Building a Team for HOPE and a TGC Giveaway

Are you ready to swim, bike, and/or run with Tri for Others to benefit HOPE International? If your answer is “no way” that’s okay, you can still be a part of what we are doing. See how below…

Building a Teamtri-for-others

Tri for Others is a club I started for two purposes:  to raise funds and awareness for HOPE International and to be active while having a little fun doing it. But the main objective of Tri for Others is to gather a team of individuals willing to give and/or share about opportunities to give to HOPE. The team so far is approximately 60 strong but we’d like to give you one more chance to join this team for HOPE.

Team members will receive exclusive opportunities for wonderful prizes, fitness tips and updates on potential races, a chance to get to know HOPE staff, and more. Because of these special incentives, we have set a deadline for joining the Tri for Others HOPE team. If you are interested in participating simply sign up for the newsletter (HERE) and/or via the Facebook page (HERE) by January 15.

Each month, I will have a special giveaway for the HOPE campaign. Today’s giveaway is open to anyone who would like to join our efforts.

TGC National Conference Giveaway

The Gospel Coalition will hold its biennial National Conference on April 13-15 with over 75 speakers, 49 workshops and 16 focus gatherings.  This year’s theme is “Coming Home” and TGC has graciously given us  TWO national tickets for one winner and a friend. The prize package is valued at $418.

tgc nat conference

More about TGC Nat 15

Speakers include pastors, leaders, and authors like Tim Keller, John Piper, Randy Alcorn, Trip Lee, Kathleen Nielsen, Gloria Furman, Thabiti Anyabwile, Russell Moore, Nancy Guthrie and more.

On the website, D.A. Carson offers six points in an overview of the TGC Nat. 15 conference  as he explains the topic and theme. Here, in his third point, Carson directs our gaze to the realities many face around the world and their great hope of the age to come:

Third, at a time of increased global awareness, we cannot fail to observe how countless numbers of brothers and sisters in Christ in many parts of the world live out their Christian pilgrimage under the constant threat of opposition, persecution, and poverty. They have little difficulty understanding that if we suffer with him, we will also reign with him. They understand how to align themselves with Christians across the century whose cry has been, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20). To focus all our attention on the “already” side of the “already / not yet” tension is not only to distort Scripture but to demean brothers and sisters who in fact see some things more clearly than we do. Moreover, not a few pressures are building up in the West that may well generate the kind of opposition and persecution that believers elsewhere have long experienced―and one of the most stabilizing things we can do to prepare people for this is to increase believers’ hope of the new heaven and the new earth.

This objective for the TGC conference aligns with what I’ve experienced and seen so far of the desire and mission of HOPE International. HOPE’s motivation for serving through microfinance–compelled by the love of Jesus Christ–is  to identify with those living in poverty and be His hands and feet as they strive to glorify God.

And it is why I’m so thankful to TGC for sponsoring this giveaway.

How to enter:

1)      All you need to do is sign up to receive our newsletter! Newsletters will be sent no more than twice a month (except on the rare occasion to share urgent information). The newsletters will give you updates on Tri for Others and training, fundraising goals, HOPE news and events related to our campaign, and prizes. I am the sole “owner” of the newsletter and will not share this list.

2)      You can be entered twice by sharing the link to this note using the hashtag #triforothers on Facebook or Twitter (note, you must also be signed up for the newsletter or on the FB page to win). Please don’t forget the hashtag, there is no way to track your entry without use of #triforothers.

3) You may also enter by joining our Facebook Page: Click here to join

4)      Contest begins today and ends on Tuesday, January13 at midnight. Prize winners will be announced on Monday, January 19.

Rules:

1)      You can only sign up once but additional members of a family are welcome to sign up (i.e. a couple in the same household may enter).

2)      Do not sign up under multiple email addresses (on your honor).

3)      Employees of HOPE International are welcome to sign up but are not eligible for the drawing (sorry, friends!).

4)      Contest begins on Monday, January 4, 2015  and ends at midnight Tuesday, January 13, 2015..

5)      Enter twice by sharing on Facebook or Twitter using #triforothers. You must use the hashtag to be entered a second time.

6)     If you join the Facebook page you are entered once. If you join the Facebook page and the newsletter, you are entered twice

7)      You do not have to donate funds in order to be entered to win the TGC prizes.

This is not a rule, but please consider committing to stay on the newsletter for news and updates for a period of three months. Thanks for considering!

Time to Enter!

To make things easier, you can sign up using the button below or you can use this link: Click here to Sign-up

Sign up!

 

Thank you TGC for your generous donation! If you would like to learn more about The Gospel Coalition National Conference visit their website and register here.

Christians live in the hope of knowing that the entire physical creation will be renewed into a perfect world without pain and death.

— Tim Keller | Redeemer.com

Please also check out ways you can partner through prayer for HOPE International

Join Us in Praying for HOPE International

As part of the Tri for Others fundraising campaign to benefit HOPE International, we’d also like to partner with our friends through prayer. Here is a list of prayers from the HOPE twitter page to help get you started.H-HOPE brown yellow (4)-0

#MorningPrayer: Praise God for HOPE-network families saving money for the first time! Pray for wisdom as they use their savings.

#MorningPrayer: Pray for HOPE Malawi as they begin the search for a third church partner, with hopes to begin partnership in early 2015

#MorningPrayer: Pray for HOPE China as they explore new partnerships in the south. Pray for wisdom to know how to best serve this new area.

#MorningPrayer: Pray that as HOPE continues to learn & grow in the area of discipleship, it becomes a way of life for each staff member.

#HOPEprayer: Pray that HOPE-network leadership would have clear vision so that even more clients receive financial services and the Gospel.

#HOPEprayer: Praise God for the nearly 200,000 new families reached in 2014 throughout the HOPE network!

#HOPEprayer: Many who live in poverty often have feelings of hopelessness. Pray that HOPE’s clients begin to find their worth in Christ.

To think we can go boldly to the throne of grace to receive help in our time of need is truly amazing (Heb. 4:16). Let’s go boldly to that same throne through our Savior Jesus on behalf of HOPE.

Follow HOPE on twitter at HOPEtweets to keep up with prayer requests, client stories, and news about HOPE.

HOPE for Families and a Noonday Giveaway

This week, HOPE International’s CEO, Peter Greer, announced that the organization has decided to change their mission statement replacing “poor” with “families”. He wrote:

Our mission statement is, ‘To invest in the dreams of the poor in the world’s underserved communities as we proclaim and live the gospel.’ So many of the things that I am deeply         passionate about are encapsulated in that simple sentence. I love that we are investors in dreams. I love that we work in the underserved regions of the world. I love how unapologetic we are about our bold commitment to the Gospel.

My discomfort stems from labeling the people we serve as “the poor.”

He proceeded to share four reasons for this change. He believes: It further entraps people in poverty. It reinforces a strictly financial definition of poverty. And, it makes us feel that we are not poor.

Although I do not see a problem with the use of the word “poor”, I so appreciate his heart and desire to uphold the dignity and imago dei of his clients. The desire of HOPE to honor people, along with their commitment to love and serve clients through financial means, business training, and ultimately gospel proclamation, are a few reasons why I’m excited to share about this organization with you. It’s why I’m asking you to join with me (and Jen and Isaac!) in learning more and giving.

A Noonday Giveaway!

Over the next month, people who sign up to participate in the Tri for Others campaign to raise funds for HOPE will also be eligible to win prizes (please note, you do not have to donate money to be entered into this drawing). We are interested in raising funds and awareness, that’s why we are building a newsletter list solely dedicated to information about Tri for Others and HOPE. We’d like to provide a small incentive to help make this happen.

My friend, Catherine Parks, has just begun selling Noonday Collection. Noonday Collection’s mission is to create economic opportunity for the vulnerable. They partner with artisans in the developing world, empowering them to grow sustainable businesses. Ambassadors within the organization are independent contractors and sell the products. Catherine has graciously sponsored this giveaway!

Prize package is valued at $162 and includes:Noonday prizes

-1 Red Cozy Zip Wrap – 95% alpaca, 5% polyaminde, made in Peru

-1 pair Taj Earrings – made in India from ethically harvested cow bone

-1 Etched Bars Bracelet, gold – mixed metal, made in India

Just in time for Christmas! Keep for yourself or give a gift to a friend or spouse!

How to enter:

1)      All you need to do is sign up to receive our newsletter! Newsletters will be sent no more than twice a month (except on the rare occasion to share urgent information). The newsletters will give you updates on Tri for Others and training, fundraising goals, HOPE news and events related to our campaign, and prizes. I am the sole “owner” of the newsletter and will not share this list.

2)      You can be entered twice by sharing the link to this note using the hashtag #triforothers on Facebook or Twitter (note, you must also be signed up for the newsletter to win). Please don’t forget the hashtag, there is no way to track your entry without use of #triforothers.

3) You may enter also enter by joining our Facebook Page: Click here to join

4)      Contest begins today and ends on Friday, December 12 at midnight. Prize winners will be announced on Monday, December 15.

Rules:

1)      You can only sign up once but additional members of a family are welcome to sign up (i.e. a couple in the same household may enter).

2)      Do not sign up under multiple email addresses (on your honor).

3)      Employees of HOPE International are welcome to sign up but are not eligible for the drawing (sorry, friends!).

4)      Contest begins on Monday, December 8 and ends at midnight Friday, December 12.

5)      Enter twice by sharing on Facebook or Twitter using #triforothers. You must use the hashtag to be entered a second time.

6)     If you join the Facebook page you are entered once. If you join the Facebook page and the newsletter, you are entered twice

7)      You do not have to donate funds in order to be entered to win the Noonday prizes.

This is not a rule, but please consider committing to stay on the newsletter for news and updates for a period of three months. Thanks for considering!

Time to Enter!

To make things easier, you can sign up using the button below or you can use this link: Click here to Sign-up

Sign Up Now

 

 Or click here to join our Facebook page

To use your purchasing power to shop from Noonday Collection, visit catherineparks.noondaycollection.com. Order by December 15 for Christmas delivery!

 

 

 

 

Meet Isaac Ezell and Jen Pollock Michel

Tri for Others has evolved since I first announced it in early October and I can’t wait to share some of the new developments. As way of reminder, over the next year I will be raising fundstri-for-others and awareness for HOPE International. Tri for Others is simply a means to that end. I, along with others, will do triathlons and other events (such as 5Ks) in honor of HOPE. You do not have to do a race to get involved (more about that soon).

So what’s new?

First, I have had the joy and honor of meeting Isaac Ezell. Isaac is the Senior Regional Representative for HOPE International. The changes that have developed in the Tri for Others fundraising campaign is due much to his influence and encouragement. He believes greatly in the mission of HOPE International and has faith to move mountains in regards to raising funds and awareness. Therefore, I’ve begun a greater partnership with HOPE which includes but not limited to meeting with Isaac to brainstorm ideas for the Tri for Others campaign.

Next up, Jen Pollock Michel has agreed to link arms with me in this fundraising effort! Like so many of today’s relationships, I first met Jen via social media. Since that time, I have gotten to know her via her writing and she is a gift. She has a great love for the Savior and a desire to bring Him glory in all that she does. She will join me in sharing about upcoming events as she is able, writing, and learning and sharing about the amazing clients of HOPE. We both have plans to partner with HOPE long-term—but I won’t get ahead of myself. I am quite thankful for this partnership and believe we will have a wonderful year together as we share about this ministry.

What’s next?

Over the next two months you will have an opportunity to sign up to join us in raising funds for HOPE (and join the Tri for Others team if you are so inclined!). Prizes, incentives, and much more will be announced—starting next week! So, be on the lookout for an announcement on Monday morning.

Until then, get to know Isaac and Jen. Below you’ll find their bios and ways to connect with them via social media. (In case you missed it, check out this interview I did with Christ Horst, VP of Development for HOPE: Spreading HOPE in the midst of poverty with small businesses)

 

Meet and connect with IsaacIsaac Head Shot

Isaac Ezell is a Senior Regional Representative for HOPE International; a Christian faith-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on alleviating physical and spiritual poverty through Christ-centered microfinance. Based in the Greater Nashville area, Isaac is responsible to serve as a regional extension and ambassador of HOPE International as he raises funding and strengthens relationships with HOPE’s partners in the region. In a culture of increased global awareness and activism, Isaac invests in projects that create opportunities to promote human dignity by unlocking opportunities for meaningful work for the poor around the world. Isaac resides in Franklin, TN with his wife, Carolyn and two young daughters. You can follow Isaac on Twitter @jiezell or at www.isaacezell.com

jen michelMeet and connect with Jen

Jen Pollock Michel is a writer and speaker who lives with her family in Toronto. She is the author of Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition, and the Life of Faith (InterVarsity Press)Jen also writes regularly for Today in the Word, a monthly devotional published by The Moody Bible Institute, and is a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics blog. You can find Jen at www.jenpollockmichel.com or follow her on twitter @jenpmichel.

Also,

Introducing Tri for Others

tri-for-others

(Update: Much has changed and it’s exciting. To keep up with prizes, incentives, and how you can learn about HOPE please Sign up for our newsletter! )

I was a fitness professional for eight years before my writing became intensive. Over the past year, I’ve concentrated my writing for the wonderful organizations I work for, speaking, and sharing about United, and have finished my second book. But fitness remains an important aspect of my life, and I’m excited to share it with you.

Caring for our bodies can be a way to honor God. He created us not to lay waste to our bodies through abusing them, but so we might use them for His glory and His purposes. And though godliness is of supreme value, we know that physical training is of some value to the Lord. Paul helps us see the false dichotomy when he writes, “For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). But I don’t want to train just to train; I would like to train for others, too.

So, I want to train my body to the glory of God, and bring you along with me—all while raising awareness and funds for charity organizations and initiatives.

Swim, Bike, or Run for a cause.

Over the next year, I will swim, bike, and/or run to raise awareness and funds for HOPE International and the Psalm 139 Project. These organizations are special to me, and I can’t wait to share what they do with you. Throughout the year, I’ll write articles about the organizations, highlight key initiatives and programs, as well as share posts related to fitness, theology of fitness, and general fitness training. Because I will be training, I’ll update you with how I’m doing as well. I hope to post on these topics at least twice a month.

The first half of the season will be devoted to HOPE International. The fundraiser for HOPE will run from now until May 15, 2015 (the date of my first triathlon), with a goal of raising $3,500. After May 15, I’ll begin featuring the Psalm 139 Project until October 2015 (more information about the 139 fundraiser will begin in the spring). My goal is to end the fundraising year with an IronMan 70.5 triathlon in Augusta, Georgia (more about that coming too).

What is HOPE International?

Let me start by saying, I’ve always been a bit skeptical of organizations that work and give to impoverished countries. I simply lacked trust and faith that the money was going to the right people. After meeting and interacting with Peter Greer, President and CEO and, Chris Horst, VP of Development, I knew that not only what they were doing was legitimate, they were working with the utmost integrity.

So what do they do?

From their website, HOPE’s mission is to invest in the dreams of the poor as they proclaim and live the Gospel in the world’s underserved communities. They do this by: Sharing the hope of Christ as they provide biblically based training, savings services, and loans that restore dignity and break the cycle of poverty. The love of Jesus Christ motivates them to identify with those living in poverty and be His hands and feet as they strive to glorify God.

How it works:

In a few short weeks, I will share with you the dates of my races and ask you to consider partnering with me by pledging per mile or giving a flat dollar amount. You don’t have to wait for me to give! If you are intrigued and ready to give now, feel free to donate to HOPE now.

But I’d also love for you to join me in a race on your own!

You can Tri for Others, too!

If you’d like to join me, receive a few fitness tips (but not coaching), have a fun group of friends to cheer you on, and raise awareness for these organizations, please join me by:

1)      Sign up by joining my Tri for Others club (this is not an organization and you DO NOT have to do a triathlon). 

Sign up by joining the Tri for Other Facebook group, or if you do not have a Facebook account, or do not wish to be public, you may sign up through a newsletter.  Click here to sign up for the newsletter. (NOTE: If you sign up for your race with Team-Magic events, you can sign up under my team “Tri for Others” and receive 10% off your race fee! I will hand out the special code after the club is developed)

2) Commit to one race (or as many as you’d like, and it does not have to be a triathlon). Sign up for a road race of any kind (run or bike) or/and a tri/duoathlon, etc., anywhere in the United States or beyond. I’m doing a few triathlons, cycling events, and road races. Once I know who’s “in”, I’ll provide more info about what I’m doing, and I’ll also give you tools to help you get started. If you are in the Nashville or Knoxville area, you can join me at a few events. Otherwise, the Facebook page will be designed to cheer each of us on, in our races, wherever we are doing them.

3) Fundraise with little effort. The idea of fundraising can be daunting, and I don’t want you to feel any pressure. Even having a team will make this extremely special. I will be doing a series on fitness and highlighting these ministries on my website/blog. I’ll also have direct links to fundraising pages so people may give directly to the organizations. If you’d like, you could simply share the link with your friends so that they might give as the Tri for Others team raises money.

Now what?

Here are some quick and easy (and clickable) reminders:

  1. Interested in participating, join Tri for Others through Facebook and/or via the Newsletter.
  2. You do NOT have to do a triathlon. You can do a 5K, 10K, half Marathon, etc. All fitness levels are welcome.
  3. Much more information about the organizations is forthcoming, but feel free to click on these links to learn more about the organizations now: HOPE and Psalm 139

**Tri for Others is a club, not an organization, dedicated to bringing awareness to charity organizations. It is not a training facility or group. I will not be doing one-on-one coaching or training. I am happy to be a part of X3 Endurance, who does provide coaching, if that is what you desire. Please consult a physician before trying any physical activity.