Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mattie Won!!!

Back in December 2012, our 14-year-old daughter, Mattie, successfully completed her first Both Hands project.  She was (is!) the youngest project leader in Both Hands history!  Mattie felt called by God to lead this project, as a way of personally living out James 1:27, serving the orphan and the widow. 


Mattie worked for months to organize her Both Hands project.  The team of servants God blessed Mattie with would work together to bless a widow in our area whose husband died four years ago of cancer.  This widow’s home and yard and driveway were in complete shambles.  She had no one to help her clean it up and rebuild the areas that were completely rotten, sunken in, falling apart, infested with pests, unsafe, and in need of major repair.


This widow was immeasurably blessed by the work of Mattie’s Both Hands team. 


But the blessings didn’t stop there.  The team members gathered supporters to donate to the Both Hands project, in a similar way that people who participate in fundraiser walks/runs/marathons/jumpathons, etc. would gather supporters to donate toward their cause.


The donations would go directly toward orphan care at Village of Hope in Guatemala, where are good friends, the Block family, serve as founders and missionaries.  While one hand served the widow here in our area, the other hand would serve the orphan in a third world country, hence the idea behind the Both Hands name and concept—working together to live out James 1:27, serving the orphan and the widow. 


Oh what a blessing this project was for multiple people:  for the widow whose home and property was transformed by a team of teenagers and a few adults (parents to the teens).  For the orphans in Guatemala whose lives would be made better by the funds raised to help them.  For the team members who selflessly gave of themselves, from the fundraising and organizing, to the 10+ hours of sweat and energy poured into the manual labor required to repair and clean up the widow’s home.


Oh, but, once again, God’s blessings upon this project didn’t stop there!


Amy Block asked me to call her last night.  She specified to call when no one else was around.  I wondered what in the world Amy needed to discuss with me privately.


Well, I had completely forgotten that when Mattie completed her Both Hands project, her name was entered into a mission trip giveaway where the winner would receive a free mission trip to serve at Village of Hope in Guatemala.


Amy painted this picture in my mind of her daughter, Havyn, and her teammate’s son, Malakai, both former orphans from Ethiopia who now live as missionary kids in Guatemala, who were working as a toddler team to draw the winner of the mission trip giveaway.  Here are some pictures of these two precious blessings reaching into a bowl full of names who were entered into this giveaway, all the names of people in the US who organized a Both Hands project to benefit Village of Hope in Guatemala:



Well, imagine my complete shock to hear Amy announce to me that this is the name that was drawn from this bowl full of names:


Amy asked me if I would take photos of Mattie as we shared this exciting news with her.  Mattie had already gotten ready for bed, but my husband insisted she get up and come to our bedroom because we had something very important to discuss with her, something that couldn’t wait until the following morning.


Mattie nervously sat down at the foot of our bed.  When Matt shared with her that she WON the mission trip to Guatemala, he snapped a few photos of her reaction:

Mattie VOH winner! 007

Mattie VOH winner! 010

Mattie VOH winner! 011

Mattie VOH winner! 001
Mattie VOH winner! 004
I think she was excited, don’t you?


Thank you so very much for this opportunity, Block and Ucherek families, founders of Village of Hope in Guatemala!!!  I know God has BIG things planned for Mattie through this trip.  The timing of such a huge reward is incredible, as Mattie and I just returned from a Christian retreat that I took her to as her 15th birthday present.  Mattie’s heart has been so burdened for the orphan, and she’s been praying for God to give her more opportunities to serve the orphan, particularly overseas.  I think He’s already answering Mattie’s cry for opportunities to do MORE!!!  Amazing!

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