Monday, December 15, 2008

Hello Friends!

Merry Christmas to you all! Hope this find you well. I've posted my year end letter to sum up how this year has been - and what a year it's been! In addition to our project, Ten Thousand Homes, caring for around 200 orphans in South Africa, we've also launched a new website and put out a new video.

I've posted the video on the blog...it's to the right. Or you can check it out on youtube...HERE

Also, you can check out our new website: www.tenthousandhomes.org. We're still working out some of the kinks, but it's available. We hope you like it.

And one more little whistle on this fancy blog....If you click on the letter below you can see it in a larger format. Gotta love technology sometimes.

THANK YOU!
I really appreciate all you. Each of you has given and contributed in some way. I hope you know that I wouldn't be able to do this without you. Thank you for believing in me and God's heart for Africa's orphans.

Merry Christmas,
David

PS. If you're interested in giving, all contributions are tax deductible.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Haven Video

Hi Friends,
Here's another video for your viewing pleasure. Thanks for having a look. Look forward to hearing back!

video

Much Love,
Dave

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Back in New Haven.

Hello Friends!

Hello again! I’m finally arrived back in the States. After about 2 days of travel I finally arrived at JFK at 7 am. Then thru customs, a broken luggage carousel, 2 buses, a train and finally home. I’m pretty sure all I need now is a row boat and I’ll covered all forms of a travel in swoop!

It’s nice to be back, but my heart is always torn between 2 homes. It’s always a bit difficult to articulate how things “go” in while I’m over so I thought you might be able to read this story that Brittany, who’s one of our staff. I hope this helps a bit. It’s below.

As always please know how grateful I am to have all of you behind me supporting, giving, encouraging & praying. Thank you.

Your Friend,
Dave

Here the story. Please have a read:


Sweetness
Her name is Sweetness. She is barely three years old and already her eyes reflect the harsh reality that is her life. Orphaned as an infant, Sweetness had been passed around from relative to relative before landing on the doorstep of a widowed uncle. Out of necessity, he is gone most of the day at work, leaving the three year old behind to fend for herself. Infected with AIDS, his death will follow swiftly on the heels of her parents and Sweetness will soon be orphaned for the second time.
When I first started work in Kabokweni, Sweetness was shy and would not approach me willingly. She is too solemn for one so small and often stares at her feet rather than respond when I try to talk to her. Sometimes I pick her up whether she acknowledges me or not and hold her close. She doesn’t fight, but lays passive in my arms and keeps her head down. I feel the hard, roundness of her stomach. She looks like a pregnant toddler, but I know that this is often caused by malnutrition.
Yesterday, I was playing a game with about fifty of the kids. They were being loud and acting more rambunctious than normal, but still for the most part good-natured. There was a lot of noise, that amazing crescendo unique to children and, while I was laughing and yelling along with the rest of them, organizing a game was fast becoming impossible. And in that moment of chaos, I felt tiny arms encircle my leg and a small body pressed itself close to me. This alone was not unusual, but as I glanced down and saw Sweetness, her cheek resting on my thigh her eyes raised to me, I felt near tears. She stayed glued to me the rest of the day and I let her cling all she wanted. Or maybe it was she who let me cling.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Week 3 in Africa

Hi Friends,

It's about a week now before I head back to the States. I want to tell you guys about 2 of the community initiatives we've partnered with. Embowseni & Kabokweni. Don't worry they're phonetic so you can pronounce them.

Both of these places provide very, very essential services like food, love, and the reminder that the orphans and vulnerable children in these communities are not left alone and forgotten.

Here's a couple of photos from Kabokweni and a video for Embosweni. I hope they remind us all of what why we do what we do. And that the Kingdom of God not only lives in our hearts, but it is our job to bring the Kingdom of God to the planet as well.

Thanks you all so much for your incredible support and friendship. I can't say it enough. You guys are making this possible. Thank you!

Your Friend,
Dave
video

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Life is Fragile

Hello Friends!

Well it’s 2 weeks into my month in Africa, so nearly the half way point. It’s been a an interesting 2 weeks. The first week was a YWAM conference with over 200 workers from all over southern Africa. It was great to see a broad range of diversity from around the world as well as from all over Africa. I’m always blown away when I see the diversity of God displayed in His Creation and see the unity that comes to belonging to family of God regardless of color, culture, nationality, or economic status. It’s a beautiful thing!

My time so far as also been a bit surreal. During my first week here I learned that my grandfather, Ambrosio Bosquez, passed away in Piedras Negras, Mexico. It was a bit tough to be away from my family for the time of grieving and remembering him together as a family. Fortunately my mom and dad were able to be there to represent my brother and I, since we’re both overseas at the moment. My brother and I were fortunate enough to see him together last May, I think I knew in my heart that would be my good bye to him. I’m sure he’s enjoying his new home.

Being in Africa always seems to put me back in touch with how fragile life is, thus making it that much more precious and making me realize how valuable people are, whether I recognize their value or not. I get that feeling of fragility with news about my grandfather, but also when I’m about 10 feet from an elephant that was tearing apart a tree. (yes, that did happen about 3 days ago).

Thanks again for your prayers, friendship, and love. It’s priceless.

Your Friend,
Dave

Friday, October 10, 2008

first video blogs (part 1 & 2)

Hi Friends,

Here's my first 2 video blogs. There are more to come but i just thought this would hold everyone over until I can get some more time to video a bit more.

Thanks again to all of you guys for your incredible love and support. I hope you guys know how much it means. I wouldn't do this without you.

Your Friend,
Dave

PS. There's a shameless plug for my friend Jake Fuller, who is part of our Ten Thousand Homes Artist Bloc. Which is a group of artists who are championing the cause of orphans and vulnerable children in their various mediums of art. Support them by following their sites!

video

video

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Africa again

Hello Friends!

So I’m heading back to South Africa...today. Which is just funny to say really.

Inevitably the week before the flight is always some form of craziness. It’s come to be expected. Some of my own fault, some not so much. Everything from speeding tickets to broken down airplanes to figuring out how to pack all the stuff that people send to the crew over in South Africa. It’s weeks like this that make me wish I could have a personal assistant for about a week. Not to mention the Hurricane that swept thru Houston, that has affected many of you. Including my parents who haven't had power for about 10 days now. Yikes! For those of you in Houston know that you're in my prayers.

All that to say I’m looking forward to going over. It always seems to be about both a mission and a pilgrimage. Part bringing the Kingdom of God to the planet, part bringing the Kingdom of God to my heart. Honestly I wouldn’t want it any other way. All the best things seem to be a mixture of sacrifice and joy. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I love Africa so much. It’s full of incredibly painful stories yet bursting at the seems with hope! I always tell people that Africa wrecks you in the best possible way.

Many thanks to all of you who give and who pray and just give a rip about what I’m up to and who I get to work with. I really couldn’t do without you guys. THANKS!!!!!

I’ll be touch. My next blog will be from the other side of the world. I’m flying on a dodgy airline so I’m looking forward to how much duct tape I manage to find on the plane.

Much Love,
Dave

Monday, September 08, 2008

a promised blog and an experiment

Hello Friends!

Me again. As promised here’s another blog entry! It’s more of an announcement really. I’m heading back to South Africa, but you probably already knew that. If you didn’t know it was just a matter of time. Yes, it’s my home away from home. A place and people that I love. Most of you know what I’m about so I won’t go into that and what I’ll be doing there. If you want to know more just go to www.tenthousandhomes.org. The dates of the trip are on the right just so you know. I’ll also be putting up another blog just before I go.

So, I’ll share the backdrop of my heart as I’m preparing for this trip…Jesus once told the story about a Samaritan and Jew. The Jewish man was passed by his countrymen and clergy (or a pastor) essentially his physical neighbors. Then along comes a Samaritan man. Neither of them live in the same country, share interests, water sources, food, or even religions really. They have NOTHING in common. Each was even traditionally hated by the other. Yet, I think it’s a bit like God to use this story to redefine who our neighbor is. After all the 2 greatest commandments are 1.) Love God with everything that is in you and 2.) Love your neighbor as yourself. Hmm. Nice one God!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of “who is my neighbor?” and story telling and how I could pull off melting them together. So for this trip I’ll be doing a bit of interviewing with people who are willing to share their story as well as tell my own with a couple of video blogs, which I’ll try to upload while I’m in Africa. It’s a bit of an experiment, but it’ll be a fun process I hope.

Much love to you all! I’m still incredibly grateful to all of you guys for your faithful friendship, constant support, and just downright caring. Thanks!!!!

Your Friend,
Dave

PS. If any of you are interested in giving toward this trip please send checks to the address at the side. Also, you can try the donate button, but those gifts will not be tax deductible.

Some cool thoughts

video

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I'm back!...at least on my blog

Hello Friends!
First off let me start by apologizing for the lack of communication on my part. It’s been a low key summer for me, which has come at a great time. After almost a full year of travel, it has been a season of a slower pace of life. Unfortunately it has spilled over into correspondence and updating. I hope all of you know, how grateful I am that you’re behind me in this. Thank you!


So for now, I’d love to leave that for now. I’ll update all you soon with my plan to head back to South Africa next month.

Much love to you all! Look forward to hearing from everyone!

Your Friend,
Dave

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hope

Hi Friends,

Hope this finds you well. Sorry this is so late getting to everyone. I’ve been wondering what to write and or if to write anything at all, but here are some things that I’ve been stewing on for a bit.

Recently I’ve been reminded of Mother Teresa’s words, “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has thought the very same thing.

Look at the news: Myanmar, China, Africa, the US economy, hardships of friends or our own, high fuel prices (all things I wish I could change). Everyone seems to feel the fear creepying in and control slipping out of our grip. Fear and discouragement seem to be rearing their ugly heads – attempting to destroy any glimmer of hope or the notion of speaking good things to those who need to hear them. These two very things pose the biggest obstacles to the significant contribution each of us have to make on the world, on our neighbours & friends, or on our city. Just the same it can cause us to put up defences that hide our true self and who we were created to be. In contrast it is easy to hope when things are going well and we are in control, but hope when times are good may not be hope at all, but rather uninformed optimism – kind of like teenagers who are in love.

The two biggest motivations in my life are fear and love. Which one will rule me? I have seen incredible tragedy in our work in Africa. Ironically, it seems to apply to people all over the world, across economic, social, and cultural strata. I have seen both in multiple cultures - give less, don’t risk, ignore the forgotten, harbor unforgiveness, go to where the grass is greener, retreat into our false interior castle, keep up appearances, etc, etc….fill in your own words. video

I want to share some reason to hope. Let me tell you about my friends in America who give so generously while they themselves are in need, or the 18 years old orphan I met in South Africa who forgave the man who murdered her mother. Or the 7 Christians serving orphans in a Muslim state-run orphanage for the past 10 years. Or my friends Keith and Katherine who invite refugees over for dinner. Or my friend Stuart who’s riding an hour on his bike to and from work to raise money for orphans in Africa. Or the people in Zambia who help their neighbors simply because they have the strength to get out of bed. All of these motivated by love and not by self preservation and fear.

We all need reason to hope and to be encouraged. Jesus gives us reason to hope: “In this world you will have trials, but fear not, I have overcome the world.” Or how about the time He takes a child’s loaves and fishes and feeds a few thousand people and the time he makes water into wine. Turning nothing into something. Take lack and making plenty. Building a His Church for the first 250 years with broken lepers, prostitutes, beggars, and down right nobodies.

I’ll leave you with this: another Mother Teresa quote. “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” ( FYI: people who deal with justice issues tend to quote her a lot) When times are hard don’t survive, but rather love. Hope is always preceded by love.


Your Friend,

Dave

PS. Have a look at the video. I know not everyone maybe comfortable with some of the wording, but I haven't found such a hopeful outlook from someone like Mr. Benn in quite sometime. Special thanks to Chris Mitchell in the UK for this.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Back Home

Hi Friends,

Hope this finds you well. Sorry this is so late getting to everyone. It’s been a little hectic since I’ve been back.

It’s just been just under 2 weeks since arriving back in the States. The last week in South Africa was incredibly busy. Two days of doing AIDS testing in a school, an overnight stay serving in a hospice, friends visiting from the States, and plenty of meetings…as well as finding creative ways to keep bats out of my room…yes, bats! Not as easy as you’d might think!

Since being back I find myself reflecting a lot about that last week in South Africa. Between the AIDS testing and the hospice I’ve been thinking about the fragility of life. (Couple that with the Easter Season.) Africa remains one of those kinesthic places. For me, the veil between heaven and earth is very thin there. I’m not near as aware of how fragile my life is, or how fragile the lives of those around are.

I couldn’t help but think about the patient in the hospice the last few days. Helping him go the toilet, take a shower, swallow his medication, and even move from his bed to a wheel chair, I thought, “This guy is my age and his life is nearly finished. It shouldn’t be this way”. Talk about a reality check. That sort of thing makes one grateful for the life that one has.

Lastly, I just want to say thanks to all of you for believing in me and praying for me during yet another month in Africa. That sort of thing isn’t measurable, but so essential. And I’m grateful to those of you who gave so generously. It’s incredible humbling and means the world that you’d trust me in that way.

Bless you guys! Have a great day!

Your Friend,
Dave

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Late...again

Hi Friends,

Happy March! My apologies for the late-ness of a real blog. Africa and the internet are 2 words that don’t go well together. While most of you are weary of winter, summer is in full swing here in sunny South Africa – yep, it’s hot!

To start things off I spent my first night (Valentines Day) in a hotel room by the airport in Johannesburg waiting to catch my connection to White River. Fun times!....Uh,not really…but enough complaining.

I’m glad to be back in Africa! It’s always an incredible privilege to be here and be a part of God’s interaction with this continent. I have a lot of expectation & a sense of responsibility in my heart in regard to what we're doing here. There seems to be good feeling of momentum coming into this next season as a group of friends trying to follow God. (Albeit, we’re friends who have their names together on legal documents.)

The other day I had the privilege of visiting a home for children found abandoned or left at hospitals. (you read that right) It seems unthinkable! Calling it a horrible scenario would be an understatement.
When I walked thru the door it didn’t think there would be enough to do. Things looked pretty well sorted actually. (There’s my “get-it-done” attitude). As we played, changed diapers, served lunch, and made make-shift top hats I realized how important this was.
Most people think, “What difference will holding a baby for a few hours make?” But when you’ve literally been found in a trash bag on the side of a mountain then it makes all the difference in the world. Perspective changes everything.

The more time I spend on this continent the more I feel that we are onto something bigger than I can really comprehend. The only thing I can come up with is nation building. A continent with 38 million orphans is like starting all over again. Unless you’ve been here, it’s hard to really understand this part. (That’s your invitation to come visit).

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for all of your incredible generosity and friendship. You guys keep me “in the game”. I hope you know I wouldn’t want to do this without all you routing for me.

Your Friend,
Dave

(Sorry, No pictures this time. Picture taking is a sensitive matter sometimes)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

AFRICA IN 3 WEEKS!

Hi Friends,
Hope this finds all of you well! I just wanted to pass on a little update! I mentioned in my last update that there where plans to head back to Africa. Well, here they are!Thanks for having a look at my blog!
On Feb. 13 I'll be heading to South Africa and Mozambique to continue our work with Ten Thousand Homes. We are still pioneering quite a lot of initiatives such as plans for clean water, nutrition, and various education programs.
We'll also head to Mozambique to meet with a couple in Maputo to see about putting up a new care center that will help provide for orphans living on the streets.
I'm still currently in the process of raising the funds. If you are interested in being involved either by praying or giving, please the click on the large photo below to read more specifics.
Thank you so much for your willing to consider and pray. It is no mystery that I could not do this without all of you. I can't thank you enough.

Your Friend,
Dave Henry

NOTE: If you would like a tax deduction please make checks out to YWAM and send to:
YWAM Tyler
Attn: Accounting
P.O. Box 3000
Garden Valley, TX 75771
(just put a note in specifying the check to me)

If you are not interested in a tax deduction you can send a check to made out to me and send it to the address on the photo of my newsletter.



Monday, January 21, 2008

Life is Fragile

Hi Friends,
Well it’s 2 weeks into my month in Africa, so nearly the half way point. It’s been a an interesting 2 weeks. The first week was a YWAM conference with over 200 workers from all over southern Africa. It was great to see a broad range of diversity from around the world as well as from all over Africa. I’m always blown away when I see the diversity of God displayed in His Creation and see the unity that comes to belonging to family of God regardless of color, culture, nationality, or economic status. It’s a beautiful thing!

My time so far as also been a bit surreal. During my first week here I learned that my grandfather, Ambrosio Bosquez, passed away in Piedras Negras, Mexico. It was a bit tough to be away from my family for the time of grieving and remembering him together as a family. Fortunately my mom and dad were able to be there to represent my brother and I, since we’re both overseas at the moment. My brother and I were fortunate enough to see him together last May, I think I knew in my heart that would be my good bye to him. I’m sure he’s enjoying his new home.

Being in Africa always seems to put me back in touch with how fragile life is, thus making it that much more precious and making me realize how valuable people are, whether I recognize their value or not. I get that feeling of fragility with news about my grandfather, but also when I’m about 10 feet from an elephant that was tearing apart a tree. (yes, that did happen about 3 days ago).

Thanks again for your prayers, friendship, and love. It’s priceless.

Your Friend,
Dave

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Home

Hi Friends,
Happy Belated New Year to all of you. Hope that your holidays were full of good food, good friends, and good time with family. Have you happened to make any New Years Resolutions yet?

Anyway…Home.
I’ve been thinking a lot about home lately. What it is? Where it is, and what makes a home? I think about it a lot because my lifestyle and the nature of what we do in Africa in regards to the orphan and the widow. And I’m finding that most people are either trying to get back home or find a new one.

Thinking about this makes our name, “Ten Thousand Homes”, so much more meaningful for me. A home is a place to belong, more than simply a place to live and redefines what it means to be an orphan (not just losing your parents). Africa’s orphans need home. Not just 4 walls and a roof, but a place to belong. A place to be loved, to be safe, and to inherit more than they thought possible. Orphans are often just surviving, often afraid to dream or risk because of what it will cost to do so. This was never more evident than when I stayed with the orphan headed household in August. It seems the more and more people I meet, the more I realize how much the role of home plays in all our lives - our sense of belonging.

Several years back I was in Ireland I saw a little piece of graffiti. I had to photograph it. And it has always stayed with me. “Home is not where you live, but where they understand you.” Home gives us a place to belong. It is a huge part of every person’s identity and makes all the difference in how our lives impact the world, the poor, & the needy.

How do our lives create home for others?

Your Friend,
Dave Henry