Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Unselfish Birthday Wishes

I love the trend of unselfish birthday choices. There's nothing wrong with having a birthday or getting presents. Yet, if you're looking for the moments in your life where you are can have a large impact, birthdays could be on that list. Birthdays are usually a time when the limelight is directly shining on you, so what better way to use that stage than to share about your faith or kickstart a project with meaningful impact. Haley G. is one of our HP students who is doing just that.

Blackbox International is a Christian organization that exists to holistically rehabilitate sex-trafficked boys age 16 and under. There is an estimated 400,000 boys who are trafficked each year and Blackbox is making a difference. However, they need help. Haley wants to help.

This year on her birthday on January 19, Haley is raising money and awareness for Blackbox International. She wanted to do something different this year instead of just having another year of cake and presents. Her plan is to raise money from school, church and Facebook friends, then use the money for Blackbox. Her goal is to raise at least $200 to help another boy come into the organization. All the money raised will be given directly to Blackbox to make this happen.

I'm praying that her efforts are multiplied beyond what she hoped for, not only to encourage her faith but help Blackbox as they seek to assist 'the least of these'.

If you would like to help Haley in this, please contact me at Or contact her directly if you know her personally. Let's partner together to battle to help rescue these young boys made in the image of God.

You can read more about Blackbox International at

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Helping Students Keep Warm and Stay in School

Tulsa, Oklahoma - I would like to introduce you to Sarah W. Sarah is one of our High School students at Highland Park. She is actively involved in HPyouth. She is smart, athletic and a follower of Jesus Christ. And she is doing something extraordinary.
Last summer, we took our students to a CIY Move conference in Macomb, Illinois. Move is a week-long conference that aims to change youth and change the world. Sarah, along with many of our students, was challenged throughout the week to advance her faith and grow stronger in her commitment to follow Christ.

One video and challenge in particular hit her hard. The story of Ruby. Ruby is a High School student that chose to give up her birthday to raise money for a family to have a new house in South America. At the end of the week, we challenged our students to consider what they could do this next year that God was laying on their heart. Sarah decided that she wanted to do something like that.
After returning home, she shared with her parents what was on her heart and in her mind. Together they decided on a plan. Sarah would use her birthday in January 2015 to impact many poor underprivileged children in the Tulsa area. Project Elf is an amazing organization dedicated to helping children get the basic things they need for life and school. They provide them with coats, pencils, toothbrushes, combs and more. Sarah wants to help them.

So, in January 2015, Sarah is attempting to get many donations to help Project Elf be an even bigger impact than normal. The Children’s Ministry at Highland Park has already gotten behind her. The Middle School students of HP took time out of their Christmas party to go shopping for donations to surprise Sarah. Maybe by this point, you’re wondering how you could partner with her too? On Sunday, January 11, there will be a box next to the HP Caboose (the student information table in the downstairs lobby). In that box, bring any of the items in the list that follows to help support Sarah and Project Elf. This will also underscore to our students that they too can change the world for Christ.
Items needed:
  • Tennis Shoes
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Backpacks
  • Heavy Coats
  • Winter Hats and Gloves
  • Composition Books
  • Pencils
  • Binders (2 in)
  • Markers
  • Pocket Folders with Brads
  • Tri-Fold Science Project Boards
  • Toothbrushes
  • Money and Wal-Mart Gift Cards can also be given.