Category Archives: Radiant Love

Check out charity organizations we have supported in past months!

Radiant Love Supports….Living Water International (May ’09)

Living Water International is an organization dedicated to providing clean and safe water to people around the world.

LWI is an implementer of participatory, community-based water solutions in developing nations. In its 18-year history, LWI has completed nearly 7,000 community water projects in 26 countries, which provide safe, clean water to 9.5 million people every day.

It all began in 1990, when a group from Houston, Texas traveled to Kenya and saw the desperate need for clean drinking water. They returned to Houston and founded a 501(c)3 non-profit. The fledgling organization equipped and trained a team of Kenyan drillers, and LWI Kenya began operations the next year under the direction of a national board.

That pattern continues today in LWI’s 26 countries of operation; LWI trains, consults, and equips, empowering local people to implement solutions in their own countries.

Remembering the life-changing nature of that first trip in 1990, LWI also leads hundreds of volunteers on trips each year, working with local communities, under the leadership of nationals, to implement water projects. It’s hard to know which lives are changed more—those “serving” or those “being served.”

LWI’s world-class training programs in shallow well drilling, pump repair, and hygiene education have equipped thousands of volunteers and professionals in the basics of integrated water solutions since 1997.

For more information visit their website:
www.water.cc

Radiant Love Honors Kiara, Andy, and family

Do you ever see those people who just make you think, “wow, they deserve some kind of reward”.  Well, we do.  That’s why we accept nominations (from anyone!) for our once a month, Radiant Love Honors award!  This award is for anyone you know who is showing Radiant Love to the community around them.


Kiara and Andy were nominated by Kiara’s brother and sister-in-law for the love they show to the abuse victims they work with and to the children they open up their home to. Click to see all the photos from Kiara and Andy’s free family photo session.  Here’s their story (and of course photos to go along with it!)….


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1.  Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Our family doesn’t have the option of blending into a crowd, and we have come to see that as a blessing. God has taken us down a road less traveled as we grow our family, and that has provided many opportunities to bring glory to Him and serve Him in our daily life. What a privilege!


Andy is a licensed architect. His eye for design, creativity, and ability to imagine a project from start to finish makes him a natural in the field. Andy has been unemployed since November, and although that has been challenging for us, God never ceases to amaze us through the ways He provides.


I  (Kiara) am blessed to be a stay-at-home mom right now, and find that I thrive on the flexibility in my schedule, even if the demands of raising our children, homeschooling, and keeping up with the various ministries God brings our way keeps me very busy!


Lucas is six, and he is enjoying Kindergarten at home. He loves to study bugs, plants, and animals, and would spend the whole day outdoors if we let him! He is a very creative little boy.


Destany is four, and she is our sweet little social butterfly. She loves to work in the sandbox with her brothers, play dress-up, and take her friends on pretend journeys to California.


Keandre, ever the class clown, just turned two. He is out-going and cuddly, and takes life in stride whether we are having a quiet afternoon, or the house is teeming with noisy children. He thinks life is just one big adventure!


Until very recently, we were also fostering two of Keandre’s biological siblings, Niko and Mya. Niko is seven years old, and he lived with us for one year. Mya is four and was here for nine months. They just moved in with their foster-adoptive family, and we are very thankful that they will continue to be a part of our lives.



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2. Please share a few of your favorite ways to show Radiant love to the people and community around you.

We love children, and I suppose there is a side of us that must like chaos, too. We seem to have enough of it in our lives, anyway! Life is always an adventure, and usually that adventure includes welcoming extra children into our home.

In the last few months we have had as many as 8 children staying with us, ages 20 months to 7 years old. We are thankful we can be available to care for these little ones, and we love seeing our children learning to share their blessings as well.


Our passion for adoption began long before we were married. I learned early in life that not all children have parents who are able to care for them, and that grew in me a desire to be available as an adoptive parent. Andy, brave man that he is, agreed even before we were married that he was open to wherever God would lead us. Growing our family through adoption does not seem unusual to us. God adopted each of us into His family, and calls us His own. It only feels natural to love in that same way.


We adopted Destany through Christian Family Care Agency when she was just 3 days old, and it was a wonderful, if bittersweet experience. Our hearts broke for Destany’s birthmother, who loves her very much but was not in the position to parent her. We have been very thankful for the opportunity to maintain contact with her, and she and her two sons have become our extended family and a special part of our lives.


After we adopted Destany, we felt the need to connect with other adoptive families. This led us to start a local group for adoptive and foster families, called Arizona Transracial Adoptive Families. Over 130 local families are involved, all who have adopted their children domestically, from Haiti, or from various parts of Africa. We love to sit back and watch the children run and play together, relaxing in the knowledge that in this community they will never feel alone in their life experiences.


Another passion of ours is abuse recovery ministry. I had some very difficult experiences as a young teen that propelled me into a dark and painful time in life. When I was 17, one of my abusers was arrested and I had the opportunity to begin my journey to healing with a wonderful Christian counselor. Through her I learned what God has to say about abuse, betrayal, and brokenness, and it was a relief to know God wants me to come to Him with my pain and anger. Today I am involved with Mending the Soul Ministries, and lead abuse recovery groups for women. It is a blessing to walk alongside women who are courageously facing their painful pasts and discovering hope and healing.

Click to see the rest of the photos from this family portrait session.



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Destany actually took this one of her mom and Keandre.  I held the camera and she pushed the button (so technically she owns this picture!).

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Click to find out more about our Radiant Love program or to nominate someone for a Radiant Love Honor.



And I had to add this pic of Scottie teaching Destany how to use the camera!!  She did a pretty good job too!

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Radiant Love Supports… Christian Family Care Agency (March ’09)

Founded in 1982, Christian Family Care Agency is a private nonprofit, 501(c)(3) social services agency that provides adoption, foster care, and counseling programs focused on meeting the needs of children and families. CFCA’s fundamental belief is that a nurturing family is essential to every child’s success and as a result, hundreds of children who were in crisis situations are now part of loving and caring families.

Christian Family Care Agency offers:

Foster Care
* Providing children with temporary, loving and nurturing homes.
* Helping potential foster parents receive guidance, training, and licensing.

Counseling
* Offering individual, child, and family counseling from trained and licensed Masters-level therapists.
* Providing specialized counseling for children who have been abused and neglected or have suffered other severe childhood trauma.
* Helping women with an unplanned pregnancy think through the choices they face.

Adoption

* Helping prospective adoptive parents find everything they need to know about adoption…how the adoption process works, what open adoption is, educational resources, and more.
* Assisting with matching children and adoptive families.
* Confidential Intermediary – working with adopted individuals to locate their birth family.

Christian Family Care Agency is licensed by the State of Arizona, accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), and has offices in both Phoenix and Tucson ready to serve you. For more information please visit their website at:

http://www.cfcare.org

To find out more about Radiant Love supports click here.

Radiant Love Supports…. The Crisis Pregnancy Centers (Feb. ’09)

The Crisis Pregnancy Centers of Greater Phoenix, Inc. (CPC) was founded in 1982 with the vision of serving the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of women and families who are in crisis because of an unplanned pregnancy.
Since that time, CPC has grown to become one of the largest crisis pregnancy centers in the nation, with five centers in the greater Phoenix area, an influential prevention education program, and has a strong, engaged, and dedicated group of state-wide supporters.
The teens, men, and women served through CPC’s trained support team are offered education regarding pregnancy, abortion facts and risks, and alternatives, to name a few. Clients also receive education about healthy relationships, the risks of sexually transmitted infections (STIs and STDs), and positive, healthy life choices.
CPC is a non-profit organization whose mission is “saving lives and protecting futures.” Their goal is to impact the community by offering programs and services that boldly speak the truth in love while offering choices, support, and hope.

The Crisis Pregnancy Centers of Greater Phoenix, Inc. are happy to provide the following individualized and confidential services either free of charge or at a very low cost:

* Pregnancy verification and viability through ultrasound
* Counseling and education to women and families in crisis as a result of an unplanned pregnancy
* Testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs)
* Counseling for those who test positive for sexually transmitted infections
* Counseling for birth parents and their families who are exploring the option of adoption and   ongoing support for those who choose adoption
* Healing and hope to those who have experienced abortion (abortion recovery counseling)
* Parenting education
* Options education
* Education and counseling regarding healthy relationships and positive life choices
* Referrals to and collaboration with other agencies

CPC’s goal is to present medically accurate and up-to-date information in order to empower men and women to make informed, healthy choices that will serve to save lives and protect futures. CPC is proud to be Phoenix Metro’s number one resource for sexual health services, education, information, and community referrals.

For more information, please contact CPC’s friendly and knowledgeable staff at one of their Arizona centers. www.choicesaz.org/contact_us/locations/ or if out of state visit: www.optionline.org

To find out more about our Radiant Love Supports program click HERE.

Radiant Love Supports…. African Hearts (Jan. ’09)

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As a result of war, the HIV/AIDS virus, and severe poverty; 13% of all children under the age of 18 in Uganda have been orphaned. Once on the streets these children experience significant levels of all kinds of abuse and mistreatment. They are hated and feared by the rest of the community, even though they are only children. African Hearts Community Organization (Afrihco) was founded in 2001 to assist these street children living in Uganda and other children in need.
African Hearts began renting a small garage where they took in 16 street boys and other high-risk kids in the community to provide them with food, shelter, education, and a family. They also began working with 50 high-risk kids in the community to help them through their many challenges in life. This past summer African Hearts opened another home for street kids in Ssenge, a village just outside the city. They took in 11 boys originally and will take in more once these children have been rehabilitated.
African Hearts also works with children who are currently living on the streets through a variety of daily activities. They provide a place to sleep for around 60 of them and work to get all of them to a more permanent home. These 136 children have more than just their physical needs met by African Hearts.

African Hearts Provides:

* Food
* Shelter
* Medicine
* Fees for education
* Good male role models/mentors
* A safe home
* Counseling when needed
* Instrument lessons (so they can play in the band)
* Acrobatics lessons
* Art and craft classes (to help them generate income)
* Teaching responsibility and character through activities (gardening, pets, chores)
* Athletic programs
* Help with family reconciliation

These provisions teach the children life skills that will help them learn how to make money, find their own personal value, and discover their place in the community. These children who once lived in fear and isolation on the streets of Uganda now have an education, skills, a loving family, and self-esteem.
The purpose of African Hearts is to reach out to the hurting children who have been abused, abandoned, and left without hope. It is the goal of African Hearts to bring out the good in each child by helping them become equipped to reach their dreams and become the best person they can.
Our friend, Abby Tracy (pictured), lives in Africa and works with African Hearts. You can read her blog to learn more about what they’re doing in Uganda and about what life there is really like!

http://africa-love.livejournal.com/

To find out more about our Radiant Love Supports program click HERE.