On Cheese soup and Magazines

Like, where to even begin.

The Organization Jeff and I will begin working for beginning March 1st, World Next Door,  was established in 2009 as a Social Justice Travel Magazine, but in a blog format, because blogs were the thing at the time*.

*Here I am writing on a blog, so can blogs still be the thing a little?

Last night, at the 4th Annual Celebration and Fundraiser (which included homemade soups like Cashew Zucchini and Creamy Potato Cheddar and Cambodian Tom Yum *AND* bread sticks for the cheese sauce you’d rather eat with a spoon because it‘s that good. Wait. Where was I going with this…?)

Oh, yes. The Event last night. Live band. Photo booth. Raffles. AND THE MOST AMAZING ANNOUNCEMENT about the direction of World Next Door!

Dave Bell, one of the associate pastors at Grace Community Church and a mentor to Barry, the Founder & Director of World Next Door, spoke about why he believes in this organization, and he described it kind of like a Lego obsession.

His kids, he disclosed, wait daily for the mail on the off chance the Lego Magazine might arrive. When the Lego Magazine comes, they devour it quickly, making lists of things they’d like to buy or create or have, and then, when they finish the magazine: off to the Lego room! They make creations with their Legos and snap pics, trying to become one of the featured Lego creations in the next issue.

I thought about my life and the magazines I read. Whole Living, which is a gift from my Mother-in-Law and absolutely does not support eating cheese sauce from a bowl with a spoon, and Real Simple offer a thousand million healthy recipes and organizational tools and smoothie options, along with tiny little trinkets and accessories. These are things I must have when the back cover closes. I am a sucker for imagery. Self Magazine and InStyle cause me to be instantly dissatisfied with my body and clothes and prompt me to do 125 sit-ups per minute five hours per day (yeah right) and participate in things like Wall Sits or retail therapy. While I don’t believe these Mags are inherently bad, my desires are being formed into the desires of the magazine, for good or for bad: healthier food choices (good), organizing my workspace (good), exercise (good), belly loathing (bad), style inferiority (bad), overspending (bad) and here’s the real kicker- good or bad, what do you think these magazines have turned my desire toward? MYSELF!

Could you imagine a magazine that forms our desires into the desires of God? A magazine that is so engaging, interactive, funny, moving, inspiring and life-giving that when the cover closes, a person- instead of doing wall sits or ordering EmiJay hair ties or making a smoothie with hidden vegetables- goes and sponsors a developmentally disabled kid at the Romaniv Orphanage?

Could you imagine if we salivated over social justice, poverty alleviation, care for the widows and orphans, advocating for the marginalized and oppressed, human trafficking, slave labor, tribal reconciliation, etc. the way Dave Bell’s kids salivate over creating Lego structures at the end of the Lego Magazine? What if serving the others was not a sacrifice, but an adventure? Imagine if people flipped through a magazine, and as they read, their desires were being formed into the desires of God, and it compelled them to do something.

You don’t have to imagine- IT’S HERE! And IT’S FREE! World Next Door launched the first teaser issue of a new online magazine at the Event last night, and it’s available for download right now!

WND teaser

The first issue is dedicated to the work of Mission to Ukraine, a small, grassroots ministry based in the city of Zhytomyr. Mission to Ukraine (MTU) seeks to transform Ukrainian society by serving three groups of marginalized people: people with special needs, the unborn, and orphans. The stories of the work this organization is doing and vignettes of four boys in this issue are inspiring and hope-filled. Go read!

So how do you get it?

Click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wnd-mag/id412513998

Our February issue is a short version teaser, and available through the App Store on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. Search for “World Next Door” and you’ll see our app. When you download the app, it will automatically load into your Newsstand as a magazine. Each month, the new issue will automatically download (for free!) into your Newsstand. When you are ready to view the magazine, just click the magazine cover and download this month’s issue. It should just take a few minutes to download, and that’s it! You can enjoy reading all about Mission To Ukraine this month in an interactive format with articles, maps, videos and photos. The magazine is formatted like National Geographic, which is awesome.

*We have noticed a funny thing. When you click download, it appears as though it’s downloading a bazillion GBs. But that’s just a glitch. It should only take a minute or two- though some take as many as 20 mins depending on connection speed and downloadability (I made that one up).

What if I don’t have an iPad?

I don’t have an iPad either. Poor us. But, I can view this on my iPhone, and all the content will still be available on the WND website. www.worldnextdoor.org. Also, beginning with the first full length issue in March, the magazine will be available on all other interactive devices like Amazon, Kindle series, and a bunch of others I can’t remember right now. More on this later.

Happy reading!


Let’s go.

Hey 2013 75

Dear B,

Say Yes. The world (and grandparents) will give you a million reasons to say No. Most reasons will be logical and rational. In fact, you could live your whole life saying No, and you would be justified, safe, and successful in your niche. But in 2013, say Yes. Pay attention, and walk through each door God opens- even the scary ones. Allow God to lead your heart and keep saying Yes even when it’s a little bit crazy. You are a little bit crazy, you know.

Detox. Detox from brownies and cookies and pie and chocolate-covered anything. Detox from sadness and grief. Detox from the black hole of the internet that beckons you to Google and infertility forums instead of praying and friend-calling.  Detox from E! and TLC and the DVR. Detox from sloth (Yes, you. Your pants don’t fit, pal.) Detox from discouragement. Detox from ingratitude and discontent. Detox from expectations. Detox from consumerism. Detox from noise.

Steep. Steep in these things to extract and absorb their flavors: vitamins and minerals and nutrients. Steep in fruit smoothies and salads and probiotics. Steep in hope and comfort and truth. Steep in friends and prayer. Steep in encouraging books. Steep in gratitude with every tiny little gift, wherever you find it. Steep outside, where air is fresh and things are alive and real. Steep in Body Works Plus Abs, or at least steep in Yoga. If neither of those, steep in the elliptical and stretching. Steep in laughter. Steep in releasing, letting go, surrender. Steep in satisfaction. Steep in mindfulness, quietness, mediation. Steep in beauty and creative expression.

Our plan for 2013: Say Yes. Detox. Steep.


2013: World Next Door

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So. I’m not really sure how to lay this out, because normal 30-somethings with a mortgage and stable employment don’t up and join a non-profit for a year to advocate for and work alongside social justice organizations around the world.  But you’ll never believe what Jeff and I are about to do…

Yes, okay. You might have just guessed it. 

In March 2013, Jeff and I will be putting our lives on Pause to join an organization called World Next Door. It is a Christian-based non-profit that seeks to inspire and mobilize people here to work alongside and support international mission organizations fighting injustice all over the world—something Jeff and I feel passionate about.

We will be traveling to four different countries, beginning with Rwanda in March and Cambodia in June. We’ll be working hand-in-hand within different social justice missions and capturing their work through writing and photojournalism. In Rwanda, we’ll be working with ALARM (African Leadership and Reconciliation Movement) on leadership development, reconciling relationships, and transforming communities through economic empowerment, education, health promotion, and orphan care—among other programs.  In Cambodia we’ll be working with the Center for Global Impact to combat sex trafficking through a dress-making program called The Daughter’s Project, a culinary training center, and a micro-enterprise initiative called byTavi. Our goal through the writing and photojournalism piece is to bring people to places like Rwanda and Cambodia so that they (you?) can get an inside look at what is happening and how to fight injustices that exist all over.  

If you know us a little, then you know that Jeff and I have passions for social justice, photography, and writing, and we are both inspired by our faith. So, this is a perfect fit!  Also, as you might already know via FB and blogs, we’ve been through two years of infertility, and this is the first thing that has given us excitement and purpose beyond having a family. We still hope and pray that God will give us a family someday, but right now we believe we are still living a life of adventure and purpose, just in a different way.

We would like to partner with others who feel inspired to join this mission- in prayer and/or program costs- to offer a bridge from your home to the other side of the world. We would like to put together a prayer support team, and a fundraising team. We are required to raise half the cost of our year-long mission for World Next Door and are looking for 35 people, families, or groups to contribute $100/mo for a year (2013). This may be the most intimidating part in the whole endeavor. Taking leaves from our jobs, deferring our school loans, and leaving our families is nothing compared to raising a year’s worth of money in three months!

Although we know this is mot the majority, there are individuals and families who set aside a designated amount of monthly or yearly funds to contribute to missions or charity organizations. Maybe that’s you, and you feel inspired to support us individually. Or maybe you know of friends or family members who support different missions you could pass this info along to.

Another option is to pool money in groups (friends, co-workers, life group, small group, Sunday school class, etc.) to donate $100/mo? There are creative ways this could be done, but, given the challenging economic times, maybe you are just not in position to support us financially. We definitely understand and your thoughts and prayers would be much appreciated.

Thank you so much for reading and considering, and if you have more questions, let’s talk! My cell phone is (260-249-9068) and my email address: brkwilson@gmail.com

Here are several links to the organizations we’ll be embedded with: 

World Next Door: http://www.worldnextdoor.org/about/
Center for Global Impact:

TO DONATE (tax deductible):

If you want to contribute financially, just let me know, and I’ll email you a pledge card. You can fill out the pledge card, attach a check, and mail it to World Next Door.

Checks are made out to “World Next Door, Inc.” and designate “Fellowship 4” in the memo line. Mail it to:
World Next Door

5501 N College Ave
Indianapolis, IN  46220

To Give Monthly (Automatic Bank Payments)

Did you know that most banks allow you to set up automatic monthly payments for free? 

By entering World Next Door as a recipient with your online banking service, your gift can be automatically sent straight to WND mailbox (5501 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN  46220) without you having to ever lift a finger.  How cool is that?

Check out your online banking website for more information (if your online banking service requests an account number, please use the phrase FELLOWSHIP 4).  *You can also donate Monthly on PayPal by visiting www.worldnextdoor.org/give

Love & Hugs, 
Jeff & Brooke

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