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Giving to Grow Faith

Giving to Grow Faith

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

Giving Lives to Save Lives

Giving Lives to Save Lives

For one couple, giving to those in need changed not only their lives but also the makeup of their family—and the course of their ministry. In August 1989, missionaries Charlie and Cathy Milbrodt heard of twin-boy infants who had miraculously escaped death. After traveling deep into the jungle of the Golden Triangle region of Thailand, they purchased the boys—who weighed 4 and 5 pounds and were filled with infection—for a mere $4. 

The Milbrodts set out in search of a home for the babies but soon realized that God’s plan for them was to raise the boys and start a children’s home for other unwanted young people. It wasn’t long after the twins’ birth that the Milbrodts launched Abundant Life Children’s Home, which after 20 years is still providing clothing, food, shelter, medical support and an education to the “unloved” children of Thailand. The Milbrodt twins, now in college, have plans to graduate school and return to Thailand to help their parents with the ministry.  read more

Giving to Fix a Home and Mend a Heart

Giving to Fix a Home and Mend a Heart

Chris Young’s trailer was in disrepair before heavy rains saturated Windsor, N.C., in September. So when the river near his trailer overflowed into his home, his only source of shelter became completely unlivable—until Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief team stepped in to help with repairs. The Red Cross also contributed by donating enough money to buy Young (pictured left) and his family a new bed, microwave, space heater and linens. 

Seeing the change in Young was remarkable, says Todd Taylor, who headed the compassionate effort in Windsor. “When he came in Friday morning he was weeping and very emotional. He did not have a place to stay and [had] no hope. Chris knows the Lord, and as we discussed what we could do, all he would say was he knew the Lord would make a way. He is so excited and his faith in the Lord’s provision is so incredibly strong and unwavering [now].” read more

Giving Perspective

Giving Perspective

From the first grade, Marida Lopez was taught to believe that a woman’s only lot in life is to have children and care for her family. But something in Lopez (pictured above) yearned to do more, though she didn’t know how to accomplish it. 

Since her first year of school, Lopez has been sponsored by the missions and relief ministry Food for the Hungry. Her sponsor, in addition to financially supporting her, would visit her and share Christ with her. “I became more confident about my uniqueness and what God could do through me,” Lopez says. 

Food for the Hungry has helped Lopez complete middle school and eventually become the first person in her family to finish high school. She is now a bilingual teacher of Spanish and Pokomchi, her native language. “I am very happy because I have accomplished something that I knew God had planned for me. But I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of Brad Titus, my sponsor. I have a lot of gratitude and respect for him. Because of his love and generosity, I too can be an example of courage and hope to many young people in my community.” read more

Giving Soles to Bless Souls

Giving Soles to Bless Souls

For 10-year-old Alex Chipilipili, walking barefoot meant more than just having dirty feet at night. For someone who’d never worn a pair of shoes until recently, it meant having sores and incessant itching caused by blood-sucking parasites that found a breeding ground in the cracks of his heels and between his toes. “I have been bothering my parents to [see] if they could buy me shoes, but they tell me that they don’t have money,” Alex says. 

But one gift to World Vision, a partner of TOMS shoes, changed everything for Alex; his mother, Mary Chipilipili; and his brother after they each received a new pair of shoes. 

“It is shameful and heartbreaking to fail to provide for children when they ask for something,” Mary says. “I am really humbled, and today I will sleep with a free mind and joyful heart.” read more

All’s Fair in Love and Coffee

All’s Fair in Love and Coffee

Almost everyone loves a good cup of Joe. But not every coffee company promotes love with each bean. The Atlanta–based Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee (LTHC) is not just in the business of producing high-quality java, but also using their brew to bring justice in the name of Christ to Rwanda, where they grow their beans. 

“God calls us to engage the good news of the gospel through both word and deed,“ owner Jonathan Golden says. “Eighty percent of the coffee Christians drink at home and at church exploits the people who grow it. We should choose to brew a coffee that matches the message we preach.”

Through a partnership with farmers affected by the Rwandan genocide of 1994, LTHC participates in “community trade”—paying above-market wages to workers—in an industry where exploitation is common practice in certain places. They also provide microfinance loans to Rwandans, and they build sustenance farms for the region’s malnourished orphans. All their beans are grown 100 percent naturally. For this company, coffee isn’t just a drink, it’s a symbol of community, healing and justice.  read more

Seeing Jesus in 20/20

Seeing Jesus in 20/20

Many Christian groups make it their business to try to cure spiritual blindness. But Eyes of Faith Optical in West Middlesex, Pa., seeks to address spiritual blindness by helping people with their physical eyesight first. 

The organization is the first faith-based company to be members of the Opticians Association of America. But their greatest accolade as a company is that they have pledged 10 percent of their gross revenue to children’s charities. They have also partnered with Restoring
vision.com to give one pair of free reading glasses to faith-
oriented mission groups for every pair sold through their partners. 

“There are so many people in developing countries that can’t work or read because they simply can’t see,” says co-founder Jim Schneider. “We can change many lives by giving the gift of sight with Eyes of Faith.” 


Seeing Jesus in 20/20

Say What?!

 “This tattoo symbolizes my lifelong commitment to Christ and to give back to the community.”

—Kyle Steven Bonenberger, lead pastor of City Church in Anaheim, Calif., who was among six congregants to have variations of the City church logo tattooed on their arms, shoulders or feet to celebrate the church’s one-year anniversary. the tattoos are an outward statement of their ongoing commitment to their community and church, which has had hundreds of salvations its first year. read more

Beating the Odds With 1 Percent

Beating the Odds With 1 Percent

Just three years ago this month Brock Mealer was trapped under an SUV in a horrific accident that left him paralyzed and took the lives of his father, David, and brother’s girlfriend, Hollis. Doctors gave the then-23-year-old sports fanatic a 1 percent chance to ever walk again. But during the University of Michigan’s football season opener this fall, Mealer beat the odds by walking—assisted only by canes—onto the field to lead the team alongside his brothers Blake (left) and offensive lineman Elliott (right). Before almost 100,000 fans he attributed his miraculous recovery to God by wearing a Wolverines-colored T-shirt that read, “Glory to God. 1 % .”  read more

Deaf Leading the Deaf to Jesus

Deaf Leading the Deaf to Jesus

In China, nearly 72 million people are denied access to work, education and community, not because of race or gender but because of a disability. Many deaf Chinese turn to deaf-led gangs to find love and acceptance. But Hearts and Hands, a ministry based in Kunming, Yunnan, in southwest China, is working to be advocates for the deaf. Through the ministry the hearing-impaired learn Chinese sign language, as well as how to read, write and learn a trade. They also learn about Christ.

“The deaf Chinese are very open to the gospel because any disability is considered a curse,” says Jane Ramsey, a deaf American who taught English in China for 25 years and joined the ministry in 2004. read more

What Happens When a Psychic Sees Jesus?

What Happens When a Psychic Sees Jesus?

Tim Thompson should be dead, but God had other plans for him. At only age 6, Thompson almost drowned in a frozen lake. His brother did die—while saving him—and Thompson resented God after this experience.

Aching for his brother’s company, Thompson tried to communicate with him in the afterlife, and got an answer. “I heard a voice coming against God. It sounded like my brother’s voice. We were able to spend time together again,” Thompson says. read more

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