Friday, May 09, 2008

OK, MY FAMILY NEEDS YOUR HELP.

Alright blog readers. The static gurus say that about 380ish people hit this blog up every week for a quick read, usually clicking around for less than 2 minutes before bouncing onto other things in your internet world. But I'm calling on you for help now.

Perhaps you are a friend from my old youth ministry or my current one. You might be family. You might even be a coworker in ministry somewhere around the world. You could be a friend who just loves to see my latest family picture collages. Or maybe you are just a stranger who landed here by mistake and you love this amazing blog so much that you keep coming back to find out what will happen next in my crazy family life.

But regardless of who you are, if this blog is making a difference in your life through what your read or if you just enjoy watching my family and adventures through the internet: I NEED YOUR HELP. So hook a brother up and please read the whole post you skimmers!!

HERE GOES:

If you regularly read this blog, the you know that this last January marked the beginning of a new phase in my family's world when my sister and her family moved to Uganda for a 2-3 year missions trip with an organization called EMI. As a result, we decided that one of the big ways we could support them was to bring our family to visit and encourage and serve with them. So we decided several months back to go this summer.

But since I work everyday as a youth pastor, it just didn’t seem to make any sense to go all the way to Africa and not take some of my students to experience this kind of life-changing opportunity. So long story short, from July 12-25th 2008 all five of the Berry’s, 11 high school students, and 4 adults will be going to Jinja, Uganda to serve the poor. We will be working with the first and largest orphanage (Welcome Home) for children ages birth to 6 years of age in this city.

Their mission is two fold:
  • Physically, they exist to care for the children of Uganda who are orphans, sick, dying, abused, abandoned, or neglected who have no chance of survival without intervention. The cool thing is, they even help families start local businesses so they can be self-sustaining and feed the children whom they really try to return to their families. They are not just putting a band aid on poverty, they are trying to solve it all together and they are making great progress in this community. Also, they will pay for the medical expenses of any child from their program all the way up to the age of 12, even after they've been returned to their family- so no child dies due to an inability to pay for medical expenses. So cool.
  • Spiritually, they desire to provide a loving life-giving environment to give each child a healthy secure foundation for life teaching them God’s love for them. They also partner with local churches and God is making a difference in and through them.
It is going to be a great privilege to learn from and partner with an organization that works hand in hand to change the world, one child and family at a time. Here's what our family and team will be doing while we are there:
  • Helping with some basic building maintenance and cleaning.
  • Help care for, play with, and encourage the nearly 60 children and almost that many local staff as well that call this their home and ministry.
  • Help with teaching these young lives a spiritual foundation through crafts and stories from the Bible along with the aide of a local church.
  • Travel into the surrounding villages and communities to help the orphanage increase its influence and presence in the community as a positive place for children and families in need.
  • Take over much needed supplies for the everyday operations of the orphanage too.
This will be a life changing chance for those on this trip, many of whom (including our own children) are young enough that it could shape the very way they view the world and even how they choose to one day live their adult lives. We sure hope so.

Finally, after we send the high school team back to the U.S. with our adult team members, our family will be staying for another 10 days to visit with Brian’s parents and the Crawfords in Kampala, Uganda as we experience this new life together. (We will even do a 3 day safari grandma and grandpa are sponsoring in murchison falls!) Oh, and we are stoked to be able to take our kids in early August to a village where we sponsor Geofrey, a child with World Vision. How cool will that be for our kids to meet a child we pray for and send money to regularly, half way around the world. I think that alone will change their young lives for forever.

In order to do this missions trip , we are deep in the process of raising our portion of the support for this team, which is $4000 per team member. (ONLY THE ORPHANAGE MISSIONS PORTION. The stuff in the paragraph above is being covered by our family and is NOT included in this cost. The only cross over expense is the obvious fact that we are saving airfaire by not flying over once to be with family and a second time to be with a team from our student ministries.) Anyway, you read that right. It’s about a 20 grand investment for our part as a family and ministry. Holy Moley.

So, as is the tradition of many a Christian through the centuries, we are sending letters to seek the support of friends and family and in our current technology world, I'm blogging about it.

We are also doing various side jobs and providing several services around our community, selling a bunch of stuff in garage sales, and even our family is doing some intense door to door community recycling to create added income with our boys. It all adds up to result in a life changing opportunity for our team, our family, and those we will be serving in Uganda this summer.

SO, THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN!

If you want to pray it up for us, you can keep checking this blog for updates and this one we created just for that purpose. That would be extremely appreciated and really helpful. I'm a HUGE fan of your prayer support. So please add our whole team to your prayer life.

Also, you can contribute a tax deductible donation to our team on our behalf as a sign of how deeply this blog makes your life so much better :). (380 readers could really add up fast you know) Seriously, we'll send you a thank you letter and a picture from us in Uganda after the trip and you'd be helping us change the world, one kid at a time.

So, if you feel so able, send a check in any amount made out to Journey Community Church (just write Uganda in the memo section. No need to put my name there). Then send it to the following address. We'll record it, thank God for it, and send you a receipt after our trip. Make sure your name and address so I can send you some love.
  • Journey Community Church.
  • c/o Brian Berry (UGANDA FUND)
  • 8363 Center Drive, Suite 6c.
  • La Mesa, Ca. 91942
I WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL TO YOU FOR HELPING US CHANGE THE LIVES OF OUR KIDS, OUR TEAM, AND PEOPLE A CONTINENT AWAY.

blogging for Jesus and trying to change the world with my family,

Brian C. Berry

2 comments:

Maybe I'm Amazed,  4:45 PM  

Brian,
We are participating in the childcare event this evening, and other than the cash for that, I don't have any extra flow to flow you. However, I do have something of value that you may be able to sell on ebay or Craig's list. I have 4 2006 Nissan Altima 17" Alloy Rims -nearly new in mint condition. When we bought our car in March 2007, we immediately had custom rims put on the car and I was told to ask for the original factory alloy rims be returned to us, since 1) they were included in the price of the car, and 2) they are worth about $100 each - that's $400 bucks for the set. They've been sitting in my garage on the shelf in a protective bag for over a year. I just checked ebay and a set of 4 rims is going for $429 click this link to see: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/17-7-Hyper-Nissan-Altima-Maxima-300-z-2006-wheels_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ43957QQihZ019QQitemZ290229283055QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW
Obviously, we've been too lazy to sell them ourselves. Mike and I would happily donate them to you towards your fundraising efforts if you want them to sell, in exchange for the tax writeoff and photo from the mission trip. You can email me through blogger or let me know through blogger and I will provide you with my phone number if you want the rims. I live just around the block from you, so you can pick them up any time. Also, if you want some additional fundraiser ideas, here's a few: pancake breakfast; Churchwide garage parking lot sale; The Rubio's or cookie dough fundraisers. Let me know if you want the rims, and good luck with your fundraising efforts. Many Blessings to you.

brian c. berry 2:52 PM  

thanks. I tried to contact you through your blog but it was not working or something. Just e-mail me at brian@journeycom.org and we can talk details. I'd be happy to sell your rims on craigslist.

As for the other ideas, I appreciate them. Some we have ruled out as something Journey doesn't do. Some we don't have the manpower to pull off. But we'll see. Thanks.

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San Diego, CA
Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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