Grant Me the Wisdom and Strength to do More By: Robert Smucker

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

Each night when I pray at some point during that prayer I will say, “Grant me the wisdom and strength to do more”. What I like most about these verses is that God doesn’t ask us to go out of our way and create new ways to serve Him and others. There are many ways for us to serve, most of which are small things that end up meaning the most to those who need a helping hand or an encouraging word. We are just to remain willing and the opportunities will come to us to use what He has given us. This is the story of how The Summit 4 Hope 2011 came to be.

Two years ago when I first started thinking about another Mt. Kilimanjaro fundraising climb I never intended for it to be anything more than six to eight climbers. It wasn’t until I started recruiting people to join me on the climb in Tanzania that I realized that we could involve climbers, who have a heart for Africa, from different parts of the world including parts of the US, Canada,Taiwan and other parts of Africa.

The number of potential climbers who where interested in the Mt. Kilimanjaro trip grew to over 25, but time and commitments reduced the team down to six. Team Kilimanjaro 2011 is currently made up of: Eleasha Bailey, Larenda Bailey, Linda Ladaga, Heather Martinez, Christian Crouse and me. Each member has committed themselves to train and be in the best physical condition possible to make this climb. I have two goals. The first is to make sure that everyone makes it to Uhure Peak (The highest point in Africa) and back safely, and the second is for the team to raise $100,000+ for Project Canaan in Swaziland.

The idea of having teams climbing different mountains and summiting all on the same day came about when I received an e-mail from James Liao from the Heart for Africa –Taiwan team. James has served in Swaziland with Heart for Africa and is one of the people who I was hoping that would be able to join us on the Mt. Kilimanjaro climb and represent Taiwan on the team, but the timing was not going to work. Instead, James had an even better idea.  He would lead a team of students in

Taiwan to climb Mt Jade, the tallest mountain in Taiwan, while we were climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. That spurred the idea of having other teams climbing a mountain in their area on the same date that we were climbing in Africa and Taiwan and The Summit 4 Hope 2011 concept was alive. I made some phone calls and sent out a couple of e-mails and before we knew it we had eight different climbing teams, in five different countries on 3 different continents all summiting their mountain on July 25th, 2011.  Each individual team will set a financial goal and our overall objective is to raise $100,000 to go towards building phase two of the El Roi baby home and the Kufundza Vocational training center on Project Canaan.

Now there are teams doing Summit 4 Hope climbs on June 25th, 2011 in the US (Hawaii, California, Colorado, Georgia), Alberta Canada, Tanzania, Swaziland and Taiwan. If you would like to join one of these teams or support a climber, please go to: http://www.heartforafrica.org/SummitforHope2011.aspx

Mt. Kilimajaro Team update: Sunday February 20th Linda,Christian, Whitney Crouse, Linda’s UGA roommate Motisha and Robert Smucker did a six hour full pack (25lb – to 30lb) training hike. The hike covering over 12 miles on the Amicalola Falls to Springer Mt trail. The main purpose of this hike was to give Linda and Christian a good feel for where they stand physically and where they need to be. Larenda will be traveling to Alaska to do some training next month. Heather just returned from New Zealand were she did some hiking and mountain climbing and Eleasha continues to workout in Florida.

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God Created Everyone for a Purpose By: Eric Stallworth

Several years ago, I read these words of Paul recorded by Luke, “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” Those words are so powerful to me, please allow me to explain by sharing a little of my story. I was born and raised in the inner city on the south side of Chicago. As a family, we never travelled outside of the United States and the idea of visiting the continent of Africa never crossed my mind. My family was regular attendees of a black Baptist church and I have memories of once a year bringing home a piggy bank in the shape of a smallloaf of bread, to put our change in over several months to support missionaries. Over the years, while channel surfing, I would come upon a television segment talking about the plight of African children who were orphaned and vulnerable. My response was to change the channel, thinking could I really make a difference? The problems were so massive. So I closed my eyes and tried to pretend that everything was okay in the world. But in the summer of 2008, my life journey took me to Kenya to serve a couple of communities there and new life questions began to form in my mind. Questions like, why was I born in North America rather than Africa? If I truly follow His leading, where and what is He leading me to go and do? Was I born for purpose or is it arbitrary?

As a Christ follower, I believe that I am not an accident and God created everyone for purpose. My partnership with Heart for Africa began when I was serving others in another way. For several months, I had been serving as a small group leader of high school students at my church, North Point Community Church. Each summer, North Point sends teams of students and small group leaders overseas to serve others. So although I had the excuses of our nation being in the midst of a recession and personal challenges I was experiencing, I decided to not wallow in my own sadness and do something. So last year, I took a baby step and answered the call to serve in Swaziland. And I had no idea what God would do with that willing decision. Alongside our students, we helped host over 10,000 Africans, primarily orphans and vulnerable children at Litsemba 2010. We distributed thousands of beanies, blankets, bibles and warm meals. We partnered with a Swazi church helping them create a garden and prayed for those sick in the community.

In an ancient Hebrew book, you will find these words of wisdom when translated into English, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.” Those words sum up the reason why after a few months from returning home from Swaziland, my wife Margaret and I decided that we should serve together in the coming year in Swaziland. To paraphrase, I am returning but this time, I am bringing reinforcements. And that is the power of a short-term service trip. For ten days, you get to turn your focus totally on serving others, not looking to your own interests but the interests of others. Once you experience it, you desperately want those you love to experience it as well.

By: Eric Stallworth

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