Monday, June 26, 2017

Day 26: Happy about rice and beans

Part of my commitment in taking this challenge is to blog each night, recounting some of my thoughts and experiences over the day, and to typically dedicate each day to either a) some part of the struggle that those facing extreme poverty endure, or b) to those my nonprofit is assisting to break out of the cycle of extreme poverty.

After a long day of attending Parent Orientation at the University of Texas where my son will be attending this fall, I will admit that I don't have much energy left to blog and I'm sure there are some typos or incongruities. However, I would like to try to keep my eyes open just a little longer to share some key thoughts. 

I had to improvise this morning, rushing out the door to get to orientation in Austin, which is a 30-40 minute drive from where I'm staying in Bee Cave with my friends Joe and Hollis Bullard. They have been gracious enough to provide me with shelter and a beautiful kitchen in which to conduct my strange cooking experiments! Thank you Joe and Hollis!

Below you can see my photos and read a few notes about my meals from today, which cost me less than $1 to make. Again, this thought of simple living brings me back to a point I touched on yesterday. If I'm able to make half-way decent meals for around 30 cents each, imagine if I had my own gardens or farmlands to pluck fresh vegetables from, to add to these basic staples I've been using?

And that idea is the work of Peace Gospel and She Has Hope in a nutshell. We are investing your donations into farmland enterprise and supplementing farmland and gardening project produce with the purchase of basic staples in the market, to create nutritious meals for the children we serve. 

I didn't get any more movement on the "heart-chart" today, but I've had over 500 visits to the blog in the past 48 hours, which shows me that people are intrigued, reading, and wanting to know more about why I'm doing this. I have a feeling that we will get a sudden rush of new hearts being sponsored as I move into the final lap!  

We've already filled 30 new hearts since I started the challenge 26 days ago! This is amazing progress, representing about 5,400 meals per month, or almost 65,000 meals being provided annually for vulnerable children in need!

I'm dedicating day 26 to these children at our rural primary school in Uganda, who have very little access to consistent nutrition outside of our school. It is not uncommon for children to go on one meal a day in this village and surrounding areas, especially since the food crisis hit Uganda several months ago and prices of basic ingredients have almost doubled.

You will see large bowls of rice and beans in some of these photos, and with your Western eyes you will think that this is not adequate nutrition. But I can tell you that in the midst of my hunger, and having to ration my beans down to 1/3rd cup per day, their meals look delicious, and copious. And beans and rice are a complete protein containing several key nutrients. Let me just tell you, these kids are happy to be eating rice and beans!

Charitable goal explanation. For those of you just tuning in, I'll recap what I'm trying to achieve with the "Monthly Donor Heart-Chart" and my goal of finding 50 new sponsors for these "hearts" which I like to think of as representing lives being transformed and, ultimately, saved.

Why am I seeking monthly donors? The orphan care, child labor response, and human trafficking response programs we've pioneered at Peace Gospel and She Has Hope— while sustained in part by small business enterprise— need charitable support to be fully sustained. The budgets of these programs have fixed, monthly expenses. Thus, while one-time donations are deeply appreciated, it's the monthly donations that give us something to count on and plan with. Therefore, long-term, they're the most powerful.

If you're willing to make a small monthly sacrifice of any amount to help ensure that the following merciful actions are fully funded each month, I would be grateful for your partnership with me in this effort. With your help, our monthly budget enables us to…
  • Provide resident care for 290 orphans in 11 homes in Asia and Africa
  • Operate 4 schools and 4 after-school care programs reaching over 1000 children
  • Serve approx. 50,000 fresh meals to children in our programs
  • Train 100s of girls how to avoid the dangers of human trafficking
  • House, rehabilitate and empower 20 girls recovering from human trafficking

On to what I was able to create with just $1 worth of food today. This morning was really rushed and I barely had time to make breakfast and lunch, so I only used very basic ingredients. This left me with a surplus of rations for a relative feast at dinner time!

Click or tap on image to enlarge...




Take Action!

1) Please consider helping me reach my goal to find 50 new "Sustainers"— donors willing to give a small amount each month toward our work helping vulnerable children and trafficking survivors. Learn more and sign up here!

2) Please visit my unofficial sponsor, through this link. 7% of your purchases made through the link are given to the work of Peace Gospel's programs helping orphans, at-risk children of the slums, and human trafficking survivors.

3) If you're compelled by my effort here, please share it with friends. One of the main goals is awareness. So if you can help with that, huge.

4) Leave me feedback. Please comment on this post, especially if you have any ideas about what I should try to cook with these ingredients I have available. I love hearing from you! It really helps!

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