Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Except the Lord keep the city the watchman waketh but in vain.
It has been an incredible spring, and I can barely catch my breath. I marvel at the way the Lord goes before us and moves in the hearts of people to accomplish a purpose so much greater than ourselves. I’ll try to be concise with my updates, but so much has been happening these last three months. It’s exciting!
SOUNDS OF SISTERHOOD CD (continued)
I ended the winter newsletter with a praise report that the live recordings for the CD were complete, but I am still in the editing phase of production. I love the creative process, but it is tedious: listening to every note played and sung, correcting timing issues, etc. Five of the ten songs have been edited, and I’ve produced music videos for three of the selections to showcase the type of music we’re offering. CLICK HERE to listen to each piece. We are inching closer to completion but need additional funding to finalize the project (approximately $1500). To help reach our goal, we are offering pre-sales of the CD for $20. You will receive a professionally mastered CD along with a 12 page, color booklet insert that highlights the behind the scenes work in bringing the project to life and also gives great insight into our work in Zambia. You may place your order online or mail a check made out to Sisterhood Of Servants. Send to PO Box 441713, Jacksonville, Florida, 32222. Proceeds from the CD sales will be used to help fund our SOS Girls mentoring program (we hope to start at least 3 new chapters this fall) and our Malongwe Village Education and Vocation Initiative in Zambia. I am very excited about the prospect of making contact with radio station managers and telling them about our work while having a professional CD to offer to them. This may well be our most effective promotional and fundraising tool to date.
|Big Tree Baptist Church Graduating Class
BACK TO ZAMBIA At the end of April I made a whirlwind return trip back to Zambia. I left the States on April 28 and returned home on May 6. I have been blogging about my excursion, and you can read along and experience Zambia through my eyes. CLICK HERE.
It begins with the blog entry titled Onward and Upward – My return to Zambia 2014.
If you haven’t read any of the previous posts and would like to get caught up on everything happening with S.O.S. in Zambia, you can join the conversation from the beginning with the series of blog entries that I wrote last summer. Simply go to this link (http://www.sisterhoodspeaking.blogspot.com/2013/08/flying-solo.html), grab a cup of coffee, curl up with your laptop, and get ready to enjoy an adventure only God could have authored!
During my trip last month, I got to meet with my new Zambian Board of Directors, attend the graduation ceremony for the 1st class of graduates from the Big Tree Baptist Church Literacy Program, meet Chief Mnukwa, and actually walk the property that has been designated by the village headmen for our school and vocational training center. God’s blessings have exceeded anything I could have imagined! I am so humbled to be his servant.
S.O.S. 4th ANNUAL CELEBRATION BANQUET
Despite having to maneuver through a myriad of technical difficulties, this was a wonderful evening. Our celebration time at the annual spring banquet is always memorable because we reflect over the past year and praise God for his continued faithfulness. This year we honored members of SOS Girls for their participation in the program and service to the Jacksonville community. We also presented one of the members with a special award to celebrate her compassionate spirit and servant’s heart. The award was established by Carl and Elaine Clark of Jacksonville, Florida in remembrance of their daughter Suzanne Clark Sparks who passed away suddenly due to complications from a heart condition. There are two components to the award which will be presented annually to one deserving SOS Girl: there is a cash prize and celebratory plaque that she will receive, and a cash donation will be made in the recipient’s name to be used toward the SOS Girls sponsorship fund. I was also able share with those in attendance all of the Lord’s blessings on our outreach in Zambia, and we are looking forward with great anticipation to establishing several new chapters of SOS Girls in the fall. I really cannot believe it has only been 4 years since we launched the ministry!
Three years ago I wrote this journal entry in celebration of our first anniversary:
Happy 1st Anniversary Sisterhood Of Servants, Inc.! Where did the time go? The blessings of this past year have come in many different forms: new volunteers, notes of encouragement, anonymous donations, IRS tax-exempt approval, SOS GIRLS, and the list could just keep going. Thank you to everyone who has enthusiastically supported us. Thank You God for giving me the opportunity to serve you through this ministry!
I had no idea how our organization would grow over time. All I possessed was a strong belief in God’s calling and a desire to walk in obedience and follow him on whatever path he chose for us. We are blessed to have so many unique ministry opportunities placed right at our feet, and God has always provided the resources that we’ve needed to accomplish the tasks at hand. As the scope of our outreach continues to expand we need to increase the base of our financial support. I love the fact that our donors represent a wide demographic: elementary school children, teenagers, retirees, those on fixed-incomes, anonymous donors, families, business and community leaders, and strangers that have no prior connection to our organization. However, at this stage in our development, we need to establish a consistent budget so that we can be prudent in our planning and good stewards of every resource that is given.
Request #1: I am asking every person that receives a copy of this newsletter to prayerfully consider partnering with SOS financially on a monthly basis. No amount will be too small. The projects that we are endeavoring to see come to fruition will cost several hundred thousand dollars to implement. I’m not intimidated by that dollar figure because I know that the resources are available. Collectively we can accomplish ANYTHING with the Lord’s help. This is a great time to invest with us because more than 90% of each donation goes directly to the field to help fund our SOS Girls local outreach and our Zambia, Africa international outreach ministries. Our staff is made up entirely of volunteers (including me), and we have very little overhead expenses because we don’t maintain brick and mortar office space. In addition, 100% of each donation is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.
Request #2: I am asking every person that receives a copy of this newsletter to contact me via email if you are interested in becoming an SOS prayer partner. Many of you fulfill this role already, but I would like to have an updated list of faithful supporters that I can call on in a moment’s notice to pray for specific issues facing our ministry.
I’ve attached a pledge form that has the details about how you can personally respond to the each request. Finally, I want to wish a heartfelt thank you to every person that prays for SOS, sends personal notes of encouragement, volunteers his time, and sacrifices financial treasure to allow us to keep serving others and making a difference in the lives of many. You are a blessing!
Phylicia Perry ☺