Category Archives: Missions
Journey to the ‘far side of the sea’
In September, a team of women from my church Cornerstone Church of Moorpark, (Tamara Kirby, Meagan Jones, Heather Peloquin and Adrienne Sarkisian) will be going on a fourteen-day missionary trip to the Literacy Mission Center in Southern India.
• More than 1 billion people live in India and about 38% of them cannot read or write.
• 600 million people exist in deep poverty, living on less than $1.45 a day.
• 10 million people in India have Aids, and the numbers are rising rapidly.
The purpose of their trip will be to strengthen and encourage the LMC’s nine churches and literacy centers, and their surrounding villages.
One goal will be to equip the church in Paradarami with sewing machines, fabric and supplies to launch a Tailoring Ministry that will provide a vocational opportunity for the people in their village.
Another major focus will be on funding and executing a Medical Camp at which local doctors will donate their time and skills to bring relief to the severely impoverished. Working alongside the doctors, the women and the LMC pastors will build relationships with the villagers sharing with them the purpose of the Literacy Mission Center.
India is the world’s largest Hindu nation, the 2nd largest Muslim nation and officially, only 3 percent are Christian. In addition to the service-oriented evangelism mentioned above, the team will be inviting the villagers to a Sunday service where they will hear about the hope, forgiveness and freedom that is found in Jesus alone.
How you can help:
1. Pray for God’s faithful provision.
2. Click “like” on Josie Dovidio, DDS’s Facebook Page. (For every “like” posted in the month of July, Dr. Dovidio will make a small donation toward the trip.)
3. If you already “like” us on Facebook and are a current patient, you can go to Google, Yelp, Yahoo or any other site of your choice to leave a review for Dr. Josie. Forward that review to email@example.com and Dr. Dovidio will make a larger donation to the trip on your behalf.
4. Contact Todd Tucker, Administrative Pastor of Cornerstone Church of Moorpark, firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-553-9929 to ask how you can give a tax-deductible donation.
The past week has been more difficult than I expected it to be. Both Bonnie and I have seemed to struggle with resuming life as usual. We’re not sure life will ever be the same after what we’ve seen.
We notice how much we (us Americans) are distracted by “things” and not focused on people or our relationships with them. We seem to be in such a hurry. Perhaps that is what makes life go by so fast.
We seem to have our priorities out of balance. What are we choosing to spend our money on? Is it more important than using that money to educate a child and give them a chance at life?
Bonnie and I miss the lingering handshake that is customary in Uganda. We miss the way Ugandans speak without contractions. It’s not “You’re welcome”, it’s “You are welcome” – and it is charming and endearing.
We miss our team, all very diverse people, personalities, backgrounds, economic statuses and ages. But all people who easily got along with everyone out of love and compassion for humanity.
While we don’t know if we will every return to Uganda, one thing is for sure. Uganda will forever remain in us. I pray that we will never resume to life as usual, at least not mentally or spiritually. For we can’t effect change in our communities if we don’t have another perspective to consider.
If you have ever had the inkling to travel abroad or participate in some kind of humanitarian effort, I strongly encourage you to do it. With all that has gone on in Haiti and Chile, the opportunities are not scarce. It is worth every vaccine, all the paperwork and travel arrangements. It is worth making arrangements for your children and household. It is worth the mental calesthenics of packing creatively.
What makes it worth it? The smile of relief and appreciation on the face of the person whose needs you have met. And that, is priceless.
Out of Africa
March 7th still…. (with the time change, etc)
When we flew out of intense humidity and heat in Africa, we were looking forward to the rumoured snow and cool weather of London.
After an uneventful and quick 8 hour flight (thanks to the makers of Benadryl), we landed in London and were met by a shocking cold. We marveled at how different weather can be from locale to locale. All of us Americans were looking forward to a Starbucks at the international terminal so we were disappointed to see that it was closed for remodeling or repairs. We went to Pret’s instead and had coffee and chocolate crossaints. They were AWESOME!
We all visted in the terminal waiting for our connecting flights. Some were L.A. bound, some Oregon and Colorado. Time seemed to fly by and next thing you know, it was time to board our respective flights. We made a huge circle holding hands and prayed and thanked God for the people he brought together and the incredible experiences He allowed us to share. A lot of hugs, a few tears and exchanges of emails later, we boarded our flights.
I spent the better part of the 10 hour flight back with the head of the inconsiderate man sitting in front of me on my lap. Once, he forcefully pushed his back seat back even further, so I said to him, “Sir, you are too far back, please!” He said something about me bumping into him every 5 minutes. I told him it was impossible because I’ve had to lay sideways in order to have room for my legs (which are not very long!).
The longer I sat there, the more ways of telling him off I came up with in my head. So I decided, it would probably be better for me to move to another seat. Luckily it wasn’t a full flight.
People, my appeal to you is – if you go on a flight, whether it is long or short, remember there is a person behind you with limited space. Don’t make it worse by forcing your seat to recline horizontally. If you want to lay flat, spend the money and fly first class. And if the person behind you bumps into you a few times, it’s because there is limited space to move around in. They are not intentionally trying to make you insane. Thank you!
Once we landed at LAX, the 4 of us (Bonnie, Me, Eric and Tim) were thrilled to be home. We all found our bags and also saw Sharon Osbourne at our baggage claim. Appearantly, she was on our flight from London. Customs was a breeze although the line was long.
Then we made our way up the ramp and were met by our families, smiles, welcome home signs, hugs and kisses. The boys both looked bigger but Joey has noticeably changed a lot in the last 2 weeks. I couldn’t stop hugging and kissing them. It was good to be home.
Once we reached our house, I walked in to more welcome home signs and tulips (my favorite) and hyacinths (I also love those). Then I knelt down and kissed my kitchen floor. Thank you God for giving us this amazing place to live in!
I took a much needed and anticipated shower and then we went out with the Jones’ family for a quick bite to eat. Although, I ended up not eating too much. I looked at my hubby and boys…and was full.
My cup runeth over!