The Streaming Hope Gala is happening this week! Buy your tickets at the website below:
The Streaming Hope Gala is happening this week! Buy your tickets at the website below:
Hey lovely people,
The other night Haiti and I had a date and were walking to dinner. We were talking about Basileia, who we are and where we’re heading. God spoke something to me that I thought I should share with you. He said that all of the foundational stuff David and Anita (our founders if you are new) did to mold the culture of Basileia were fought for. Hard. We have a culture that is unique but it is hard to start and hard to maintain. The purpose of their struggle was for a strong foundation. We are now moving into a new season in which we reap the fruit of that foundation. God said it is exemplified by the engagements, weddings, pregnancies and other big life events that we are seeing spring up in big numbers. There is no sense in getting married before you have the foundation of love. You can’t have a baby until you start “makin’ babies”. Anyway, it was encouraging to me and I hope it is to you too.
Love you guys,
Love love this photo taken by Eric Hann. This is our city!
Our exclusive Los Angeles premiere for LITTLE HOPE WAS ARSON is on Saturday, February 9th at the Hollywood Pacific Theater. We would love to fill as many seats as possible (there are 1,000 seats in the theater). Working on this documentary last year in East Texas was one of my favorite life experiences so far, and it became a story that myself and the others involved became quite passionate about. We would love for you to get to experience it as well. Even if you cannot make it, please pass it on and invite as many people as possible. Trenton Waterson, Theo Love, Nate Larson, and I would greatly appreciate it.
See the details below! And PLEASE remember that if you are coming you must RSVP to littlehopeRSVP@gmail.com with your name and the names of anyone you are bringing.
EXCLUSIVE LOS ANGELES PREMIERE:
Little Hope Was Arson
The true story of 10 churches burned to the ground in East Texas.
Saturday, February 9th - 7PM Screening
(doors open at 6:15P)
HOLLYWOOD PACIFIC THEATER
6433 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038
$10 suggested donation at the door
A director once said that people in Hollywood don’t have much true community. “We are all islands to ourselves,” he said, talking to a younger filmmaker who was seeking some advice. As a result, Basileia is both awesome and strange — a place where you find yourself worshiping, praying for, and praying with people who you work alongside (or might be competing for jobs someday with!). We aren’t islands, not really, and the friendship that Mark Freiburger and I have formed is an example of that. Two years ago Mark moved into our guest house, and quickly a guy who had always became a friend indeed became one of my best. Mark was known around our house for ten months as “Uncle Mark,” and sometimes he was more popular than me! Mark moved in right when Kate and I were trying to find a new church home, and he came with us to our second visit to Basileia — and very quickly we all realized we’d found a church family.
Basileia’s one of those weirdly supportive environments where the notion of chasing a dream is not only encouraged, but embraced. (Because we’re all doing it — whatever that dream is.) It’s an environment that has been one of the most supportive ones I’ve ever encountered in L.A., where you pray for and seek the success of your peers and friends as much as your own.
Mark and I are now in the midst of chasing a dream ourselves — the chance to air during the Super Bowl, win a million dollars, and work with Michael Bay. We can’t do it without the help and support of Baseleia. We need your help to make this dream work. We need people to go towww.fashionistadaddy.com and vote every day, twice a day, for our ad “Fashionista Daddy”. The top vote-getter airs during the Super Bowl, and if we rank #1 on the USA Today Ad Meter, we will win $1M!
We believe that dreams chased in community are celebrated in community. We’ve pledged to give away ten percent of whatever we win, as a sign of gratitude, and a recognition that whatever we win isn’t just ours. Through Basileia we’ve learned about a number of non-profits that could use the help, and we long to be in a position to be generous with our community.
So please do vote for us every day. You can like our Facebook page (“Fashionista Daddy for Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Competition”), see some fun games and other stuff atwww.fashionistadaddy.com, and post about us on your FB status! Thank you for the support, family. Let’s prove to the world we’re not islands…because we can’t do this without you!
If you’d like training or for more general info then please speak to Holly Pinkham: firstname.lastname@example.org
Every year, at the end of December, just before Christmas, HOPE Church (whom we share our building with) organises a huge Toy Drive. This basically involves giving away new or barely used toys to the kids in the local community.
Some of us Basileians got involved, lent a helping hand and had a great time. Jaclyn Burke said: ”The night of the donation was awesome!!! They estimate that around 1,600 kids went through the building on friday night. I got to take some kids through that line and shop they were precious, smiley, and thankful. Truly one of the coolest things I have done during a holiday season in a long time.”
Pretty cool, eh?
Don Williams sent in some great pictures too, check them out below. So, it looks like we’ll be looking forward to helping next year then!! In the meantime, if you’d like to find out how to get involved in volunteering with HOPE- Basileia partners with them in a variety of ways- then please email Laura: email@example.com
My week spent in Haiti was an awesome experience spent with some incredible people. I am amazed at God’s timing and His perfect plan. I had four months of waiting, planning, and preparing for this “first step” trip. He has challenged me and given me the faith and patience along the way for it. He has sent people to encourage me and keep me moving forward to drown out those who discouraged and were negative. He has opened doors and given me peace throughout the journey. I’ve said this before, but this season is the most I have ever felt like I was right smack in the middle of where God wants me to be. I wouldn’t be if He wouldn’t have brought me here. I have done a great job of keeping myself really busy so I can conveniently not hear a call from God that I’m not ready for; that I’m afraid of. I’ve gotten really good at it. The last ten years, I’ve heard it but I never allowed it to get too loud, that way I could pretend I missed it. I am so grateful to God that He didn’t let me keep spinning my wheels. I am so grateful that He was gentle with me as He woke me up. As He quieted the relationships, jobs, circumstances, and materials around me to get through to my heart. I am so glad He chose me.
Haiti is a hurting country full of beautiful spirits. The smiles on the faces of these people will melt your soul. They are straight from the heart of God. Your life changes forever when you are laughing and playing with a child that has no shoes on, clothes barely holding themselves together, a tent to go home to after school, with only one parent left living to take care of them and their four siblings. I met a gorgeous little girl whose Dad was recently decapitated over a land dispute and her Mom has been so mentally unstable ever since, that she can’t take care of her children anymore. I met more than one woman who is watching over her own family of five or six and took in two to three more children whose parents have both passed away. When you see the homes and circumstances these families live under, you can barely wrap your mind around them housing all of these kids. Yet, they are happy. They are content. This is the only life that they know. The earthquake itself claimed so many lives, that it is nearly unbearable to think about as you drive past the rubble and partially standing buildings that remain from it, and hear the stories of where and how these people lost a loved one during that horrible day almost three years ago.
I’ve been to other countries on missions trips and there are always similarities of impoverished countries. One thing that struck me about Haiti though, is how generous and caring they are. I was told so many stories of helping hands and was able to witness many. Instances like getting a vehicle completely stuck in an open manhole and fifteen people immediately rushing over to pick the truck up out of it and make sure they’re not hurt. I witnessed things as small as giving a few pieces of a snack to a child and watching them share it with as many others as they could. These loving people are so generous with everything.
One of the biggest blessings on this trip was getting an opportunity to see a quality organization and how they operate daily on the ground in Haiti. The organization I went with is called World Wide Village and they been operating in Haiti since 2001. Though they have worked with many organizations over the years providing shoes and food and such, their main focus and purpose is to give a hand up, not a hand out. They have 85 Haitians as part of their staff on the ground in Haiti and do everything to teach, train, and empower. A few of their focuses that I was able to witness this week are Christian Education, clean water, housing construction, and economic development.
It was a treat to be able to work alongside some their Haitian staff this week. We spent a lot of time at the elementary schools with our translators. One of my favorite moments of the week came on one of those days with a gentleman named Patrick. He was working that day to help bridge the communication gap between our team and the Haitian students. We were walking around the campus waiting for the kids to get out of school when I overheard a conversation between my team member Cheryl and Patrick. She was inquiring about the contents of the student’s curriculum and she asked him if they teach the kids Religion as part of their studies. His response left me speechless. Patrick replied, “No. We teach them about their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” He recognized the difference, which many of us do not. Now, I know that that was really what Cheryl was asking, and it was just the wording she chose, but it was awesome to hear. That is the true gospel right there. That is what the struggling people of Haiti need to hear about. Hope in their Savior.
Haitians are a very able, hard working people and need help to get them moving forward. I see so much promise for these people. I see God’s hand working and I have Hope. I have Hope past today.
There is a way, right now that you can help these people. In Haiti, 47% of the population is illiterate. An estimated 80% are termed “functionally illiterate” meaning reading and writing skills are inadequate to cope with daily life. The average female in Haiti has attended only 2 years of formal education by age 25. Education is a huge start to ending the cycles of poverty and helplessness for these people. If you would like to know about sponsoring one of these beautiful faces through World Wide Village for only $28 a month, please email me at CynthiaAnnFoster@gmail.com and I will forward the information to you.
Last month, I had the awesome opportunity to share on a Sunday morning about the Parable of the Rich Fool. Basically, the story that Jesus tells communicates the pitfalls of hoarding, the idea of living generously and the beauty of God’s provision- definitely some food for thought.
Something I’ve been thinking about recently related to this call to generosity is the ability to be generous in our relationships. Friendship and sharing is so essential to the Basileia journey. In fact, this community is the most amazing reflection of those values (seemingly straight out of the book of Acts) that I’ve ever experienced! With that so central to our community, we can be continually presented with the opportunity (and sometimes challenges) of choosing to be generous with our time, our words of encouragement, our prayers, our resources (and the list goes on).
If I’m really honest, this can sometimes be hard for me. See, it’s easy to encourage and share when we feel like we have enough… but anyone who’s hung around LA for a little bit knows that this is a city full of needs and wants. In fact, scarcity is so rampant here that I don’t remember a time when I have attended a small group, or had dinner with friends, where we sat around and talked about how satisfied we were. Realistically, I don’t know if that’s possible and I don’t mean to say that desires and goals are bad- but in a city where we’ve come to chase our dreams, it can be really difficult to feel like we’re okay… ever.
Which leads me to a personal struggle that has come up with being generous in community- being happy for others when things go well for them but maybe not as well for me. (GAH, I said it!) Our city is hardwired not to celebrate others’ successes but rather obsess over our own. In this crazy, competitive environment that we call home, we have to fight to preserve the importance of taking our eyes off of our own needs and thinking and caring for others.
I love that when someone lands a job, gets engaged, buys a home or the many amazing things that have happened in our community, it is celebrated. I also appreciate that when our friends are hurting, illness is present or we’re having a bad day, we come together, too. I think maybe that’s what Paul had in mind when he wrote to the church in Corinth stating that “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.” (1 Corinthians 12:26, NLT).
Back to the idea of being generous in our relationships- comparison and competition are community killers… but I don’t think we have the ability to become the type of people Paul describes without the grace and provision of God. Just as Jesus connected the idea of not hoarding to trusting in God’s kind provision in the parable I shared, it’s so important for me (and you, if this applies) to keep trusting that God is enough for us. If I trust that God really has my best interests at heart (including my career, friendships, future spouse etc.) even when things aren’t working out, then I can be glad for God’s work in my friends’ lives and compassionate when things aren’t going well for them.
Maybe our culture has been lying to us (YES, IT HAS!) about how life should be lived. Paul continues to write in 1 Corinthians 12:27 that , “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.” Perhaps it’s more about believing that God has us in this journey TOGETHER. Let’s continue to grow in that posture of generosity towards this beautiful thing called “community”.