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(no subject)

This post is a bit delayed, because of the holidays and such, but I wanted to give the final update on my brother's family.

First off, we changed our minds about it being anonymous. We decided to tell them where it came from and if they didn't like it they could deal with it.

Anyway..

So the school where my sister-in-law was substitute teaching at has a "mitten tree" for struggling families, where people buy gifts for kids anonymously, knowing only the children's age and gender. The school secratary knew my family's situation and suggested it to Judy (my S.I.L.). They expected to get a gift per kid, maybe.

They got like 5 gifts per kid. Judy said she almost cried.

The day after that they received a package full of gifts in the mail, courtesy of a coworker of Holly's. They had no idea where it came from, but after that they pretty much had gifts for the kids covered. I'm pretty sure she did cry, then.

So the presents were covered, whereas they thought there would be no presents this year. Awesome.

But they still were at risk of losing their home. Brian still needed a job, and fast.

Right about then, he got offered a contract job, for about 4-5 months of work.

That's wonderful, but they still had to get by until a paycheck. They were down to having to pick and choose on bills for the next month or so. Do they pay for electricity or water? House payment?

That's when they got the money we raised.

$2000 in cash, raised by our amazing friends, delivered by my mother. Money to keep food on the table and electricity and heat and water, etc etc..

This money is going to bridge the gap for them. That was exactly my prayer for it. And they were fine with accepting the money.

I wrote them a letter that was with the money. This letter talked in detail about where the money came from; That friends from all walks of life, and with all manner of beliefs, had thrown in to help. That ultimately, the money came from God. That God, in this case, chose to work through all of us.

So yeah, I say its God... but I'm still pretty pleased with all of us. Thank you all for being a part of it. Your donations, your prayers, your well-wishes.

The story has one last part to it.

My youngest nephew, Zachary, 4 years old. He wanted a specific stuffed animal type toy that is quite popular with the kids right now. This is the only gift that wasn't covered by all of this.

Their neighbors randomly received this toy twice for their child, and offered one to Brian and Judy unknowingly.

They are currently blown away by God's provision and the kindness of strangers. They are finding their faith pretty well refreshed in the midst of so much blessing.
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(no subject)

Crap.

My paypal account has reached its limit, and I still have one last donation that can't be accepted because of that.

I either have to upgrade or deny the payment.

Any Paypal experts out there have any advice?
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(no subject)

We are currently at over $1600 for the Family in Need fund.

Why?

Because God provides and you guys are awesome.

(I know a lot of you wouldn't so much put it on God, but I do and I want my brother to when he gets this money - Sometimes we need a little refreshing to our faith, whatever it may be that we put faith in)

Also, a friend of ours sent a bunch of presents and stocking stuffers to them in the mail.

This is going to be such a huge blessing.

I'm sending this money in the next couple of days, just letting some stuff clear so I can mail it.

If anyone else wants to throw in, you're down to your last chance.

Thank you all so much!








For those joining us late, here is the story behind this...
Answer the Question

Its getting expensive to get involved these days...

This morning I was looking into the Sojourners conference coming up in April. For those who don't know Sojourners, here is the synopsis from their website of what they do.

"Sojourners mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. We engage people of faith, policymakers, and the media with an alternative faith perspective to inform political and cultural discourse and enliven public debate."

Jim Wallis and Donald Miller are supposed to be speaking at the conference, and its an organization Holly and I would love to get involved with. Lots of reasons to be there. Then we saw the price tag.

The discounted early registration cost for the conference is $249 per person.

How are people like Holly and I, who really believe in what they are doing as an organization, supposed to get involved when we can't even afford to get in the door?

So, like any white person who feels slighted by an injustice that begs to be addressed, I wrote them a letter. I am sure this email will make its way through the ranks of the organization, sewing dissent and swinging wide the floodgates of change, until it reaches the highest echelons of the movement and redirects the course of fate for an entire generation. You can all thank me later.

Here is the letter...

Dear Sojourners,

I was looking at Donald Miller's website this morning and noticed that he was going to be at the Sojourners conference in Washington DC this April. So I went to the Sojourners website for more information, being familiar with Jim Wallis' work, and writing. I was excited that this event was going on here in Washington DC, where my wife and I could come and get involved, hear from some of our favorite writers and get in on trying to affect change in the world.

I am a worker in a shelter here in DC. I work with at-risk youth, most coming from poverty and broken homes, in the foster system. When a boy is taken from his home or foster care placement because of abuse or neglect, they come to my shelter while we try to find a safe place for them. My wife is in nursing school, wanting to be able to serve in places where people cannot afford health care. We don't have a lot of money, we just want to be able to serve.

We started to get excited about the idea of getting involved with Sojourners' good work, and being able to see and hear about it at your conference.

Then we saw the price tag.

$249 is the discounted early bird price?

Does that include meals and housing? I can't see how else it could be so expensive.

I appreciate what you are doing with this event, but how do you expect anyone who isn't making a lot of money (especially in this economy) to be able to partner with you?

My wife and I understand that these events cost money to put on, but I really don't see how this can be justified. I've been to many secular conferences that cost a fifth of what your "discounted" price is.

This single issue chips away at my faith in what you are doing as an organization.

In an age where we have seen Christians take Jesus and make Him into a savior only for the moral and pious, a king for the self-righteous and dignified; why would we fight to take Jesus back for all people and then make it difficult for those who want to help to be able to get involved?

I would love it if someone would write me back and justify this exorbitant cost. Right now I am feeling excluded by an organization which had previously helped to restore my faith in the assemblage of believers.

Some of us have little money and a lot of love to give. Even Jesus brought only love. Right now it feels like love isn't enough.

Sincerely,

Daniel Conn
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(no subject)

The total is currently at about $450, and I just added some money that should clear soon as well.

You guys are awesome.

Its getting close to time to send this money, so I have to close this up really soon. For those who've told me they plan to give, if you still can then please do in the next couple of days. If you can't, I understand and I love you for wanting to. Even my friends who have expressed sadness that they are unable to help are a blessing to me; that I know that they care and want to help. You either can or you can't, and your best wishes for my family matter to me either way.

We're almost ready to send this. So please spread the word, please repost, and if you have a little to spare and the inclination, give.








For those joining us late, here is the story behind this...
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(no subject)

Aaaaaand because I haven't said this nearly enough..

Thank you.

The word compassion literally means "to suffer with". It is to take one's burdens on as your own; to care for another as you would care for your own.

Thank you to all those who have come to me with concern for my family and their situation.

Thank you to those who have been able to give in this time of uncertainty.

Thank you to those who have sat with me and heard me speak about my fears and concerns, and been there for me in the way they couldn't be there for my brother's family.

Thank you for all the prayers, aloud or silent.

Thank you for every moment of well-wishing.

Thank you.

Because of all of you I can now anonymously bless my family in their time of need.


And you have as well.
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(no subject)

Its getting close to time to send this money, so I have to close this up really soon. For those who've told me they plan to give, if you still can then please do in the next couple of days. If you can't, I understand and I love you for wanting to. Even my friends who have expressed sadness that they are unable to help are a blessing to me; that I know that they care and want to help. You either can or you can't, and your best wishes for my family matter to me either way.

The current total is $274, and Holly is throwing in some, and I will be throwing in a couple hundred, give or take, as I can afford.

We're almost ready to send this. So please spread the word, please repost, and if you have a little to spare and the inclination, give.








For those joining us late, here is the story behind this...