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  • ivanildotrindade 4:28 pm on April 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , pepperdine university, rescuing children, , , , , , vacation with a purpose,   

    Go and Do – a little book with a big dare 

    It’s not every day that you get a book for free and you go home and you read half of it before you go to bed on the same day, but that’s exactly what happened to me last Friday!

    Just before I went home, as I always do, I checked my mail box and found a yellow envelope from Tyndale Publishers. Inside it was a brand new copy of Jay Milbrandt’s book Go and Do: Daring to Change the World One Story at a Time with a note from the author. The book is outstanding and I can’t recommend it enough. You can pre-order it on Amazon now and it will be available on Barnes & Nobles starting this coming Thursday.

    Jay Milbrandt is a young attorney and serves as the Director of the Global Justice Program and Associate Director of the Nootbaar Institute for Law, Religion, and Ethics at Pepperdine University School of Law. He is also a friend and more importantly, he is a friend to Faa, the young lady with whom I co-founded G.R.O.W., an organization that is rescuing children from the sex trade industry in SE Asia.

    For this reason, I am partial to the book. I knew it was being published and I even got an advanced copy of some of its contents. Gosh, I even made some suggestions to the author, a couple of which made it to the final version of the book. But I am biased for another reason: every purchased copy of Jay’s book will generate a contribution to the work of G.R.O.W.

    And here is why: I met Jay in Thailand. He already knew Faa and had been working with her on some projects rescuing at-risk children and advocating on behalf of some landless, displaced youths who had no place to go. Jay had his life changed by the children Faa introduced to him on the streets of Chiang Mai and in fact in the first 55 pages of his book, he tells the story of how me met Faa and how the children she was helping on the streets changed his life.

    Jay is convinced that every change starts with us first and he tells the story of how this happened to him. Faa played a big part in it and thus his tale is filled with stories of redemption and chaos from the life of children with no voice. You will laugh and cry as you read Jay’s story, and I hope it will inspire you to go and do something.

    It could start with a trip overseas. Not simply a vacation, but a vacation with a purpose. Perhaps your journey will parallel Jay’s. If nothing also, you will be helping G.R.O.W. build a learning center in Wiang Pa Pao, Thailand, which is how Jay is going to use part the funds generated through the sale of his book.

    I hope you will buy a copy of this book. It is not a long book, in fact, as books go, it is a little book. But there is a big dare inside of it. Read it to find out. You may find yourself, just like Jay, asking the question, “What Am I Here For?” And the journey will start.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

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  • ivanildotrindade 5:12 pm on February 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Battambang, , , physical abuse, rescuing children, ,   

    G.R.O.W. OPENS ITS FIRST HOME IN CAMBODIA! 

    This is a special announcement to all of our friends and supporters: we are opening our first home in Battambang, Cambodia. During my recent trip to Cambodia, Sumitra Faa and I had the opportunity to interview three couples who had shown interest in this position. From the beginning we felt drawn to Sambo and his family. He was amply qualified for the work, and he and his wife were already involved in rescuing children in the city where they lived. We interviewed them twice and presented their names to the board at our recent meeting.

    We asked the Board to pray and spoke with Sambo during the meeting, at which time we agreed to move the process ahead. By the grace of God, a donor had provided most of the funds to cover the expenses of running the home for the first year. We still have needs that will have to be covered by future contributions, but felt confident to move ahead with this plan. We are operating with a bare-bone budget but trusting God for the future. Before the end of the year, our plan is to see six new girls who have been victims of physical and/or sexual abuse. They will join Sambo’s family and enjoy a new life where they will no longer be in danger and with time will be able to have the hope of glory.

    While in Battambang, Sumitra and I looked at several houses we intended to rent. Most of the houses were far from what we would consider adequate for the work we do with children. But on our last day there, God allowed us to go to a home we really liked and we found the landlords were very open to our work. They even agreed to reduce the rent significantly and by God’s grace Sambo and his family will be moving to that house on or by February 15th. We couldn’t be more happy with this!

    Sambo, Sopha, and their daughters Mary (8), Ruth (5), and Katrina (1) have been serving God for several years now. They have started a couple of churches and until recently were operating an English teaching school for youth in their town. During the recent flooding in Cambodia, they took in 8 children whose parents became homeless and were no longer able to pay for their schooling. They love their people and have shown again and again that they are willing to sacrifice in order to help “the least of these.”

    For those of you who read my blog and believe in prayer*, please pray for Sambo and Sopha:

    Pray for their move to Battambang;

    Pray that their children will adjust well to the new city and schools;

    Pray that they will remain healthy;

    Pray for the right girls to be brought to the home;

    Pray for Sambo and Sopha as they meet people and organizations who are already working with children who are suffering abuse.

    Pray that God will provide the necessary support to keep this home running at the optimum level.

    As I said above, there will be some extra needs associated with starting this home that are not covered by the budget. If you would like to contribute toward those needs, please send your donation to G.R.O.W. marked “Cambodia, start-up”  (P. O. Box 1862. Wooster, OH 44691). All your gifts are tax-deductible.

    Thank you for your prayers and faithful support or the ministry of G.R.O.W. in SE Asia. We are excited about this new step but also understand that this is a huge step of faith. Please continue to pray that God will move ahead of us and that we will continue to put Him at the center of everything we do.

    For the least of these,

    Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade

    G.R.O.W. President

    *If you don’t believe in prayer, wish them well! Thank you!

     
  • ivanildotrindade 11:42 pm on October 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bikes, christian obligation, doing something bold, , g.r.o.w., helping the poor, rescuing children   

    The tale of three bikes and the inspiration to start G.R.O.W. 

    Meeting Faa again in our church inspired me to do something bold. Praying and getting others on board was not enough. I had to do something personally and it had to be something with an exclamation point at the end. Just about that time we were in a series in our church about helping “the least of these.” I was scheduled to preach the last message in the series.

    During a meeting with the other pastors that week, I was on the edge. Actually, it would be fair to say that I was edgier than usual… I made the statement that getting involved in helping the poor was not just a nice thing to do. We were obligated to do it as followers of Christ. I said, “if we are not sacrificing on behalf those who are less privileged than us, we are sinning against God.” One of my colleagues challenged me on that point. He said, “You gotta be careful with what you say because some people might tell you that you should give up your motorcycle and give the money to the poor.”

    He might as well put his finger on an open sore on my side. I owned a Harley before and wrecked it. I was obligated to settle for a Honda Shadow, but I loved riding it. “No, God couldn’t be asking me to give up my bike.” This was Tuesday and by Thursday night I was restless. I kept saying, “But it is a 1994 bike, it can’t be worth that much.” I tried to go to sleep but an apparently random thought kept arresting my brain. It was not audible, but I could clearly hear it inside my head, “Do the math. Do the math.” I got up, went downstairs directly to the computer and looked up the Kelly blue book website. I found out that even if I sold my bike for less than the retail value, I would still have enough money to support 4 children in Thailand for about 8 months. My heart was suddenly at peace. And the bike was as good as gone at 3:00 a.m. on Friday.

    On Sunday, I told the story to my congregation. After the first service, a guy I had never met came to me and said, “Look, I heard you say that you were giving up your bike but not riding. I have something I want to give you. ” Well, to make a long story short, that Sunday afternoon he wanted me to come to his house and bring Faa so his wife could meet her. My wife, Faa and I went there and after Faa shared her story. After that, he presented me with a 2000 Harley Davidson bike, the same model as the one I had wrecked before. He said, “I don’t ride as much as I used to and my knees are getting bad. I want you to have it.”

    Back to church, after second service, a lady I knew came to me and said, “I have an original 1965 Honda S-90 which was one my husband’s first bikes. He passed away four years ago. I wanted to restore it so I could ride it but my knees are getting bad. I want you to have it.” Some time later she brought the bike to my house. It needed a lot of work and I had no clue what to do. Then another guy from church showed up at my house, riding a bike exactly like the one the lady had given me. He said, “I got this one in boxes and restored it. I do it as a hobby and I would love to restore this one for you… for free.” Four months later the bike had been restored to vintage condition, we put it on e-bay and raised almost $3,000.00 for G.R.O.W.

    Back to my Honda Shadow, I went through with my promise to sell it. I went to a friend’s used car lot. It was a Saturday afternoon. He helped me clean the bike and make it look pretty. It was past 5:00 p.m. when we put the bike on the lot in front of his business. We laid hands on the bike and prayed. He said, “We’re going to sell this baby in thirty minutes.” As I was walking back to his office, I remember thinking, “Yeah, right.” Before I could even finish the thought, I heard a car. The guy didn’t even park. He just stopped, looked at the bike, asked if I owned it. Then he asked if I could take him on a ride. We rode a couple of blocks, then came back and he said, “I almost bought a new bike this week, but I am glad I didn’t. I will buy this one.” And he did!

    That money was what we used to pay the processing fees and hire a lawyer to seek incorporation and tax exempt status for G.R.O.W. But that was just the beginning. There was more to come. Stay tuned.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
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