The Idea Camp Orphan Care is coming to NW Arkansas on Feb 25th & 26th and Cobblestone Project is proud to help bring this event to our community.
The world is full of people with great ideas. Unfortunately for many, they will take these ideas all the way to the grave without ever actualizing them. Whether it’s an idea for a song, book, organization, business, ministry, family or even plans to make the world a better place, these dreamers, many with noble intent, will never see their passions realized.
The Idea Camp was birthed out of a simple hope to help people move closer to implementing their God-given ideas by creating a healthy environment in which everyday people are able to share ideas, sharpen each other’s thoughts, and collectively move together to benefit humanity.
The Idea Camp will facilitate a safe and transparent environment of learning, sharing of insights from the respective fields of focus, and practical insights and examples of holistic care. As a faith centered conference, there will be an on-going focus on the importance of living as God’s loving expressions of grace and hope to the world through tangible acts of care in this area.
We will facilitate fresh, honest and transformative conversations with leading thinkers on topics including adoption, foster care, child sponsorship, community development, US & International care, trafficking & orphan care, special needs, cross-cultural & religious boundaries, and many more.
Using an interactive platform and collective of leading thinkers and practitioners from the field, participants will be able to learn from leading experts as well as one another, share best practices, and work toward collaborative efforts. In addition, those following online will be able to experience the conference via the latest tools in social media. All of the general sessions and a handful of workshops will be streamed live and recorded to be used as future resources online.
Registration Link: https://www.theideacamp.com/register
Speakers and Orgs who will be represented:
Tom Davis, Children’s Hope Chest
John Sower, The Mentoring Project
Jedd Medefind, Christian Alliance for Orphans
Frank Garrott, Gladney Center for Adoption
Charles Lee, Ideation
Elizabeth Styffe, Saddleback
Chris Marlow, Help End Local Poverty
Jonathan Olinger, Discover the Journey
Rob Morris, Love 146
Mark Moore, MANA Nutrition
Kristen Welch, WeAreThatFamily.com & Mercy House Kenya
Gary Schneider, Every Orphans Hope
Matt Mooney, 99 Balloons
Esther Havens, Humanitarian Photographer
Greg Russinger, Just One
Johnny Carr, Bethany Christian Services
Dan Cruver, Together fro Adoption
Jason Kovacs, ABBA Fund & Together for Adoption
Jason Locy, Five Stone Creative
Heidi Cox, Gladney Center for Adoption
Josh & Amy Bottomly, From Ashes to Africa
Aschalew Abebe, Kidmia
Mark Bray, Cobblestone Project
Mike Rusch, Cobblestone Project
Moody & Emily Alexander, Ethiopia Smile and Glimmer of Hope
Alan Hunt, World Orphans
Melinda Nicholson, Cherish Kids
The CALL of Arkansas
+ many more that we will update on website
Special Musical Guests include: Aaron Ivey Band, Stephen Miller and Seth Primm
First Baptist Church of Rogers
3364 West Pleasant Grove Road
More Info at: http://www.theideacamp.com
As 2010 comes to and end, we wanted to pause for a moment to reflect on just what an incredible year it was. We want to say thank you to everyone who loaded dirty clothes into a laundry machine, dug their hands into the soil, stirred a pot of soup, hauled a mattress for a new home, swept the floor at the DC, packed a toothbrush into a bag, picked up frozen boxes of chicken, cut wood for heat, snipped a lock of hair and who sat and listened to the thousands of stories that people in our community had the opportunity to live.
None of this is possible without you, and because of you our community is a better place. We hope that 2011 begins with a renewed drive to meet the needs of our community with a light that can only be explained on the other side of heaven. May grace & peace fill your homes this holiday season. Thank you.
On Nov 2nd, the Cobblestone Project is hosting our second “Present in the City” evening together. For this gathering, we have chosen to focus on the issues of Fatherlessness and have invited Dr. John Sowers, author of “Fatherless Generation” & President of The Mentoring Project, to be our guest.
But some may ask,
“Why a night to focus on the issue of fatherlessness?”
“What does this have to do with serving the under-resourced in our community?”
“What kind of impact could this make?”
“Is this really an issue in our community?”
These are all honest and much needed questions. These are the exact same questions that we have asked of ourselves in preparing for this gathering together.
Here are our thoughts…
Within the framework of the Cobblestone Project it is our desire to work towards “a community without need” by “identifying needs, connecting needs with resources and fulfilling those needs with sustainable solutions“. In this pursuit, many initiatives have come to life to meet the physical needs of the poor in our community by creating spaces and opportunities to meet those in need on equal footing in a very personal way. And, they are truly beautiful spaces.
In these spaces and in these initiatives, it has been impossible to deny that the breakdown of support structures and the breakdown of the family has an devastating impact on a person’s ability to provide for themselves, stay in school, hold down a job and ultimately lift themselves out of their circumstances. In fact, within all four of our Our Step cases so far, there has been one common story. It has been the breakdown of family support structures that have led to domestic violence, poverty and homelessness. In each case we have worked to place single parents into homes.
While we must continue to work in our efforts to alleviate the symptoms of poverty, we must also work towards breaking these cycles leading to poverty, domestic violence and homelessness. So, where do begin in the effort to truly break these cycles?
Consider these statistics referenced in John Sowers’ book “Fatherless Generation”
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children come from a fatherless home
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from a fatherless home
- 85% of all youths in prison come from a fatherless home
- 75% of all adolescents in chemical abuse centers come from a fatherless home
- 80% of all rapists motivated with displace anger come from a fatherless home
- 85% of all youth who exhibit behavior disorders come from a fatherless home
- 70% of all juveniles in state-operated institutions come from a fatherless home
- 71% of all pregnant teenagers come from a fatherless home
- 63% of all youth suicides come from a fatherless home
To say that there is a strong connection between the issue of fatherlessness and the effects of poverty is a huge understatement. Take a minute to consider this video…
Therefore, we are inviting our community to come, gather together and begin to learn how the issue of fatherlessness is having an impact on our community.
David Blankenhorn (author and researcher) states it this way…
“Fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend of this generation. It is the leading cause of declining child well-being in our society. It is also the engine driving our most urgent social problems, from crime to adolescent pregnancy to child sexual abuse to domestic violence against women. Yet, despite its scale and social consequences, fatherlessness is a problem that is frequently ignored or denied.”
For more information including time and location of “Present in the City – the Fatherless“, please visit the Cobblestone Project website and please consider picking up “Fatherless Generation” by Dr. John Sowers.
Present in the City “The Fatherless” with Dr. John Sowers, President of The Mentoring Project (Tues, Nov 2nd @ 6 pm)
“The story of Fatherlessness is being written into the heart of our generation. Quite often it is a story of shame, loneliness, and rejection” (FatherlessGeneration.com). However, we believe there is hope.
On Tuesday, November 2nd, we are honored to have John Sowers, President of The Mentoring Project, join our community to share his personal story of growing up in a fatherless home, and how the issues of fatherlessness affects our families and communities.
In his role with The Mentoring Project, John seeks to respond to the American crisis of fatherlessness by inspiring and equipping faith communities to mentor the fatherless.
John’s work with The Mentoring Project is creating a national platform to understand how the issue of fatherlessness is central to caring for our communities.
In early October we were alerted of a situation here in NW Arkansas that captured our hearts. A family of 5 children that were without their parents was in need of some big help. In order to help, their grandmother offered to serve as their caretaker; however, the living situation had forced her to spend the nights on their porch in order to create room inside. If you missed the original story, you can read it here “Family of 5 without Parents is in Need”
Since then It has been truly remarkable to see how our NW Arkansas Community has rallied around to help this family. Here is a quick update of what you have all done.
- All the kids have new clothing, coats, shoes, bedding, books & toys.
- There is a “new” sofa for the grandmother and she is sleeping inside now.
- One of the boys who was sleeping on a piece of foam now has a bed.
- There is a small chest of drawers that now holds the children’s clothes.
- There are some small groups who are planning on taking the family to Chuck E. Cheese.
- There are toys set aside for Christmas and some people are taking care of the rest of the needs
- Lisa is getting some special time with the girls and is having a girl party in the coming weeks.
On the construction side
- Wayne Hull is heading up the construction at the house and foundation is being set right now.
- There have been donations from Home Depot & Lowe’s.
- There are crews standing by for framing, electrical & roofing
- Donations received for the family will be used to cover other construction needs
Needless to say spirits are up for the family & hope is present and real because of what you have all done. Lisa has been the true hero through out all of this because without her none of this would be happening. She’s amazing.
At this point, all the immediate needs are met. If new needs arise, we will be happy to share them. Again, thank you all. Truly amazing.