We’ve all heard the saying, “Every little bit helps.” Because of Kiva, an online lending network, more than 468,000 entrepreneurs in developing countries worldwide can now attest that the saying is true.
Started in 2005 by Matt and Jessica Flannery, Kiva allows individuals to loan money—from $25 and up—to entrepreneurs in countries such as Cambodia and Colombia. The end goal: to end poverty. read more
With reports of teen suicide and bullying on the rise, the nonprofit ministry My Broken Palace (MBP) is creatively helping youth suffering from suicidal thoughts, self-injury, bullying and depression. Inspired by Psalm 34:18—“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”—this organization brings hope to teens using music, writing, painting and video on its Web community. read more
The Holy Spirit is on the move in prisons, and He’s targeting the wounded hearts of women inmates. According to Daughters of Destiny, more than 20,000 inmates attended the prison ministry’s evangelism events last year, with more than 7,500 making decisions for Christ.
“In the past, 7 to 10 percent of the inmates at a facility might attend our meetings. Now we’re seeing 30 to 90 percent,” says Annie Goebel of Daughters of Destiny. read more
A pillow can offer more than just comfort; it can deliver a message of hope. For the last two years One Touch Awakening has been distributing pillowcases, snuggle pillows and insecticide-treated mosquito nets to people around the world. A prayer team prays over each individual pillowcase and mosquito net, asking God to comfort the recipients and give them a renewed spirit as they rest their heads at night. read more
Did you know you don’t have to fly to the other side of the world to go on a missions trip? Try traveling across the street next time—it’s cheaper and you might affect just as much change. So says Nashville, Tenn.-based My Own Backyard ministry, which is redefining the concept of missions work.
The group equips volunteers to make a difference in their own cities through everything from monthly block parties to mentoring young people to creating “action days” for churches and groups to go out and serve their communities. read more
Prison Food Never Tasted This GoodThe America’s Chef Competition, part of the 14th America’s Food and Beverage Show and Conference held in Miami, included two special competitors late last year: Florida state prison inmates Terry Garrish and Lance Wissinger.
As part of the faith-based Bridges of America work release/therapy program, these men, who have since been released, completed rigorous culinary instruction and were entered in this prestigious tournament. Their entry is a noted milestone, as this is the first time that inmates have competed. read more
Sometimes changing the world begins after changing the clothes in your own closet.
Lindsay Giambattista, founder of Taylor’s Closet (TC) clothing store in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., started by giving her extra clothing to at-risk teen girls when she was 14. She then began gathering outfits from friends and family, and soon she had an entire store full of merchandise. From there, Giambattista acquired a building and launched a full-scale ministry boutique.
TC is no ordinary thrift store, however. Giambattista’s boutique has made designer clothing available to young women and girls who would not be able to purchase such items for free. read more
Imagine if your child were abducted from school and forced into a life of slavery that included raising other children groomed to become soldiers. This scene isn’t just a nightmare for Filder Akech—it was her reality.
Ugandan rebels kidnapped Filder when she was 9 from her schoolyard, and for a year and a half, she cared for children born in the bush and forced to fight. Eventually, Filder escaped and now studies at a school in a village set up by Watoto, a holistic care program that serves abandoned and vulnerable children and women in Uganda. read more
Though Angel Mo grew up in poor conditions, he and his family didn’t neglect his education. But without the support of Food for the Hungry, Mo says he wouldn’t have been able to complete middle school and high school, and become the first in his community to get a university degree. Mo now teaches middle school and encourages his younger siblings to excel, as he was encouraged to.
“I thank Food for the Hungry for all the support and encouragement that I received since I was in grade school. I won’t forget that very crucial moment when a staff read Joshua 1:9 to me: [‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’] I memorized this passage as a child, and it was the hope that carried me through some very difficult times.” read more
In an effort to support ministering to Thailand’s “unloved” children, Abundant Life Children’s Home started Mai Tai Coffee with the hope that the coffee business would fully fund the children’s home. Currently at least 500 farmers have become Christians as a result of the ministry and are provided the materials and training to grow coffee. They’re also given above-market prices for the coffee.
The ministry’s leaders say this coffee business has radically transformed the lives of many in Thai villages.
“Through simple coffee cultivation we can fivefold and tenfold their annual income,” says Charlie Milbrodt, founder of Abundant Life Children’s Home. “It has a double purpose, that farmers are committed to tithe to the local church we have built in their village. This causes the churches to become self-supported where we don’t have to pay a pastor to oversee the church anymore.”
Buying coffee to support this ministry could reap endless dividends. read more