to live and to thrive. What beautiful work it is. One of the most amazing things to me is that this is a project that the whole community recognizes and embraces!  In a small village called Manga in the country of Mozambique, there is a clinic made of straw and dirt built by the community! Women walk miles upon miles with their babies wearing their best outfits to come to a clinic where they are greeted by Fatima – a 29-year-old Mozambican nurse who has devoted her life to serve those in need.

 

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The point of the clinic is to provide milk for babies who are underweight and malnourished. Before encountering this place I took for granted the ability to breastfeed, better yet, I took for granted the ability to feed a family, a kid, a baby. In my small world I never thought about the desperation a mother must feel to hear her baby cry of hunger and not be able to do anything. Being left with no choice many mothers drop their babies in orphanages and give them up in hopes that they will be taken care of. Can you imagine having to make the decision to give up your child because you can’t feed him? But many mothers are unable to make themselves give up their babies and so they feed them whatever they can come up with just to make them stop crying, leaving babies completely malnourished and stunting their growth.

Although this work is a happy work… It’s not an easy work. This clinic was created to provide for babies who are in desperate need. How marvelous indeed! I want you to hear how amazing this clinic is, I want you to see how important this is, I want you to put yourself in the mom’s place and find a place of compassion, not a place of pity, where you feel bad and look the other way, but a place of compassion, where you feel and understand pain and are moved to action. What an honor to be a part of saving the life of a baby.

I keep writing, “saving lives”. Saving lives sticks out to me and it’s like a title that I have in the back of my mind because it’s what we are doing. It’s what I want to focus on. I just want to say it over and over again because maybe then I can just “focus on the positive”. We don’t like to write sad posts because we want our readers to be encouraged, we want our readers to be happy and feel good when you look at the work we are doing. But it is unfair to walk this journey with you and not let you in on the hard, tough and ugly situations.

As I look at the monthly report for the clinic and read the section labeled “comments” I can barely get through this section. Tears fall down my face… comments is the section where we find out why the mom’s are unable to breastfeed their babies:

“Husband abandoned mother while mother was pregnant”

“Mother is 15 yrs old.  Parents have passed and she lives alone in house of deceased aunt”

“Mother has severe mental issues.  Man who impregnated her ran away”

“Mother had HIV and died of TB.  Great-aunt cares for the baby, baby is on ARV treatment”

“Mother passed away.  Grandmother cares for the baby”

“Mother is 14 years old.  She conceived baby as a result of being raped.  Grandmother cares for the baby”

“Premature Birth.  Father abandoned family.  Severe malnutrition when baby entered program”

“Elton Carlos – 5 months old – Entered at 3.9 kg – Currently weighs 4.3 kg – HIV positive.  The baby is an orphan (both mother and father have passed).  He has two aunts that come to take care of him and take turns bringing him to the clinic.  He was very malnourished when he came into the clinic and getting treatment for AIDS.”

Mozambique is considered to be one of the world’s poorest countries. A place where people live on $1 per day!  What do you do when you are 14, you’ve been raped and now you have this beautiful baby that you can’t afford to take care of because you are barely able to survive? I can’t even imagine being in any one of those scenarios. It is by God’s grace that we were able to find this amazing project and adopt it. I’m so eternaly thankful for Ruth, a nurse who took us to see this clinic that was getting ready to lose all of its funds. She never lost hope, she never lost faith. God placed us at the right place at the right time. He orchestrated everything so that we would come in and bring a light in the darkness of this world. He made a way for these babies from a tiny village to be known, to be seen. He made a way for these moms to be heard! He heard their pleas and He sent the workers to bring this work to you so that you would see and get to be a part of this. Saving lives.

I’m honored to get to serve the moms that come through this project, but I’m broken for the ones we can’t help. At some point we have to start turning people away, and it is heart-breaking. To see a family in such desperate need and say, “I’m sorry. We can’t take anymore.” Oh God, give me the strength and the faith to continue to work. How can this be? Sorry, I see you, I feel you, but I can’t help you.  It’s heart breaking!  I live in a place where at your first doctor’s appointment for your pregnancy, you are more than likely) handed two cans of formula just in case you decide to go that route. I still remember the day I came back from Mozambique. There I was in a fancy OB-GYN office getting all that I need to prepare for my baby, and as I was leaving the place, they told me, “don’t forget to grab your goodie bag.” Oh tears rolled down my face at the irony of this world. This formula is what can save a baby!  It’s even more heart-breaking and difficult when we receive the news that a baby from our project has died, that despite our efforts it’s too late and there is nothing we can do.  The pain, the sorrow, the feeling of hopelessness we feel is too real. Being so far away we can still feel the agony of the mother as she looks at her baby breath his last breath.

 

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One of the most severe cases of malnutrition we have seen at our clinic.

So we save lives. Not all, not on our own, but saving lives is what this project is about. Jesus has graciously redeemed our lives so that we can pour back and do something good, something HUGE. To help and to serve: no better way to feel God’s love than to love others! He has called us to sacrificially love knowing that we love because He first loved us. He was the ultimate sacrifice so that in Him we would be complete. Would you take a moment and think about partnering up with us? Would you be a part of a movement of love? Would you help us provide for these momma’s and their babies? Would you help us bring up strong and healthy babies?

 

 

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2
Dec

Big Bingo Impact!

What a wonderful night of Bingo we had! Thank you to all that participated.  Wether it was buying raffle tickets, donating prizes, setting up, playing Bingo, making donations, etc, you made a difference in someone’s live!

 

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It was such a fun night that it was hard to remember it was a fundraiser! I loved seeing everyone’s faces and seeing families spending time together, laughing, eating and just having a great time!

 

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Our goal was to raise 100% of the home’s expenses for our Seeds of Hope project. Unfortunately we were unable to raise the full amount but we were still grateful for the opportunity to present our project and share with you all the wonderful things God is doing in Armenia, Colombia. We raised 65% which means there is still room for you to partner with us. It is always so hard to think of donating on the spot, and trying to figure out how much, how, when… so we wanted to extend our invitation and reiterate how much your donations are appreciated and needed. It’s such a great season in life to make a difference and give these kiddos a chance to a better future where they are loved and taken care of.

 

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Now that we are entering Christmas season we’d like to ask you to step back from all the hustle and bustle that comes with the holidays. Today is Giving Tuesday, it’s a day that has been set aside as a day of giving that will unite nonprofits, fundraisers, and donors across the country. It’s a great time to reflect and think about the real meaning of this season and the amazing gift that we celebrate. The gift of a Savior- who being the KING humbled himself and came to this world in a little stinky manger (animals are stinky) so that we could have a relationship with God and be reconciled to Him. He came so that we would know love and now is our turn to love back. Christmas is indeed a time to celebrate and a time to give, to share what has been given to us, to love one another deeply and sacrificially. So we, Little Changes International, want to celebrate with you and we also want to invite you to step out of the comfort zone and help us give our Seeds of Hope kiddos a Christmas that shows just how much they are loved by Christ and by the Church (Christ’s people.)

If you are interested in partnering up with us please click here and sign up today! If you would like more information on ways you can help feel free to contact us at info@little-changes.org

Thank you once again for your collaboration!

Merry Christmas Y’all!

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5
Nov

BINGO BINGO BINGO

Hey you!

Don’t have plans Friday night? No problem, we can fix that. Already have plans? No worries, we can fix that too!

Come to our family friendly Bingo night this Friday, November 7 at St. Thomas University. It will be an amazing night with lots of fun, full dinner included, and FREE childcare! Family bingo night is a fundraiser benefiting a volunteer home in Armenia, Colombia which houses an average of 35 under privileged children at a time. All proceeds of the event will go directly to maintaining the home, nutritious meals, and drastically changing the lives of these children. For more information, go to www.Little-Changes.org. We appreciate your contribution as none of this would be possible without your generous support!

 

LCI Bingo Night

Don’t think about it anymore, grab all of your friends and head down to St. Thomas U. You will change a person’s live all while having a blast! Purchase your ticket here!

If you can’t make it, we will really miss you! However, you can still be a part of the night by purchasing a raffle ticket, or 20 of them! The more you buy the better chance you will have to win many prizes! Buy your raffle tickets  here!

See you soon!

 

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8
Oct

Stinky Fish


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Luke 5:1-11

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

Today I was at a women’s gathering and we heard from Peter Craig, the executive director for an organization called Moving Works; a non-profit organization that travels the world to make films about Jesus in the hopes that people would have life-altering effects in response to Jesus’ redemptive story. He shared about God’s call to leave the Hollywood life behind but still use his gifts and abilities to glorify Him. What a blessing to hear this man’s testimony and to see how wonderful God’s plans are for our lives. We now get to be a part of God’s story in his life by seeing these movies and seeing how God is moving all over the world. You can see his movies at www.movingworks.org! I’m glad he chose EVERYTHING and left stinky fish behind.

Peter started out with Luke 5:1-11. I’ve heard this passage many times and I’ve heard many more times explanations on it. I, however, had never thought about it in the way he explained it. It went something like this: when you understand who Jesus is and what He has done for you, when you love Him and know that He is everything, nothing else really matters. These guys understood that! They saw and believed who He is. So when Jesus said, “don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” And they left everything behind… They weren’t really leaving much; they were leaving stinky fish to follow EVERYTHING. Because Jesus Christ is our EVERYTHING so anything else falls short and it’s just a bunch of stinky fish. It totally shook me and had me in tears. Everything else is simply stinky fish!

So, a couple of years ago God called us to open this organization (Little Changes International) and to make His name known, to take care of the poor and needy in order to glorify His name, to be the voice of those who are unseen and unheard, and sometimes even untouched. He called us to stand up for justice for his precious children around the world. We are a team of 7 people under 30 years of age. We all have different careers, skills and abilities, but we all have a love of Christ that drives us to love others and make a difference in this world.  But I must confess, it is hard, and sometimes I just want to run away and give up. Many times I feel like it is an uphill battle that has no ending. However, I am reminded that even when it feels like we take one step forward and twelve backwards, that He is indeed EVERYTHING and the other things that fight for my attention don’t really matter at all because He is behind us, supporting us and guiding us to glorify His name in all that we do. I am reminded that even when things seem impossible, we serve a mighty God that can do more than we can think or imagine, that He is the creator of the universe and in Him all things are possible. I find hope in that He is in control of it all… yes, He allowed us to partake in His plan but He doesn’t need us. He reminds us that we are here to glorify Him, not to save the world. So when He calls us to leave everything and follow Him, it is as simple as that. Don’t look back just drop everything and go.  So if you find yourself caught up today feeling like you just can’t let go of certain things that are holding you from being obedient to God’s call in your life, remember that anything else is just stinky fish because Christ is everything and we will be fully satisfied in Him – NOT in what we do for Him but simply in His gracious love for us. So be encouraged and grab on to Christ for dear life, don’t look to the right or to the left but keep those eyes on Him and He will lead the way.

Stinky fish y’all!

Stephany Moore is the secretary for Little Changes International. 

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3
Oct

Cambodian Rescue Home – Praise and Passing on the Torch

Over the last year we’ve had the privilege of supporting the SHE Rescue Home in southern Cambodia - an incredible organization of people driven to protect and nurture young girls who were rescued from child trafficking or prostitution. It has been so exciting to help them fund and launch the Home of Hope transitional home, and to read the stories of the girls playing, crafting, and experiencing true healing through the love of the volunteers who work there.

God has done and is doing some wonderful things through those women, and we can’t wait to see what is in store for them and their ministry.  While we would love to forever help them run and launch more projects, we have decided after much prayer to now hand off that role.

As our final update, we have included the latest monthly report from the Home of Hope, which includes some new milestones, praise reports, and prayer requests.  We would encourage all of you to take a few minutes to read the update, connect with the She Home and consider supporting them directly!

Little Changes and SHE Rescue Home – August 2014  (click to download document)

For the most up-to-date info on the home and what you can do to support them, follow the SHE Rescue Home on social media:

Facebook  //  Instagram  //  Twitter

Website of the SHE Rescue Home

 


No, We Wont Stay Silent!

 

No, we won’t stay silent, we will fight for freedom! Join us in making Little Changes that will have major impact. If you’d like to get involved in fighting this cause, send us an email at info@little-changes.org or donate to support our project.

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17
Feb

Addressing Child Prostitution and Trafficking

 
There are 27 million slaves in the world today, the most in human history. 
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Of that number, over one million young children are trafficked and sold as slaves specifically in the global sex industry – annually.

Through the past few years God has really humbled us, both as an organization and as a group of individuals.   There have been many moments where we felt overwhelmed, inadequate, and unable to confront any of the massive challenges facing the children of the world.    When we were first struck with the staggering reality of child slavery and prostitution, we felt a sinking sense of powerlessness. But if we feel so weak, how must the children feel?  There are thousands upon thousands of them living through these horrors at this exact moment, deeply rooted with feelings of hopelessness, and even worse, worthlessness.     God had to show us that in our weakness, He is strong.

Little changes become big movements in the simplest of ways:  one child at a time.    God opened some unexpected doors, and we are now so thankful to have made a partnership with the SHE Rescue Home organization in Cambodia, which helps to counsel and love on at-risk and trafficked young girls.   In late 2013 we started funding a new and more remote  ‘Family Transition Home’ for girls who are hoping to reintegrate safely back into their families.   It’s been such a joy to see this unfold and to hear all about how the girls are being loved and having fun just being kids.    Look here for our latest update from the Family Home! 

January 2014 marked the first year to observe the annual National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month – a huge step in the right direction.    But while prevention is crucial for the future, it nearly forgets the unknown numbers of children throughout the world who are currently suffering in situations of slavery and prostitution.   Over the next few weeks, we will be posting more information on the crisis of modern day child slavery, including some opportunities to make a difference for these children.

( To stay tuned to updates from us, like our Facebook Page and opt-in to our Email List )