Guest Blog: Doing for One.

This week we will hear from a guest blogger who recently visited her 410 Bridge sponsored child in the 410 community of Kaihura, Uganda. Meet Melissa Edge and take some time to read her story…

Would you do it for just one?

I was posed this very question just before I ventured to Uganda a couple months back. It turned out to be the single most important question I carried with me.

50 hours of travel, 10 days without the conveniences of home, I learned just who would be at the center of that very question.

Our faces locked eyes on my very first day back in the community of Kaihura, a place I had fallen in love with the year prior.

She and I were already well acquainted.

I learned she had been waiting for me to arrive.

For the last year, her sweet little face has had a prominent place in my kitchen; I’ve told countless friends over for a meal about her.

Her name is Teddy. We met on my first trip to Uganda, as she beat off every child who dared to pry her hand from mine.

I decided that day to begin sponsoring Teddy through The 410 Bridge Sponsorship Program. (It’s the best $35 I’ve spent every month ever sense.)

This trip, Teddy was part of the children’s choir who welcomed us to the community. Mind you, she performed to her own little beat all by herself (every video I took proved it); I was beaming, “That’s my girl.”

She came over after the performance. I knelt down to meet her eye to eye. The look on her face was just priceless.

Later in the week, The 410 Bridge set aside a morning for me to hang out with Teddy at her school. She attends a primary school with over 100 kids in a single school room the size of a small American classroom. With one teacher to that many students, I can only imagine how hard it is to receive much individualized attention.

Her teacher announced to the class, “Today is Teddy’s day, her sponsor is here to visit her.” To be singled out like that, what a special moment for this precious 7 year old.

She grabbed my hand and looked up at me. She was beaming.

Joy, pure joy. Unforgettable joy.

We sat and colored; we played tic tac toe. We took lots of selfies on my phone (her classmates joined in too.) I brought her a picture book to keep of photos of us and photos of my family. She loved the picture of my dog Ralphy the best, of course. She pointed and laughed and laughed.

These were simple moments, yet so very profound.

Before I left, I reminded her that she was dearly loved by the God of the Universe who delighted greatly in her. I told her how special and beautiful she was to me, but more importantly to Jesus.

I left nothing unsaid.

Sure, she’s only 7 but I’ve learned over time that it’s never too early to remind girls of their invaluable worth. I wanted to make the most of this precious time. Honestly, I wanted to freeze frame it.

Would you do it for just one?

My trip back to Uganda had so many significant moments, it was jam-packed with them. But strip all that away and leave me with Teddy in a red-dirt school yard, and I would tell you over and over again that the joy on her face was worth the entire trip across the world.

And many more trips to come.

One.

The power of doing for one.

Sure, there are noble opportunities to impact more than one, to influence many, to serve the masses. Yet, we just never know who or what hangs in the balance of just one. I don’t want to miss the one.

Thank you, Melissa, for serving and loving Teddy! As stated in 1 Peter 4:10, we do believe that faithfully serving begins with “Each One”.

Because of our many Child Sponsors, we are able to continue providing education, care and discipleship programs to thousands of children in 410 Bridge communities. If you are interested in sharing your story, email us at marcom@410bridge.org.

Did You Know?
Currently, we have a significant need in communities across Kenya for children who have been accepted to secondary school (like boarding school in the United States). For only $39 per month, you can directly empower a child through sponsorship, and receive the rewards of a beautiful God-designed relationship. For details, visit 410bridge.org/secondaryschool or click here to get started.

 

A faithful servant.

Today, we are thanking God for His fruit of faithfulness, for we have certainly seen it lived out in a dear servant of 410 Bridge, Abraham Mugutu.

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For more than five years, Abraham has faithfully served in leading 410 Bridge U.S. teams on the ground in many of our Kenyan communities. His love for God and His people is immeasurable. While we know the Lord is leading Abraham to a new season of servanthood, we will miss him dearly.

We are forever grateful for Abraham’s heart, fun-loving spirit and faithfulness to serve the Lord with all his heart, mind and soul. Please join us in praying our friend is continually blessed by God’s abundant grace.

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“Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for Himself…” [Psalm 4:3a]

In the presence of Jesus

angie

Today we pause to honor and celebrate the life of a dear friend of The 410 Bridge and Canopy Life Academy, Angie Bevilacqua.  Angie went home to be with the Lord this past weekend, and our hearts and prayers go out to all of her family and friends. She will be dearly missed by everyone one who knew her on both sides of “the bridge.”

Angie has impacted countless people here and in Kenya and Haiti through her faithful service and her love for others and for Christ. Everyone who had the honor of knowing Angie was influenced by her joy, passion, and strength, and so many lives are richer because of the investment she made in them. She leaves us with a beautiful and inspiring legacy through the life she lived serving others and her Savior.

We celebrate Angie’s life today and that she is now with her Savior and in the presence of Jesus.

2014: Goodness and Glory.

As we live fully this last day of 2014, we reflect on all that God has done and we lean in to a new year of blessings, believing HE will continue to do great things.

Yes, we have seen God’s faithfulness through the work of The 410 Bridge for nearly ten years now, and the more time passes, the more we are continuously awed at these accomplishments that can only be credited to Him.

You, our faithful friends and partners of 410, have played an integral part in this work too. We are thankful. Together, we are creating indigenously sustainable and measurable results in some of the poorest communities in the world.

Today, we ask for your continued prayers and generosity in giving as we cross the bridge into 2015 with gladness in our hearts.

“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him…” [1 Chronicles 16:29]

Your continued help, combined with the vision that God has given to us, is transforming nations, one community at a time. We look forward to 2015 and believe the best is yet to come!

Happy New Year, friends!

Give a year-end gift: 410bridge.org/donate
(gifts $1,000 or greater will be matched. Checks dated Dec. 31, 2014 may be paid to The 410 Bridge and mailed to 35 Old Canton Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009)

 

 

In everything, we give thanks.

It has been said that life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. The season brings a richer sense of expectation, and we feel ourselves leaning into the last three months of 2014 with great anticipation of all that is to come.

Perhaps what makes this seasonal transition so unique is that we have experienced more than half of a year and can look back long enough to see all that God has done in our lives, and still bring into greater focus the determination needed to finish the year strong.

As ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ comes rushing in, we want to continue leaning into all that God is doing, and pause long enough to express gratitude for our friends, communities and partners who walk alongside us on our journey at 410.

We reflect.
We renew.
We remember God’s goodness.
We continue giving thanks in all things and in all circumstances.
We expect the best is yet to come.

In all of this, we want to refresh your memory on last year’s Christmas livestock gifts you donated to 410 Bridge communities. This program continues to impact the lives of many in a life-giving, sustainable way. We are so grateful for how you generously gave and empowered people in Kenya, Haiti and Uganda to tangibly see God’s provision, and continue sharing it with others in their community. It is a privilege to witness their praises to God, and we believe you are remembered in their prayers of thanksgiving.

With great hope, we look forward to sharing more ways you can impact these communities and help create lasting life change through our upcoming Christmas programs.

We invite you to take a look at this 2-minute video update to see the difference being made…

Watch on 410 Bridge YouTube Channel: Livestock Distribution Update

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” [Colossians 3:15]

We are excited for what lies ahead… please stay tuned!

God Bless the U.S.A.!

Today, we celebrated our friend and colleague Shem Odhiambo receiving his U.S. Citizenship, after living nearly six years in Georgia. Shem currently serves at The 410 Bridge home office in Alpharetta as our accountant. A native of Kenya, East Africa, he not only plays a significant part in handling the organization’s finances, but his insight into life in Kenya is invaluable! We are so happy for him and are thankful for his friendly presence and fun-loving spirit around the office.

We celebrated with all things red, white and blue, and even had some sparklers on hand for the festive occasion! Shem was proud to wave his American flag, place his hand over his heart and remind us of our country’s rich heritage.

Shem waving his American flag!