Thursday, November 20, 2008

Busy Times

Wow. One full week without blogging. Where does all the time go? Here at Hoops of Hope, in addition to working our "day jobs", we're busy coordinating upwards of 100 events that are planned on December 6th in possibly 16 different countries. It's a busy time, but a season that we love. Our volunteers and small staff are doing an incredible job coordinating these events. Not a day goes by that we don't thank God for them.

Last week, we were at Revolve in Spokane Washington. About 4,000 girls attended and we had over 380 sign up to do a Hoops of Hope event before December 6th. Incredible.  Right now, we're about 1/2 way to funding the medical clinic in Chilala. I'm hoping and praying we meet our goal :)

Tomorrow, Austin will be heading to Portland for another incredible weekend with the Revolve Tour. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hoops of Hope Australia!!!

Here are two incredible videos from Hoops of Hope in Australia. The event took place last weekend. This event was amazing and goes to show that no matter how large or small, you're making a huge difference. I'm so proud of Tara and all of your friends who gave up their day to shoot Hoops of Hope. Enjoy the videos - I sure did.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Incredible passion

I love hearing of and telling stories of incredibly passionate people. This past weekend, while Austin was at LCBC speaking, my wife kept texting me telling how something at this church just "felt different". I guess she was right. I found out yesterday that this church raised almost $80,000 over the weekend! Wow. In a down economy, these people just gave like crazy. I think they really get it and I can't tell you how encouraged we are to witness these stories. If you want to know what I mean, check out the audio of the weekend service. I was challenged, and I think you will be to.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cans for Kids

Almost every week, I get to see young people from the Revolve Tour stepping forward to sponsor children in another land.  They step forward and stand in the gap for these kids.  You've heard the slogans I'm sure..."for a dollar a day, you can...".  Here's the reality though - if you're going through a good organization, this stuff is real!  I've touched the hands of children who are given hope because of someone who sponsors them.  They're given food, clothing, shelter, uniforms for school, clean water, medical care and the list goes on and on. These kids are real and the programs really work.

Which is why when I see a young child moved to sponsor another child, my heart smiles like crazy. I read a story yesterday in the World Vision winter mailing about such a child. Joanna Vasquez dreamed of providing hope for a little girl in Brazil who's picture caught her eye. A mere $35 a month might not seem like a lot, but to an 11 year old girl, it's a lot of money. So Joanna took her sponsor child's picture around to all her neighbors and asked them if they would donate their cans and bottles to her so she could recycle them and raise enough money for her sponsor child. Almost everyone in her neighborhood said yes. She established a pick-up routine and get this, collected more than 17,000 bottles and cans! She earned $771...enough to more than sponsor her little friend in Brazil.

Most days I wish I had more vision like this little girl.  Joanna, today, you're my hero.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend Summary

The weekend was incredible.  Over $6000 was raised at the University of South Florida event and 737 girls signed up to do Hoops of Hope during the Revolve Tour in Philadelphia!  To wrap it up, Austin was able to share at the LCBC church in Lancaster.  This church is doing Hoops of Hope on December 6th and they already have about 300 people committed to participating.  I think it's one of the best organized events I've seen yet and it's so exciting to see the church and community rallying around them.  Can't wait to see what happens!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday Revolve and LCBC

Rumor has it that there are almost 10,000 girls at the Philadelphia Revolve Tour!!  How cool. Austin will be speaking in the morning this time as he heads to Lancaster this afternoon to spend the weekend at the LCBC Hoops of Hope event.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I had some time this morning while flying to Indiana for a wedding to actually “read the paper”. It’s something I’ve been ignoring for about three months now, as the news just hasn’t been that great. Think about it, do you feel better after reading the paper or watching the news? I’m sorry, but I usually don’t. And, after reading it today…I think I’ve been right. It seems like every page is about the economy. Ugh, it depresses me to see so many people hurting. I guess that’s why when we see people donating to Hoops of Hope, especially when times are tough, it’s so incredibly encouraging.

In fact, just yesterday Denise and Austin headed to the University of South Florida to attend a Hoops of Hope event. It was an amazing event that raised over $3,000 towards the building of the clinic. So, thank you for giving and go ahead and take a sabbatical from the paper. Even Sarah Palin’s wardrobe article isn’t worth the read.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

I went and voted today, joining millions of Americans who exercised their right to vote. No matter who you voted for, or who wins, it's an incredible right and freedom that we have to elect someone to office. Surprisingly, there wasn't even a line at the polling place. Nope, I just walked right in, voted, got my little sticker and was out the door on my way to Starbucks for a free cup of coffee just for voting. What a wonderful country.

So today, I'm thankful for the right to vote. Remember the scenes of Iraqi people walking 48 hours and standing in line for 17 hours just to vote? My polling place didn't look anything like this picture.
How about the situation in Zimbabwe, where the people were told to vote for Mugabe or starve? Wow, today is a good day. The person I voted for may or may not win, but I got the chance to vote and my prayer is that right will never go away.