Called Up

Unbelievable to me how things come together.

I have this huge heaviness in my heart for Haiti.
Our church donates thousands of dollars for earthquake relief, all of which we sent to Haiti via the Virginia Baptist Disaster Relief Fund.
Today, my dear, awesome and amazing friend Jackie texts me with some incredible news about Haiti.

“Guess what? As part of the disaster relief team, I have been called up for Haiti. As long as I can get my flight money together, I leave Feb 22.”

I feel like I’m part of something amazing.
Not that this is all about me, but what other perspective do I have?
All I know is that everywhere I look – under, over, sideways – I see grace. The grace of purpose and redemption, healing and hope, forgiveness and future.
And people who are willing to go to the ends of the earth to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

You can help. Contact me to find out how.

For The Least Of These


What’s that about? Why would people travel hundreds or even thousands of miles away to do something “for God”?
What about all the people who need help here, in our country?
Why go to Africa?
Why go to Belize?
Why go at all?

PCC has teams currently preparing for trips to Belize and Africa. Student ministries are planning national trips for summer 2010 We are coordinating a local IMPACT project scheduled for October. For more information, contact the PCC office.

For more information on the 410 Bridge and their work in Kenya, click here.

Kiva – No Small Thing

Those of us at the Leadership Summit last week had the privilege of hearing Jessica Jackley share an incredible and inspiring story. When Jessica learned that Jesus said, “What you do for the least of these, you do for me”, she took it seriously.
Five years ago, she quit her job and went to Africa to learn about micro-finance. The result is Kiva, which has raised over $61 million in just three years – all going to assist entrepenuers in the developing world. Investors with as little as $25 are able to connect with across the globe, giving sacrifically in order to change lives all around the world.
On a personal note, my family has been involved with Kiva since last year. As we gathered at Thanksgiving, my mom gave everyone in the family a $20 bill and a mission: “Use this to help somebody else – and report back at Christmas.” The Brawley family pooled some of our funds together and created a $50 loan to a group of mothers in Bolivia who are creating small retail businesses to provide a better life for their children. That loan has already been repaid, and our $50 has been re-invested into two businesses in the Dominican Republic.
Kiva is a way for anyone with internet access to invest as little as $25 to better the lives of people who have far less access to financial stability than any of us here. Brian often says that even the poorest American is considered rich in the eyes of the developing world – and it’s true. One look at some of the photos of these hard-working entrepenuers in third-world countries show that although our resources are different, we are the same in our desire to work hard and provide a better life for our families.
Several folks who were at the Leadership Summit have already set up Kiva accounts and started a new journey of giving. In fact, we’ve created a ‘Powhatan Community Church’ lending team that will allow us to track how we, as a small community of believers, are able to pool our resources to assist those in other countries. Through our lending team, it’s possible to focus our giving on one group, country or region.
Please take the time to investigate Kiva and consider participating. Seriously – what we do for the least of these, we do for Jesus.
And that’s no small thing.
To learn more about Kiva, click here.
To see the Powhatan Community Church lending team, click here.
To create a Kiva account, click here.
For overview notes on Jessica Jackley’s Summit presentation, click here.

Children Coming Home

Shannon with one of her new best friends from Macedonia.

Four of my five kids are home, after a long two weeks with only one or two here at a time.

I have yet to process this comletely, but when we were riding home from the airport, together again, I realized how completely incapacitated I have felt this week. I was physically sick, yes; but that wasn’t necessarily kid related (“Or WAS it???” asks a maniacal voice, sounding somewhat like my subliminal self….)
My four oldest children were gone, and I became incomplete.
Before my mom calls me up to tell me I’d better get used to it – that they’re going to all leave eventually – let me say that I’m prepared for that. In fact, although I miss Sarah, there’s something very natural about her absence. She’s 18. She just graduated. It’s time for her to fly.
But because motherhood and its responsibilities have dictated my every choice, every action, especially in the few years, this felt like a huge, gaping, sudden and unexpected wound. Even though it wasn’t.
Makes me wonder how ready you can ever be to watch someone walk away. Even if you’re sure they’re coming back.
Makes me wonder what lies underneath all that’s labeled “MOM” in me. Even though I’ve always been pretty sure I knew.
I’m a lot less certain of that than I expected I’d ever be.