Imagine Chrisblankets of love 2tmas without music, family, laughter, decorations, without snow, or a tree complete with lights, trimmings, and presents below, without being able to give or receive, without Jesus.  For those incarcerated, this typically joyous occasion is overshadowed with sadness, grief, shame, depression and guilt, as inmates find themselves separated from loved ones and celebration.

With the help of church and community volunteers and funds, dozens of inmates at the Douglas County Jail have had the opportunity to make “Blankets of Love” for loved ones over the past 5 years. The idea was birthed after an inmate requested “Blankets of Love” to be given to her children for Christmas back in 2010.  Blankets were purchased by local church members and delivered, but it seemed that more needed to be done to truly communicate the heart behind “BLANKETS OF LOVE”.

The following year, female inmates were invited to request fleece fabric in their child’s favorite colors and design, which the mother was then able to cut and tie with her own hands.  Volunteers then wrapped and delivered these handmade “BLANKETS OF LOVE” before Christmas.  Since then, the opportunity has been extended to all inmates, who can make at least one blanket, even if they have no children.  The recipient’s name, along with a Scripture is also embroidered on the blanket, and Christian books or DVDs have been included if the inmate so chooses.  Last year, 82 “BLANKETS OF LOVE” bridged the gap and brought joy to inmates and loved ones, who also suffer the sadness of separation at Christmas.

While attending the Regeneration Center banquet this fall, I struck up a conversation with the man sitting next to me.   I soon realized that, as an inmate last Christmas, this man had made a blanket for the beautiful daughter who was sitting beside him!  He told me how very thankful and proud he was to make and give that gift to her.  The blanket was very well received and holds a place of honor on her bed to this day!  After being released in January of this year, this man was reunited with his daughter and kept in touch with Dave Schonberg, whom he also met while incarcerated.  A few months later, he started working with Dave at Opportunity Enterprises where he is now a foreman, managing orders for parts from WASP.

If you would like to share the love of Jesus with inmates and families this Christmas, help is needed with shopping, preparing fabric, and wrapping.  Funds are also needed for the blanket supplies, Christian books, DVDs, and the Jesus Storybook Bibles.  Donations may be made to the Regeneration Center (please Memo to Blankets of Love).  If you would like to help or have any other questions you may contact Ardyce Harris at 320-766-2019.

marvandmarieandkids485x350Really Lord? Another move in our future? With 15 children? Previously, we shared with you about all the things the people who own the property where we currently live, wanted to do for us. Well, it ended up not being their cup of tea.

When we finally received the lease agreement and presented it to our board here, the board unanimously would not agree to those terms. There was almost nothing that was in the original verbal agreement, so before investing anymore in this place with the possibility of losing it all in the future, it appears it is time to move once again.

There is a piece of property we looked at a year ago and decided that the price was out of line for the property. It has now been drastically reduced and it is looking like this is the direction the Lord is leading us. There are three homes on the property:  a five-bedroom home for us and the children; a second home for another couple to serve with us; and a third home for people to stay when they come to volunteer/visit.

There are some repairs that need to be done, but with the lower price, it should now make it all feasible.

We previously raised $14,000.00 and we need to raise approximately another $50,000.00. The place will be purchased with trustees from the board under Place of Hope Africa.

We trust that the Lord will bring in the needed finances since He is the one leading us this direction and has provided a much more affordable place.

Also, this property is located near the house we previously lived and will be much closer to our employees and the children’s school.

We have stated in a previous letter that only the Lord knows the bigger picture….why we didn’t get all the funds needed for the other house we were going to purchase and why we did not put too much in to the place we are in until we saw a lease agreement.

The immediate amount needed ASAP is $25,000—$30,000. We have more time to raise the remaining amount.

Marv and Marie

 

Go here to give towards the future purchase of their new property!

POHA girls schoolWe all have the “cup of tea” the Lord has given us to carry on through life. Are you carrying your cup of tea or have you put it down and said, “I do not like tea?”

Many people have told us that they could not do what we are doing, that it is not their cup of tea. But the Lord has given us each our own cup of tea for the task that He wants us to do. MIF or TIF (milk in first, tea in first), hot milk, cold milk, sugar, no sugar.

The Lord does not ask us all to do the same thing, He just asks that we are willing and open to whatever He does have for us.

We have a cup of tea that we would like you to pray about to see if the Lord has given it to you. Our lives are far too overloaded and we need another couple to come alongside us to do admin—book keeping, payroll, reports, PR, and to give us a break every 3 months to recharge our batteries. We love what we do and we want to continue with our cup of tea without getting burned out.

You may need black tea to be here and do this but if it is what you are to be doing, it will be like a smooth cup with just the right amount of milk and sugar!

Maybe the Lord wants you to help with providing or serving the cup of tea.

Marv and Marie

Place of Hope Africa

 

Note:  Marv and Marie serve full time providing emergency housing and care for children in South Africa. Visit their website here for contact information and to learn more about the ministry of Place of Hope Africa.

Update from Mexico

Tammy Hagstrom —  February 24, 2015 — Leave a comment

Dear Friends and Family,

Hoping everyone is doing well by the grace of God. It has been a long time since we have sent you any information of the work that we are doing here in Oaxaca Mexico. We like to thank God for allowing us to do the work that we are doing here at the mountain of Oaxaca for the past three years.

hector update1Last year we got the chance to start building a place for the brothers of Morelos, a place where we will be able to get together and have reunions and do different activities for the glory of God. A friend whose name is Ryan Lewis from Hawley, Minnesota, that spent time with me in prison, came to visit us last year. We got the chance to spend some time together with the brothers of the villages. I talked to him about the possibility to do something for the brothers of Morelos. We felt that God wanted us to build this place for us to be able to have reunions and a carpenter shop for the brothers and to do others activities.  Ryan and I started praying that God would open a door for us, if this will be to glorify Him. Thanks to God, He opened the door for us to be able to work with the brothers of Hawley Alliance Church.  The brothers from Hawley have been providing the money for the construction and they will be coming to Oaxaca, Mexico to do the construction work on March 1st. Please pray for all the brothers that will be coming to Oaxaca, Mexico, for this project, that God will protect and open their way for them.  My family and I also want to thank this church for the donation that you have given us for the ministry and for all your prayers and we thank you for helping the church of Oaxaca, Mexico.

We want to thank God because we were able to help my grandma on her last days of her life.  In December, my family called me to let me know that my grandma was really old and that the time for her to be with the Lord was close.  My wife and I prayed and felt that it would be good for her and for us to be able to go to the state of Michoacan and spend time with her and take care of her during her last days.  So I talked to Dave about the idea for us to go and help my grandma, and he told me that may be a good testimony for us to do.  So he gave me the ok for us to take a trip and spend the month of December and part of January. We were able to talk to her about God and spend time with her thanks to your help, support, and prayers. She died the 30th of December. She was able to see all her family together before she left to be with God. We pray that this will be an opportunity for us to talk to our family about the good news of God.

This year we started receiving the love and blessings of our God. We were praying for God to provide a new pickup for Pastor Fili,hector2 and thanks to the donation from Hawley Alliance Church we were able to buy a better truck for Pastor.  He is really thankful to God and to you for thinking about him and providing a new truck for the work that he is doing here at the mountain of Oaxaca, Mexico. He wanted me to let you know that he is praying for you and all the pastors from the US asking God that one day we will be all together in heaven with our God.

 

Please keep praying for the brothers of the mountains here in Oaxaca, Mexico, and pray for the team that is coming from Hawley. We thank you because without you it would be more difficult to do the work that we are doing.  Our prayer is that He will keep opening doors for us to be able to bring the good news of Jesus to all the people that come across us, may the Lord bless you and keep you safe from the evil.