Category Archives: About our world

World, about, statistics, happenings

A Broken Bank Card, ATM, and Lots of Faith

Waving hands, kids talking simultaneously, excitement, smiles, and some happy tears. The atmosphere in the room was electric and continued to intensify as almost all of the kids expressed a desire to share a miracle testimony of God’s power working … Continue reading

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Changing a Generation Receives 2015 Best of Burien Award

We are very honored to have been selected for a second year in a row as the winners of the Best of Burien Award in Washington State! Thank you to all of our friends and partners for being a vital part in the accomplishments of our non-profit! Press Release: Changing a Generation Receives 2015 Best of Burien Award Burien Award Program Honors the Achievement BURIEN August 17, 2015 -- Changing a Generation has been selected for the 2015 Best of Burien Award in the Non-Profit Organizations category by the Burien Award Program. Each year, the Burien Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Burien area a great place to live, work and play. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Burien Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Burien Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Burien Award Program

The Burien Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Burien area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. The Burien Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy. SOURCE: Burien Award Program CONTACT: Burien Award Program  
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Why Child Sponsorship Matters

20 percent of Bulgarian households live under the poverty line. 50 percent of the population are at risk of falling at or below the poverty line. This is the highest percentage in the EU. According to the EuroStat News Release in December 2013, 44 percent of the population are “severely materially deprived,” meaning they lack resources to sustain reasonable living conditions. These include failure to: pay rent on time; keep their home adequately warm; face unexpected expenses; eat proper amounts of protein every other day; and unable to purchase a car, washing machine, television, or telephone. According to EurActiv, in March 2010, only 11 percent of Bulgarian households brought in the proper amount to provide a four-member family of two adults and two children to cover their living expenses.

Many of the children we sponsor at Changing a Generation fall within these categories. The only appliances they might have are a refrigerator or a stove. Some of these children and their families sleep in the same room, sometimes 4-6 people in the same bed or living room. Changing a Generation helps these children with the daily necessities and resources they need, as well as the chance to help them grow and succeed in life, despite their circumstances. It is easy to forget what is happening across the world, especially when we aren't facing these issues on a daily basis. That is why, we would like to encourage you to sponsor a child, so they can receive education, proper attention and love. Ava wants to be a computer scientist, Aneliya wants to be a Chemist, or possibly a Literature Scholar, Asen wants to be a doctor. There are more of these kids who have big dreams. By sponsoring a child for $30 per month, you will be helping these kids reach their dreams and allow them to fulfill the plan God has for them. Thank you! Information Resources:  Written by Julia Penner – Creative and Media Administrator @Changing a Generation
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This is our last installment in this series – for now. It’s been a month since I started these stories, and the courage of these children has truly touched me.  Also, their plight wretched my heart.  For them, these aren’t just stories, they are real life.  They are their lives. The story here is an encouragement that the program we have in Bulgaria IS making a difference in more lives than we know… Last month, our partners in Bulgaria visited the home of three sisters who are in our Strajitsa program.  The youngest is 5 years old, and was home at the time while her sisters were at school.  The girls have the privilege of living with both parents and their grandmother.  Even though it was a tight space in the house, there was a warmth there.  The dad works to support all of the 5 women.  On our visit, the girl’s mother was very proud and told how her older daughters are doing well in school, and even behave well at home.  Then, she went on to say how much they love coming to the church program we have.  They always come home happy, and enjoy learning from the “teacher”; they also come home and become the teachers.  They tell their mom and grandma all about the educational things they learned, as well as the stories from the Bible and about God.  The girls are leading the way.  They are passing it on, and their home is changed because of it.  Their little sister will grow up with all these stories of love and hope… Isn’t that why we’re all here on this earth still?  To pass on the love and hope we’ve found?  And, to pass on stories like that of these children of Bulgaria, so they will no longer be forgotten. For every child that learns about Jesus, there are more people that are touched through them. Like I spoke about in the last blog, we change the world one story, one hug, one message of love at a time. This message is simple. Short. Just… Pass it on. Written By: Krinda Joy, CDM Creative Team
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A parent’s love and affirmation is unmatched. It can inspire a child.  Give them hope.  Give them vision. Ultimately, it gives a child a secure place from which they can dream, and believe those dreams are possible! Last week, I wrote the story of Adjano – a sweet but scared little boy, displaced in this world.  This week, I want to talk about Tinka.  I want to talk about the difference parents, and knowing you have “a place,” makes. Unlike many of the families we work with in our Bulgarian Program, Tinka’s parents are still together.  They are also warm and inviting – truly thankful for the church and the Changing a Generation program Tinka attends.  They love their daughter so much and they do whatever they can do give her the things she desires.  Awhile back, Tinka’s father was going to buy a good, cheap car he had found.  Then, he discovered his daughter wanted a computer, and chose to use the money for that instead.  This was a big sacrifice now that both parents are unemployed.  Tinka’s mother used to work in a hospital, but got fired.  The dad often goes abroad to work, as there are more opportunities, but he always comes back to be with his family.  Tinka is now 14 years old and in 7th grade.  Her parent’s proudly talk about how smart she is; she learns quickly and does well especially in English.  She even plays the guitar – a gift they saved up to give her some time ago.  Since high school in Bulgaria is only available on an acceptance basis, Tinka’s parents are having her apply now to continue her education.  They dream of a better future for her, and want to send her to the port city her older sister lives in.  In that city, there’s a good Naval High School.  Tinka would really like to work on one of the big ships.  Her parents are doing everything they can to make that happen. Tinka will make it. She will be okay because she always has a place she knows she belongs in this world.  She has a place in her parent’s hearts where she can find inspiration, courage, and affirmations that she is important.  She is loved.  Tinka does not live afraid of being kicked out, of being sold or abandoned by her family. I wish I could say the same about every child we work with in Bulgaria.  But, the sad truth is, many are like our story of Fenya, where her father left them and her mother had to go out of country just to support them.  Or like Adjano, whose mother simply disappeared, and whose father hasn’t come to see him since.  They have family around, but not their parents.  They’ll never know the love of a mother, or the protection of a father.  They are like orphans.  To me, this is where we come in.  We are the harbor for “orphans” to come and find a safe place – to receive affirmation and courage.  We help to inspire dreams. I can guarantee you, somewhere in your life there’s an orphan.  There is a child that needs a “place.”  They may life in a nice home and have nice stuff, but there’s an absent father, a missing mother, or both are gone and they live with grandparents.   Every child can’t have “parents” in the true sense of the definition, but we can step in and provide that love, that affirmation, and place.  Whether we sponsor a child, or choose someone in our church/neighborhood to shower love on, or adopt in a literal sense, we have a role to play. We may not have a lot. Tinka’s parents do not. But they have love. And, we do too. Written By:  Krinda Joy, CDM Creative Team
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The Taken movie gathered a large audience when it first released in 2008. The father’s unrelenting love for his daughter, the fact that he would stop at nothing for her rescue, captured viewers. Now, there’s the second installment in the series.  I understand why they made a sequel, but the thought makes me sick.   I’m sick with the fact that reality turns entertainment so fast for me, for us, for the world.  But, until I started working with Changing a Generation, I never realized just how REAL Taken is.  Now that I hear stories constantly about the fear our children in Bulgaria experience over the possibility, or experience, of being taken, I just can’t watch it on the big screen.  Not that the movies are “bad” at all, it’s just too real… Fenya and her brother Anyan attend on of our programs in Bulgaria.  Fenya is 16 and Anyan is 14.  They live with their grandma because their father left them when they were very little; their mother lives in a different country so she can make money for the family.  She calls everyday and sends cash – it’s the only way she can show her love from a distance.  The siblings are lucky in this:  they have family that loves them dearly.  However, this doesn’t always protect them from others.  Fenya’s grandmother expressed her distress and fear all last year about a boy that was hanging around her granddaughter.  Most in the United States would just be afraid of a bad influence, or premature relations, but what the grandma feared was this boy taking Fenya.  It happens often.  So, she was constantly watching.  When the boy stopped coming around, the grandma was relieved. Last fall, volleyball season started up again for Fenya.  Both she and her brother played on separate teams.  Fenya was very talented.  Her grandma came to a few practices and noticed that at them, there were many boys loitering around and watching.  The grandma’s fear ignited again, knowing they could have been “scouting” for good candidates to take and either use or prostitute.  So, Fenya’s grandma pulled her out of the program.  Anyan still plays. “Sometimes,” the grandma expressed, “I regret taking Fenya out of volleyball.  She liked it.”  At the same time, she’s doing everything she knows how to protect her granddaughter from being stolen, kidnapped, trafficked….taken. What an awful reality to live with every day:  that your beautiful, shiny-haired granddaughter could be taken from you at any moment.   Yet, this is a part of the Bulgaria our children live with.  There are so many stories of fear, of pain, of abandonment, and of hope or victory that we hear every week from the children in our program.  Fenya’s story is just one.  Through the next weeks, I want to give snapshots of their stories – to be a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves.  These stories keep us from forgetting that there’s more than just our lives to care for, but that the children of the world need a voice.  And, we can be that voice. Written By: Krinda Joy, CDM Creative Arts Team
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