Category Archives: Preparation

Night Walk News!

Night Walk is coming up on May 18, 2012.  That’s just a few weeks away!  We can’t wait to show our support of these kids during this awesome opportunity.  If you haven’t yet heard of Night Walk, keep reading to find out more!

Want to skip the reading and sign up now??  Head over to the Night Walk sign-up page!

This year, our Night Walk and camp theme is “Love Like an Ocean”.  For many of the volunteers who have spent time with the orphans in China, for many of the families who have adopted these beautiful children and for many hearts that long to bring these kids love and hope… an ocean separates us.  But love, deep like the ocean, binds us to them.  We love them through the love He has given us… and He gives us a love that surpasses knowledge (Eph 3:18).

Essentially what Night Walk does is it gives us another opportunity to show this “love like an ocean.”  We have the opportunity to tangibly help these children who we love.  We have the opportunity to share the kids’ stories with our friends, family, and sometimes complete strangers as we walk.   At the beginning of the walk, we even get a chance to be on a call with some of the kids we are directly helping with the Night Walk.  What a cool opportunity to be a part of something so huge!  Be sure to share about it with your family and friends and let’s have thousands of people across the globe together for one cause!

For more info and to sign up, CLICK HERE! Sign up by Friday, May 4, 2012 and get an awesome official Night Walk t-shirt to sport for the Walk!

One hour.  $30.  The opportunity to change lives forever.  Bring Me Hope Night Walk 2012.

Mission: Discomfort

At the fourth and final staff meeting in Fallbrook last night, our fearless leaders unveiled a pair of slogans that will remind you of Texas hold ‘em and visiting the dentist, respectively. They are:

“All In” and “Be uncomfortable.”

I came in on the tail end of the meeting, and these two catchy phrases were already written on the whiteboard. They are a little unconventional, but they encapsulate the attitude necessary to both enjoy and contribute to a service trip like the one on which we’re about to embark.

The irony is that, earlier yesterday, I was watching a poker tournament on TV. I saw three or four players go all in, and then go bust. But we’re not going to go bust. That’s just not how it works.

As they apply to service trips, the two slogans are linked. Picture this: You’re in a foreign country, acting out a skit in front of dozens of children whose language you do not speak. Playing it safe would mean maintaining your adult sense of décor and not committing yourself fully to the play. I’ve been there. The risk of “all in” is looking stupid in front of your teammates, the kids, the translators and maybe even your spouse and children. Any of you who saw David and Andrew Dickinson act out a skit last night—David playing the sheep, Andrew the wolf—recognized that there was the potential for embarrassment. But because they were so sold out to their characters, it was funny even to a bunch of American adults.

To go all in is to be uncomfortable. At least at first.

I think you’ll find, though, that it is how kids live—all in, all the time. So they will admire you for being on that level, too. I’ve done both on previous trips—played it safe and laid it on the line. I regret not having laid it on the line more often. I hope as a team we can create an environment where being all in is not quite so intimidating, and that, as individuals, we will see the value of our own discomfort in connecting with the children.

— Tom Pfingsten

Wanted: Your Comments

We want this blog to be a source of information and inspiration, a place to go to check your expectations of this summer’s work in Beijing, and a collection of any and all information that will help you prepare for the trip. We also want it to be interesting enough for your family and friends to read, so they can get an accurate idea of what Bring Me Hope is about, and have an up-to-date source of news from the camps in July and August. But there is another function we hope it will serve, and so far this one has been difficult.
We want this page to be a conversation. The “comment” function below each post is extremely easy to use, and we want you to. Tell us what you think, give us suggestions. I realize this is hard with some posts, the ones that are not interactive. But with this post, I hope to get our small group of readers into the habit of sharing their thoughts. I also hope to begin expanding our small group of readers.

The only thing to remember is to avoid certain religious language when posting comments.

For a more detailed list of words to omit, send me an e-mail.

So here are a few questions that I hope will stimulate discussion in the coming weeks. Any of these points that lead to a healthy dialogue in the comments section will earn their own posts, I can assure you of that. Here goes.

  • What part of the summer camps in Beijing are you looking forward to the most? Put another way, why did you sign up to volunteer with Bring Me Hope?
  • Is there anything you are worried about or not looking forward to?
  • If you are a staff member who went to China last summer, what one piece of advice would you offer the rookies like me?
  • How are your efforts to learn some basic Chinese words coming along? (See “Hope in Mandarin,” below.)
  • If you are not going to China with Bring Me Hope this year, how can this blog serve you? What kind of information would you like to see posted here?
  • For those who are going, I repeat the above question: How can this blog serve you?

In addition to these questions, we’d love to hear stories of God’s generosity in helping all of us pay our way to China. My wife and I received an anonymous donation for one of our plane tickets, which was immensely encouraging. We’ve now been given almost all of the money we need. For more than 100 volunteers to each raise around $2,000, there must be more stories like that out there. Send ‘em!

— Tom Pfingsten