“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Gandhi

Now, that I’m stateside and still working with New Hope Initiative, I’ve taken a bigger role with our project in India. You may remember a couple of blogs (here and here) I’ve written about the project that New Hope sponsors there. I visited last October and hosted the project leader, Grace, in Nairobi this summer.

NHI sponsors the Child Blossom Center in Hyderabad, India. Also known as CBC, the center is home to 20 children with severe, mild, and moderate level of mental and physical disability. There are also a few normal, or typical, children at the center. All the needs of the children are met including food, clothing, education, medical and psychological. The children are taken care of by full-time staff some of which live on site at the center.

Grace and I are meeting via conference calls regularly to establish our working relationship and also to identify her needs as a leader. Our first action item is creating easier ways for Grace to communicate the work of CBC. We are working on a blog site for her to update regularly and tapping into social media. We are also looking for new partners to support her ministry.

If you have any interest in our special needs orphanage in India or know someone who may like to partner with us, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Below are a few recent photos from Grace.

India 10.15

India 10.15 2

India 10.15 3

India 10.15 4

Same project. Different role.

After the weekend in Houston last week, I flew to Springfield, MO to attend a pastors conference and sell Project Biashara merchandise. It was fun being on the opposite side of the world but still working hard for our ladies in Kibera. Karen Baird and I set up tables at the conference and sold our products for 3 days. The days were long, but so fulfilling knowing that the sales will continue to help the women in Kibera earn a wage and support their families.

My favorite part of working in the States for NHI is talking about the people in Kenya. I love being able to tell their stories. Having spent almost a year and a half working with them in Nairobi, it’s personal to me. I know the money we make from Biashara sales goes directly to those women. I know what their lives look like. I know they live month-to-month depending on that paycheck from us to buy food, medicine and clothes for themselves and their children. I know that after we pay their paychecks, if there is money left, it goes to support a medical clinic in the community. I know that this medical clinic is crucial in caring for the children in our school. I know that these women are strong. They work hard. They give. They take care of people. They advocate for each other. They are not perfect, but they love the people around them.

I miss Nairobi a lot. Of course the first thing I missed with the weather – especially since it was 90 degrees with 100% humidity in Atlanta! But, I mostly miss the people. I want them to know that just because I’m not there doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten them. I’m still working hard on this side of the world to tell their stories and help them provide for their families. And, I’ll see them in October. I’m heading back for about three weeks to finish up some projects and help host some visitors. I’m looking forward to being there and updating the readers of this blog on some things close to my heart – little Steven and all our NHI Kenyan leaders. So stay tuned….

MO 3 (1)

MO 1

MO 2

Start checking our website soon for the new fall collection!

Check our website soon for the new fall collection!

Life Givers

There are just those people in your life that give you life. You know who yours are. I tend to have quite a few. It would take me a while to name them all. Unfortunately, they are now scattered across the globe. I guess that’s what happens when you live in one of the most transient cities in the US (Washington, DC) and like to travel. I have been blessed to know some really incredible people and build deep friendships with them.

This past weekend, I got to spend some time with a few of those people. Some of those DC friends have moved to Houston and Dallas, and NHI’s founders live in Houston. I flew in for the weekend from Atlanta. So, what else to do than have a dinner party at the Monsivaizs?!? Gerard spend all day preparing brisket and Krisi made an abundance of tasty side dishes then sat us around the best dining room table for fellowship. We laughed. We ate. A lot. We talk about God. We talked about the challenges the world faces. We talked about the challenges we face in our individual lives. The only problem is that it ended too early. Well not that early – we were there past midnight. But, it was still not enough time.

It was a good lesson for me to take advantage of those special moments when worlds collide and everyone is in one place at one time. Such a sweet time. Such sweet people. My heart is refreshed and full.

life givers

Also, as an update to all my supporters out there, I’ve been spending most of my time in Georgia visiting family, getting to know my new baby niece and helping out with the older niece and nephew. I’ve also been living out of a suitcase (well, let’s be honest, 6 suitcases) for about 7 weeks now. Today, I’m moving into an apartment in Midtown Atlanta. As I get settled, I’m looking forward to finding a church in Atlanta, connecting with old friends and meeting new ones and also continuing my work with NHI stateside. I’ll stay on with NHI until the end of the year and keep you updated on what’s next for me. Thank you for your care and support of me over the last year and a half. It’s been a true blessing.

ATL skyline from my apartment

ATL skyline from my apartment