Elliott’s Birthday House Build
Our sweet baby Elliott turns ONE on March 20th! Although we are SO excited to simply celebrate the past year of his life, we also feel prompted to turn his birthday celebration outward and change the lives of a family in need. Elliott, in reality, has everything he needs. So we thought, “What if we direct the money that would be spent on Elliott towards a family who doesn’t even have a home?”
Would you like to be a part of changing the lives of a family forever by helping build them a home in honor of Elliott’s first birthday?
Here’s how you can help:
1. Pray for us! We need to raise $5,700 to build the home. For an additional $1,800 we can purchase furniture and appliances for the home (beds, curtains, stove, etc.). Please pray that we raise the money and also that this is a life-changing event for the family we’re building a home for and for all of us who have the honor to build and donate!
2. Donate money towards the house! Elliott does not have the expectation that anyone would buy him a present for his birthday. However, if you were/are considering buying him a gift or card, would you instead donate that money towards the cost of the house? Even if you weren’t going to get him a gift, would you consider donating money towards the cost of the house? We will give him one card signed from everyone who donates toward the house.
If you would like to donate, you can do so online under the “Support” tab here on our website. Be sure to clarify that the money is for the house build, not our regular support. Or, feel free to send us a check (again, noting that it’s for the house build):Brian + Susanne Moberg YWAM–TJ Base P.O. Box 5417 Chula Vista, CA 91912
Some further -very honest- thoughts…
Brian and I got this idea in our spirits several months ago. We really sat on the thought and prayed about it because we knew it would be a lot of work–both to organize the house build and to raise the money. Not to mention the time and money it would cost those who are coming to build with us. But we really felt like our idea was from God. We want our family to be marked by giving away. We want Elliott to know from the youngest of ages that although he is the absolute gem and treasure of our lives, although we adore him to the point of not being able to take our eyes off of him, although we want him to have EVERYTHING he needs as well as some fun toys throughout his life…he is NOT the center of the universe. We want him to know that our lives are meant to be lived outward. We want him to have conviction over the fact that it is more blessed to give than to receive. We want him to experience the joy in giving, in pouring out, in changing the lives of any person that God puts in our path.
As strong as this conviction is in my spirit, I’ll be honest–it’s been hard for me at times thinking about it. Those of you who know me, know that I L-O-V-E throwing a good party! It’s one of the ways that I love to love people. Whereas some may look at a perfectly planned out, thought out event as unnecessary or a waste of time, energy, and resources, blessing others in this way is truly one of the things that brings me life and joy. So, fittingly, I’ve dreamt many times over Elliott’s short lifetime of his very first birthday party. Of the cool presents I want to get him, of the awesome cake I want to make, of the theme–thought out to every detail. And not that I won’t ever be able to do that for him, but this year–it’s in our spirits to keep it SIMPLE. I was looking at party blogs (a DANGEROUS passtime for me) and I started to get a little sad that I wouldn’t be able to throw him this extravagant birthday party. But then, I realized–this is exactly why we’re doing this. As soon as I thought about a family with several kids sleeping on a cardboard floor and then aligned Elliott’s extravagant construction birthday party next to that picture…I was sick to my stomach. AGAIN–I’m definitely not saying that Elliott will never get a themed birthday party that’s all about him one day (trust me!) but THIS YEAR…God is doing something in our family. Probably mostly in me :). Even if I were going to just spend $100 on Elliott’s birthday party, this year I would rather spend that $100 on the paint that will cover the wooden slabs of the walls of the home that will be a family’s very first real shelter from the wind and the rain. I think about the $25 I might spend on party favors for our guests, and I would rather spend that $25 on sheets for the very first beds that these children have ever slept on. I think about the $50 I might spend on the cutest themed, extravagant food and I would rather put that $50 towards a stove for the family who has never even dreamed of having such a luxury.
I am writing this with tears streaming down my face, broken over the fact that my heart still wrestles at times over wanting Elliott to have “extravagant” when so many families don’t even have “basic”. So here you go, world–the honest struggles of this mommy :). I am so, so, so grateful that God has put this in our hearts this year. I am so, so, so grateful that He is doing this transformation in my heart. I am so, so, so overwhelmingly grateful that He’s going to use us–and many of you!–to literally redirect the course of this family’s lives forever.
The two young Mexican men who are students in our DTS class are here, ultimately, because their families were without homes when they were young and Homes of Hope (that’s the name of this ministry in YWAM) built them one. And that, again, floods my eyes with tears. I wish you could meet these two guys. They are WORLD-CHANGERS. Jonas has a burning fire inside of him that youth would know the REAL God…not the God who disciplines and tells you you’re going to Hell if you don’t follow him. But the God of mercy, grace, justice, and JOY. He is passionate about showing youth that living your life with God can be the ADVENTURE of your lifetime, much more rewarding than any pleasure you could get from the world. Then there’s Luis. Oh, Luis. This tough-looking Mexican man has one of the softest hearts of anyone I’ve met. He weeps over his family, his friends, and the lost. He weeps with a deep love and a fierce compassion. You will find him in the lowest of the lowest of places, serving, loving, and praying. Both of these men will–mark my my words–change the face of this nation. They are rising to positions of confidence, believing that they are, indeed, LEADERS. Believing that they have a call on their lives. Believing that God plucked them out of the mire and set them on firm ground.
And they are here because someone built them a home.
What if that group of people who built them a home that weekend had said, “No”? Where would these two be today? I’ve often wondered that…
Well, my friends. All that to say, we are organizing a house build in honor of our sweet Elliott’s first birthday. I hope you will consider donating towards this house. The house build takes place in just under a month. PLEASE–consider this opportunity to alter the course of the lives of a family in need.
To read more about Homes of Hope, the history of how the program started, the way they select families, etc., click here: http://ywamsandiegobaja.org/homes-of-hope/
When Brian, Elliott and I first crossed the border into Mexico last July to check out this YWAM base and begin the decision process of packing up our lives to become missionaries, Sean and Janet Lambert took us to the most important place on the tour first. We crossed the border and they said, “Before you see anything else, we’d like you to meet Josefina.”
I see now how that was so representative of Sean and Janet’s hearts. Yes, yes…we eventually saw the two Mexico YWAM campuses and over time we heard stories of the ways this particular YWAM base functions. We learned about Sean and Janet’s history and how they started this base. But first–first–it was important that we SEE. It was most important that we SEE the fruit of this ministry. KISS the cheek of the woman who can now safely lock her family in their home at night. TOUCH the hands of these beautiful children who no longer have to dig through trash for food and toys. So we met Josefina and her beautiful son and daughter. And that, my friends, was the moment my heart was captured.
Grab a box of tissues and watch these two videos below if you would like to meet Josefina, too.
Finally. (Is this the world’s longest blog post?) Finally, I believe that we as a society are often so overwhelmed by the needs in this world that we shut down and do nothing because we know we can’t possibly help “them all.” I wrote a post several months ago, The Greatest, The One, that articulates this wrestle in my own spirit. Though Brian and I have both wept over the vast amount of poverty we see in this world, we are committed to helping the one in front of us. When I met Josefina and her two darling children, I was not overwhelmed by the vast need in Mexico. I was overwhelmed at how the sacrifice of one weekend, a little bit of hard work, and some money from a group of Canadians changed this ONE family forever.
Will you consider helping us build a home for ONE family? Will you consider helping the ONE?
Blessings, sweet friends.
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