Friday, May 8, 2015

The Good Story - A Giveaway

When I was a kid, I believed some unlucky suckers were called to be missionaries and the rest of us got to just be normal. (See what an entire lifetime of full-immersion evangelicalism can get you? Yeesh.)

In more recent years, God is shoving nudging us along the path of believing we're all created to be locked into a unique mission. Part of our mission included lowering our overhead so we could support friends doing other, more traditional kinds of mission. 

We're the body, right? It extends beyond the sermons we've all endured about spiritual gifts and why someone needs to staff the dang nursery. This is the good stuff, this interdependence that finds our talents, passions, and sacrifice being used to bolster the work of others toward the building of the kingdom.

My dear friend Kelly Portnoy and her husband Ryan are basically being creative-mission-geniuses and it's one of my favorite things to watch right now.

The two of them, gifted in the creative arts, are launching a ministry in which they provide full communication, technological and visual services (think story-telling photography, web design, secure email training, etc...) to cross-cultural missionaries across the globe.

Cory and I are just floored by this brilliance.
In their own words, "We believe missionaries could cut their pre-field support raising time in half if they were properly undergirded through the creative arts community to communicate their passions and initiatives with visually excellent and compelling materials." 


They are currently building a team of Ambassadors, in the visual arts and technology, interested in donating their skill (and time) to missionaries in their pre-field (think stateside) stage of support-raising. If you or someone you know is interested, please go to their Ambassador page and fill out the form!

 
Kelly and Ryan are making two upcoming working vision trips, the first to Slovenia.
One of the ways they are raising funds is through The Good Story Shop, where artist friends have partnered with them by donating really beautiful prints.
 They've generously provided FPFG readers with a 15% off discount code. Discount code is FPFG15 and expires on May 16th.
 
Last but not least, they are giving away one of their exclusive The Good Story t's!
In Kelly's words to me, "They're the super gorgeous, soft, buttery kind of t-shirts."

A super-soft, gray t-shirt?
Yes, please.

To enter to win the t-shirt, tell me something GOOD. Anything good. I'm particularly interested in what your dream ministry would look like, but you can also just tell me what you ate for breakfast as long as it was newsworthy. :)

(And to fill in any gaps, check out the video!)



If you'd like to follow the journey you can follow The Good Story on instagram at:  the_good_story  or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thegoodstory

62 comments:

  1. perfect oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast. working from home (you know...working...and catching up on my favorite blogs) in comfy these-shouldn't-be-seen-by-humans clothes. packing up to attend Rooted in Chicago tomorrow (thank you, Jesus for this gift) and wondering if I can get by with your prescribed "women's conference outfit" I'd really like to! if I already had this soft gray t-shirt pictured in the post, I would just go for it! hope your day is great. please take an extra lap around Fidler's for me because I'm going to miss my Saturday date out there tomorrow, and I don't even mind (too much).

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  2. At work right now... trying to live with vision while defining my vision. Trying to learn to follow Christ and not to over think. I have so much to learn.

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  4. Here's something good: I took a chance & applied to be the social media intern for grace table. God opened that door & I didn't walk through, I jumped! Several months ago I learned of a women's conference within my church's denomination - i remember blurting out: tell me what I can do to help! 3 weeks ago I was the personal (weekend) assistant to Jo Saxton & Bianca Olthoff. The time we shared talking & laughing - the truth and encouragement they spoke into not just my life, but to my 14 yr old daughter - PRICELESS. I could share more stories that prove this good thing: when we put ourselves out there, ready to use our gifts to serve God & others, HE shows up & multiplies our efforts.

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  5. Looking after my grandson every Friday is my mission right now!
    xo

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  6. What a creative and unique way to use your talents and gifts! Few creative to say the least. You really hit the nail on the head. I know I've thought to myself I'm glad I don't have to be the one of the "chosen" ones to go missionary overseas. What you said really spoke to me. Don't get me wrong. I hear terrible stories about people being killed for having just a bible, and I thank God for my safety here in the US. But lately I feel like missionary work is actually an honor, and one not to be taken lightly. I don't know yet what I've been called to do. I know that I've still got some growing to do. Great post!

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  7. My dream ministry would be helping children learn to read. I've been doing it, homeschooling my children. When I'm done with that, I want to go back to the classroom.

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  8. Life has been very full and good to my husband and I. We are both working at jobs we love, his job is growing up and he has so many opportunities to come! We're staying busy with our various activities and visiting family and friends. At church, I help with our 12-13 year olds and I love it! They have such an appreciation for love and life! They are much better people than I was at that age...
    I know it seems like a normal life, but it is far from where we used to be and I'm so proud and happy of how we have became awesome members of society!

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  9. I am at the stage of my life where my youngest is finishing his junior year in high school. I am a homeschool mom, although I LOUDLY proclaimed I would NEVER EVER be a HS mom it is all I have ever done! I teach part-time at a homeschool center. I have been asking God to show me what I need to do next. At this point I am on the board for a ministry/clinic in Honduras (Health Matters Honduras), and I somehow think I am supposed to be focused on what I am doing now. I also help my 90 year old dad OFTEN! I love it, and wouldn't trade it!

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  10. We recently moved out of the inner city of Columbus to a small farm in the town I grew up in. It's been difficult because we don't feel like we're doing as much good here. In the city there are very tangible ways to help people by giving them rides or just simply being kind and chatting with them. I think we're learning that good can be done anywhere and that it's all important work as long as we're walking in His way. It's beautiful here, and it's good to enjoy that after many years of despair and beautiful/ugly in the city.

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  11. I love everything about the message and their ministry. Everything. And your ministry too. But can we take just a quick moment to acknowledge how awesome her jeans are? Because she is rocking 'em!!

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    1. I totally thought the same thing, so thank you for noticing.
      Also, we were watching Mad Men last night and Megan was wearing identical jeans. I told Cory, "Those are totally in style again right now" and I think he was skeptical.

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  12. my dream mission is to move to hong kong or china (adopted from both) and work with the people there - to help with orphans and the disabled... to change society's mind about these two groups.... and to help the people coming their to adopt as well

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  13. Even though I was disappointed at not being able to go on vacation this weekend due to illness, I've had some incredible Heavenly Daddy/daughter time on my staycation. Coincidence? I don't think so!

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  14. Something GOOD is that we get family time this weekend!! Now, 8 of those hours will be in a car with a toddler and an infant, but hey- it's time together, right?!?! In a busy season of two jobs + two under 3, we will take it!

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  15. i don't need to be entered to win, but one good thing that's happening today is that i'm sitting still. i worked six of seven and then yesterday hosted friends for a cooking lesson, so today is the day to DO.NOTHING.

    i LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of this ministry!!! thanks for sharing about it.

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  16. my dream ministry? it's going to sound small...but it's what's been on my heart for WEEKS. it's a picnic table. in my front yard. and $ to have fruit/snacks/lemonade at that picnic table all summer long. so that we can meet and minister to our neighbors however they need us to. so we can BE THERE. not rushing around. but looking them in the eyes. giving them some orange slices while we talk about what's on their hearts. letting them know we CARE. i'd love to make the table ourselves...to teach my kids a little skill. and maybe paint it a fun color? that's my dream ministry.

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  17. my dream ministry? it's going to sound small...but it's what's been on my heart for WEEKS. it's a picnic table. in my front yard. and $ to have fruit/snacks/lemonade at that picnic table all summer long. so that we can meet and minister to our neighbors however they need us to. so we can BE THERE. not rushing around. but looking them in the eyes. giving them some orange slices while we talk about what's on their hearts. letting them know we CARE. i'd love to make the table ourselves...to teach my kids a little skill. and maybe paint it a fun color? that's my dream ministry.

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  18. Something good...tomorrow, my husband and I will have our second Bible Study in our home, in Spanish. What's crazy about this is, neither myself nor my husband are Latino...we are African-American, but have been called to start a cross-cultural church and the seedling is sprouting in our home! We are so excited about it!!

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  19. Something good? Our lil downtown church of 40 people or so (mostly kids, as we're very family and adoption/foster care hearted). Many of our members left when we left the 'burbs for downtown, they didn't see the good, they saw the homeless and crumbly brick and violence and tight quarters and no steeple or stained glass or million dollar mortgage. But it is so good, we love all of what many see as an obstacle, we celebrate our diamond in the rough church because that's what we all are. Our ministry extends throughout the week, we've opened a craft coffee shop and our mission is serving crazy good coffee and love. Your words resonate with me, I'm living them sister, as a momma with five (that I haven't birthed all of), married to a Mexican (so obvs I love salsa), and a transplanted farm girl, I'm sending love from the edge of Detroit and a feminine,not awkward at all fist bump saying "Keep up the good work, your ministry is soooo good."

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  20. I had chips and homemade salsa for breakfast, with a donut for dessert. Boooyah! I'm currently helping build a ministry that better equips the church to foster/adopt, and aims to convince the state that the church can actually help, and that we long for reunification and redemption within families as well, not just adopting the cute ones. We've got some work to do, but I'm beyond excited about it.

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  21. Also also, I love reading all the other comments - folks using their uniques gifts and talents. :)

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  22. My husband and I met while one of us was on staff and one was a volunteer for an outreach ministry to military teens. Seven years later, most of the way through an Army career, with 2 (+1 on the way) babies, we are praying for an opportunity to go back on staff. In the meanwhile, we're volunteering with our church youth group and hosting community VBS in our front yard this summer for the neighbors! One of the extra fun parts of this ministry has been watching former students grow up, and having them become friends, fellow moms and wives, and enjoying what wonderful people they are!

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  23. Out of the shock and pain of losing my only sibling last month has come 4 new friendships- each with it's own story and gift to help heal my broken heart- we serve a mighty and faithful God!!

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  24. WHAT AN AWESOME MINISTRY! I don't have those kinds of talents, but I LOVE pouring in to missionaries and those serving in leadership both here and abroad. I will contact them to see if I have other gifts they might need.

    What is good today? Well, four showings on our house! My 20 yo son is sprawled out on the floor next to my couch taking a nap. My granddaughter is upstairs napping and chocolate abounds in my kitchen after by 50th birthday celebration yesterday! :-)

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  25. I can tell you something good!! :) - my time spent volunteering with the nursery staff! (wink wink) I love being there every other weekend! Holding babies is one of the things that puts the things right with a world that can seem so wrong.

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    1. p.s. - my breakfast was the last of the Soy Ginger Roast Beef from your Bim Bap Boom recipe (I have no idea whyI can't remember what it was actually called) over smashed cauliflower. I know it's weird, but it was divine!

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  26. Someday what I'd really like to do is be a full-time part of a summer camp for people with special needs. <3 Until I get there, & if I never get there, my goal is to "just" minister by being a good person in the situations & opportunities that come along! I'm trying to be a good wife, a good bass player, a good contributor to a couple of websites... the little things that add up to my life.

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  27. right now I think my mission is to be more present in my neighborhood. and step out of my comfort zone with that. might even do some sort of yard party?? the idea makes me panic a little but I really don't know these people and I would like to get to know the people who live around me. and also: making meals for new mom friends and people going through hard times. like these awesome freezer burritos: (I think Lori Harris linked to them a while back?) http://www.ohsweetbasil.com/freezer-meal-beef-and-bean-burrito-recipe.html

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  28. Good? We are leaving in fewer than 4 months for Zambia as some of those "unlucky suckers" 😜! We still have work to do in finding our support team. What an AMAZING ministry; one of the hardest parts for us has been communications and maintaining a professional standard when our time is so consumed with other needs and our talents are not in the area of the arts! (See www.theottsinzambia.com for an example of what missionaries come up with on their own!)

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  29. My husband has been hospitalized with open heart surgery. He will be fine, but all of this is not for the weak. We(He) has a long road ahead of him. Today I was talking to a nurse and she was commenting about how nice it was to see a patient who has lots of love and support. She said you would be amazed how many patients she has who have no one. It was sad to hear and an eye opener to me. I think I may have found my mission here at home. I am good at loving and hand holdiing, and if I can help someone feel better, I will be so happy to do it. Missions do not have to be far away-there is need all around us.

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  30. Something good is my ticket to Kigali, Rwanda, and Entebbe, Uganda, to go to villages to teach women the Bible. My husband is on staff with Equipping Pastors, International, and I accompany him when I'm free from teaching duties in the summer. My favorite memory is teaching 150 to 200 precious sisters in a cow dung hut with thatched roof. The children would reach into the window openings to touch my skin to see if the white would rub off, and the women would dance their praises to Jesus. Some would drum their praises on goatskin drums, and another played a thumb piano. I sweated buckets and loved every minute. At the close of two days of meetings, they presented me with a thank you gift of a chicken. I have never been as moved as I was in that minute.
    '

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  31. something good... mine and my hubby's dream is for him to teach at a university (music) and to live in the heart of the college town above a sweet little retail space where we could create a coffee shop to serve the community. we would serve coffee and homemade goodies to students, in the evening have open mic nights for original music, poetry, place local art on the walls, love the community. just have a real haven, presence in an environment where there are lots of questions and growth and change... to show love in a tangible and yummy way ;) it would be awesome to pour into students in that way by living right in the thick of it, serving them. that's a future ministry dream. in the meantime, we are praying God will move us closer to our new church home and enable us to foster (possibly to adopt?) children while serving in our current church and surrounding community. it's all way over my head! but it sounds pretty good ;) hoping to give that softy gray shirt to my sister =D she would rock it!

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  32. My dream ministry is to have a live-in apartment for my family of seven at an assisted living facility. Our family would be missionaries to the elderly who are lonely and fearful and need family.

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  33. First...it was a Panera Bread kind of day. Me + kiddos try to always find something to celebrate on Fridays so that we feel justified in going to Panera Bread for breakfast. Today's Celebration....3 days left of school (for me), extra soccer practice (for my daughter), & first round of tornados missed us (for my son). You can see that some of us stretch the celebration more than others! Second...dream ministry. It is hard to narrow that down. My greatest desire is that I am able to live in such a way that I see the needs of all those around me and can do something to meet them. My secret desire is that we can turn our farm into a respite camping site for those in ministry (that need some nature & stillness & rest) or for city-folk that need a cool place to experience nature to come and stay. My father was a man of very few words. He loved hunting & fishing & anything outdoors. I asked him once when he felt closest to God. He said that it was in the morning when the sun came out and he was the only one around to see it. I guess I just want that for others to experience, too. Thanks for connecting us to the Good Story. What an inspiring idea!

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  34. something good: feeling at peace about a somewhat big decision made over the past few weeks.
    another something good: it's friday and almost summertime. hooray. :)

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  35. something good: feeling at peace about a somewhat big decision made over the past few weeks.
    another something good: it's friday and almost summertime. hooray. :)

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  36. Good news for special needs orphans in my town: This week we attacked the scabies that have made themselves at home in their precious little bodies for five months. We applied medication from head to toes, boiled all their sheets and clothing, and super-cleaned the orphanage. Better news: God Himself sings over them.

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  37. Love The Good Story -- just love it all. This week my dream ministry is to open a creative business that employs recent immigrants and teaches them marketable skills and English. Next week it will be something else I'm sure.

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  38. Something good…..I have a dump truck load of mulch sitting in my back yard…..crazy how excited I am to see it sitting down there ready to mulch between the rows in my vegetable garden this year! I feel like my mission is to become a foster parent. We are taking our first class in June.

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  39. I think if we do life too long, we can lose the ability to dream.... My dream would to be able to dream again of out of the box ideas like theirs.

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  40. Trying to figure out how to wrap ourselves around the foster kids in our community!

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  41. I have 2 healthy boys and one is graduating from high school this year! We can do it mommas! Keep pushing!!

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  42. So, my Mother's day is today (long story) and my husband took the kids out to hunt for coconuts at the park so I can (in a minute) go soak in a nice long bath. :-) That's my good thing.
    Second thing, my dream ministry. I've only said this to a few of my very close friends, so it's a little scary to release it into cyberspace. BUT, I want to have an art studio where I can teach homeless women skills they can use to create beautiful, sell-able art, and then teach them how to man an online store, like Etsy. I may start by just hosting an Etsy store myself where I sell my own work (where a portion of proceeds go to fund the studio) but then I can also market and sell their artwork for them too. Some of the ladies at the shelter where I've been volunteering are truly truly talented. They could really do this. But I'm slow and timid and have no idea how I would make this work given my own life at the moment. So I'm sort of waiting, but I'm not exactly sure for what or when I'll make any kind of forward movement. . . . (EEK!)
    Also, I love what your friends are doing here. Makes my heart happy. I love seeing missionaries of all kinds receiving support from the community around them!

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  43. My dream: Become a foster to adopt parent! I am completely terrified but the thought never leaves. My goal is to take all the necessary classes this summer. I want to wrap my arms around all the hurting babies and their birth mommas!

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  44. Oh my word, I love this so much! I am so encouraged by people using their own strengths to bless the Kingdom! If someone had told me they had those gifts I wouldn't have ever thought to do something like this, but WOW! This is incredible.

    I have a very artistic friend with a heart for orphans. She wanted to marry the two and use her talent to bless adopting families. She created Raising Up One and has let me tag along as one of her side-kicks. Every month we "raise up" one adopting family. We tell their story, pray for them and we partner with artists to hold auctions and giveaways on Instagram. I am the family coordinator which means that I get to interview each family and walk them through the process. I am SO blessed by these families and their love for the Lord, and their love for the Little One's they are desperately trying to bring home. I'm equally blessed by the community of people who give of their time and resources to come alongside each of these families with their talents and/or financially.
    Here's to all the crazy creative people in the world who use their gifts in profound ways to bless the least of these.

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  45. Great cause, great products! But the code is FPFG15 (not FGFP). Thanks for sharing this great info!

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    1. Gahhhh! Thank you so much. That's exactly the sort of thing my eye would never catch!

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  46. Helping more orphans-like till the day I die. I've adopted 12 orphan children. My two sisters and I have adopted 20 children all together.

    Sammy
    http://sammynmick.blogspot.com/

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  47. I'm a mother to 8 and I'm struggling with mono (have been since August). Super Ugh. My husband who teaches at the school my son attends decided to send him home to help me. My Dad picked him up from school, brought him home, and the blessed boy proceeded to completely clean the kitchen (clutter-prone island and all!) sweep, transfer wash, move sprinklers on our newly planted grass, feed his little siblings lunch, tidy the house, AND finish his homework. He truly ministered to his sick mother! Best Mothers Day present ever!

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  48. I started working at my church last June as a family ministry associate. I have the beautiful privilege of loving and helping to disciple 1st - 6th grade students. I am so grateful God called me into this position, something I never dreamed I would be doing!

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  49. The first sentence of this post made me LOL! Fully immersed in evangelicalism since birth here too!
    Our GOOD dream.....to partner with my brother and his soon to be bride and open a coffee shop/brewery to get a chance to serve our community and use a great majority of the profits to fund our "unlucky" missionary friends, whether it be adoption (huge part of our heart,) clean water, or simply spreading His good name around the neighborhood or the world. I get to bake - I make a mean scone! :) Thank you for writing and inspiring - you're an every day read for me.

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  50. my dream ministry: taking photos. of people. that MOVE. other people. to do something. something awesome. for other people. with their lives. ;)

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  51. Work on a side business to support my family...

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  52. identifying my dream job and verbalizing it...
    i would love to be a conduit between teachers and resources. FREE supplies to teachers; items donated by individuals, businesses, etc.

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  53. Ooooh, this is good. Love it. Dream job...I'd make art all day long and give it away willy-nilly😊

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  54. Dream ministry....having a farm big enough to feed people for miles and miles....working a CSA type farm, only no one has to pay and no one goes hungry. Substantial food with proper nutrients, and a table that spans as far as the eye can see, so no one eats alone again. You give a man a fish, he eats one meal. You teach a man to fish, and he never goes hungry. Could you imagine Thanksgiving around that table....as wonderful as we may get this side of Heaven.

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  55. My dream mission work is sort of simple and very doable in my own home town, so what am I waiting for, right? I would provide birthday parties/kits for kids who have never had a birthday party. Every child should be celebrated. A cake, some balloons, some invites, some party games and snacks and a special present would do it. Love for the family, love for the child, a chance to build community.

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  56. um, BRILLIANT. i want to meet these beautiful people.

    i have eleventy hundred dream ministries, but the one God's put my name on involves a nomadic people in colorful cloth herding cattle and hope in rural central african republic. to be honest, nothing about the daily reality of it seems particularly lovely, and everything about it seems mosquito infested and sweaty and isolating, but it's the sort of thing that keeps you up at night, you know? all restless and under your skin.

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  57. What a beautiful idea! My husband and I have recently been convicted by God to get rid of a bunch of our stuff and live much more simpler than we already do. We have felt a calling that is burning inside. We are still yielding to God and waiting as He unveils His beautiful grace-filled plan to our family.

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