Friday, 31 May 2013

Everyone Matters > Orphan Drop Box in South Korea

READ THIS AMAZING STORY (from Everyone Matters), then watch the video! I was so moved an inspired by it! Being a voice for and saving helpless children is so heavily on my heart and this man shows you how the decision simply rests on your commitment to the cause. So go, look for the need in your community, or a community elsewhere and use what you have to do what you can. You never know the impact your decision and commitment could have on the lives and futures of others! I hope this moves and inspires you like it has me ( please watch the video/trailer of the documentary that is being made about this incredible man)!


Ronell x

South Korean Pastor Lee Jong-rak installed a "DROP-BOX" in the wall of his house so that South Korean women could anonymously leave their disabled or unwanted baby rather than abandoning or disposing of them.

More than 300 babies have been placed in the Drop Box, which is heated, has a towel to place the baby on, and a light. When a baby is placed there, a bell rings, and the Pastor or assistant retrieves the baby.

"I would die for those babies," says the Good Samaritan Pastor, who reads a typical note: "His skull is not shaped right," writes a mother, anonymously, which she leaves with the baby. "He has this handicap. I am so sorry, but I am not able to raise this baby, so I put him safely in the baby box of Jesus-Loving Union Church.'"

Filmmaker Brian Ivie was so moved by a news report, that he proceeded to make a documentary, The Drop Box. He raised $20,000 on Kickstarter, and, based on the awards the documentary has already won, is hoping for a big-screen release by a major company.

Bravo to Brian - and especially to the Pastor- who know that Everyone Matters.

Watch the EXCEPTIONAL trailer:

And here's Brian Ivie's Facebook page, for Drop-Box:

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Everyone Matters

I read this story on Everyone Matters' facebook page this morning and felt so inspired that I thought I must share! :)


Ronell x

When Carolyn Isbister put her 20oz baby on her chest for a cuddle, she thought that it would be the ONLY CHANCE she would ever have to hold her. Doctors had told the parents that baby Rachel only had only MINUTES TO LIVE because her heart was beating once every ten seconds and she was not breathing.

"I didn’t want her to die being cold," Carolyn says, "so I lifted her out of her blanket and put her against my skin to warm her up. Her feet were so cold. It was the only cuddle I was going to have with her, so I wanted to remember the moment.”

Then something remarkable happened: the warmth of her mother’s skin kick started Rachael’s heart into beating properly, which allowed her to take little breaths of her own.

"We couldn’t believe it – and neither could the doctors. She let out a tiny cry. The doctors came in and said there was still no hope – but I wasn’t letting go of her. We had her blessed by the hospital chaplain, and waited for her to slip away. But she still hung on."

And then amazingly the pink color began to return to her cheeks. She literally was turning from gray to pink before our eyes, and she began to warm up too.

The sad part is that when the baby was born, doctors took one look at her and said ‘no’. They didn’t even try to help her with her breathing as they said it would just prolong her dying.

"Everyone just gave up on her,” says Carolyn.

At 24 weeks a womb infection had led to her premature labor and birth. Says Carolyn (who also has two children Samuel, 10, and Kirsten, 8 ): “We were terrified we were going to lose her. I had suffered three miscarriages before, so we didn’t think there was much hope.”

When Rachael was born she was grey and lifeless. Ian Laing, a consultant neonatologist at the hospital, said: “All the signs were that the little one was not going to make it and we took the decision to let mum have a cuddle as it was all we could do.
Two hours later the wee thing was crying."

"This is indeed a miracle baby," adds the doctor, "and I have seen nothing like it in my 27 years of practice. I have not the slightest doubt that mother’s love saved her daughter.”

Rachael was moved onto a ventilator where she continued to make steady progress and was tube and syringe fed her mother’s pumped breastmilk.

“The doctors said that she had proved she was a fighter and that she now deserved some intensive care as there was some hope," says Carolyn. "Rachael did it all on her own – without any medical intervention or drugs. She had clung on to life – and it was all because of that cuddle."

The cuddle had warmed up her body and regulated her heart and breathing enough for her to start fighting. At 5 weeks she was taken off the ventilator and began breastfeeding on her own. At four months Rachel went home with her parents, weighing 8lbs – the same as any other healthy newborn.

Because Rachel had suffered from a lack of oxygen doctors said there was a high risk of damage to her brain. But a scan showed no evidence of any problems and today Rachel is on par with her peers.

"She is doing so well," says Carolyn, smiling. "When we brought her home, the doctors told us that she was a remarkable little girl. And most of all, she just loves her cuddles. She will sleep for hours, just curled into my chest. It was that first cuddle which saved her life – and I’m just so glad I trusted my instinct and picked her up when I did. Otherwise she wouldn’t be here today.”

Everyone Matters followers - Rachael is now a happy, healthy 6 years old, and sibling to Samuel, 16, and Kirsten, 14.

It shows us: Let's have faith, and hope, and believe in the best outcomes - whether it's about health and a medical diagnosis, or our own lives, careers, aspirations. We DON'T know what's going to happen - so let's not project the fatalism of our past experiences - or others' words - onto a future that hasn't happened yet. Things can change for the better, and BE BRIGHT.

(Thank you to Maria Carkagis, who found this story from 2007.)

{OneL!fe} // Pete Wynter

Tonight, Pete Wynter (a founder of {OneL!fe}) came to speak at re:generation church's Life Skills about his work at {OneL!fe} and about the value and principles behind mentoring. I was fully inspired by his talk and really appreciated the input. I have been in mentoring myself for close to 2 years now and I have been a mentor for over a year. I remember the serious feelings of inadequacy when I was approached about mentoring, but God fully worked it for my good (and fortunately the good of my mentees!). Pete's passion really encouraged me to keep going and to push on with mentoring, even when I feel particularly inept! 

Below is some more information about {OneL!fe} and about Pete's story:

How do we do this? We tour the UK running Conferences for young people to explore and grow in their leadership; Learning Communities for those who want to go deeper in their discipleship as a leader and Learning Communities for Youth Leaders to evaluate, sharpen and review strategies for their own youth ministries... and lots more!

Who can get involved? Onelife works mainly with 14 to 21 year olds, and with their youth leaders. We want to establish a family of godly leaders, earthed in local churches, who will be defined by biblical principals, deep character and the presence of God in all they do.

Every year {OneL!fe} takes on a fundraising event called 'The Challenge'. This year, The Challenge was for young people all over the UK to do a sponsored run, bike ride or walk for Onelife so that together we could cover the distance of the entire way around the UK - 4,500 km! 

Support Pete as he does a 28km bike ride (with 6 others) on July 1st from where he lives in Chorleywood to the Ugandan embassy in London. Donate here.


Ronell x

Monday, 27 May 2013

Rick Warren > Don't Give Up!

My friend shared this quote at church last night and it really inspired me to just keep going!

I hope it inspires and uplift you too!


Ronell x

"When God gives you a dream, you can be sure you'll run into delays, difficulties, detours and dead ends along the way. They are a natural part of life. But you can be ready for them.

Now if anybody had a right to be discouraged, it was Noah. Do you know how long it took Noah to build the ark? 120 years. Could you go 120 years on a project without one word of encouragement from anybody else in society?

Noah trusted God. And when he heard God's warning about the future, Noah believed him even though there was no sign of a flood. I bet there were many days that Noah didn't feel like going to work, but for 43,800 days, he went to the same place and he worked. He never gave up.

Don't give up on your dream either. Don't give up on the marriage. Don't give up on your health. Don't, don't, don't give up. God is in control. You haven't read the final chapter of your life. God's already written it, but you haven't read it yet.

The Bible says, "God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him." God is looking for people that he can bless. I want you to be one of those people.

Don't give up!"

It's Not About Age

by Joyce Meyer - posted May 27, 2013

Let no one despise or think less of you because of your youth, but be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.
—1 Timothy 4:12
Timothy, Paul’s “spiritual” son in the ministry, was very young, and he was fearful and worried about what people thought of his youth. Paul told him to let no man despise his youth. It really does not matter how old or young a person is. If God calls someone to do something, and they have the confidence to go forward, nothing can stop them.
How you respond to your age and, for that matter, how others respond is really up to you. We all age in years, but we don’t have to get an “I’m too old” mindset. Moses was eighty years old when he left Egypt to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. Confident people don’t think about how old they are; they think about what they can accomplish with the time they have left. Remember, confident people are positive and look at what they have, not what they have lost.
Even if you are reading this book and let’s say you’re sixty-five years old and feel you have wasted most of your life doing nothing—you can still start today and do something amazing and great with your life.
Lord, You used people of all ages throughout the Bible, and You can use me. Today is a new day, and I am excited about what You have for me to accomplish. Amen.

The human cost of chocolate

I read the following article ('The human cost of chocolate') on CNN's Freedom Project page and thought I would share.


Ronell x

In "Chocolate's Child Slaves," CNN's David McKenzie travels into the heart of the Ivory Coast to investigate what's happening to children working in the cocoa fields. More information and CNN International air times
It may be unthinkable that the chocolate we enjoy could come from the hands of children working as slaves. In the Ivory Coast alone, there are an estimated 200,000 children working the fields, many against their will, to create the chocolate delicacies enjoyed around the world.
More than 10 years ago, two U.S. lawmakers took action to put a stop to child labor in the cocoa industry. Despite pushback from the industry, the Harkin-Engel Protocol, also known as the Cocoa Protocol, was signed into law on September 19, 2001.
In an upcoming documentary, "Chocolate's Child Slaves," CNN's David McKenzie travels into the heart of the Ivory Coast - the world’s largest cocoa producer - to investigate what’s happening to children working in the fields, 10 years after the protocol was signed.
The CNN Freedom Project examined in September 2011 what effect this protocol has had over the years and also what some of the major issues are surrounding slave labor and the cocoa industry. Here's some of the background of that coverage reprinted:
Where does cocoa come from?
Some 70 to 75 percent of the world's cocoa beans are grown on small farms in West Africa, including the Ivory Coast, according to the World Cocoa Foundationand the International Cocoa Initiative.
Does Ivory Coast allow children to work on these farms?
No, child labor is illegal and since the implementation of the Cocoa Protocol in 2001, the chocolate industry along with governments and human rights groups have worked to end the practice. Yet, a 2007 UNICEF report estimates 200,000 children are involved in the worst forms of child labor on cocoa farms throughout Ivory Coast. Some are the children of cocoa farmers but many other youths are smuggled into Ivory Coast from Mali and Burkina Faso to work on cocoa plantations, according to the International Labor Rights Forum.
What exactly is the "Cocoa Protocol"?
Ten years ago, U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-New York, and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, introduced legislation mandating a labeling system for chocolate. After the industry raised concerns, a compromise was reached that required chocolate companies to voluntarily certify they had stopped the practice of child labor. The certification process would not involve labeling products "child-labor-free," as initially proposed.
Instead, it calls for public reporting by African governments, establishment of an audit system and poverty remediation by 2005. The deadline had to be extended to 2008 (read Fortune Magazine's report on the state of the protocol in 2008) and again to 2010. Today, many aid groups say some of the provisions have still not been met.
So has the Cocoa Protocol had any success in ending child labor in the cocoa industry in the past 10 years?
It's hard to say. Ivory Coast has had further economic problems following its civil war from 2002 to 2004. Chocolate exporters and manufacturers say the war and its aftermath have hampered their efforts to eradicate child labor.
"Honestly, it's hard to see anybody saying that this protocol has attained the goals that were set out in it," said Judy Gearhart, executive director of the International Labor rights forum.
Chris Bayer, a Tulane University researcher, spent five years in the Ivory Coast and Ghana monitoring the protocol's plan and studying the scope of the problem.
"Unfortunately, over the last 10 years we have seen very little implementation of the actual commitments," he said. "Industry did not live up to the Harkin-Engel protocol. The issues are systemic. Children are still working."
The International Cocoa Initiative was set up by the protocol to bring all parties together to address the worst forms of child labor in the supply chain. The ICI board has representatives from the major cocoa processors and chocolate manufacturers. It says progress is being made.
"Five of the six commitments made in the protocol have been completed," the group said in an e-mail statement at the 10-year anniversary of the protocol. "And governments of cocoa producing countries, ILO, the OECD, independent foundations, members of the cocoa supply chain and ICI itself are ACTIVELY working on the sixth commitment - to improve the livelihoods of cocoa growers the infrastructure in cocoa communities farmers organizations, educational facilities etc. Substantial funds are being expended on these activities."

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Paul passed...

We're  just about to start Race for Life and had news from Paul's wife Sandra that he has passed just moments before we start. Our prayers are with his family and it gives us extra inspiration for the race today.

Please see the link below for sponsorship information.


Ronell x

Race for Life: race day!

Today is the day for Race for Life! I am taking part as part of a team called 'Paul's Angels'.  Last night we had news that they had to put Paul in a medically induced coma because he was really in pain and agitated. Unfortunately they do not think he is going to wake up... Please pray for Paul and his wife Sandra (who will be doing Ra e for Life with us today).

Please sponsor us & give to Cancer Research UK. Every donation helps no matter how small! facebook&utm_medium=newsfeed& utm_campaign=editpage


Ronell x

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Please Sponsor: Race for Life // Cancer Research UK

I am doing Race for Life this Saturday as part of a team ('Paul's Angels'). Race for Life is a 5km race for women to help raise awareness and funds for Cancer Research UK and to fly the flag for our loved ones who have fought and lost, have fought and won and are still fighting their battles against cancer! 

I will personally be doing Race for Life this year particularly in memory of my Grandad and cousin who lost their battles against cancer (along with other friends) and for my aunty who is still bravely fighting.

Make a difference today- no contribution is too small! Sponsor us on our JustGiving fundraising page:

Thank you!


Ronell x

To see the original post, visit my new blog: 
Reduce, Reuse, Rescue & Revaluate

CHIME for CHANGE! Women's Rights Campaigns


CHIME FOR CHANGE serves to convene, unite and strengthen the voices speaking out for girls and women around the world. We focus on three key areas: Education, Health and JusticeCHIME FOR CHANGE is powered by Catapult, the first crowd-funding site where people can make real change happen for girls and women. Through Catapult, nonprofit organizations post their projects and people can find and fund the issues that speak to them the most. 

CHIME FOR CHANGE, backed by a whole host of celebrities, is seeking to change the world by starting with basic rights for girls and women around the world. Please visit the site to watch videos about the many causes supported by CHIME FOR CHANGE to learn more about the amazing projects that they are involved with and the causes that they are fighting for.

To keep in the loop, sign up for updates

You can also buy tickets for the SOUND OF CHANGE LIVE concert on 1st June 2013 to raise awareness of and money for health, justice and education for women and girls.

Please help this cause to promote and continue with the fight for equality and freedom for women and girls!


Ronell x

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Sevenly: T.A.P.S.- for the children of fallen soldiers...

This week on Sevenly, your purchase helps a child cope with the heartbreak of losing a parent who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Everyday thousands of U.S. servicemen and women lay down their lives and risk everything to serve their country. These men and women are heroes. For those who have lost their lives due to the effects of war, they leave behind more than a legacy, they leave behind a family. The effects of losing a parent can be life-shattering for a young child.

Founded out of tragedy in 1994, TAPS has established itself as the front line resource to the families and loved ones of our military men and women. TAPS provides comfort and care through comprehensive services and programs including peer based emotional support, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, and grief and trauma resources.

A video testimonial:




I hope that these resources will prove helpful to you, a loved one or friends who might be in need of it. I equally hope that you will help to support the fantastic work done by TAPS by buying from the Sevenly store this week or by donating directly to TAPS.


Ronell x

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Don't Give Up- Press On!

Press On

by Joyce Meyer - posted May 20, 2013

That night the Lord said to Gideon, Take your father’s bull, the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has and cut down the Asherah [symbol of the goddess Asherah] that is beside it; and build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this stronghold with stones laid in proper order. —Judges 6:25–26
History is filled with people who accomplished great things even though they had to persevere past the criticism and judgment of others. Some of the world’s greatest inventors were persecuted by their family or friends, but they pressed on because they believed in what they were doing.
Benjamin Franklin longed to write for his older brother’s newspaper where he worked as a printing apprentice, but his brother refused to let him. Ben wrote stories anyway, under a pen name, Silence Dogood. Every letter was snuck under the printing shop’s door at night to avoid discovery, and “Silence Dogood” became wildly popular. When Ben finally admitted that he was the writer who was getting so much attention, his brother only grew angrier and more jealous. This resulted in Ben receiving beatings and finally running away.
Among the many inventions and improvements he created in his lifetime, Ben eventually started his own printing shop and took over a newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, which under his supervision became the most successful in the colonies.
Lord, strengthen me in my inner being to be able to persevere against adversity. I can move forward confidently if I know it is Your way. Amen.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Ethical Superstore

Today's post is about an online shop called Ethical SuperstoreWhether you're new to the idea of ethically-conscious buying or you're very passionate about a whole range of ethical issues that affect what you buy, those values are personal to everyone at Ethical Superstore. They have a range of ethical suppliers that are grateful that you want to support all forms of ethical purchasing – their aim is to empower their customers to make the choices that are ethical and right for them and their family.

There is still a long way to go in order to make Ethical Consumerism a daily part of the retail mainstream and they encourage customers to help them to spread the message across to the rest of UK society by encouraging family and friends to try ethical products and to buy what they believe in.

Aligning your buying with your beliefs can be confusing, so they do their best to share product background information to help you make informed ethical buying choices. The background to the products they sell must be transparent and they are committed to researching their ethical credentials and researching questions that you may have about them.
•    Fair Trade
•    Organic
•    Eco Friendly
•    Health and Wellness promotion
•    Education and awareness building
•    Locally Produced
•    Charity
•    Fair Trade
•    Organic
•    Eco Friendly
•    Health and Wellness promotion
•    Education and awareness building
•    Locally Produced
•    Charity
They thoroughly evaluate each brand and manufacturer’s overall ethical credentials when deciding whether or not they should sell a particular product.

At Ethical Superstore, you can choose from the widest range of the finest quality fair trade ,organic and eco friendly products via their website that provides a simple and secure online shopping experience and a fast, flexible delivery service . They’re always looking for ways to minimize the impact their service has on the environment and they’re always working to make their packaging as eco-friendly as possible.  

This is s shop where you can truly Buy What You Believe.
Ethical Superstore only stocks high quality products that have a positive impact on people and/or the environment.  From Fairtrade and organic grocery shopping to energy efficient gadgets and unique ethical gifts that directly benefit the people who made them.  They sell products from leading ethical brands as well as supporting independent traders and producers across the world
In order for a product or brand to be sold by, it must have established ethical credentials in at least one of the following areas:

So if you are concerned about the impact that you are having on people and the environment , this is a shop that will help you to reduce the negative effects! Go and have a look at what they have to offer- you will be pleasantly surprised!


Ronell x

Our tagline - everybody's happy!