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Love in Laurel

Taylor traveled to Laurel, Mississippi for a two week internship and after it was completed she said,

“The trip makes me realized that life can be amazing.  They all taught me how to share, how to help others, and how to love!”

Click here to watch the trip video

Here are some pictures from her trip:

An amazing host family that loves me and took care of my every need.

An amazing host family that loves me and took care of my every need.

Trying new foods every day!

Trying new foods every day!

Wow, the laws about buying guns are very different in Mississippi.

Wow, the laws about buying guns are very different in Mississippi.

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American libraries are fascinating to explore.

American libraries are fascinating to explore.

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Time for an American BBQ!

Time for an American BBQ!

Relaxing in the pool on a hot summer day.

Relaxing in the pool on a hot summer day.

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Cooking Chinese food for my host family.

Cooking Chinese food for my host family.

Trying on the firefighters uniform.  I feel safe!

Trying on the firefighters uniform. I feel safe!

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Practicing my ability at shooting an arrow into a hay stack.

Practicing my ability at shooting an arrow into a hay stack.

Learning how to resuscitate.

Learning how to resuscitate.

A picture after an interesting workshop on occupational therapy.

A picture after an interesting workshop on occupational therapy.

Cooking for a non-profit organization that gives meals to elderly people in need.

Cooking for a non-profit organization that gives meals to elderly people in need.

Taking a tour of the fire station.

Taking a tour of the fire station.

Eating a corn dog- which is a delicious cornbread over a hot dog.

Eating a corn dog- which is a delicious cornbread over a hot dog.

Jet skiing over the beautiful water.

Jet skiing over the beautiful water.

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Riding a tractor on the farm.

Riding a tractor on the farm.

Playing laser tag- a game that you play in the dark and try to "tag" people with a light shining from a gun.

Playing laser tag- a game that you play in the dark and try to “tag” people with a light shining from a gun.

Singing at church!

Singing at church!

Riding a horse for the first time.

Riding a horse for the first time.

My fire training certificate!

My fire training certificate!

Visiting a local therapy center.

Visiting a local therapy center.

My CPR certification card!

My CPR certification card!

Walking to Support an Orphan – Night Walk 2014

It’s that time of year…NIGHT WALK 2014, has come around and I beyond excited to tell you more.  WHY is this year completely amazing?

  • I love this years camp theme, “Jubilee”
  • I want to beat last years number of Night Walkers, we had approximately 155 people
  • And last but not least, Bring Me Hope is celebrating their 10 year anniversary (can I blow my party horn to celebrate?)

Oh, and I almost forgot one more reason, they are not only introducing a new T-Shirt but are bringing back 3 others from their “Vintage Tees” collection. So, if you can’t decide on what design you like best, feel free to order all 4 (the “Vintage Tees” collection are limited in number and are a first come, first serve product).  NightWalk_2014_Blog-FacebookAd

So, now back to the logistics.  For any new people reading this, let me give you a little background.  Night Walk is a chance for us to show orphans love.  On May 2nd, we will gather together in the evening and walk for an hour, while Chinese orphans walk during the day.  Our goal during this time is to get as many people together to raise money for orphan sponsorships.  Each walker that signs up (you get a free shirt when you sign up before April 19th) provides Bring Me Hope the funds they need to send orphans to this years summer camp.  The more walkers/sponsors we have, the more kids get to leave the orphanage and go to summer camp…the more kids that come to summer camp, the more lives that are changed and get to be advocated for.  This is a chance for those who can’t volunteer at Bring Me Hope to be a megaphone for the voiceless and help fund these kids.auburn_kunming

What does Bring Me Hope need?

Leaders!  They had 31 groups last year…let’s try to double those numbers.  If one person from each state would lead a group we would almost be there.  Leading a group is pretty simple…it requires getting people together and finding a location, that’s about it.

Walkers!  They need people willing to get together with an awesome group of friends and walk on May 2nd.  You can walk at a local park, through the city, on a bike trail or at your local school track.

Sponsors!  They want anyone that can’t walk or lead to sponsor someone else to walk or buy a T-Shirt.8789296496_b24bea9639_o

I want YOU…if you are reading this, you can take part.  Click HERE to see more about a walk that happened last year in the Alamo.  Visit bringmehope.org to sign up or sponsor another walker or click one of the buttons below.  If you are interested in leading or need more information, contact Regina (regina@bringmehope.org).

Night Walk Sponsorship Night Walk Sign-up

For the Kids!

Caitlyn & Bring Me Hope Team

Ideas to Raise Money for Orphans│Bring Me Hope

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” 
― Mother Teresa

This past Christmas, a group of young women got together to raise money for Bring Me Hope.  Together they used their talents and love of crafting to raise $600 for camp, quite a large sum for a 3 hour Christmas Bazaar.  We are so excited to show you some of their work and hope it gives you ideas on how you can make a difference by doing something you LOVE!bringmehope-girlsfundraising_0001

Do you want to be featured on the Bring Me Hope blog?  Send us your stories from camp, fundraising, etc.

For the Kids!

Bring Me Hope Team

New Shoes │Taiyuan Recap

Today is story time from camp Taiyuan.

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pinkflowerphoto_0049 pinkflowerphoto_0050About a week ago we had a little girl named Suzi join us.  Suzi was a kind & warm hearted girl who loved her camp family to pieces.  One day Ciara, her Irish volunteer, brought her to the store and went straight to the shoe section.  Suzi’s shoes were “in bits” and didn’t fit her anymore, so it was Ciaras intention to surprise her by buying a new pair.  As they were looking at shoes, little Suzi began to cry and explained she didn’t have money and could never buy a new pair.  It took her awhile to finally understand that Ciara was buying the shoes and that she didn’t have to pay her back.  Ciara said, “She finally realized that I was going to give her a gift and her eyes got so big!  She couldn’t believe that someone would buy her new shoes!”  The rest of the day was all smiles from Suzi as she happily received the simple gift of new shoes.pinkflowerphoto_0052 pinkflowerphoto_0053 pinkflowerphoto_0054

One of our favorite parts of camp is giving out camp awards. Every night the ‘Award Fairy’ comes to our Assembly Hall (the Award Fairy is played by our crazy-fun staff member Keri) and each night new campers receive awards such as, “Most Generous” or “Biggest Smile.” We wish everyone could have the opportunity to see these orphans nearly burst with pride when their names get called to receive an award. They come up to the front of the stage and everyone cheers and claps for them as they hold up their awards. One of our little campers who joined us last year brought her award from last year which she keeps in a special folder because she is still so proud; even a year later!pinkflowerphoto_0055 pinkflowerphoto_0056 pinkflowerphoto_0057

This week we sent a few of our volunteers to ride back to the orphanage with the kids. They said as they looked around on the bus, so many of the kids had opened their memory books to the page of the ‘family photo’ and were just staring at the picture. Many of the kids looked at the picture and cried as they drove back to the orphanage. This really touched our hearts because we put a lot of time and effort into making the memory books, but we didn’t know how important they really were to the kids. These orphans cherish their memory books and many of them keep them in special places to keep them safe.pinkflowerphoto_0058

Although each week our little campers are carrying home lots of new things with smiles on their faces, our biggest hope is that they carry in their hearts the truth that they are special, important and very loved.  Camp is so important for these kids and in many cases is considered one of the highest points of their lives.  These are lives changed when you and I show love to these kids through volunteering at camp, sponsoring an orphan & standing alongside of them and advocating!  We want to thank you all for the difference you are making in the lives of these kids…who now can see that they are loved and have a hope that can carry them through.pinkflowerphoto_0059 pinkflowerphoto_0060 pinkflowerphoto_0061 pinkflowerphoto_0062 pinkflowerphoto_0063 pinkflowerphoto_0064 pinkflowerphoto_0065 pinkflowerphoto_0066 pinkflowerphoto_0067 pinkflowerphoto_0068 pinkflowerphoto_0069

For The Kids,

Bring Me Hope

Welcome to Yantai Camp│Week #1

We love featuring updates for everyone about camp life.  It is a great opportunity to share what HE is doing in the lives of orphans & volunteers and how you can change lives by sponsoring orphans and advocating for our camp kids!  Who knows…maybe it will inspire you to become part of the adventure and adopt a sweet little kid or volunteer at Bring Me Hope summer camp 2014?

We had a crazy week here at Yantai but I guess that’s to be expected with a new location, constant rain and daily power & water shortages 🙂  However, the great part of all of this is that the kids didn’t even notice the number of times our schedule was thrown out the window.  They were smiling and having the time of their life.  What a joy it was to see them squealing when we brought the ocean to them (the rain prohibited us from going to the ocean) and they got to “go fishing” in a blow up pool.  I think the comment that I heard the most throughout the week was, “Wow, I thought I was coming here to serve orphans and teach them life skills, but it’s the kids that are teaching me!”  We’re super thankful for all the opportunities He gave us this week to learn what it means to rely on His enduring strength and unshakable wisdom.

This is one of our favorite camp transformations and we can tell from the pictures not only that she is loved but His daughter…she is so beautiful and deserves to be treated like a princess!

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May (Chinese Camp Director) >“This beautiful girl is delayed and it is clear that she has received messages her whole life that she is not worthy of love.  The first day of camp she was constantly looking down with hunched shoulders and cowering in the corner.  It was amazing to watch the love of her translators bring about transformation to her whole body stance over the course of the week.  They didn’t let her disability disarm them but instead treated her like a princess.  They were true sisters to her.  They taught her how to look up and face the world and created a safe place so she could!”

IMG_8600Is ^he^ not the cutest little thing ever!

Nancy (Volunteer) > “It was amazing to see how the children changed from Monday to Friday.  Only He could bring that kind of transformation.  I hope that they will allow this transformation to carry them through this year!”IMG_86002

Graham (Chinese Staff) > “I learned how discipline can bring two people together.  I was afraid of disciplining Mike at first but then I took him aside and talked to him about bullying.  He didn’t take it well at the time but by the next day and throughout the week he would always initiate interactions with me and constantly come find me to chat or hang out.  These kids need LOVE – and it comes in many different forms.”IMG_35145

“She was crying all night and wouldn’t let me go.  I whispered to her, “You can fall asleep in my arms.”  She finally calmed down and went to sleep.”2

Kate (Volunteer) >“I had two buddies, they looked so similar I could have sworn they were twins. The first one I bonded with really quickly, the second child was  little resistant.  We were sitting outside McDonalds one day and I was teaching the first one how to kiss me on the cheek (she had never seen this done before) and then the second girl randomly came over and planted one on my cheek too!  What a privilege…teaching two little girls how to express love with a kiss on the cheek!  It was definitely a highlight for me!”

Thank you for reading and letting us share our heart for the orphans…what the world deems as broken is made beautiful by sharing Him and loving on these kids!  What a privilege it is to be part of their story!

P.S.  We are still taking “Orphan Sponsorships” to cover camp + kid costs!  If you would like to take part and see more lives changed like this past week at Yantai visit this link >http://bring-me-hope.myshopify.com/products/sponsor-an-orphan

For The Kids!

Bring Me Hope Foundation

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Encourage CongCong

We received this and thought we could share an update about Cong Cong.  For anyone who does not know, Cong Cong is a friend of one our China side Bring Me Hope helpers, Kobe.  He has been struggling with major health problems and needs to be lifted up.  Some volunteers have done some fundraising in the past and we are still hoping to raise money for him now.  He is in dire need of a Bone Marrow transplant.  If any of you know of medical personnel or have connections medically, please let us know.

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“About a year and a half ago, I learned about CongCong and his story and situation and my heart immediately went out to him. I was amazed at how much this life has gone through in being an orphan and now suffering with leukemia. He became a believing brother and needs love, support, and encouragement from his brothers and sisters all over the world. The university students gathered together to start and encouragement QQ group in which CongCong can talk to us anytime for encouragement, support, or just to talk…the students also have sent him many letter, cards, and a care package. I promised him that sometime this year I would visit him in Xian…so here I am :~).

I arrived to Xian on Saturday, and am SO thankful that HE provided the finances and this opportunity to visit CongCong. The timing couldn’t be any more perfect as Kobe just finished the school semester and is free, CongCong needs some encouragement more than ever as he going through another round of chemo and the next step is to receive a bone marrow transplant. On Saturday evening, Kobe and I went to visit him in the hospital and CongCong was nothing but smiles as we just sat there and talked…a friend from Qingdao that is also in the area visiting brought homemade cookies and he tried them and loved them. CongCong is a very ordinary guy who enjoys and is thankful for the simple things in life…it is very clear that he may only a couple friends that take the time to visit him…I hope that through being here, I can find some others who will go spend some time with him regularly.

Sunday morning, Kobe and I went to have some time of pr@yers and study with him. I was able to share what HE laid on my heart about running the race in H@brews 12 and also about how we need to see HIM first M@tthew 6. As we shared, there was a father/daughter also in the room and they were listening to us attentively…come to find out they are believers too so we were all able to talk together and how cool that HE arranged a believing family to be in the same room as CongCong…I think now that both know each other are believers that they can talk and encourage each other more as both are going through so much…Kobe said this is a miracle. Sunday night, we returned to the hospital to take CongCong out for supper and spend the evening together. Sunday, CongCong received a lot of medication through an IV, a blood transfusion as we were studying, and in the evening before supper a platelet transfusion.

My heart was burdened to do something REAL special for CongCong while I am Xian…knowing that CongCong is weak, I wanted to do something simple, but out of the ordinary and so I booked a standard room at a hotel located in the tallest building in Xian because I thought that it would be a place of comfort and rest, something special, and also if he wants to rest…he can…eat…swim, etc. Well, HE has his ways of arranging things even better than our plans…I sent an e-mail to the hotel and they are on board to make this “treat” as special as they can. I have tears in my eyes as I write this because I just know that HE loves this special brother, CongCong, and wants to wrap his arms around him in encouragement…and use us and others in Xian to do it. The hotel has upgraded our room to an executive suite on the 2nd from the top floor with access to a private lounge where we can get unlimited food anytime we want. They also want to throw a party for CongCong on Tuesday evening and said that I could invite whoever I want and if I know any of CongCong’s friends…they can come. Because I told them that CongCong has an interest in food and cooking, the French chef is going to do a private cooking class on Wednesday so he can learn to cook an Italian and French dish and the chef is also making a special cake for the party. I’ve received e-mails and phone calls from the GM, who is from Germany, his assistant, and the French chef…all saying they want to help as much as they can and that we can count on them making these days the best days of CongCong’s life…unbelievable…thank be to HIM! Finances are limited, but HE provided this special treat more than anything that I could do or arrange…wow!

PLEASE PR@Y!

CongCong is now in the hospital…and we just talked to the doctor on the phone about him being able to leave for a couple days. CongCong has to have strength and a certain level of something concerning his blood so that he can leave…I know that HE has arranged these special things and just want CongCong to enjoy them as much as he can…I know that powers all around the world can make a difference…so please, please, please PR@Y…that tomorrow, we can pick him up and that this “treat” will give CongCong and extra boost and that he will feel HIS love more than ever!

Thank you in advance for pr@ying and I’ll keep you posted on how things go. I wanted to send this e-mail as I have a busy day ahead…going now to pick out a new outfit for us to give CongCong (with money given from a USA brother), meet some friends from college, tour a little bit, visit CongCong, and prepare for the activities tomorrow.

HE is SOOO good!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!”