human trafficking & loving the poor

This day plumb wore me out. Goodness gracious. I was up a little after 5:00 a.m. (I do not like to be out of my bed unless the first number on my alarm clock is a 7 or greater.) Packed some lunches, read my Bible, showered, piled some books and two of my kiddos in the mini-van and headed northwest for a speaking thing.

Can I just say that the gals at Ebenezer Mennonite Church in Bluffton, OH are so stinking great? I think this is my 4th year to hang out with them, and they always make me feel so welcome and loved. And calm my frazzled nerves after driving in Columbus rush hour traffic in the rain and then 90 more minutes of hydro-planing on bald tires (that Gabe keeps telling me we need to replace, and I keep saying, “Not yet. Soon.”) on puddle-laden country roads.

Yowzers. Praised Jesus the whole way home on dry roads with sunny skies.

I got to speak about our Cambodia trip and human trafficking and stuff like that. I’m so thankful for these kinds of opportunities.

So, I’m going to try to link to some resources here for my friends both at Union Chapel (my parents’ church) and Ebenezer (love that name). Thankfully, I wrote two posts last month that are chock-full of links, so my job is largely done already. Score.

This post includes the first 4 of 16 “Ways to Love the Poor Right NOW.” (Pray for wisdom, Read and learn, Raise awareness, Buy a t-shirt and wear it.)

And you can find the last 12 here. (Have a party, Spend your money more purposefully, Search out women to pray for, Volunteer somewhere, Develop relationships, Share your story, Share a meal or cookies, Sell something you have and give away the money, Start a ministry, Take something out of your schedule, Take a trip, Donate or sell your talents.)

Here’s where you can read more about Asia’s Hope. And this is John McCollum’s (the director’s) blog. I highly recommend John’s blog if you want to find out more about each orphanage and these precious kiddos. He spends each summer in Asia (and his family joins him for most of it), so he’s deeply involved with these kids.

I love this post showing the transformation of kiddos after they’ve experienced the love of a family for just a little while. These are the kiddos (Prek Eng 1) that my sister Bethany’s church sponsors. I can’t wait to take them letters and gifts from the church!

And here are our favorite kiddos (Prek Eng 3). And some photos from our trip last July.

Coming soon: a unique way that you can give to our trip via Asia’s Hope. “The Taviano Activity Fund.” The money will go to Asia’s Hope, but we’ll be able to use it to treat the kids to fun times while we’re there (dance party, boat ride, yummy food, Christmas treats). Any money we don’t use will go wherever Asia’s Hope can use it most.

Instead of linking to a bunch more stuff, I’m just going to let you ask any questions you have (about resources/stats/ministries/whatever). If I don’t know the answer, I’ll try to find it for you. Or better yet, maybe someone more knowledgeable will chime in.

Thanks, friends.

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