Musings from a promise-collector

Archive for the ‘STEPS’ Category

March 2013 Ministry Update


He is risen! He is risen indeed!

As I contemplate the coming of Good Friday and Easter, I find my mind going back to those very streets of Jerusalem that I walked just a couple of years ago… the path that Jesus took to the cross. And I am overcome by His sacrifice for me… for all of us.

Because of Him, I am part of God’s family (Eph. 1:5) and I get to be a minister of reconciliation for His Kingdom (2 Cor. 5:17)! And in His goodness, He lets me minister to people here in the US as well as those precious little girls in India. I’ve had some exciting things going on in that arena, so make sure to read my little blurb about that.  (more…)

STEPS Christmas Gift Catalog


This is the gift catalog for STEPS Girls’ Home in India that I mentioned in my latest Update. Please consider giving to them this Christmas season. Thank you!

(more…)

November 2012 Ministry Update


‘Tis the season!

Can you believe that Christmas is almost here?? Things have been busy here around the ministry. You can read all about it in the update below, plus I will be posting a Christmas Catalog for STEPS Home. Would you prayerfully consider giving a gift to STEPS this year?

October 2012 Ministry Update


Happy Friday Eve!

I saw on Facebook this morning that my friends in northwest Iowa got snow this morning! While here in TN, I am enjoying 70-something degree weather. Have I mentioned that I love the South??

But more than just living in the South, I love the people that God has put around me here. I have incredibly sweet friends that I get to journey through life with. We get to rejoice with each other during the good times, cry with each other during the tough times, and lift each other up to the Lord during all times. We are in this life together. And our recent small group retreat only created a deeper bond with each other. And we need that – all of us. We all need people to come along side of us, especially during the storms of life.

Speaking of storms… it is monsoon season in India. Check out my update below to see a picture of the STEPS Girls in their rain coats.  (more…)

Monsoon Season


Monsoon season has begun in Chennai, India. Today was the first day in five that it didn’t rain.

Chennai has two monsoon seasons – one in the winter and one in the spring. This monsoon season is just getting started. In October, they get an average of 10 inches of rain, and in November, they get an average of 16 inches of rain each year.

So to stay dry, the girls of STEPS are gearing up for this rainy season.  (more…)

Baby Girl Poisoned by Father in Bangalore, Dies


This is why STEPS Home in India exists. To save baby girls from things such as this….

From the Hindustan Times
Bangalore, August 21, 2012

A 22-day-old baby girl was killed by her father who did not want a girl child. He allegedly fed her donkey’s milk mixed with poison at his in-laws home in the city outskirts. The incident took place in Adi Hosahalli village, near Nelamangala in Bangalore rural district, which is 40 km away from in Bangalore.

The accused has been identified as Nandeesh Gowda, 23, a native of Shira Gate in Tumkur district. He works as a mechanic in Aditya Motors in Tumkur and he was married to Savitha Gowda last year October and the baby was born on July 28.

According to the police, the incident took place around 9.30 am on Sunday when he came alone to see his family with the milk and a traditional cup.

He convinced his wife that it was donkey’s milk, which is supposed to be good. Believing her husband, Savitha fed a little quantity of the milk to the baby.

Nandish, however, forced Savitha to drink the rest of the milk and when she refused to drink, he slapped her and fled the scene.  (more…)

How To Survive Really Long Flights


I’ve flown quite a bit… most recently to India and Israel. Those are no short trips, either! Flying to India (from Tennessee) usually involves 4 airports, 3 flights, 10.5 time zones, and just under 30 hours of travel time from start to finish. Those trips make me really appreciate in-country flights!

From the traveling I’ve done, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks that help out on those overseas flights. Obviously, you will probably end up talking to someone sitting near you for a while, but you can only talk for so much of an 8+ hour flight. So here is what I do to keep my sanity on those lengthy flights:

1. Happy Snacks. Never underestimate the power of a little snack on a long trip. Sure, they feed you some on the planes, but the food doesn’t always smell good (or taste good!), or you’re stuck in an airport for 5 hours… or let’s face it, you can feel your blood sugar dropping and your mood right along with it. I find if I am starting to feel crabby for no reason whatsoever, a Happy Snack fixes that quickly. This is also great when you are in a foreign country and just need something familiar in your tummy. Some of my favorite things to take in my Happy Snack stash include:

  • Fruit Leathers
  • Trail Mix
  • Granola Bars
  • Licorice or some other type of candy

(Hint: Target has some really great fruit leathers and trail mix – lots of great flavors and variety. That’s where I go to get mine… like this bag of trail mix.)  (more…)

Baby girl’s killing reveals India’s crisis of gender bias


I read this article this morning in The National. I’m not sure that it “reveals” the bias though because articles have been published on similar stories for some time now. However, the awareness of what is going on in India has been slow to get out to the rest of the world.

NEW DELHI // A three-month-old baby girl who police say was battered by her father because he wanted a son died yesterday, highlighting the plight of millions of India’s “unwanted girls”.

Neha Afreen died from cardiac arrest at a state-run hospital in Bangalore after battling for life for three days.  (more…)

STEPS Girls Singing in Church


This past weekend, the girls of STEPS sang in their church. The youngest are not singing, but you will see fifteen of them here in their matching dresses. Aren’t they just too precious?

And I love they song they sing about Jesus redeeming them, because He truly has redeemed these girls from a life of no hope. Because of STEPS they have hope of a better life. They are safe, secure, and loved. They are truly blessed little girls!

Psalm 8:2 – From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise!

Great job girls!

Enjoy!  (more…)

September 2012 Ministry Update


Happy Fall!

I love this time of year! I got to go home for a short weekend and the leaves in IL are already beginning to change. And our horseback ride took us through some half-harvested corn fields. It definitely feels like fall there! Here in TN it is still in the 70s everyday (thankfully!), and the leaves won’t begin changing for a few weeks yet. But soon the mountains will display God’s handiwork as the trees begin to change colors. It is truly a wonderful time to live in the mountains.

STEPS has been growing in the last few weeks – meet the new girls in my update.  (more…)

Day 14, India Summer 2012 – The Last Day & Mehndi


The following is excerpts from my journal from my most recent trip to see the girls of STEPS Home in India. 

August 5 –

Sunday, our last day. How time flew by! We went to church and I wore my new sari from Faith. Church was two hours long today, per the norm. When the started serving communion at the end, we had to sneak out since Isaac had to at a memorial service.

On the way home, we drove through a cemetery because Tarun wanted to see the grave marker for their cousin (the one we were going to the one-year memorial service for). Cemeteries are an odd thing to see in India, since Hindus burn the deceased on a funeral pyre. We saw where Isaac’s cousin was buried, not far from where his parents were buried.

We stopped by the house to pick up everyone else, then headed to the memorial service. I thought the concept was a really neat one. A year after a loved one has passed away, a service is held where the family members come together to honor their loved one. After sharing some memories and a short message from the Bible, the family gathered for a meal.   (more…)

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