my life songs


shine
September 10, 2009, 8:38 pm
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i was asked to be a part of a brochure for the Shine women’s conference at Shoreline.  back a few months ago ashley and i had a great time playing around with a pair of glasses taking pictures of me and the kids.  i didn’t know how it would turn out, but it looks GREAT!

you can check it out here:  http://www.shinewomen.com/see.html  take a look at the brochure too.

also, if you’re in austin you should definitely think about going to SHINE!



What goes on…
September 8, 2009, 6:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

i’m sitting here counting down the minutes until rachel comes back.  i pick her up at the airport today at four.  i now have a month of working in the art co-op under my belt.  although, i’m sure that things will be much different working WITH rachel.

so, i’ve learned, it’s not rocket science.  the materials go out, the women turn work in, we package things, and try to find people to buy them.  it’s interesting to see how it works.  i get excited at the end of the day when i look at the pile of things the women have completed.  it gives a sense of accomplishment.  it’s concrete.  then, at the end of month all is tallied up and the women are paid according to the work they turn in.

that isn’t even the best part though.  each day i get to sit and talk with the women.  there are about 30 of them.  they don’t all come in to the art co-op ever day, but at some point or another i see their faces and speak with them.  i’ve tried to get to know them as best as i could this month, but sometimes i don’t even have to try, they just open up their lives to you.  i already love ALL of them.

the best part is getting to hear first hand how their jobs have changed their lives, how the quality of their lives have improved.  like tati, who told me that she is saving up to buy a refrigerator.  or, ALL of the women that were able to send their kids to school this month with their pay.  and ingris, that has worked with rachel since the beginning who says that she doesn’t know how she can ever thank rachel for what she has done for her, even the times that rachel has just been there to listen and give advice or encouragement.

sometimes the women complain, but it’s easy to remind them how things could be different, and then they’re happy again.  it’s fun too.  they all come in and start chatting… usually in creole and i don’t understand anything, although, i can tell when they aren’t happy about something.  but then, the other day i asked someone to translate for me, and janina told me that they were talking about how there is no reason to have fear in life when you have faith in God.

friday was my birthday and payday… in other words a big day.  yesterday (monday) i went in to clean some things up and make sure that everyone got their pay.  juana asked if she could speak with me privately… which usually is a sign that they need something, instead she had a gift for me.  she had made me earrings for my birthday!  i cried a bit.

pray.  pray for these relationships and these beautiful women.  pray for the long term.  that their kids would go to school, and graduate, and get jobs, and that the cycle of poverty would end.  pray for dignity.  and praise Jesus for His justice and grace and mercy.

elena

this is elena making chula clips.  i take absolutely no credit for this picture.  i actually even stole it from rachel’s facebook.  it was taken by an amazing photographer that donated her time and photos to la tienda.  check out gigiphotograhpy.com



the song of the spero
September 4, 2009, 2:29 pm
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For me, in the beginning, starting a non-profit was just a means to an end.  I needed a way to raise support so I could continue my ministry here in the DR.  But of course, God always thinks (or knows) so much bigger than we do.  As of this week SPERO Ministries is officially open for business.

The main purpose of the non-profit is to raise funds, to raise funds and then use those funds to come alongside those with the most needs, to meet their needs.  God is already opening up the opportunities for service.

Here are some of the organizations and projects that are and will be supported by SPERO Ministries:

Helping Hands http://www.lotsahelpinghands.com/ based in Hutto, TX

Projects with Helping Hands:

School Supply Drive

Coats for Kids

La Tienda http://latienda.moonfruit.com based in the Dominican Republic, La Tienda is the art co-op where I have started working.

Support a Missionary

Cara Jane Welch- (yeah that’s me!) by supporting me financially you will also be supporting La Tienda.  These funds go towards my living expenses in the DR.  It will keep me living here, so I can keep serving!

This is also something that I hope that God will continue to open doors for, that we would be able to support more missionaries here in the DR, and in other parts of the world.

Other Projects:

Sponsoring Rut Ester to go to private school in the DR- Cristina is a dear friend of mine here that I worked with for the past two years.  She works for Makarios and is the sole provider for her large family.  She struggles.  Spero Ministries is helping to support her so she can send her daughter, Rut to school.

Sponsoring Yoslena Betran for vocational training and to finish her public school education- Yoslena is a girl that I spent lots of time mentoring while working for Makarios.  I hope to continue to spend time with her and encourage her to do more with her life.  She is very behind in school, but trying to graduate.  We have started to discuss sending her to beauty school, which would be a great job opportunity for her.

The Board:

Mike Welch– my father, the man most responsible for the starting and running of SPERO.  My parents have done a great deal to support me.  I am in debt to them for what they have done to relieve the burden that I carry.

Ben Terry– pastor at Lifepoint Fellowship.  Ben has always been someone that I go to for spiritual advice.  He had a large part in encouraging me to move to the DR and start ministry here.

Camille Crocket– Camille is a dear friend of mine that is known for her patience.  She spent two years living and doing ministry in the DR.

If you are interested in supporting any of these projects please contact me.  carajanewelch@gmail.com I am trying to raise $1000/m for my living expenses.  I currently have $350 committed in monthly amounts.  Checks can now be made out to SPERO Ministries, 2002 Aster Way, Round Rock, TX, 78664. Please include a note indicating to where the money should be applied.



an experiment
September 1, 2009, 2:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

sometimes i get bored. and the only thing i have to entertain myself is my computer and the internet.  you can imagine my dismay if either of those things isn’t working.  i watch movies on my computer.  i talk to my family.  i read my favorite blogs.  i play solitaire.  i keep in touch with what is going on in every person’s life that i have ever met through facebook.  sometimes i get really bored.  like tonight, since all of my roommates are in santiago and for some reason orange (my dominican phone service) hates me and i missed jessi calling.  i’ve watched gladiator, thanks to the new movies kendall brought, and i’ve done all of the other things on the above list that i use my computer for entertaining myself.

so then, i start searching for things on google.  ANYTHING that i might be interested in.  tonight i googled Jesus.  i was curious about what google had to say about Jesus.  i’ll tell you what the first five links were.  i also have to say that i was disappointed but not surprised that the first link was not the Bible.  i do believe however, that these links say something about our world today.

1.  wikipedia– this says, we want simple, basic facts. wikipedia is the world of information without having to dig too deep.

2.  Jesus dress up! NOW IT’S TIME FOR JESUS DRESS UP! Dress up Jesus by dragging the items to him with your mouse. They’ll snap right into place! It’s fun, fashion and it’s…– WHAT!?!?! what is this?  this is disturbing.

3.  How to know God personally through Jesus Christ right now…– i don’t know anything about who sponsors this site, but we’re a little bit closer to the right track. right?

4.  video results for Jesus– some carrie underwood video on youtube. this says, we care a lot about stars and the entertainment industry, probably more than we care about Jesus.

5.  news results for Jesus– some thing that is actually about madonna and not about Jesus.  only further reiterating my previous statement.  it also makes me sad that the news has nothing to do with what Jesus is doing in all parts of the world and the martyrs that are made everyday. nope. just madonna.

all this really leads me to believe is that we are all searching for Jesus.  when we seek knowledge, we are really just looking for Jesus.  when we waste our time playing stupid games on the internet, we are really just trying to keep our brains moving… because we are made to think… and thinking leads to Jesus.  we are really just looking for Jesus when we create things that will patch up the mess we have made of our lives.  we have an addiction to media and news because it’s in our nature to discover, to want to be informed, to care about the world… these are all things that point to Jesus.  the truth is, that when you find Him, you realize that all roads don’t lead to rome.  you really can’t be on the wrong path.  when one finds, drugs, and sex, and food, a other material things to be empty, that path has lead them to Christ… the only answer.  we do find Him. He is always there, at the end of every empty path.  it’s just that sometimes we refuse to see Him.  and THAT is what faith is.  believing that He is there at the end of emptiness.