Why Do We Do What We Do???????

Photo by Laurie Hanson Thompson 2005
Psalm 139:13-14 NASB
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You,
 for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
A group of ladies from Baker Heights put Birthing Kits together to send to Zambia for the 2014 Medical Mission. 
Some people ask, “Why don’t you put this and that in? Why? Why? 
It is hard to comprehend the poverty that the majority of Zambian people live in. How do we as Americans comprehend  what it must look like for 80% of Zambian people to live on $2.00 a day or less?  A lot of Zambians do not even have that $2.00. Their survival depends on what they can garner from the earth.
Copyright by Shelia Holmes
For most Americans it is impossible to understand that the clothes on some Zambians back maybe the only clothes they own. When one looks at their feet, they are often bare.                                     
How do we as Americans understand that the field mice they catch may be the only food they and their family have for the day?
Copyright by Shelia Holmes

How do we really realize that a lot of the water they have to drink and cook with is the same water they bathe in, wash clothes, cook with, animals drink from, and they carry on their heads for miles to get it to their village?

Most Americans just do not have a knowledge base to understand.  

The first time I went to Zambia I was so overwhelmed by the extreme and widespread poverty.  Seeing truly is believing. It has changed my perspective.  And I thank God.
Back to the birthing kits.  What good can a piece of plastic, a scalpel, two pieces of string, two pairs of rubber gloves, two anti-bacterial wipes, four gauze, soap, a baby blanket, a tiny baby cap, an HIV/AIDS pamphlet and an Intro lesson the WBS do?
The plastic can provide a clean place for the mother to lie on to birth her baby.  The rubber gloves can keep germs off the baby and out of the mother.  The wipes can clean the birthing site as well as hands. The clean string can be used instead of dirty elephant grass or a dirty rag to tie the cord.  The clean sterile scalpel can be used to cut the cord.
The sterile gauze can clean the baby’s mouth, eyes, ears, etc.
The gauze can help stop some of the bleeding of the mother.  The HIV/AIDS pamphlet can inform them and others about AIDS prevention and the Intro lesson to WBS may very well lead them, as well as others to Christ.
Think about what happens when they do not have these things. They have a dirty birthing site, dirty hands wiping the eyes, mouth, and nose of the baby. They have dirty hands handling the cord and using dirty elephant grass to cut the cord. Possibly they will never learn about AIDS prevention. 
How will they hear if no one teaches them?  Remember the majority of the people in Zambia have no Bible.
Many women have to trek to hospital on foot or go by bike while heavily pregnant.  Some women who live in more remote areas cannot even make it to a health facility in time. These women are frequently forced to give birth at home in unsterile conditions and with little assistance.  
Zambia suffers from an excessively high maternal mortality rate of 591 deaths per 100,000 live births.  More than 50% of Zambian women receive no postnatal care at all. http://blogs.unicef.org.uk/2014/02/18/children-commonwealth-zambia-babies
Why take the time to gather supplies and make the Birthing Kits? Maybe we will get to be a tiny part of some ones precious birth. God knows the unformed substance of these children and He knows the number of their days.  Maybe we will be a tiny part of God’s work in Zambia. Maybe He wants us to have the privilege of helping one of these babies survive so it can grow up to serve him.
Some may have heard the story of Wellington’s birth on the side of the road on the way to the clinic. His mother and grandmother birthed him, wrapped him and carried him on to the clinic. Look what God has done with Wellington. What if he had not survived?
I am reminded that God does not need anything from us.
In Acts 17:24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;
Verses 26-27 sums up why we take the time and trouble to put together a simple Birthing Kit and go to Zambia.
26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;.  
The focus is not on what we are doing, the focus is on what God wants us to do. Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,.
God does not need us to do His work but He blesses us by allowing us to participate in His mighty work. Thanks you God.
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Out of Africa and Back Again.

 I never get used to this sight of a young girl child with 
a baby on her back and a water bucket on her head.
 One of the many buildings we have worshiped in.
A Baptism (the main reason I go)

My heart has been stubborn about being willing  to go to Africa in the summer of 2014. The trip has been planned for three years now but my heart has been hard and has said,”NO, I will not go in 2014.” 
One night as we laid down, I asked my husband if he had thought about going to Africa in 2014.  I fully expected him to say no I do not want to go because I am getting my shoulder replaced.  Instead he said, “I have thought about it.” That really shocked me. He asked me if I had thought about going.  I said, Yes I have thought about it and I do not want to go. You can go without me. He said, “I will not go without you.” So, I said, “Does that mean I have to go?” One reason it shocked me so much is that when he went in 2003 he promised he would never go without me again. I knew that he had made that promise and that he would not break it.  If he goes, that means I will go or he will stay home too.
When he went in 2003 I was as resistant as a spoiled brat child who wanted her way no matter what.  He was asked to go with a group of men so there was no way one lone woman would fit in.  As plans were being made I dug my heels in deep. 
I pouted, cried, got mad, you name it I resisted with all my might. 
Like that spoiled child I said, “I have always wanted to go to Africa.” 
On and On I went as the days and weeks ticked off to the dead line to buy tickets. 
The Sunday before the deadline the lesson at worship was one that was undeniably from God to me.  It also spoke to both of our hearts in a way that we could no longer ignore what had to be done. 
We did not say a word all the way home as our hearts burned like hot coals inside our chests. I almost chocked on my pride and selfishness.
After we had changed from  our “church” clothes into more comfortable clothes, he said to me, “Shelia, I cannot, not go.” My heart burned in my throat. I felt so much shame as I admitted that I was standing in God’s way. I choked the words out of my burning throat, “I know you have to go.”  This had been my thought on the way home as I tried to swallow my pride and selfishness.  I was so ashamed of myself at the realization that I, by my childish behavior, had to admit that I was rebelling against God and not my husband.
We both knew that I could not stand in God’s way any longer. 
We knew that he had to go and do whatever God wanted him to do. I knew that I had to do whatever God wanted me to do and accept what he wanted to teach me.
I do not know why my heart has been stubborn against going to Zambia this summer. I cannot put a finger on the reason. I can only speculate.  This has been a challenging year for us with our adult son who has dealt with a drug addiction for many, many years. This has been and still is a challenging time with my mother-in-law being sick and in and out of the hospital for the last two months. 
On one hand I am so excited to be going back to Africa again, for the fifth time. On the other hand I am feeling a little stressed to think that the trip is so close to being reality. 
I only asked to go one time. I know that if God is truly willing for us to go He will provide the way for my fifth trip to Zambia. Tickets are bought and plans are being made to go in a short time. 
We shall see what the future holds. I am now willing and ready if God is. 
We recently attended the funeral of a 90 year old lady who got into mission work when she was 65 years old. Her grandson read some of from one of her diaries she had kept about her mission work. He said Granny said, “You have to be willing to write a blank check and hand it to God. Let God fill in the amount. You have to be willing to do whatever God wants you to do.” 
Just write the blank check has become mine and my husbands motto. 
We have written a blank check to God about the trip to Zambia in 2104. We will soon know what He requires us to do. We just have to be willing to do it.
Philippians 4:4-9  
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.


What Does Addiction Look Like???????????????

What color is addiction?
What economic class is addiction?
What sex is addiction?
Who is an addict?
Who can identify an addict?
Who can stop an addict?
If you look at this picture of this “happy” family you may never suspect that one of the people in the picture has struggled a long term addiction. You name it and they have shot it in their vain.
You may never know which one has struggled for over 20 years with a terrible drug addiction.
You may never know which ones in the picture have struggled with that person who has had a horrifying drug addiction. 
The choice is one out of three. 
Which one is the one? 
The woman in the middle? The man on the left? The man on the right?
They all look like fine upstanding citizens. They do not look like your common thief. 
They do not look like someone who would lie about anything to get their next fix. 
They do not look like some one who would stick a needle with a syringe full of cocaine in their arm, ankle, or wherever. 
Truth is, drug addiction comes in all colors.
Truth is, drug addiction comes in all sexes.
Truth is, drug addiction comes in all economic classes.
I was once told, “You cannot always tell who is an addict.”
Who can stop an addict from being an addict?
That is a very good question.
Can you?
Can I?
I am finding that I cannot stop the addict in the picture. So, there is a clue. I am not the addict. That leaves two in the picture who may or may not be an addict.
Who can stop an addict?
I hate the word addict. How can a person be described as “he is an addict”. What, how can that be? How can you say, “He is an addict.” He is a man. He is (insert name).  So how can you refer to him as addict as if that is all there is to him? 

Appeal: To Save the Eyesight

Appeal to Help Save Goodwin’s eyesight.

Mr Mwanza, Goodwin and Mrs Mwanza
Goodwin Mwanza, Shelia, Tommy and Brother Phiri
My husband and I have known Goodwin Mwanza since he was an infant. While Goodwin’s family was in our town they worshiped and worked with our congregation bakerheights.org.  
His family lived in our town for three years while his Dad worked three jobs and got three college degrees. Yes, you heard right. 
After his Dad finished his education they moved back to Zambia. His Dad was a Head Master at a High School. Sounds like a high paying job. Not by the U.S.A. standards but by the Zambian standards it was a good job. 
Shortly after the Mwanza’s returned home to the Southern Province of Zambia a group of four men from our congregation traveled to Zambia on a fact finding trip. My husband asked Mr Mwanza why he did not stay in the United States. He said to him, “With the degrees you have, you could make a lot of money in the U.S.”  Mr Mwanza said,”I never intended to stay in the U.S. I only came to get my degrees. The dream that Mrs. Mwanza and I have had for a long time it to go to the Eastern Province of Zambia to evangelize it. There is a great need to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Eastern Province and that is what we plan to do.”
Since the Mwanza’s returned to Zambia a preacher training College- The Chipata Bible College-has been built in the Eastern Province of Zambia. There have been six Mission trips to the Eastern Province of Zambia.  There are 10 full time paid preachers in the Eastern Province. There are many who have graduated from the Chipata Bible College and have gone out on their own and planted churches and preach with or without pay.

Goodwin has grown in to a fine Christian young man. He is 17 years old now. He teaches the children’s Bible class at the Hills View Church that meets at the Bible College. He is the top student in his class at school. He scored in the very top on the National Test that Zambia gives all students. He wants to get an Engineering Degree from college. There is only one problem he needs surgery on one of his eyes. He has Keratoconus and he needs immediate surgery to correct it before he goes blind. You may go to this link to read more about how to help. However: Please do pray and thank you so very much. http://fellowshiproom.org/2014/02/23/eyesight-goodwin/

Semi-Homemade Heart Shaped Cookies Tutorial

Matthew 22:37-39
This is the great and foremost commandment.
John 3:16  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Actually I cannot eat them. I am gluten free.
I made these for my husband for Valentines.
It has been a tradition for many years.
I started it when his job took him away every Valentine’s Day.
One roll of Sugar Cookie Dough
Two Heart shaped Cookie Cutters
One large and one small
Wax Paper
Rolling Pen
Open the Cookie Dough
Divide the dough in half and return one half to 
the refrigerator until needed.
Sprinkle flour on wax paper.
Knead the dough lightly.
Only use as much flower as necessary. Do not use too much or 
it makes the cookies taste flowery.
Lightly spread flower on the rolling pin and roll dough to about 
1/4″ thick.
Use the large size cookie cutter.
Cut out equal number cookies
Then use the small cookie cutter to cut out a small 
heart shape in the center of half of the cookies. 
Use a knife to remove the center heart.
Be careful not to change the shape of the cookie.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degree for 8 to 10 minutes.
Be sure to not cook to long. You want them to be a little soft.
Use a pre-made soft frosting.

Stir the frosting until nice and smooth.
Spread the frosting on the cookie that does not have the 
heart shape cut out.
Place a cookie that does have the heart shape on top of the 
frosted cookie.
There you have a nice Heart Shaped Cookie Sandwich.
Let them sit out awhile to firm the frosting.
They are ready to enjoy or you may store them in an air tight
container for a few days. 
They never last long around my house.
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Give Gifts That Give Back

If you have read my blog before you know how my heart longs for Africa.
You know how my heart desires to help the people of Africa.
First of all by teaching them the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28:18-20
“Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,”
Every time I travel to Zambia I realize more and more how hard the women lives are. They have to work hard to provide enough food for their families. They have their babies and get up and go back to work with the baby strapped on their back.
One Chief I know declared that women get at least a week off after they have their baby before they have to go back to work gathering food and water.
There are many young girls who do not attend school because they are expected to stay home to help their Mother. It is considered more important for the boys to go to school.
There is so much more I could write about but I will not because of time and space.
I found Sseko Designs and fell in love with what they are doing for women in Uganda.
Please take a few minutes to read about Sseko Designs and see what they are doing.
If you are looking for a meaningful Christmas or Birthday present you may click on one of the banners to go to Sseko Designs and see what beautiful and unique gifts they have.  This not only makes a wonderful gift for you or someone you care about but through your purchase you will be giving to young women in Uganda. You will be helping them get an education so they can better themselves and give back to other women. This is very important to me because I am an educator and I have experienced first hand what a difference education can make in peoples lives.
 Matther 6:23
“But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand it doing,
Galatians 2:10
They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.
Blessings to You.

White Arrow Clutch Collection
Just a little about Sseko Designs:
Sseko Designs is a sandal company based in Uganda. We make beautiful leather sandals with interchangeable fabric straps that can be styled in hundreds of ways.

Sseko began as a way to generate income for high potential, talented young women to continue on to university. Sseko has graduated three classes of women. Every woman who has graduated from Sseko is currently pursuing her college degree.
In addition to our university-bound team, Sseko also employs a full-time team of women from all walks of life. By creating an environment of dignity, honor, creativity and dedication, Sseko Designs provides the opportunity for women in East Africa to end the cycle of poverty and create a more equitable society.
We believe that every woman has a dream. When she is given the opportunity to pursue those dreams, we are collectively walking towards a brighter and more just and beautiful world.
We believe that our stuff has a story and that every dollar you spend is a vote for the way you think the world should work.
Every Sseko has a story. For more information click here:http://ssekodesigns.com/the-sseko-story/Sseko Designs

If you have a blog and would like to help this cause in more ways just click here and see what they offer.

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Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Sseko

Think About The Babies

Psalm 139:13-16


For You formed my inward parts;

You wove me in my mother’s womb.


I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,

And my soul knows it very well.


My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;


Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;

And in Your book were all written

The days that were ordained for me,

When as yet there was not one of them.

Exodus 20:13

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
13 “You shall not murder.”

How many abortions are performed in the United States each year?

According to the Guttmacher Institute, there were 1.21 million abortions performed in the United States in 2008, the most recent year for which data is available. This amounts to 3,322 abortions per day.
Source: Jones, Rachel K. and Kathryn Kooistra. “Abortion Incidence and Access to Services in the United States, 2008.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 43, no. 1 (2011, March): 41-50 [PDF]  

How many abortions are performed at each stage of pregnancy?

The following table lists both the percentage of abortions performed during various stages of pregnancy, along with the total yearly abortions at each stage, based on a total of 1.2 million abortions per year (see above).
Gestational Age Percentage Yearly Total
Less than 9 weeks 61.8% 749,232
9-10 weeks 17.1% 207,312
11-12 weeks 9.1% 110,324
13-15 weeks 6.6% 80,015
16-20 weeks 3.8% 46,069
21+ weeks 1.5% 18,185
Source: Guttmacher Institute, 2011, August. Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States.[PDF]  
Let us not remain silent. Let us speak up for the babies that are being murdered every day and every year. They have no voice but we can be their voice. Let us get to the polls and speak up for the innocent so they may live to do something great for God. 
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Fun Things I Have Been Stitching This Week

Hello Fall and Get Ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
 Hello Fall ****Battery Operated**** Tea Light Cover
I am loving making these Tea Light Covers. All tea light covers are made with patterns from Embroidery Garden. 
They look so pretty on the sink in the bathroom. It is a wonderful night light for the bathroom or guest bedroom of your home.
The Pilgrim Lady and Man plus the leaf , turkey and Give Thanks makes a nice decoration for the bathroom or the Thanksgiving Buffet. Oh yes, why not add the apple, pumpkin and scarecrow.
 Without the tea lights.
I am starting to get in the Christmas mode as I am sewing for a Christmas Craft Show in November.
If you look close you can see the light. It is sooooo hard to photo the light and get it to look as pretty as it naturally does.
I love the little Penguin and Snowman. That was our house several winters ago.
 So cute in the bathroom or on a buffet.
 I finally got the Baby Boy Tea Light Covers finished.
 These will make a wonderful decoration for a baby’s room or baby shower.
 Sweet Baby Boy
 Baby Girl, yes the baby is the same. 

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