Archive | June, 2012

Such a sad story

23 Jun

More than 100 women die during childbirth each week in Uganda, a heartbreaking statistic. That is about 16 moms per day. And that is JUST in Uganda.

Most of these deaths happen in villages where bad roads and poverty make it difficult for women to reach health centers. Even when they get there, some say, the available care is poor.

Health centers have been built in villages across Uganda, but the structures are usually devoid of equipment and medicine. Ugandan newspapers frequently tell stories of nurses who treat women in labor with a chilling lack of compassion. And at times, when the caregivers are overwhelmed, some women are left to die.

“Far too many women lose their lives giving birth. When a mother bleeds to death a nation bleeds.”

Breaks my heart. The thought of a child losing their mother in childbirth and potentially their life as well is so sad.

How can we help? Just putting it out there and hope an answer comes. What does Africa need? Why is it so broken?

Learn more by reading this article. http://t.co/hftCUInH

I wear my heart on my sleeve and carry love in my heart for women and children who are struggling.

Tina

Today is when change can happen!

13 Jun

We are called to be part of something bigger every day.  This is true in our own city as it is overseas, and each is equally important.  Whether we serve for a couple of hours in our local community or several weeks abroad, we are fulfilling a calling on our life. Sharing God’s love in tangible ways not only blesses those we are serving, but blesses us through these experiences. These experiences expand our understanding and opens us up to an incredible journey. A journey that will teach, inspire and strengthen us!

Truth is best learned from experiences.  Often the most effective ways to be witness to these experience and share your love is through building relationships.  This is exactly what will happen when my Visiting Orphans Team, arrives in Africa next month. We will work to build relationships with the children and with the staff to learn their needs and how best we can respond to those needs.  This experience will open us up to new people, new ways of living and thinking and teach us to feel compassion; to reach beyond our community extending hope to those who are suffering (both physically and emotionally).  The relationships we build and the love we share will change lives, in the most positive ways, forever. Yes, we are going to serve and give, but also to learn; to strengthen our compassion for others.  We will learn how we can continue to serve, give and demonstrate compassion as we return home to our individual communities and teach what we have experienced.  What an exciting journey our team is about to embark on!

Where have you been called to serve?  How have you responded to that calling? I encourage you to listen, and take action.  Step out of your comfort zone and take a leap of faith. Today is when change can happen.

Tina

51 Days…but who’s counting…(ME!)

6 Jun

I realized it has been a while since I posted an update on my blog so I am taking a few minutes to do that.

Only 51 days until I step on the plane bound for Africa and the first step in a wonderful life-long continued journey to help vulnerable children and women.  You really know you are on the right track when the pieces begin to unfold nicely.  I haven’t even gone on my first trip, and I am beginning to envision more trips as well as wonderful opportunities here at home.

About a month ago, I was asked to lead Sarah’s Girl Scout troop in achieving their Bronze award.  The Bronze Award is the highest recognition a Girl Scout Junior can achieve. It helps girls improve the community around them while building leadership skills. To earn this award, a Girl Scout Junior will do a project that shows she understands and lives by the Girl Scout Promise and Law. To help guide the girls in their project, I will be teaching them what I have learned on my trip to Africa, introduce them to a “world view” of challenges children face including those in our community and throughout the United States, and take them on field trips that will help them find direction and inspiration for their individual or group project.  I am thrilled to extend my passion, inspiration and learned knowledge to these future leaders!

In addition, I am extending my research locally, reaching out to a variety of organizations learning about what their needs are and how I can help their efforts to provide hope and support to vulnerable women and children locally, in Africa and other parts of the world. As I do this, I become more aware of how much need there is, how fortunate I am, and how much each of us can do (even if it is one or two hours a month).

As far as my actual trip preparations go, I have received all of my shots, made a trip to the store to get my medicine bag ready, bought a mosquito net, began collecting new and gently used jump ropes to take to the orphans, and continue fund raising. My good friend (Gaynor) hosted a wonderful fundraiser tea this past weekend.  She made the most amazing scones with of course delicious cream and jam!  Thank you everyone who came out to support this event! Overall, fund raising for my trip is going well, but I am still about $800.00 away from where I wanted to be at this time.  If you would like to make a donation, the easiest way is through the link to Visiting Orphans (https://www.visitingorphans.org/cgi-bin/donate.cgi), the organization I’m traveling with. A tax deductible gift can be given by selecting “Kenya & Uganda -July/Aug 2012 WAITING LIST” and then entering my name (Tina Millican) when asked to support a specific team member (entering my name is an important step).

I would also like to sell 50 more notecard packs (I made these) to put me closer to my final payment which is due July 7th. The cost is $10.00 for a pack of three cards. The easiest way to pay for your cards is by sending me an email or post to this page as to the number of packs you would like and making payment in the same way as listed above.  Below is a photo of the card packs.

Every little bit helps! Thanks for your support and continued prayers that all needs will be met for this trip!

With a joy filled heart,

Tina

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