Written by Katie

Water Walk Rep Meeting 2015!

Posted by on Jan 31, 2015 in Clean Water, Fundraising, Get involved, Photography by Lindsay Corrigan, Toloha Water Walk, Written by Katie | 0 comments

Who’s excited?!  I know we are! The 3rd Annual Toloha Water Walk is right around the corner and we want YOU to be there!  And we don’t want you to come alone. Looking back over the past year and a half we stand in awe of what God has done.  He has brought the small community of Kinston together and raised $127,000 to bring clean water to the villagers of Toloha.  Work has started in the village, but the project isn’t finished yet – we are still $43,000 shy of our $170,000 goal for renovating a gravity fed water system to supply 10,000 people with clean water for LIFE! So what can you do to help?!  Well, I’m glad you asked – we’re looking for people just like you to be “2015 Water Walk Reps”  The title sounds important, and it is, but the good news is, it isn’t difficult!  We are looking for people to take the lead and be liaisons/team leaders for their respective circles of influence (your children’s ministry, your school, your organization, your youth group, your neighborhood etc).  We know that if you are excited about the Water Walk others around you will be excited too!  All you need to do is get the information from us and tell other people. The Water Walk concept is really simple — individuals sign up (for free), get their own website, and then raise support ($17 per person for clean water for life) and see how many people’s lives they can literally change forever! Then they show up on March 14th and experience what our friends in Toloha experience daily, a walk to gather water. So if you are willing to hop on board and help us get others involved, come on out (all participants do not need to attend this meeting – just send one or two people from your group to gather the necessary information)! The 2015 Water Walk Rep Meeting Sunday February 8th at 3:00 pm Woodman Community Center Banquet Room (2602 West Vernon Avenue, Kinston, NC 28504) At this meeting we will walk you through the process of registering, give you some information specific to team leaders and answer any questions you have.  By showing up you are not committing to participate rather you are just getting more information.  If you are unable to make the meeting, but would like the information, please contact us and we will get in touch with you separately. Not sure what Toloha Partnership is all about?  Come out a little early (2:30pm) to hear the story and philosophy of Toloha Partnership and then stick around for the Water Walk Rep Meeting at 3pm. We are so thankful for each of you and your willingness to step out and make a difference.  I’m excited to see what God does this year!  Registration isn’t open quite yet but we’re hoping to open online registration on Feb 8th…so get...

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Keep Digging – The Pipe Is Coming!

Posted by on Jul 27, 2014 in 2014 Trip to Toloha, Clean Water, Fundraising, Get involved, photography by Katie Maloney, Praise Report, Program Update, Trips to Toloha, Written by Katie | 1 comment

As I stood in the village the very last day of the vision trip, I was sorta dreading going back home.  This dread came for a few reasons: I didn’t want to go home.  I love the village.  I love the simplicity, the people, the joy, the beauty and I even came to love operating on “Africa Time (everything starts a few hours late).” God is at work, people are being empowered and things are changing in Toloha – I wanted to stick around and see what God was going to do next! I was worried – how were we going to get the money needed to keep the project going?  The villagers were 16 weeks ahead of schedule on trench digging which left us 16 weeks behind schedule on fundraising.   As we had our final meeting with the village elders, Engineer Burt Rudolph expressed our awe at how quickly the project was progressing and how impressed we were with the heart and unity the villagers had displayed over the past few weeks.   As he started to wrap up his speech, I leaned over and whispered, “you better tell them we don’t have enough money for the rest of the pipe.”  Engineer Rudolph agreed and then proceeded to share with our friends that we didn’t have the resources available to complete the project.  The villagers were working faster than we were raising money and unless something miraculous happened; the project might have to come to a halt until further funds were raised. As we traveled home, my mind was racing; thinking of every fundraiser I had ever seen and wondering which fundraiser would bring the most money the fastest.  By the time the plane landed on US soil, I had a plan…BUT God had a different plan. This past Thursday night at Grace Fellowship Church in Kinston, NC part of the vision team had the opportunity to share about the recent trip.  After sharing about the predicament we were facing with the villagers digging so quickly, someone asked, “how much do we need to keep it going?”  Our treasurer and engineer did some quick math and came up with ~$25,000.  Within the hour, an anonymous donor had given $12,500!  The goal was set – to raise the full amount by Sunday morning – in just 2 short days!  From there the race was on – as word spread, checks began coming in…and coming in…and coming in…and coming in.  We’ve had pledges come in from our community, various parts of the USA and even some international donations all the way from Germany! As of this morning, we have received over $27,000 in pledges and donations!  We’ve called the villagers and let them know, “Keep digging – the pipe is coming  – the living God, Jesus Christ, is sending it.” God provides through His people, in His time for His glory!  Thank you for your sacrificial giving and your generosity – you are being the aroma of Christ to a village with little knowledge of who Jesus is or His great love for them. I can’t wait to see what God does next!  Thank you for being a part of this...

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We’re going back!

Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 in 2014 Trip to Toloha, Clean Water, Photography by Josh Spear, Praise Report, Trips to Toloha, Written by Katie | 0 comments

It is hard to believe that a year has passed since we sent the first team to Toloha Village. All we knew at that point was the villagers needed water and we wanted to help! God has done A LOT in just a year. We now have definite plans to pipe water in from a mountain stream with a budget of ~$170,000. We held a fundraising banquet and auction in November raising $35,000. In March we held our 2nd annual Water Walk and had over 150 participants from across the community raising $28,000! We’ve seen many individuals both young and old be moved by the story of Toloha. People across this community have caught the vision for Toloha and are passionately praying, working and fundraising for the people in the village. With a year like that behind us, we cannot wait to see what God has in store this year as our second team boards a plane in less than a week to begin the journey to Toloha. As most of you already know, Toloha Partnership is, in part, a water project.  And yes, we are bringing them clean water and most of our fundraising efforts (Water Walk and Banquet) are going toward a water pipeline.  But, the real heartbeat of Toloha Partnership goes deeper than water – our heart’s desire is not just to bring the people physical water but to tell them about Jesus.  This year as the team goes to Toloha they are still working to bring the villagers clean water BUT they are really focused on the people – on building relationships, listening to their stories, telling them about Jesus and casting vision for the future development of the village.  Our partnership with the village of Toloha is a long term partnership, not just a water project we do for a few years and then move on. Over the past 2 months the vision/travel team has been meeting at least every other week to cast vision, pray, study, plan and fellowship.  This has been so valuable – the team has been walking through a video series of what poverty is through a Christian worldview and how to address it in a way that empowers the people and gives a hand up rather than a hand out. With all of our current budget directed toward the water pipeline, each team member has raised their own financial support and thanks to the creativity of many, a ministry budget has also been raised. A separate team has been working diligently to figure out just how we can effectively share the truth of the Gospel with a people of a different language and culture. Thanks to the ministry budget, the team now has access to many resources in Swahili that will help them to proclaim the Gospel!  We have solar powered MP3 players with the Bible and expository teaching in Swahili, we have Swahili tracts, we have the Jesus Film in Swahili and we have access to Bibles in Swahili. Going to Toloha is pretty uncharted territory but God has been so faithful to confirm and to lead us to this point and we have no doubt that he will continue to do so.  We do not know what every minute or hour will hold as we go to Toloha, but we certainly know who holds each of those minutes and hours.  We are thrilled, and a little nervous, for what is ahead.  We would truly appreciate your prayers as we go. We will be posting a prayer list right here within the next few days. You can also...

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Water Walk Success!

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Clean Water, Fundraising, Get involved, Photography by Lindsay Corrigan, Toloha Water Walk, Toloha Water Walk 2014, Written by Katie | 0 comments

Water Walk Success!

The 2nd Annual Toloha Water Walk was held last Saturday March 22nd at the Neuseway Nature Center in downtown Kinston, NC, and it was certainly a success! So why am I just now sitting down to write a blog post?  Why have I waited to so long?  To be honest, I have been at a loss for words — and if you know me, that doesn’t happen very often! So what did the day look like?  Of course, pictures speak louder than words, so enjoy these photos and a brief narrative of the day! By the time the sun peeked over the horizon at 7:11 am, there were already a dozen volunteers working to set up, decorate for and prepare for the walk.  And by 8am all volunteers had arrived and were assigned their posts. As the first walkers began to trickle into the park, we were thrilled – the long anticipated day had finally arrived.  Then, walkers continued to arrive…and then more showed up…and then we ran out of registration forms…and still more walkers showed up!  We were floored!  In all, there were at least 150 participants,  which was well above our initial lofty (or so we thought) goal of 100 walkers. The event began with registration and check-in, which was followed by some free time to meander around exhibits to the beat of some local drummers on various African drums and other instruments. Then, everyone was gathered for the opening ceremony that included a heart-felt welcome shared by Daniel Makoko (native of Toloha Village and President of Toloha Partnership), a demonstration by Christina Makoko on how villagers carry water (on their heads) as well as messages from the villagers shared by Burt Rudolph (program engineer). The Water Walk was next; the 2 mile course led walkers along dirt paths into the woods to a pond full of dirty water.  All along the course, facts and statistics were posted to help walkers understand the water crisis in the developing world.  Each participant gathered water from the pond and toted it to the finish line where it was measured. Participants were then encouraged to visit interactive stations, which helped walkers learn about various aspects of African life and how water plays such a huge part in daily life.  The stations included Bathing and Hygiene, Washing Clothes, Cooking (with food samples), Carrying Water (on your head of course), Music and African Games. The day concluded with an awards ceremony.  Awards were given to top fundraising teams, families and individuals.  Team awards were also given for teamwork, spirit, best-dressed and strength (carried the most water).  Last, but certainly not least, the grand total raised was announced.  Our initial goal was to raise $17,000 through this event.  And boy were we surprised when we calculated that the fundraising total for the walk was at least $21,000 with more money to be counted!  INCREDIBLE! Oh, and did I mention the weather was phenomenal!  We could not have asked for a more beautiful day – I mean 78 and sunny (in the midst of all the snow storms and rain we’ve been having) was a miraculous and welcome sight! This verse below sums up our heart – The Lord has NOT forgotten the people of Toloha and he made that clear last Saturday as we gathered to “walk so they won’t have to.”  God is using a bunch of regular ole people like you and me to bring HOPE to Toloha Village.  Thank you to all who participated, volunteered and/or gave to make this event a success.  We are already looking forward to the 3rd...

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Water Walk Rep Meeting

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in Clean Water, Fundraising, Get involved, Written by Katie | 0 comments

Hey Y’all, We are SO excited about our next big fundraising and awareness event, the 2014 Water Walk coming up on March 22nd, 2014!  We had so much fun doing it at Erasing the Lines last year we decided to do it again!  But this time, we are making it a community wide event as well as a fundraiser. Over the past few months God has continued to move things along and we in the process of ordering the first segment of pipe!  In faith, we have decided to begin the project with only $40,000 in the bank of the total $170,000 needed. That’s where you, our blog readers, come in!  We are desperately asking for your HELP!  We are asking you all to take the lead and be liaisons/team leaders for your respective circles of influence.  And the great news is, it is EASY!  We know that if you all are excited about the Water Walk others around you will be excited too!  All you need to do is get the information from us and tell other people.  So don’t be scared!  The concept is really simple — individuals sign up (for free), get their own website, and then raise support ($17 per person for clean water for life) and see how many people’s lives they can literally change forever! Then they show up on March 22nd and experience what our friends in Toloha experience daily, a walk to gather water. We want to invite you (and anyone else you’d like to bring/send) to: The Water Walk Liaison Meeting Sunday February 9th at 2:30pm Grace Fellowship Church (327 Academy Heights Road, Kinston, NC) At this meeting we will walk you through the process of registering, give you some information specific to team leaders and answer any questions you have.  By showing up you are not committing to participate rather you are just getting more information.  If you are unable to make the meeting, but would like the information, please contact us and we will get in touch with you separately. We are grateful for each of you and your willingness to step out and make a difference.  I can’t wait to see what God...

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An amazing gift from a group of children

Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in Clean Water, Fundraising, Get involved, Praise Report, Written by Katie | 0 comments

Passion, determination and generosity along with child-like faith can do BIG things!  This year the volunteers from Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Grace Fellowship Church in Kinston, NC graciously adopted Toloha Partnership as their mission with 100% of the offering going to support our cause.  During the week of VBS, the children were encouraged to bring in change and any money they could raise in order to help the village of Toloha gain access to clean water and the Gospel.   One of the focuses of VBS was missions and I was blessed to be a part of the “Missions” corner. We began the week by talking about different missions – missions your parent’s give you (i.e. clean your room), secret missions, as well as the mission that Jesus gave us right before He ascended to heaven.  This mission, or commission, as we often call it is found in Matthew 28:19-20. “Therefore GO and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Basically we are to tell everyone, everywhere that Jesus loves them!   On day one, we began with a little object lesson – The children were all seated on our pretend “airplane” and I asked one child to leave the room.  The other children were all given a chocolate chip cookie representing God’s love.  But we had one cookie left – it was meant for the child who was no longer in the room.  The kids tried to get her to come back in the room without leaving the room themselves.  They tried yelling, hiding and then yelling even louder, but it just wouldn’t work.  They finally concluded they must leave the room and GO and find their friend and TELL her that Jesus loves her (give her the cookie).  What a neat picture – in order to fulfill the mission Jesus has given us we must GO and tell others the good news! On day two, we boarded our airplane and took off for Toloha, Tanzania! We “met” (via a photograph at this point) a new friend named Daniel and discovered what the village looks like, what kind of animals are around, and 2 issues that Toloha is facing.  We learned that the people are in need of clean water and that they don’t know Jesus loves them.  The kids were given a chance to pick up (or try to pick up) 5 gallons of water. This is the approximate amount a woman carries in the developing world and is equivalent to 40lbs!  The children also learned that many women carry the water on their heads – the kids tried to do this too! On the third day, we recycled an empty water bottle into a reminder to pray for the village of Toloha.  The students filled a water bottle with dirty water and decorated a label that simply said “Toloha.”  The kids were challenged to place their bottle of water in their house to remind them to pray for the people in the village. For the next two days, we focused on other missionaries that were sent out by Grace Fellowship – Randy and Janet Adams in Taiwan and Chris and Carrie Himes who are leaving next month to minister with South American Mission (SAM) in Recife, Brazil. Although, we were not actively teaching about Toloha for the last few days of VBS, the children constantly had their new friend,...

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