Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash.
Sep 20 2017

Sustained by the power of God

Your weekly reflection from Unbound

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash.
Every week we offer a prayerful reflection from a member of the Unbound community. This week our reflection was written by Senior Writer Larry Livingston.

“But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.” 2 Cor. 4:7-10.

The past few weeks have seen an extraordinary number of natural disasters impacting areas of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the U.S. As I write this, we are also starting to hear reports of flooding in the Philippines. The traumas people are experiencing during and after these events remind us just how vulnerable we human beings are. We are, indeed, earthen vessels.
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An archive image of Father Stanley Rother at a carnival in Guatemala.
Sep 18 2017

Father Stanley Rother, a symbol of generosity and peace

Reflections from Guatemala on the occasion of his beatification

An archive image of Father Stanley Rother at a Carnival celebration in Guatemala.

Father Stanley Rother at a Carnival celebration in Guatemala. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

Father Stanley Francis Rother served in Guatemala at the mission in Santiago Atitlan starting in 1968. As the Guatemalan civil war raged between military and guerilla forces, the Catholic Church became a target. Determined to stay with the people, Father Stan remained in Guatemala and was murdered in July 1981.

Unbound’s co-founder Bob Hentzen met Father Stan while working in Guatemala. Father Stan’s love for God and people has long served as inspiration for our work.

In December 2016, Pope Francis recognized the martyrdom of Father Stan, whose beatification (the final step before sainthood) will take place Sept. 23 in Oklahoma City. Father Stan was a priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, and is the first recognized Catholic martyr born in the United States.

Unbound staff member Barclay Martin recently traveled to Guatemala and listened to the stories of many who knew Father Stan, and here he reflects on that journey.

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An image of a handmade gift from Nicaragua.
Sep 16 2017

‘Past today and into tomorrow’

Gaining perspective through a trip to Nicaragua

An image of a handmade gift from Nicaragua.

By Corie Rast, social media coordinator

Nearly every weekday for the past 13 months, I’ve driven to my job at Unbound in Kansas City, Kansas, sipping on coffee and cycling through my regular stress points:

“Ugh, I hope it’s not freezing in the office today.”

“Kinda bummed I only have these leftovers for lunch. I just have … too much food.”

“If this meeting doesn’t go exactly how I want it to go, I’m just going to lose it.”

Don’t get me wrong — I’m lucky and thankful to have the job I do, but I also have a tendency to be kind of whiny and self-absorbed sometimes.

It’s for this exact reason that I jumped at the opportunity to tag along on an awareness trip to Nicaragua with Unbound. I’d been itching for a new adventure for months, and aside from trips to Canada and Mexico, I’d never traveled internationally before. (It’s a personal fact I held close to the vest working alongside some of the most well-traveled people I’ve ever met.)

More than the travel experience, I was ready to see our program in action. In my daily work, I have the chance to read about it, hear about it, even try to write pithy web copy about it, but it’s impossible to fully understand what we do without traveling to the field myself. I needed to see and hear the impact our program was having on staff, sponsors and sponsored members. An awareness trip was the perfect opportunity to do just that.

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A Kenyan woman feeding chickens.
Sep 13 2017

Kenyan women turn to the earth for support

Three women get ahead through agriculture

Mothers across the world are unlocking their entrepreneurial spirit of with support from Unbound’s sponsorship program.

Margaret, Mariam and Jane, three women from Kenya, have explored opportunities to get ahead through agriculture. For Margaret and Jane, small loans from their Unbound mothers group helped them make their livelihoods a reality. Mothers groups comprise parents of sponsored children, including some dads. Together, the members of the group provide support and encouragement as they face trials of living in poverty.

While each woman has pursued a different agricultural venture, they’ve all been able to take another step in their journey toward economic self-sufficiency.

Margaret

A Kenyan woman feeding chickens.

Margaret feeds her chickens. She’s seen her poultry farm grow thanks to a small loan from her mothers group.


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A photo o f the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.
Sep 11 2017

Remembering who we are

Your weekly reflection from Unbound

An image of the 9/11 Memorial Plaza in New York City.

The 9/11 Memorial Plaza in New York City. Photo by Axel Houmadi.

Every week we offer a prayerful reflection from a member of the Unbound community. This week our reflection was written by Community Outreach and Media Relations Director Andrew Kling.

I was living in midtown Manhattan on September 11. When the first tower fell, I ran downtown to try to help. The hospitals were swarmed with people giving blood, so I kept going. The second tower fell. From the other direction, so many people passed, covered in ash. I remember passing another hospital, medical students standing outside, with gurneys with bright white sheets, blowing softly in the breeze and shining in the fall sun, waiting to receive casualties. Later I would learn that once the towers fell, there were no casualties to receive. Those gurneys would remain empty.

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Sep 9 2017

Send us your questions for the program coordinators!

Hear the answers during our livestreaming event


On September 13, at our HQ in Kansas City, Kansas, we’ll be broadcasting our Global Insight Series on Facebook Live!

Unbound program coordinators Hugo Plaza Beltran of Bolivia, Chico Chavajay of Guatemala and Manuel Pineda of Honduras will be answering questions about how the Unbound program works in each of their countries. They understand deeply the joys and challenges of partnering with families living in poverty. Hear from these experts about how sponsorship gives families the opportunity to dream about tomorrow.

We know not everyone can make it to Kansas City, so we’re bringing the event to you. Head over to our Facebook page and submit a question for one of our project coordinators at any time. Then, tune in at 5:30 on September 13 for the countdown to the livestreaming event and you may hear the answer to your question.

Want to attend the event in person? Visit Unbound.org/insightseries to reserve your spot today!

Sep 6 2017

Shared struggle in a storm

Your weekly reflection from Unbound

Updated September 19, 2017

This blog was originally posted in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Since then we have seen additional catastrophic events, including Hurricane Irma and two severe earthquakes in Mexico. At this writing, Puerto Rico is bracing for Hurricane Maria, reminding us, yet again, of the need for ongoing vigilance in the face of nature.

We know that the sentiments expressed below from our friends in the Philippines extend to those impacted by subsequent events in addition to Hurricane Harvey.

Every week we offer a prayerful reflection from a member of the Unbound community. This week our reflection was written by Senior Writer Larry Livingston.

Those impacted by Hurricane Harvey have been very much in our hearts and minds over the past week. We commend to God’s care all our brothers and sisters in the affected areas of Texas and Louisiana as they begin their long road to recovery.

We are mindful, too, of the victims of severe flooding in parts of Africa and Asia, and Tropical Storm Lidia in Mexico. We keep them in our prayers as well, as we do those impacted by a mudslide that took place late last week in an area of Costa Rica where Unbound works. At this writing, we have reports of three sponsored children and their families whose homes have been damaged or destroyed.
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Sep 4 2017

Building up potential

Former Zamboanga scholar shares lessons learned from Unbound

Former Unbound scholar Helen wears her police uniform with pride.


In the United States, Labor Day is meant to celebrate the contributions of workers toward the success and prosperity of the country. It’s a day to rest and say thanks for all their hard work.

Unbound communities are also full of hard workers, from moms and social workers to group leaders and scholars. According to former Unbound scholar Helen from the Philippines, being part of the scholar program even helped instill a stronger work ethic in her and her fellow scholars.

Helen is the second youngest of four siblings. While she was never sponsored through Unbound like her sister Rose was, Helen did take part in the Unbound program for two years when she became one of the service scholars for the office in Zamboanga, Philippines.
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An graphic promoting Unbound's Global Insight Series.
Sep 2 2017

Unbound is heading to Omaha!

Meet the staff who run our program in Latin America

An graphic promoting Unbound's Global Insight Series.
We’re hosting a variety of events in Omaha, Nebraska from September 15-17. Check out the details below, and pick a day to come see us if you’re in the area!
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An image of a mother in Tanzania with her children.
Aug 30 2017

One big family of parents and children

Your weekly reflection from Unbound

An image of a mother in Tanzania with her children.

Every week we offer a prayerful reflection from a member of the Unbound community. This week our reflection was written by Regional Project Director Ernest Makulilo.

One of the happiest moments of my life was the day I became a parent. Holding my son, Benedikt, gave me new perspective on my life. I completely changed from going about my day-to-day for myself, and began thinking about the future of my child. I appreciated and thanked God for the gift of life.

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Every week we offer a prayerful reflection from a member of the Unbound community. This week our reflection was written by Regional Project Director Ernest Makulilo. One of the happiest moments of my life was the day I became a parent. Holding my son, Benedikt, gave me new perspective on my life. I completely changed from going about my day-to-day […]

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