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The Greatest Lesson I’ve Ever Learned About the Mission Field

Posted on 18 February 2013 by Kari Gibson

Like most international adoptive parents, we ate up anything that had to do with Africa. Especially, if it had anything to do with Ethiopia, we bought it: t-shirts, coffee, bracelets, baby blankets, baby clothes, jackets, headbands, wristbands, and even cookies that were in the shape of Ethiopia. Right before we were leaving to go to Ethiopia to pick up our daughter Zoie, Kari and I attended Missionary Roger Gibson and his daughter Zoiean event featuring a Rwandan pastor. Unfortunately, I don’t really remember anything he said during his presentation, but what he said afterwards … I have never forgotten. After he wrapped up his message, Kari and I made our way up to the front of the auditorium to where he was standing- there was already a long line of people waiting for their chance to talk to him. We waited patiently as the crowd thinned out and then we finally got our chance to meet him. Kari and I wanted to tell him “thank you” for the work he is doing for orphans and that we would be heading soon to Ethiopia to pick up our daughter. As our conversation was wrapping up, he turned towards me with a serious look on his face; he put both of his hands on my shoulders and pulled me in closer to him. At first, I didn’t know what he was going to do, but his eyes were locked in on mine with the intensity of a Marine Drill Sargent. He said the most powerful words that forever changed the way I looked at the needs of orphans, widows, and the oppressed.

We are well aware of, Rwanda’s devastation by the 1994 genocide that resulted with an estimated loss of 800,000 people. It left thousands of children with the loss of one or both parents and no place to call home.  It left severe scars, not just physically, but also emotionally. If anyone could give advice on Africa, this gentleman was qualified as a pastor who has ministered to thousands of orphans. As he began to speak, his voice was very gentle, but his words were filled with a deep conviction. Since that moment his statement has shaped our Simply Love ministry and every mission trip we have led the past four years.  He told me that when I visit orphanages, widows, and minister to communities; the greatest thing I could do for Africa is … TOUCH.

Missionary Roger Gibson with patients at a local hospital in Managua, Nicaragua

For me, TOUCHING (in a healthy way) a total stranger can be a bit awkward. I’m not a natural touchy kind of a guy. I feel much more comfortable giving a “head nod” as my touch, than a hug or a pat on the back. But, Jesus modeled TOUCH! He was always touching people: blind, lepers, sick, children, women, men, demon-possessed, rich, poor, depressed, angry, bitter, and even dead people.  Even science has validated the importance of touch. According to studies, touch is truly fundamental to human communication, bonding, and health. Touch even works in helping us win basketball games. ABC News recently did a special on the power of touch and how it can boost performance. According to two social psychologists from UC – Berkeley, whom both happened to be big fans of basketball themselves, recently analyzed 90 hours of televised professional play. They looked at every team and every player in the league, taking note of what of they determined to be 15 kinds of touch, including hugs, high fives and even flying shoulder bumps. Their conclusion: teams that touch the most, won the most. If touch can even help us win at sports, imagine what our hands and feet can do in the life of one who has no hope.

On day one of us arriving in Ethiopia, the first place our adoption agency took us to was a women’s hospital called, Fistula. (You can check out a documentary called about Fistula, A Walk To Beautiful here.) This world-renowned hospital is a place for women who have fistula (you can look it up here). To start our tour the hostess gave us a little background on fistula and what the women at the hospital had to endure living with fistula. Many have been abandoned by their husbands, rejected by their communities, and forced to live in isolation. Fistula was a place that gave “life” back to those who were deemed ugly, dirty, and even cursed. Our hostess then led us into the hospital ward where all the women were laying with IVs etched into their arms. There were about 100 women staring at us and I remember sarcastically asking myself, “Why am I here?” But, five steps later the thought of TOUCH came to my mind. I then wondered when was the last time these women had a man smile and touch them in a loving, healthy way to let them know they are worthy, valuable, a child of the King. Now, it was game time. This was the moment during the tour we could talk to the girls. As I approached my first lady who was lying in her hospital bed, I gathered up enough courage to go up close to her and touch her hand. As I touched her hand and smiled, she lifted up her other hand and put it around my neck to lower my cheek closer for her to kiss me, kiss me, and kiss me. I got three kisses! One cheek, the other cheek, and back to the other cheek.  As I came up for air I thought, “Wow! This women needed some touch!” As I looked down at her beautiful face, I saw a smile and she and the other girls close by were giggling like teenage girls. Our sweet hostess must have saw the sweat coming off of my brow because she came over quickly to explain to me that they don’t get many male visitors. So, needless to say, I was spoiled. I received a lot of kisses that afternoon and I saw the power of touch in their lives and my life. I loved every moment of it.

Missionary Kari Gibson with Ethiopian woman

As Jesus healed the leper he had pity on him, so he reach out and TOUCHED him.  Most of Jesus miracles were done just by his spoken words, but He chose to heal by touching this unclean, unworthy, grimy, filthy, undeserving, disgraced leper by the world’s standards. He didn’t need to, but there were 12 men who needed to see the power of touch. To be the hands and feet of Jesus, are you willing to give a meaningful touch to a leper, an orphan that lives on a trash dump, or a homeless women on the street corner that’s says, YOU ARE LOVED?
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 ESV

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Win A Free Mission Trip {Give-It-Away}

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Kari Gibson

Simply Love 4th Annual Mission Trip Give-It-Away!


My Crazy Adoption and YOU have given away 6 mission trips over the past 3 years with project partners, Visiting Orphans and Tom Davis’ Children’s HopeChest. We are thrilled to partner with Project H.O.P.E. (a 501c3 organization) and give away our 7th mission trip scholarship to Simply Love Mission Trip Give-It-AwayNicaragua 2013! Enter to win a mission trip to Managua, Nicaragua with the purchase of Simply Love & Man Up products from our store. For every shirt you buy, you will receive ONE ENTRY to win a free mission trip scholarship with Project Hope and Simply Love. The winner receives a certificate that covers land and airfare. (Value $1950) We will randomly select a winner on March 11, 2013 with a LIVE video from Nicaragua! We need your help to share this project with your mission-hearted friends on Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pin it, and Instagram.

Click HERE to buy your shirt and enter to win!

The new limited edition designs for Simply Love & Man Up were created for a very special reason … Roger (my hubby) came up with the idea “My Wife Is Smokin’ Hot Eccl 9:9 for husbands to Man Up and honor & love the socks off their wives! The idea behind Simply Love is a call for action- “Let’s not just talk about LOVE; let’s practice REAL love.” 1 John 3:18 MSG *We also have our best seller “Be a Real SuperHero” Man Up. Protect and Love the fatherless tee available on the store.

This is a special project to bring awareness and excitement to GO and serve and love big on the mission field! Nicaragua is the 2nd poorest country in the western hemisphere! You can win the opportunity to minister to the community and serve with Project Hope’s many on-going village programs. The best part, the winner can join our family (in real life) on the mission field with Project Hope in Managua, Nicaragua. There are 18 trips to pick from, and one blessed winner will win their trip! Don’t forget, the best gift to give someone on Valentine’s Day is to simply love!!

Your life will never be the same going on a mission trip. Do you remember this post back in 2010? I shared here about the impact you can make on a short term mission trip and the power of serving and loving orphans is life-changing. If you enter to win this My Wife Is Smokin' Hot Eccl 9:9Give-It-Away, get ready to have your heart rocked in a crazy way! It’s your opportunity to LOVE orphans and widows and the poor and share God’s love just like the verse -“Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” I Cor. 13:13

I went on my first mission trip when I turned 41 years old. I will never forget my excitement when I got off the plane in Haiti. I remember the smells and sounds of being in a foreign country made everything feel so surreal. I bunked with my best friend, Juju and laughed for an hour after watching her jump on top of her bed when a large bug charged at her shoes, collapsing the cot in a heap on the floor. We religiously sprayed our bodies with Avon’s Skin So Soft to keep the bugs at bay. We visited hundreds of children during our week in Cap Haitian and had a blast making up skits of our favorite Bible stories. I knew in my heart that visiting orphans was my purpose and passion for the rest of my life! Email me if you have any questions!!

If you normally don’t leave a comment, I want to ask you to share with me what winning this mission trip would mean to you.


Deadline to be entered is midnight on March 5, 2013. The drawing will happen on Monday, March 11th and the video of the drawing will be posted that afternoon. Winner will also be notified on March 11th. Project Hope employees, spouses and children are not eligible to win. Winner may choose any open Project Hope mission trip that departs in 2013. Trip may be transferred (1) one time to another person if the winner cannot go and wishes to gift the trip to someone they know. Winner will need to fill out a trip application for their chosen trip, provide 2 spiritual references, sign all forms and participate in every part of the trip just as any team member would. Standard approval process applies. Immunizations and any fees associated with baggage are not included in the trip cost. *Payments and donations made toward team member trip costs do not apply for entry into the mission trip giveaway. Merchandise purchases and all general donations (OPERATION: NICARAGUA) of $30 or more to Simply Love in the month of February DO apply.

FAQ's and Official Rules & Regulations 

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How You Can Support Our Family

Posted on 24 October 2012 by Kari Gibson

Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers – Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker

We are starting our NEW crazy mission adventure and I’m so excited for you to join us as mission-hearted people. As you know, God sold our home when we sent an email to a wonderful missionary family living in a tiny village in Haiti called Pignon. If you say it with a fancy French Creole accent, it sounds really beautiful! Bill and Jennifer Campbell have lived in Pignon for the past 10 years and dreamed of celebrating their 10th year anniversary in the states. However, they have an orphanage (Haiti Home of Hope) and medical clinic they serve 24/7, so picking up and leaving together as a couple takes huge effort and basically impossible.

OPERATION: HAITI. The Gibson family were thrilled to help our missionary friends take a much needed break from missions, so we said, “We’ll do it!!!” We are heading to Pignon, as a family for the months of November through January for Part 2 of our mission’s adventure. We are thrilled and excited and a little scared for this next chapter, but with prayers and support from family and friends … we can do it afraid. We do not feel adequate or worthy to be happy helpers in Haiti, but very grateful for this incredible opportunity and thankful to God for allowing our family to do something soooo crazy! We need 50 donors to give $50 a month through September 2013!!

Our Top 8 Needs:

  1. Travel: Haiti – $2,800
  2. Travel: Nicaragua- $2,800
  3. Travel: Ethiopia – $8,000
  4. Health Insurance: $800 a month
  5. In-country residence: $1000 a month
  6. In-country transportation: $700 a month
  7. Food: $400 a month
  8. Personal items- $500 a month

What will we be doing in Pignon, Haiti?

We leave mid-November (on faith promise) to Pignon, Haiti through January 16th. Roger and I will be learning the ropes with our missionary friends, the Campbells on training 101, conducting the day to day responsibilities of Haiti Home of Hope (orphanage) and the clinic. They have a weekly mother’s milk program and provide formula and basic needs to the children & community families. Throughout the next few weeks, I’m going to share with you stories and photos of the beautiful community of Pignon we will be serving in Haiti. They will change your life, too.

(2 month) Haiti Happy Helpers:

  • Haiti Home of Hope Orphanage
  • Mother’s Milk Program
  • Weekly Clinic for community
  • Man Up Bible Study for teens & young adults in the community

Bloggy friends, how can you help?

We need your help … please pray, encourage, and support our family as short term missionaries. Roger and I self funded all our personal and project expenses the past 4 months living in Ethiopia. Now, we want to finish the mission-dream God called us to do this year and serve big. As missionaries, it’s humbling to ask people for money, but as mission-hearted people, you have an amazing opportunity to join us and live James 1:27 together… even if you can’t be with us physically in Pignon, Haiti or Ethiopia.

We have “circled” an amount of money we need to raise for our personal expenses for 12 months on the mission-field, as well as our projects in Haiti and Ethiopia. We can’t do this on our own, but God can do it!! If you are a regular reader on My Crazy Adoption blog, you know … we are home-less and unemployed, but 100% committed to being a mission-hearted family, serving and sharing the gospel to the unreached people groups.

If you would like to help fund our mission’s adventure to Pignon, and back to Ethiopia, consider giving to our brand new ministry, Simply Love monthly or a one-time gift. Your tax-deductible donations will not only help us live out our mission dreams, but will help us with our many projects we are doing in Haiti and Ethiopia. You can give and pray and cheer and love big = Simply Love.

What we need to raise for support:

Many of you have asked us to share the specifics of how you can help us with our mission’s adventure support.

You can support us by first and foremost keeping our family in your prayers. We have self funded our mission adventure, but now it’s time for us to ask for financial support. Here are specific needs we have:

  • Health Insurance- $9,600 a year ($800 a month)
  • Flights: Haiti – $2,800 / Nicaragua- $2,800 / Ethiopia – $8,000
  • In-country residence: $1,000 a month
  • In-country transportation: $500 a month, Fuel $200 a month
  • Food: $400 a month
  • Personal items: $500 a month

In addition, you an support us financially with a one time gift or monthly contribution. Any monetary gift will go towards helping us meet our monthly expenses. Overages will go towards helping facilitate projects in the area we serve such as feeding, building, bedding, medications, etc.

Please send any financial support* by check (made payable to Simply Love) to:

706 North Lindenwood Drive #100
Olathe, Kansas 66062

or make a contribution by credit card here …


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The Last Day of an Extraordinary Life

Posted on 07 October 2012 by Kari Gibson

I visited Sisay on his last day. I didn’t know that God has something very special planned for Sisay on this day. I had the opportunity to take one of the Visiting Orphans team on a tour of the (leper) Alert Hospital in Korah. I like this gig … being a tour guide for the lepers. The structure has been there over 80 years and the artisans, mainly elders work on their trade of weaving, embroidery, and many other beautiful creations. On the walk back to Great Hope church, I invited the team to meet my friend, Sisay. He looked weak, but clean and peaceful, moved on the other side of the bed, so I knew his neighbor had been there today. We greeted Sisay and he whispered his familiar greeting. The team sang him a song of hope and joy. Wesley Sellers prayed an emotional blessing and we gently laid our hands on his quiet body. Someone on THAT team had a divine appointment to meet Sisay… I don’t know who they were, but I know in my heart God will use the testimony of Sisay’s life, pain, and salvation to impact THAT person.

(Saturday) My dear brother, Murad called me this afternoon and told me that Sisay had died. It was a shock to hear the news I had anticipated the past many weeks. Sisay was gone. We quickly called our driver, Dougu and asked him to take us to Korah to support his family and friends. As soon as I started walking down the familiar muddy road to Sisay’s home… I started to cry. Every day for the past 2 months, I have brought him water, eggs, bread, oil, charcoal, and 1 onion. We made sure his sores were clean with medication and bandaged. It was my duty to bring him new friends and fellowship from mission teams. We sang songs and prayed for healing. My 3 P61 boys, Senti, Baby, and Tuloosa helped me buy the items from a tiny “Suk” near Sisay’s home. They showed great respect for their elder. It broke my heart that this precious man was no longer here, but my heart was also relieved. My friend would no longer suffer in pain, but was celebrating in his new home. Today, Heaven welcomed Sisay. Oh, what a party Sisay’s having with his new feet and new hands and perfect new body in Christ dancing with the angels! He no longer has leprosy… he is finally healed.

The daughter of Sisay came around the corner and started sobbing when she saw us. God had softened my heart toward this woman and helped me look at the situation the past few months without judgement. Culturally, it was unacceptable for her to abandon taking care of her father’s needs, but God allowed us to be there to care for her father. She hugged me and we both cried for her father’s death. She invited us inside and it hurt my heart to no longer see his bed. Sisay had lived in this home for over 50 years. The tiny mud home was filled with benches and visitors, but we honestly had no idea what to do. We sat down next to his friends who were grieving the death of their neighbor. It was very emotional for all of us. I was amazed at how our family just fit in. We were truly a special part of Sisay’s last days and his friends were so thankful for us being there.

Thank you David Parks from Visiting Orphans team for this very special photo. Please read Dovie White’s 2 posts about Sisay.

(Sunday)Today we went to Sisay’s funeral. It started at 9:00am in the morning and the P61 mission team decided to join us. We walked through the rain and mud almost a mile through Korah. We made it to the Orthodox church as they were covering the grave with dirt. At first, I was a little disappointed we didn’t make it there on time, but we joined the procession through each step of the ceremony. The daughter of Sisay carried his photograph and we followed. The family set up a tent next to his home and literally hundreds of people were there to pay their respects. I was so proud to have known Sisay and to feel the love pouring from his community. Roger and I secretly helped the family pay for the funeral, injera, wood, and maze for their guests. The cost … 500 birr ($25 US)

A few weeks ago when I asked Sisay what he needed most, he told me, “I don’t need anything, but just bring me visitors.” I want to thank the team members who visited Sisay this summer, who ministered to a very old and sick man who needed big love and prayer. I’m grateful that God allowed us to hold Sisay’s hand when he asked Jesus to come into his heart. I will always cherish the friendship God gave me with this extraordinary man! Goodbye, dear friend!

You can see Sisay on the Man Up and Go movie coming out October 20th.

As you listen to birds calling to one another, hear also My Love-call to you. I speak to you continually: through sights, sounds, thoughts, impressions, Scripture. There is no limit to the variety of ways I can communicate with you. Your part is to be attentive to My messages, in whatever form they come. When you set out to find Me in a day, you discover that the world is vibrantly alive with My Presence. You can find Me not only in beauty and birdcalls, but also in tragedy and faces filled with grief. I can take the deepest sorrow and weave it into a pattern for GOOD. Search for Me and My messages, as you go through this day. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with your whole being. (Jesus Calling, Sarah Young)

If you would like to leave a special blessing for Sisay, I will include this in our mission-adventure e-book.

Photos I took from Sisay’s funeral processional:



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Destroying the Goliaths in Korah

Posted on 25 July 2012 by Kari Gibson

1 Samuel 17 is the story of David & Goliath. “Then David took his shepherd’s staff, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath.” When I walk around the village of Korah, I can almost imagine the hideous giant, Goliath standing, mocking loudly in the streets. He brings terror and fear straight to the heart of this people group of lepers and children living in the slums of Korah. The Goliaths of pain, suffering, sickness, and tragedy stand towering over every corner you turn. It’s overwhelming, but I know God’s power will conquer every single Goliath with the courage and salvation of the lost hearts,

Today, we shared the story of David and Goliath with the Ordinary Hero team to the Project 61 students. It was a spontaneous production of a shepard played by Brook and a big, bad Goliath played by Stephen Murray. The spin off was from the Veggie Tale version and I quickly ran outside and grabbed 5 red stones from a pile of dirt. The story lasted only five minuets, but the message was powerful. God gave David mighty strength and power to kill Goliath. After the actors took a humble bow, it was my turn to share the gospel with our translator, Brook aka King David. I wanted to keep things simple, but felt in my heart I needed to be bold. I shared that God promises to help us face our own Goliaths. When life is difficult and painful and heartbreaking God stands by our side and destroys the giants with His mighty power. I asked the children if anyone had a Goliath in their home… every single hand went up in the room. I shared the ONLY way to have this power in our lives is to ask Jesus Christ to come into our hearts. I encouraged them to raise their hands if they had never asked Jesus to be their personal Savior, their Father. When I looked out in the crowd, I saw 4 older boys boldly wave their hands. It was a precious sight … they didn’t even consider putting down their hands until a few team members went to sit down next to them. We prayed outloud together the prayer of salvation. Let me tell you, the children of Korah pray without abandon!! It was loud and joyful and full of crazy love.

The 4 boys came up to give me a big hug and I gave each of them one of the “five stones.” I explained to them that they needed to keep the stone as a reminder TODAY they are sons of God, mighty warriors for the Kingdom, and children of royalty. I promised to give them each an Amharic Bible and asked them to start reading the Word of God every single day … for the rest of their lives.

Every day when I’m serving in Korah, the 4 boys find me and pull out of their pockets their red stone… their reminder that God is alive in their hearts and will never leave their side.

I Am the Light of the world. Men crawl through their lives cursing the darkness, but all the while I am shining brightly. I desire each of My followers to be a LIGHT-BEARER. The Holy Spirit who lives in you can shine from your face, making Me visible to people around you. Ask My Spirit to LIVE through you, as you wend your way through this day. Hold My hand in joyful trust, for I never leave your side. The Light of My Presence is shining upon you. Brighten up the world by reflecting who I Am. (Jesus Calling, Sarah Young)

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My Top 3 Things … Coming Up

Posted on 05 April 2012 by Kari Gibson

I can’t believe what YOU did!! You helped us sell 676 tee shirts for the mission trip giveaway AND support the Haiti and Moldova projects with Children’s HopeChest. You made a big difference in the life of countless children and communities that will benefit from your donations! The winner of the mission trip will be announced on April 2nd on Facebook (look to the right side of my blog and click on Like!)

This sweet family in Pignon, Haiti thanks you, too …

Don’t forget, CHC requests your patience on waiting for your new Simply Love and Man Up tees (did they do an amazing job or what!) They are ordering all 676 tees in bulk to save every penny for the mission projects. As soon as they get the tees printed … they will mail out to you! Again, THANK YOU for your cheers, prayers, support, and shout outs for the past two weeks!

What’s next in my crazy life? Here are my top three big events coming up …. Continue Reading

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My Life Is Crazy Too

Posted on 20 March 2012 by Kari Gibson

Over the past three years, I have received hundreds of guest posts from you, my crazy readers. These are your real stories and you inspire me, encourage me, and fill my heart with compassion as we embrace the unique situations each of us face in life. I learn from you…. your life is a story and I want to share it. I’m starting a new series to compile all your submissions in one “easy to find” spot- My Life Is Crazy Too. I’m going back through the years and including your guest posts to the series to make it overflowing with stories you can re-read and share. I want you to tell us your story. This is a 100% mom blog that wears a lot of hats… we support and cheer for moms, advocate for adoption, and take care of the fatherless living James 1:27. This blog is ALL about sharing real life stories about how crazy life gets- the good, the bad, and the crazy in life, love, and mommyhood. As a mom, I need daily encouragement from other moms, sometimes just to make it through my day with a 18, 15, and 4 year old! My Crazy Adoption is not just about encouraging parents through the adoption journey…. but so much more!

Last week, one of my best friends went through a miscarriage. It was so heartbreaking watching her go through the agony of losing a child. It brought me back to the terrible day we held our son when he died. The pain of loss is so severe that the only thing you really want to hear from your family and friends … I’m so sorry!! The joy now in my life, I can share from my own experiences …. I didn’t have to ask her what she needed, I already knew. Every loss is different, but the pain is the same. I wish like crazy she wasn’t a part of the “club” of moms who have lost a child, but this is real life. God adopted us and promised us that He will never leave us or abandon us. He will walk with us through the pain and craziness of life. Continue Reading

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How In The World Do I Pick A Cause?

Posted on 20 March 2012 by Kari Gibson

There has been so much buzz this week about KONY2012, but regardless if you approve or not … they have their “cause” out there loud and crazy and in our faces about the atrocities that have happened to the invisible children in Northern Uganda. This post is NOT about debating causes or giving you my opinion on making KONY famous, but simply … how do you pick a cause?

Honestly, I didn’t spend any time, or effort, or money supporting causes until I heard about World Vision 13 years ago. Their cause is simple- Sponsor a child. I was intrigued that you could sponsor a child and support their education. As a teacher, that was a home run with my heart. It was exciting when my kids, Michael and Hannah received their first letters from our sponsors. Both children were from India and their photos brought them into our homes and on our refrigerators. It never crossed my mind to dream about visiting India and seeing with my own eyes where our sponsor children lived and went to school. I had no idea the impact going and doing something would do to my life … change my passions. Continue Reading

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Look What (YOU) Are Doing In Haiti & Moldova

Posted on 15 March 2012 by Kari Gibson

When you purchase a “limited edition” Simply Love & Man Up tee shirts look who YOU are helping in Pignon, Haiti at Haiti Home of Hope orphanage. These are all clinic children who are literally staying alive due to the formula program- Mother’s Milk Day every Wednesday. Families walk over 15 miles to Haiti Home of Hope and receive food and formula for their children. Only 3 more days left to buy HERE. Help me keep my promise to protect and love the 37 orphans living at the orphanage and 80 children we support on Clinic Day!! This project is soooooo personal to my heart!

When you purchase your Simply Love & Man Up tee today- you are helping these 2 precious girls have food & care at the Haiti Home of Hope clinic. I met them in January and made a PROMISE to protect & love. You ARE making a difference + shopping with a purpose!! STORE-

Look who YOU are helping build their new home in Pignon, Haiti with Haiti Home of Hope orphanage. This family (I hugged in January) lives next to a witch doctor. They both accepted Jesus in their hearts and now desire to move away from their WD neighbors to a new home. This is one of the projects YOU are funding with your purchase of a Simply Love & Man Up tee shirts HERE.

(Witch Doctor’s son- please pray for him today)

(Baby Rudy!! Haiti Home of Hope Clinic)

(The news broke my heart, but these precious twins died several weeks after our mission trip)

100% of the donations of the purchase of Simply Love and Man Up shirts will directly fund the projects at Haiti Home of Hope and Beginning of Life safehouse in Moldova and a FREE mission trip to visit and love the fatherless. Buy your tee shirt today HERE. If you can’t go on the 2012MISSION TRIP, you can purchase a tee in honor of a family member or friends. If you WIN, you can give your trip away!!! What an AMAZING gift to give away (can you imagine!!)

{Update: we have sold 400 tees and praying for 400 more mission-hearted people to join the project- keep praying big!!)





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Are Short Term Mission Trips Wasteful?

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Kari Gibson

One of my favorite things (as a mom blogger) is when men speak up and want to share on my blog. I appreciated this post from my friend, Caleb David-  Machine Gun Camera here and thought this would be another cool perspective on short term mission trip. My guest, Ben Singleton, really challenged me to look deeply in the heart of what Jesus considers “wasteful.” I want you to feel like your growing and gaining greater understanding when you have the opportunity to go and share the gospel with the world’s unreached people groups- there IS a place for long or short term missionaries- mission-hearted people that want to simply love and live James 1:27 in a crazy way. I want to know your thoughts after you read this new post. This is a crazy reason to encourage your hubbys, brothers, uncles, and friends to Man Up and Go. Don’t forget to come over bright and early on March 5th to My Crazy Adoption and enter to WIN a mission trip with Tom Davis’ Children’s HopeChest ministry!!!! Mark your calendars!

I just read your post and the last couple from Tom Davis. There seemed to be a common theme so I thought I would weigh in…

First of all, I think the conversation about short-term mission trips vs. long-term holistic solutions should be started in scripture.  Matthew 25 provides crystal clear support for meeting urgent (short-term) needs.  Jesus recognizes his own by their response to hunger, thirst, nakedness, imprisonment, etc.  It is important to note the response that Christ affirms as “knowing Him” is embodied in giving a drink, a meal, a shirt, or a visit.  He doesn’t necessarily ask for holistic solutions, economic development, not even (interestingly) any preaching, teaching, or theology lessons.  What lessons can we take from this?  First, the obvious message is that if we truly indwelt by the Spirit of God, we will see people (especially “the least of these”) with love & compassion in a way that make’s their needs more important to us than our own agendas.  Second, the gospel can be clearly and effectively communicated to the lost and hurting by our attitudes and actions if we truly love God and love others as ourselves.  Third, each of us is not called to solve every problem under the sun, rather we are called to respond with love and compassion to needs that God puts in front of us.

It saddens me deeply to see people who are deeply committed to the ideas of compassion and justice diminish the value of short-term responses to deep, urgent, legitimate needs.  While we are all called to be good stewards of the abundant riches God has poured out on us, it is just as important not to lose sight of what God considers good stewardship.  For example, Judas chastised Mary for “wasting” expensive perfume anointing Jesus’ feet instead of giving it to the poor, but Christ sided with Mary’s action.  By all worldly standards, Judas was correct that it would be more prudent to sell the perfume for the benefit of the poor, but this was not God’s purpose for the perfume.  This account rings in my ears every time I hear believers criticize the “effectiveness” of Spirit-led acts of compassion.  Other examples that God’s accounting systems don’t work like the world’s are found in the Good Shepard leaving the ninety-nine just to find the one, or the poor widow whose two small coins were “more” than large bags given by rich people.

I have also heard people criticize the “wastefulness” of the thousands of dollars required for each participant to undertake a short-term mission trip; the common sentiment being that funds could be more effectively used in other ways to benefit the least of these.  Again, an empty bottle of perfume pops into my mind.  But so does the fact that almost all of us spend money to take a vacation every year, an act that is probably just as expensive and yet roundly accepted and even encouraged.  Why is a trip to Africa condemned as wasteful when a trip to the Bahamas is much needed break from our demanding lives?  The answer, I believe, is that the source of attacks on the prudence of short-term trips mission is the father of lies himself.  Let’s look at this another way.  Imagine that your best friend lives on the other side of the country and is diagnosed and hospitalized with advanced pancreatic cancer.  What would you do?  Your first response wouldn’t be to work overtime so you could send money to help with his medical bills, to make a donation to the American Cancer Society, or to start doing your own research in a desperate attempt to find a cure.  Obviously you would go see him, even if the trip cost a lot of money, required you be away from your family for a short time, take time off work, etc.  The same is true with short-term missions.  It is an entirely appropriate response to the love and compassion that Spirit gives us for orphans in Africa, for example, to go and be with them.

There are even camps of people who criticize adoption because it doesn’t solve the root causes of the orphan crisis.  Again, the enemy must surely be the source of these ideas because ADOPTION IS THE GOSPEL as clearly demonstrated in Ephesians 1.  There could have been no more holistic solution to the suffering of three of “the least of these” who now call me Dad.

On the other hand, Isaiah 58 instructs us to loose the chains of injustice, set the oppressed free, to spend ourselves on behalf of the hungry, to satisfy the needs of the oppressed, and to be repairers and restorers.  None of these directive can be accomplished in the short-term.  Accomplishing these Kingdom purposes requires time, wisdom, resources, and commitment in addition to the love and compassion required in Matthew 25.  The problem with focusing solely holistic solutions to fixing broken nations is two-fold.  First without the simple, compassionate love of Matthew 25, Christ-followers will not have the staying power to affect long-term change, and without first going, seeing, listening and living the pain of the least of these, Christ-followers will have the wisdom to understand the problems. Second, some of the least of these simply cannot wait for a long-term solution (revisiting again the wisdom of leaving the ninety-nine just to find the one).  Christ conquered BIG problems like sin and death, and he told us to solve big problems like poverty, oppression, suffering, hunger, thirst, and injustice.  I think it is worth while to note that before Jesus conjured the grave, he fed thousands, hugged lepers, ate supper with prostitutes and thieves, celebrated with friends, wept with the mourning, loved children, spoke the truth, and offered the Kingdom of God to all.  There is nothing wrong with his children doing the same smaller things before accomplishing the bigger ones.  

Ben Singleton
Adoptive Dad, Orphan Advocate and One Child Campaign Advisory Board Member

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Machine Gun Camera

Posted on 26 January 2012 by Kari Gibson

Guest Blogger- Caleb David

Machine Gun Camera: A Philosophy in Short-Term Missions

Let’s clear the air. The world of short-term missions has been rocked recently with many new thoughts, blogs, missionaries and scholars.  I’m not writing to defend the camp that seems to think that all short-term mission trips are destructive, nor am I siding with those who are stuck doing things “the way they have always been done” and are offended at the other viewpoint and prefer the distance of being behind the machine gun camera.  The point of this article is to help us discover that we need each other and that it can be done in a holistic and effective way. I do not consider myself a revolutionary and am aware that there is nothing new under the sun, but we can find new ways to engage and apply the resources and wisdom that is already available to us.

I grew up as a preacher’s kid and spent several years as a child in India and the course of my life led me to work for a great short-term missions organization called Big World Ventures ( for many years in which we facilitated thousands on trips. The next phase of life came after we adopted our daughter, Sakari, from Ethiopia and on a vision trip back to Africa with Children’s Hopechest (, the Lord spoke clearly for us to launch a unique hybrid of short and long term missions while engaging individuals, ministry partnerships and communities – One Child Campaign.

Our philosophy: We believe that the purpose of short-term trips are to create awareness, build Kingdom-minded relationships, successful partnerships, funnel resources with accountability, give voice and facilitate sustainable solutions while connecting communities long-term.  This is accomplished through many creative streams and strategic partnerships. The trip is not the end result – the real work begins once we get back home. The goal is to be as invisible as possible and empower the local churches, missionaries and communities to continue the work seamlessly even after the team leaves. This means working within the appropriate cultural and ministry structure and being willing to never be recognized for our efforts.

To be honest, I totally get what the seemingly jaded long-term missionary is saying because of their encounters and the overall structure of “traditional” short-term team trips.  They have to deal with the effects of those who drop in but exit as quickly as they come. The other side is that short-term teams have the potential to raise awareness, bring resources and encourage those who are putting it all on the line daily. I’d like to establish what a short-term trip should NOT be: a poverty tour, a yearly penance to feel good about ourselves, a quick fix for our elusions of heroism, or a way to fill a hole in our identity. Are we secure enough in our calling and identity to never get an ounce of credit? Each of us must use our areas of influence with purpose and dignity, with a sense of awareness of each other.

We have to think beyond the 10-14 days of our time in a nation – beyond handing out candy, evangelical tracts and putting on drama performances and crusades. Now, before I’m called a heretic, I’m not saying those things are wrong, but I’m asking us to re-evaluate our initial integration into a foreign culture. I humbly ask you to think deeper than the surface of someone repeating a prayer after you. We must make disciples (the concept of multiplication) and that takes time, trust and truth. We must model consistency in our love. We go because we love Him and His people. Any other motivation is wrong.  

Everything in our lives ultimately goes back to our identity. In order to be effective we must first know who we are and know that we can hear and follow the voice of the Good Shepherd. He has called us to love and perfect love casts out all fear. He came to seek and save that which was lost. What was lost?? Communion and relationship with God – we are to be ministers of reconciliation, not heroes with good PR. The Gospels make it very clear that we are to go, but I think that many times we focus on the action of going and not on the attitude or the aftermath of our actions while we are there. We must constantly check the motivation of our hearts and look past the marketing, the budgets and conferences.

I believe that the church is finally waking up to its responsibility for social justice. I believe the next revival that we will see will be one of compassion and justice. Both of those words require the awareness of a need and an action to bring reconciliation or peace. Tim Keller shares in his book, Generous Justice, “In general, to “do justice” means to lives in a way that generates a strong community where human beings can flourish. Specifically, however, to “do justice” means to go to places where the fabric of shalom has broken down, where the weaker members of societies are falling through the fabric, and to repair it. This happens when we concentrate and meet the needs of the poor. How can we do that? The only way to reweave and strengthen the fabric is by weaving yourself into it.”

It can be intimidating, so do we just sit home in fear that we will do the wrong thing? I submit to you a resounding “no!” Where does our heart, mind and spirit need to be when we are about to step foot onto a plane when God calls us to go? We will start more discussion on this subject in our next post and offer some practical tips that will help you to prepare for your next trip. The Father clearly lets us know the harvest is ready in Matthew 9:35-38. We need to keep short-term trips going but lay down our own agendas, take the time to engage those who are there on the front lines fighting every day and use their wisdom and experience to forge an effective strategy together.

Yes, the trip will change you but remember it’s really not about you. Before you book your plane ticket and embark on a life changing adventure, commit to putting on the cloak of humility, walking in wisdom and lifting up the name of Jesus, so that all men would be drawn unto Him not just through your words, but primarily through your selfless love in action. 

One Child Campaign

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