The Island of Rhodes, Greece

Monday, September 22

Rhodes was a totally surprise of an island, in many ways! When we booked our trip to Greece (a day before we left) we were literally at the mercy of the ferries to decide what islands we went to. We knew we wanted to go to Santorini, but beyond that, we were totally open to any islands! (As I predicted, you cannot go wrong with a Greek island!) The travel agent found that there was a ferry from Santorini to Rhodes the day we needed, and promptly booked it. Usually Kevin and I do tons of research on the places we are traveling to, but seeing as we found out we were going to Rhodes 2 days before we arrived, we didn't have much time to learn about it.

We were immediately smitten with our destination. Rhodes is phenomenal island, and is a jewel for medieval history buffs! It actually has one of the most well preserved medieval cities in the world, with an old wall and a castle! Beyond the quint and charming history, it has some pretty incredible beaches! The water hung a heavy blue and turquoise, I couldn't get enough {as evidenced by my pictures, hehe}.  Kevin and I spent two days laying out on the beach reading/swimming and soaking in the sweet ambiance at local cafes! If you get a chance to visit Rhodes, do it! We could have stayed for weeks!

Happy Monday!

ps- If you are still interested in getting in on the give-away, there is still time! Click here to win one of 6 prizes!!

A Give-Away for a Cause!

Friday, September 19

turquoise arm cuff // infinity scarf // turquoise necklace // pearl necklace // t-shirt // beaded bracelet 

Friends, thank you for being a part of Hope Engaged this week as I shared about a tangible way to engage with peace in the Middle East {read part 1 & part 2}. My heart swells up with so much JOY when I think about the impact we can have in the world by giving of the resources God has gifted us!

Today I wanted to extend a sweet Give-a-way to ALL of you readers! There are 2 ways to enter the give-away:

The first option to enter is to: 
1. Liking Shining Light International on FB
2. Following Shining Light International on IG
3. Leave a comment below (on my blog) with thoughts on Shining Light International! {And maybe your favorite few prizes, so I know what to send you!}

The second option is to actually GIVE to Shining Light International, and become a part of their Ray of Hope Club: 
1) Go to the Shining Light Page to give your donation. Click HERE
2) Email me to let me know you've given {}

I will be giving away 6 prizes to 6 different people, so your odds of winning are pretty good! 

My hope is that this week you have been inspired and encouraged that amazing things are happening in Pakistan to bring peace, and the hope of good news, to a people who have long been forgotten! Never underestimate the epic role and impact your life can have worldwide!!

Mother Teresa once said, "we can do not great things, only small things with great love" .
Do great love today, and check out Shining Light International

Use your Life for PEACE! One way to do that today….

Wednesday, September 17

“blessed are the peacemakers”

{Read Part 1 here}

Ladies, are you ready to be invited into being a peacemaker in the Middle East? Are you ready to give of what you have been blessed, and share what the Lord has so generously shared with you?

Remember when I asked what YOU would do if I told you that the gift of your life could:
Educate youth from Taliban occupied regions?
Send the very first girl in the history of her family to school?
Provide a job for a woman who never dreamed she could succeed? 
Empower remote communities towards a sustainable future?

I hope you would stand up and say “YES” to being a peacemaker!!
YES to help bringing the kingdom of God here on earth
YES to educating children from Taliban occupied regions
YES to sending the very first girl in her family to school
YES to providing a job to a woman that never thought employment possible
YES to empowering remote communities

And today, i'm sharing about an organization that is making these statement become reality through generous and caring people like yourself! Say hello to Shining Light International! They work in Northern Pakistan, in remote areas where the Taliban has a strong hold. Their mission is to bring education and empowerment to a region that has seen very little of either endeavor.

Their vision is 3 fold:
- Job Creation
- Community Empowerment

Did you know….
Pakistan has the world’s second highest population of girls out of school?


The Gujjar people group (whom SL works with), is 98% illiterate and face little access to education or economic opportunity for their future?

Ladies, most of you were given the most incredible educational opportunities in your lifetime. But if you would have grown up in Pakistan, you would have mostly likely been kept from receiving any formal training of any kind. Truly a travesty.

So…where do YOU come in?

I want to challenge you to give and become part of the Ray of Hope Club!

You can give $10, $25, $50 or $100 a month! It doesn’t matter what you commit, the important part is that you take a step today and say, “I want to be part of bringing PEACE to the Middle East”. It may be a small part, but IT IS A PART! Wouldn't it be amazing as readers if we as women banded together to give $10 a month, and paved the way for a generation of girls to be educated in Northern Pakistan?!?! That is my goal here, and I hope you'll say YES to this!

And because I want to do this TOGETHER with you ladies, I’m offering some fun incentives!
Prizes for every one!!!

To Enter the give-away, click here. 

Here are some amazing ways Shining Light is working in Pakistan! 

- Tent schools for the nomadic Gujjar people! YOU GUYS…SLI is the first organization to reach the nomadic tribe of the Gujjars, who live in the high mountains in the north of Pakistan. Because of their traveling lifestyle, SLI has created tent schools so that the children can get education FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THEIR LIVES! This literally gave me the chills when I learned about it. Can you imagine being a nomadic child, and not having the opportunity to attend school? Now, not only is SLI reaching out to Gujjar children, but is specifically targeting young girls, who up until this point had never been invited or allowed to gain an education. This is ground breaking! There are now over 500 children in the remote village schools, 150 of them are girls, in school for the first time in the history of their people.

- Shining Light Academy: Like I mentioned, Pakistan has the second highest population of girls out of school. This is so disheartening! Imagine attending a school where half the room is empty and there are virtually no females present to add their voices or participate in class discussions. This is the reality for most schools in rural villages of Northern Pakistan. However SL has started a very successful academy that educates both young boys and girls! There are 375 students attending the academ.  130 of them are from persecuted minority Christian people groups from Taliban controled areas and  are receiving full scholarships, housing, food, and safety in the boys and girls' hostels.  

- Women’s Training Programs (Life Stitch Manufacturing Center): SLI has designed a year long women’s training program that trains women in skills such as sewing, knitting and embroidery, in order to start her own business! This is empowering women that have previously never been educated or given the chance to excel!

- Remote Village Development: Through the support of Shining Light, village committees are established to identify community needs and work with SLI to access urgently needed resources, materials, training and support for improved education and economic development. To date, over 500 families in some of the region’s most remote communities are directly benefiting from the Remote Village Development Program.

Ladies, I know so much is clamoring for your attention and support. But i'm asking you to consider investing your small part towards peace:) Let's DO THIS friends!!

Thank you for being awesome! Happy Wednesday!