Monthly Mission: Paper for Water

Remember my fun blogging friend, Amanda (aka OhAmanda with the cute pixie hair), who invited me to be a part of the Little Praise blogging tour for Yancy? Well, Amanda always has great God-sized ideas for helping parents impress God’s love on the hearts of their children (things like Truth in the Tinsel…).

This newest idea of hers is fabulous. Truly.

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Each month this year she will highlight a different service project families can do together. Last month, Erin from Home with the Boys hosted the Nickels for Nets project. Her boys collected enough nickels to purchase 10 mosquito nets to protect children in Africa from contracting Malaria. So cool!

I’m thrilled to share Paper for Water as the March Monthly Mission.

paperornaments

I love the family behind this ministry (not just because of our awesome carpooling situation…). (If you don’t remember their story…read this article from Yahoo Finance: Little Sisters, Big Hearts & Incredible Charity. or watch this video with your kiddos:)


Basically Isabelle & Katherine learned to fold orgami from their father who is half-Japanese. Around the same time they learned about the water crisis in the world…

11% of the world’s population do not have safe water to drink and coupled with poor sanitation, this results in 4,000 children dying every day.” (wateraidamerica.org)

They heard about little girls in Africa and India who spent time hauling water instead of playing and going to school. In wanting to help in some way, they started folding origami ornaments and selling them, donating the money to Living Water International.

When we met the Adams sisters they had raised $17,000 to build 3 wells. In the past year,  (with the help of a very generous matching donor) these girls have raised over a hundred thousand dollars to build water wells. Very, very cool. 

adamssisters

What inspires me is their focus on this project. Spending hours during the week and weekends folding origami ornaments, teaching others to fold and spreading the word about the need for water around the world, choosing service over self. 

Like Erin wrote last month, “Monthly Missions are all about teaching our kiddos to do the “hard things.” Serving, giving, making a difference for those who are in need.”

And yes the Adams girls are receiving awards and meeting ambassadors and making television appearances, but they are also giving up some of their comfort and conveniences to save lives across the globe. They found there is great joy in serving others.

If your family would like to join us in helping out Paper for Water, here are the weekly project ideas/challenges for March:

1st week: Go through your craft supplies and collect paper to donate. Then Isabelle & Katherine (and their helpers) can fold the paper into ornaments. The ideal origami paper comes in squares of 3×3, 4×4, or 6×6. (no card stock or tissue paper; patterns welcomed).

2nd week: Go through your jewelry box or craft supplies and collect beads or charms the girls can add to hang on the origami ornaments (see examples of charms below).

Paperforwatercollage

3rd week: It’s World Water Day on March 22nd. This week any time you would normally spend money on a soda/coke/pop/icedtea/coffee, consider saving that money & donating it to Living Water International (make checks payable to Living Water International…send to address below).

4th week: The Adams girls used their talent of folding origami to help others. Brainstorm with your children what gifts/talents/resources you could use to help others. For example, I thought my boys could make duct tape wallets to sell and give the proceeds to Living Water International. Or maybe since it’s spring cleaning time, have a garage sale and donate the money. Be creative!

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

Mail your donations (paper/beads/charms & checks made out to Living Water International) to: Paper For Water P.O. Box 720999, Dallas, TX 75372-0999.

Let’s help provide water to the thirsty through our few simple gifts!

Folding Paper for Clean Water {some girls I’d like you to meet}

First of all…the winner of the “Be Still” video is…Helen! I’ve sent you an email Helen, let me know if you got it. For those of you who didn’t win, remember you can go to the online store and for $1 you can watch the 20 minute video, for $7 you can download the video, for $9 you get the DVD. Not bad! Okay on to the post…

Pulling into our driveway I heard a honk behind me. My first thought was, “Oh no, what did I do this time.” I looked out my side mirror and saw a kind woman smiling back at me from her minivan. I rolled down my window & she said, “I saw your school sticker! We go to the same school and live on your street. Would you be interested in carpooling?”

Um, yes please. And Thank you Lord!

This sweet family has lived only a few blocks away for the past 7 years. They have 3 girls…3rd grader, 1st grader, and 2-year-old. Before school started and carpooling commenced, we planned a playdate at our house (this is not a picture of my house…).

Watching the girls walk up the sidewalk my boys made marriage plans. I was just as enthusiastic when the first words out of their mom’s mouth were, “Your house is so organized!” (hadn’t I just complained that morning about my home?). At the end of the playdate she commented on how calm I am with the boys!! (didn’t care if she was lying…needed to hear it).

Over the past month as I’ve gotten to know this family more and more, my heart has grown more and more in love. Let me count the ways…

One: Their help. At 7:20 a.m. I simply send Quade out the front door dressed in his uniform with his backpack and they load him up and take him to school! All this while I’m still in my pjs, the baby is still in his crib, and the other boys are just finishing breakfast (in their pjs). SOOO much better than the alternative…hurriedly loading sleepy boys & a hungry baby into our car and barely making it to school on time.

Two. Their hospitality. The first day I drove carpool, Katherine, the 1st grader, invited us over for lunch. I thanked her and suggested she should ask her mom first and perhaps another time. The next week she asked again. Then her mom texted me and formally extended an invitation. Amazingly kind. Just the other day we received a 2nd lunch invitation because they had extra food they wanted to share (brave woman to invite 3 boys into her home to eat lasagna!).

Three. Their hearts.  Last year, while waiting in carpool with their dad, the two older girls learned the japanese art of origami (their dad is one-half Japanese). Each day they folded paper and created ornaments.

Later that year the girls heard about how a child dies every 15 seconds for lack of clean water. They couldn’t allow children to die for lack of water or children to miss school because of how long it took to get clean water.  So they decided to sell their origami ornaments and give 100% of the proceeds to Living Water International to build wells for clean water access. At their first event they sold all their ornaments and raised $700!

In less than 8 months, these two girls raised over $17,000!

There is no such thing as a “junior” Holy Spirit.

I’m in awe of the God-sized dream placed on these girls hearts. Also the willingness of their parents to come alongside them and make it happen. They’ve already built 3 wells in India are and halfway to the 4th! Here is a clip of the girls on Good Morning Texas last week:

(won’t let me embed the video so here is the link: http://www.wfaa.com/video?id=168933726&sec=552757 )

The girls were also given the opportunity to speak about “Paper for Water” at the UNWomen in NYC (the largest chapter) and shared this Scripture,

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

So true. My “God-Centered Mom” challenge, from knowing these girls & their story, is to stop thinking my children are getting in the way of what God has for ME. Frequently I assume He has big plans for me AFTER the kids leave the house. But God could be working right now in my kids & in our family. Perhaps His plans are for my boys to do and I’m supposed to encourage and facilitate them. Instead of being “self-centered” in approaching God’s will for my life…I need to take a step back and see our whole family fulfilling His will. 

I want to show my boys what is going on in the world. I want to teach them interesting skills. I want to guide them to know God & see where He is working & join Him.

What God-sized ideas have your kids suggested lately? Are you willing to empower them to make it happen? How are you drawing your children closer to the heart of God?

Here are a few ways to help Katherine & Isabelle reach their goal of building 28 more wells:

  1. “Like” their Facebook page: Paper for Water (www.facebook.com/paperforwater
  2. Donate to Living Water International (www.water.cc)
  3. If you live in Dallas their ornaments are for sale in the gift shop at the Trammell Crow Center for Asian Art.
  4. Mail them two-sided paper to use to make ornaments. If you cut it into little squares (3×3) even better…it takes 30 pieces of paper to make one ornament. (email me–> button on sidebar if you are interested)