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Meet Spark Ventures

I didn’t get my first passport until I was 31. A few years later, I’ve collected a small handful of stamps; this is partly due to Spark Ventures. I learned about Spark during the application process for a short term missions trip to Zambia. Since then, I’ve served on two of Spark’s Transformation Trips (in conjunction with North Park University’s Global Partnerships Program). While I’m in the States, I continue to support the work of Spark and Hope Ministries by volunteering my time, talents and money. I made a special $50 “Lent” donation to Spark (read why here) that will Read More

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Blogging for the greater good (or What I’m Doing For Lent)

This year, I wanted to do something different for Lent, something more impactful and meaningful. I decided to put my money where my mouth is…literally. There are seven weeks in the Lenten season (including the week of Ash Wednesday), this equals a total of 46 days. I decided to pick a different charity for each week and donate $50 (46 rounded up). Every Friday, I will post information about the organization for the week,┬áincluding an interview with a representative (founder, CEO, staff member, etc.). Though $50 is not much, I’m hoping to do two things: 1.) lead by example and Read More

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Show your love!

I’ve seen a couple of articles over the past week that suggest including charities as recipients of the excessive amount of money that will be spent in celebration of Valentine’s Day. You’ll never hear me arguing efforts to raise money for charitable organizations, so… Should you find yourself in the giving mood, here are a few organizations to consider showing your love to: Organizations that serve children/families: Spark Ventures, One Heartland, Caroline Wambui Mungai Foundation Arts Organizations: Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, Chicago Music Association

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Zambia: How it all started

This weekend, I’ve decided to share some old Facebook notes that I wrote about my first trip to Zambia in 2009. Today’s repost is a collection of excerpts from my journal: – – – Africa, Zambia, My Home: Journal excerpts… Tuesday, May 12, 2009; 8:27 a.m. (Zambia) So we’re here…and it is quite amazing…to see so many people who look like me…to wonder if THIS is where I’m from…wanting to just run up to people and hug them because I am HOME. Thursday, May 14, 2009; 11:36 p.m. (Zambia) I feel like somehow…when my feet touched African soil, my ancestors Read More

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Dealing with disappointment…

Warning: This post is purposely not “polished.” It’s a peek into my brain as I process through this situation…I chose this way because I hope that my transparency and willingness to be “raw” will help someone else who may be dealing with disappointment. So, here’s another peek into the way my mind operates. Fasten your seat belts, and please keep your arms inside the ride at all times… One evening, in the mid-nineties, while at my college’s gospel choir rehearsal, I had a thought…a little inkling of a thought that maybe one day I might be some sort of missionary. Read More

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It’s a new year!

Happy New Year! Since childhood, my family’s New Year’s Day dinner has included black-eyed peas and greens. Many of you probably know the history behind this tradition, so I won’t go into that. Today, I’m thinking about how my experiences from the past few years are shaping this tradition for 2011. I will still be preparing black-eyed peas, greens and cornbread. However, this year, I will also prepare a small serving of nshima. Nshima (pronounced “shee-ma”) is usually made from maize and is a staple dish in Zambia. It is similar to West African fufu and Kenyan ugali. I was Read More