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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It’s about that time again.

I have to tell you three things:

1. I have a boyfriend. That’s both ‘boy and ‘friend’ in the same word. I do not have to pay a monthly boyfriend fee. It’s totally voluntary in his part.

2. I’m graduating this year! Not in May, but in December. I have been working toward my Master’s Degree in Social Work at Tulane University in New Orleans. I’ve had the best experience doing individual and group grief and trauma counseling in the Recovery School District with kids who are experiencing stress due to having witnessed a violent crime or having been through Hurricane Katrina.

3. As my culminating capstone experience, I will be taking this grief/trauma model to Belize in August and implementing it in a grassroots Domestic Violence shelter. I’m dying to tell you the story of how this whole thing came about, but it would be impossible and annoying to make you read a 5 page letter, so I’m just going to list the facts:

  • I went to Belize in the fall with CFI. A team member saw “Open Doors” on a storefront. Team member said, “Hey, we have an Open Doors food bank in Westfield! Let’s see what this place is!” Team drove around for an hour trying to re-find Open Doors. Couldn’t be found. Gave up. Went back to hotel. Front desk lady said her aunt works for Open Doors and lives right behind hotel. Open Doors Lady came over after dinner to talk. Open doors lady has a name: Marilyn.
  • Turns out, Open Doors is a domestic violence shelter in San Ignacio that was just opened last February. It’s only the second safe shelter in the entire country. One woman walked miles from three villages over on a broken foot, broken hip, and broken hand carrying a baby and a three-year-old with a broken arm.
  • Marilyn and her friend, Anna, started Open Doors to provide support and help for the women who come in, but they have no idea what to do with the kids, many of whom are imitating violence and showing significant distress.
  • I have been trained in how to help and treat kids who had witnessed ongoing, traumatic violence in New Orleans. I felt the tug to find a way to bring the New Orleans program to this shelter and train the shelter staff.
  • I went back to Tulane over Thanksgiving break and proposed the program. Tulane pulled strings to get me into the International Program, but said I’d have to find someone in the country to supervise me.
  • I called Open Doors. Marilyn said she had a student was working with her, and I should talk to the student. The student wasn’t there. Dead end. Student walked into the office as we were hanging up. Marilyn handed over the phone. I couldn’t hear the student because of a bad connection and only 1 minute on my phone card. I asked for student’s email address to e-mail questions. Student said: Melissa@TULANE.edu. As in, TULANE UNIVERSITY, my school in New Orleans!! She (Melissa) is a cultural anthropology doctorate student and has been doing research on domestic violence in Belize since 2002. She will be leaving in July. I’ll come in August. A seamless transition.
  • Even in the retelling of this, I feel unable to express God’s clear and shining presence in all our lives in that moment—Marilyn, the Tulane student, me and the kids who need services. All of our lives intersected in the realization of that little email address, and God’s plan became clear and undeniable to all of us. Everything we’d wondered on and off before—why I was at Tulane of all places, why Melissa was in San Ignacio of all places, why Dave (the team member) had insisted on finding Open Doors that day, that the front desk lady happened to be the niece of Marilyn, and that their exact need was my exact training—it all came together. God makes me cry, He is so perfect and organized. Sigh.

In addition to this project, I’ll be continuing the AIDS/HIV prevention programming I did last fall in the schools, and starting a mentoring program through CFI to match up the Standard 5 and 6 girls with “big-sister” type women in the States. These women will hopefully serve as pen-pals and supports, and will be a source of encouragement for the girls to continue their schooling past primary school.

Please know that if you’ve been involved in any of this Belize business for the past few years by supporting or encouraging in ANY way, this opportunity could not have come together without you. Although I am certain God would have met their needs with or without me, I appreciate your willingness to serve through prayer and financial support so that we could all be a part of it.

I’m working hard to fund the projects through student loans and corporate sponsors, however, if you feel particularly drawn to any of these upcoming fall projects, I’d love your prayer and support. The total cost of all three projects is $3,900 and if you’d like to contribute, it can be done in three ways:

• Make a check out to CFI with “Brooke Wilson” in memo line and mail to: CFI, 448 Leeds Circle, Carmel, IN 46032 (this method is tax deductible)

• Go to CFI website and contribute online (this method is also tax deductible): http://www.cfikids.com- designate to “Brooke Wilson”

• Make a check out to Brooke Wilson (this method is NOT tax deductible): email me

I hope you get a sense of my heart and my calling through this letter. It’s hard to put into words, but I feel blessed through this opportunity and want to help with the skills I’ve been given.

The end!

Brooke Wilson

You better Belize it.

Dear Friends and Family,

Please take the following multiple choice test to learn what is happening with me this fall.

1.This September I will:

a) Quit my job and sell suntan lotion in Hawaii

b) Go to Belize on a mission trip

c) Get married!

d) Do nothing

Answer: b (Why didn’t any of you pick c?)

2.While in Belize, I will:

a) Model the latest fall fashions from Paris

b) Toss quarters into the reef and wish for a new puppy

c) Work with Cornelius Foundation International to build
relationships and renovate schools in remote villages

d) Stay in San Ignacio

e)c and d

Answer: e (This is an exploratory trip for me which may lead to
a 6 month opportunity in January to teach English and continue
serving long-term)

3.The cost of my trip is:

a) Nothing, I am a lottery winner

b) $2,000.00

c) $4,500.00

d) $25.00

Answer: b

4.Would you consider:

a) Helping me iron my clothes before I go

b) Joining me as a prayer partner

c) Joining me as a financial partner

d) Calling my mom and telling her it is OK for me to travel on an

e) All of the above

Answer: e (But especially b and c. I desire to have partners in
this ministry. Please prayerfully consider if God would have you
be a part.)

5.To make a financial contribution:

a) Make a check payable to Cornelius Foundation International

b) Designate “Brooke Wilson” in the memo line

c) Mail to 448 Leeds Circle, Carmel, IN 46032

d) All of the above

Answer: d (contributions are tax-deductible)

God Bless,