speaker interview with denise hughes

Friends,

She is a talented writer and teacher of the art of the written word… as in, for real, she actually teaches composition to students at Azusa Pacific University in the greater Los Angeles Area.  Denise is a gentle spirit who brings an understanding of how our words have the power to transform, and her expertise brings great wisdom to empower us all to use our words well.  Please enjoy getting to know a bit more about Allume Speaker and friend, Denise Hughes.

Denise Hughes SQ

1. What sound do you love?

The quiet. I gravitate toward quiet corners and quiet hearts. I also love the sound of water. Pattering raindrops. Trickling brooks. Hushing streams. Swooshing waves.

2. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

 I’d learn to play the drums. (Did I just say I love the quiet?) My older brother is a professional drummer, and when we were kids, I used to watch my brother play his drum set while blasting songs by Journey and Toto on our family stereo. It always amazed me how all four limbs could maintain a different syncopated rhythm at the same time. It still amazes me.

 3. What chore do you despise the most? 

Cooking. I’d much rather spend my time reading or writing than spending two-plus hours in the kitchen trying to prepare a meal that likely won’t turn out right anyway.

4. If I was coming to your house for dinner, what would we have?

I’d order take-out from Olive Garden. Having company is a great excuse not to cook.

5. What do you want to be when you grow up?

I grew up in a small farm town, and I rode my bike over to Grandma’s house every day. Grandma always greeted me with a smile and a chocolaty treat. We would play Chinese Checkers all afternoon. She would show me stuff in her Almanac too — crazy facts about the world that she wished she could have explored. So someday (in the far, far future) I want to be a grandma like my grandma when I grow up.

 6. What was your favorite food as a kid?

Whatever Grandma was making. (It usually involved a box of Pop-Tarts and a toaster oven.)

7. If you could pick anyone as a mentor, who would you pick?

Other than my grandma, I’ve never had a mentor — at least not in any official capacity. But my books have mentored me. The Bible, first and foremost, has re-trained my thinking. Authors like C.S. Lewis, Dallas Willard, A.W. Tozer, and Mark Buchanan have mentored me through their writing as well. If I could pick anyone as a mentor, I’d have to say Beth Moore. I own every Bible study she’s written. And when my church takes a summer or Christmas break from women’s Bible studies, I go through a study by Beth Moore on my own. I am deeply indebted to her and her ministry.

8. If gifted an all-expenses-paid vacation to anywhere, where would you pick?

 My dream weekend getaway would be to Green Bay, Wisconsin to see the Packers play at Lambeau Field.

 9. What’s in your purse?

More library cards than credit cards. A notebook. Several pens. And a small purse-sized game schedule for every NFL team. (A girl’s gotta keep track of the win/loss records and the pending playoff picture.)

10. When was the last time you chatted with your neighbor?

 This morning. Every morning really. Our next-door neighbor is an empty-nester in her mid-fifties; she’s also a widow who lives with Multiple Sclerosis. She walks with a cane, and she moves through her day with a quiet grace. It’s our son’s job to bring her garbage cans to the curb and back on Tuesdays. And we check on her frequently, especially if we haven’t seen her outside in a day or so. She has our numbers too, so she can call us whenever she needs anything. But I can’t take any credit for our relationship with our neighbor. The truth is, my husband lost both of his parents at a young age, so he has a huge heart for widows and orphans. He’s the one who first reached out to our neighbor. My husband has taught me much about real faith.

11. If everything in your life aligned exactly as in your dreams, what would your life look like? Where would you live, what would you do?

 I used to dream of being a teacher. When I was little, I would line up my stuffed animals along the edge of my bed, and I would teach them lessons on my small chalkboard. When I graduated from high school, I started working full-time during the day, so it took me ten years of night classes to finish my bachelor’s degree. It took me another couple of years to finish my teaching credential. And three more years of night classes to finish my master’s degree. Today, I teach composition and literature. And I love it. I wouldn’t change a thing. It was an arduous road that took a very long time, but by God’s grace, I am living my dream every day. I never take it for granted.

12. What are your 5 favorite books?

 The Bible

 The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

 That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis

 The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

 The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan

 

Want to know more about Denise?   Website /// Twitter /// Facebook /// Pinterest

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Normal People. Doing Good. Changing the World.

HelpOneNow

Have you ever been scared to do something? Something outside of your comfort zone? Something that may change…everything?

Deep in our hearts, we battle with this notion that we were born for a reason, for something bigger, but, we are also scared. We fear that maybe, just maybe, our lives will be flipped upside down, that we will take “living on mission” a bit too far, and once we cross the proverbial line, can we go back to normal, comfort, excess?

So we became paralyzed.

And, speaking of normal – what does that even mean?  Who’s normal and who’s not?

I was living a very “normal” life in Austin, TX; everything was going good. I had a great marriage, two amazing daughters, a new house, and even a new puppy. I was planting a church with some of the best people in the world, and my wife’s business was thriving. Plus, I had never ending access to amazing Texas BBQ and Tex-Mex. Could life get any better?

All of these things are good and beautiful, as long as they don’t become idols.

 

A Life Interrupted Is A Life Inspired

 

The beauty of the gospel is simple–God’s ways are better than our ways. The path that God leads us down is the best path. I had to learn that the hard way.

I had to learn after years of ignoring that “still small voice” that was gnawing at my soul, that voice that was trying to bring to light the plight of the orphan, widow, and slave.

But, I was too comfortable to obey, to lean in, to care. It took me five years to say YES!

I finally relented and took a trip to Zimbabwe. On that trip, I had a moment that changed everything for me. I met a starving orphan at an abandoned gas station. He was hungry, thirsty, and desperate. He asked me if he could work for me to earn money, as he did not want to beg for food.

He was eight years old.

And he wanted a job.

I looked this desperate orphan in the eye, and I told him I could not help.  As we drove away, I was broken. Five years later, I’m still broken. But, it was that moment that helped me realize that God uses normal people to change the world.

A Radical Normal

I started Help One Now to catalyze everyday, normal people to engage extreme poverty by partnering with local leaders (nationals) who are already caring for orphan kids and working to see their communities transformed through spiritual development, education, job creation, and healthcare.

When I returned from my trip in Zimbabwe, I began to have conversations with friends who wanted to help, but they did not know how to do it. So, we began to create simple tools, like our Garage Sale for Orphans initiative.

Over the last few years, we raised close to $500,000 to help fight poverty. We used these funds to bring clean water to desperate communities, create jobs through micro-lending, build houses for those who lost homes in the Haiti earthquake, and in the last year, we’ve rescued over 40 kids from trafficking in Haiti.

Our excess is being used to crush poverty and see communities thrive!

Join the Movement

We did all of this, and much more, by normal, everyday people saying “yes” to throwing a garage sale party, picking a project that they’re passionate about, and donating the funds of the garage sale to that project. These people are the new radical–a crazy tribe of doers who refuse to make excuses, but choose to engage in issues that God is passionate about.

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Yet, we all know that life is busy and stressful and sometimes overwhelming, and we all need to find pathways to help us engage and make a difference. That’s what Garage Sale for Orphans is all about.

We’re on a mission to raise $1,000,000 in the next two years to fight global extreme poverty.

I’m asking you, the Allume Community, to be part of this movement;

Sign Up Here H1N

Rally some friends and family, throw a garage sale party, pick a project, and make a difference.

To Trust

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“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
-Helen Keller

At 5, I battled death. In 24 hours my father and brother descended from a village in the mountains where the clouds gathered around ankles cresting along the Himalayas. My mother had given them my diagnosis, the one we got when my body wilted and my fever spiked and the doctors shook their heads and recommended Western medical care.

They  packed  things at a frantic pace and lifted off with their sick child sprawled across their laps. Nepal is no place to fight leukemia, especially in the early 80′s.

We flew to Holland. Prayer circled and swirled around me for those weeks I lay dwarfed by the hospital bed.

But they prayed the fervent prayer only mothers of sick kids know. Knees bent to the ground, hands held, and voices lifted with petitions for me, a child who knew only that the needles hurt, the room was cold, and the Dutch nurses lack bedside manner.

I lived. Healed, really. And it became a part of my story. Why we left Nepal and eventually went back to Hawaii. This is why we had to leave third world missions. This is why my parents had to seek out God’s will in a country they never felt truly a part of, America. But as a child, I never really questioned the trust that was required.

As a mother myself, I can’t fathom the confusion and despair that would surround me if my child was threatened and their life was asked for. Would I be able to trust?

My mother came to a place in her heart during those hospital nights grasping my tiny hand where she was able to say “Yes Lord, if this is your will. I will trust you.” My mother who worries and frets about the funniest little things. Who we joke has a forever furrowed brow and always methodically thinks through things. And yet, she is a woman of amazing faith.

Going to Nepal with two small children and a promise of $75/month in support. Trusting that God would see them through.

It is such an odd dichotomy. That one could have faith to do the enormous, but  fear enough to hinder the modest.

But I think I may know why. Sometimes faith is easier in the crisis. What other option do you really have? You can trust or you can… flail against the inevitable? But when it is drawn out, it  becomes harder. To have faith in the small things when there are other routes you could take and avoid having to trust completely. To still be willing to walk the called even if you could take a different path.

Trust is hard, but are we still willing to walk the called because it is His voice that is calling?

photo credit

 

What’s Your End Game in Blogging?

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I did it. I took the plunge this summer and did the unthinkable in the blog world.

I STOPPED. I took a summer break, and only posted on contributor sites that I had committed to.

But my own space fell silent. Why? For a girl since her first grade journal that has always had “too much to say”, I felt somewhat overwhelmed by all of the noise online, the constant rat race of keeping with blogging tips and tricks, and what I felt like was “supposed to be said” and what blogging goals were “supposed to be met”.

And out of all of that confusion, the one thing that kept rolling around in my mind was this:

What’s your end game in blogging? What is the ultimate goal you hope to accomplish with this?

I have been blogging for six years, which in blogland is pretty much rights to earn an AARP card or a senior coffee at McDonald’s. While I am mostly an unknown in the online world, six years is a LONG time to commit to something without really knowing what your end game, or ultimate goal, may be.

For some it is selling a beautiful product, making extra income for your family, driving toward a book deal, or just getting the words out there for other people to read. Those are awesome end games. But there was still something missing for me.

But one day this summer, while my blog lay dormant and I sat on a porch chair, just rocking away, watching the kids play in the tall grass and yelling at the crows that are bent on feasting on our garden (told you I was like an old woman in a thirty-something’s body..) it hit me:

The goal? The END GAME for ALL bloggers and writers that are believers is the same:

THE GOSPEL. The goal is the GOSPEL.

The goal is the gospel if you are a writer, a doctor, a mother, a baker, a janitor, a soccer coach,  a chef.

The goal is the gospel if you are a missionary, a visionary, a secretary. A college student, a babysitter, a waitress. A cop, a firefighter, a construction worker.

For those who believe in the cause of Christ? The goal is the gospel.

We can write beautiful words all day long. We can share pinnable images, have posts go wild online because people see themselves in them, or sell a billion copies of an amazing book. And nothing is wrong with that. But if our ultimate “end game”, our ultimate goal is to make much of us and not much of Christ, than we have missed the entire point:

For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.  Galatians 1:10

My end game is the gospel. Finally, after six years, things are starting to make sense. And if you are reading this and not a believer? Let’s sit on those porch chairs and talk. I would love to share that end game with you.

speaker interview with amber haines

The waters of this one’s soul run deep and drip with poetry from every word.  She’s soft and strong, wise and curious all at once.  A gifted writer, true friend, and soul sister, Amber Haines is like a cool drink of water on a hot summer’s day.  She is honest and refreshing, not afraid to push into hard questions, but with a grace that is always preceded by her genuine smile and care for the hearts of people.  We are delighted to re-introduce most of you to our sweet friend and Allume Speaker, Amber Haines

Amber Haines

What was your favorite food as a kid? 

I loved cheese balls and chicken. In fact, when I received a pet rabbit as a​ gift, I named it Cheeseball Chicken.

What sound do you love? 

Hummingbird wings​

If you could paint a picture of a place you have been what would it be?

Inish Bofin, an island off the coast of The Republic of Ireland.​

If you could only do one things for a whole year what would you want it to be?

I would want to write.

 If you could learn to do anything what would it be?

I want to learn to play violin.​

 If you could pick anyone as a mentor who would you pick?

Tonia Peckover of Study in Brown.​

What do you do with 30 minutes of free time?

I’m not sure what this means. I have four sons.

What would the dream birthday present be?

A day alone in my own house.​

What do you want to be when you grow up?

An author. :)​

 What is something new you learned last week?

If I could talk my kids into believing what is true, I would. We depend on the Holy Spirit for way more than we ever give credit.​

 What do you miss most about being a kid?​

I miss not having to wear restrictive clothes or having to plan dinner.​ I miss going into the woods and hearing the whippoorwill call.

If gifted an all expenses paid vacation to anywhere where would you pick?

Ethiopia. Or Paris. Or India. Really? I could never pick.​

If everything in your life aligned exactly as in your dreams, what would your life look like? Where would you live, what would you do?

I would live on a small farm, and my husband and I would be writers. We would sing, and we would have huge parties.

If I was coming to your house for dinner, what would we have?

​We would have sage-encrusted bone-in pork and squash soup.​

What’s in your purse?

My planner is always in my purse. Without my planner, my purse would be like a head without a brain.​

To learn even more about Amber, please visit her at her  Website /// Twitter Better yet.. get your Allume ticket and come hug her in person!

Veil of Tears: Hope is on the Way

A warm welcome to Gospel for Asia.

unreached women

Did you know that the women of Asia are one of the most unreached people groups in the world today?

The heart-breaking reality is that millions of these women who are precious, valued, treasured by Jesus, just like you and me, are downtrodden, oppressed, and worthless in the eyes of their society.

A woman in South Asia faces a life cycle of suffering. A burden of oppression threatens her very existence, following her from birth — and even before birth — to her death.

But despair isn’t the end of the story for the women of Asia. In the midst of these hopeless situations, there is glorious hope!

Netramini-widow

 

A Widow’s Story

The story of Netramini shows the plight of more than 40 million widows in South Asia. After her husband died, Netramini didn’t receive the love and support that are common for widows here in North America. Instead, she was seen as a “bad omen”, rejected, and kicked out of her son’s house. With nowhere else to go, she began working, but Netramini’s health got worse to the point where she could no longer work. Her only option left for survival? Begging.

“I was completely alone. … No one would give me work so I had to beg. … I had nothing to eat, nothing to wear. I was completely senseless and didn’t know anything. . .” Netramini said.

She was forsaken, abandoned, and had no one to care for her. Netramini continued to get sicker, and for two days she lay abandoned in her house. Perhaps Netramini would have died there, but several woman missionaries, specially trained to reach out to the hurting and downtrodden, brought help and hope to this precious woman. Now Netramini has a home. She has people who love and care for her, and she knows that she is valued in the sight of Jesus.

Watch a short clip from “Veil of Tears: Hope Is on the Way” that shares Netramini’s story.

Gospel for Asia’s heart is share the love of Jesus with the most unreached in South Asia. One facet of our ministry is reaching out to the women of Asia with the rescue and hope of Christ! Gospel for Asia is impacting the lives of these beautiful women by teaching them how to provide for themselves with sewing machines, placing their children in schools, and sharing with them that Jesus loves and cherishes them.

The documentary film “Veil of Tears: Hope Is on the Way”, narrated by Natalie Grant and released in March 2014, reveals the plight of women in Asia and the hope that is on the way for them. Filmed on location in India in some of the most remote tribal villages in the world today, “Veil of Tears” takes you on a journey where few outsiders have gone before. The women of Asia tell their incredibly real stories of tragedy and hope, like the widow Netramini, young Maloti, and many others. Be inspired by the light of Christ shining through and changing lives.

Let’s learn, pray, give — and Be Her Advocate.

http://veiloftearsmovie.com

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On Being An Instrument

writers prayer

Don’t let me ever think, dear God, that I was anything but the instrument for your story.   Flannery O’Connor

This summer I picked up a copy of Flannery O’Connor’s, A Prayer Journal to add to my ever-expanding personal library. I’d read a mix of reviews regarding the contents of her short journal and even now, after reading it myself, I am happy to have purchased it. It amazed me, how many of her prayers echoed my own mutterings and pleas to God. I can’t write apart from God and so my journals bulge with petitions and confessions on behalf of this gift He has given me.

Recently, I shared a few email exchanges with a couple of writer friends, in which both of them expounded on their feelings of frustration, doubt and sense of purpose and worth as it relates to writing. So many of their own thoughts reminded me of the words in O’Connor’s journal, and in my own. I’m grateful for their honesty and willingness to wrestle with the gift, and how it is to be used.

After sitting with their words for a while, I feel compelled to pray for us writers, because though our stories are different, when you know God has trusted you with this particular gift, the struggle to steward it well, is universal.

So, writer friends, join me in praying (or scroll down to hear the prayer, as I pray it over us both)–

Father God, you are the greatest storyteller the world will ever know. You speak and life is formed. You breathe and the wind and waves obey you. Your power is beyond understanding, beyond compare. God you believe in the power of words. You gave us language and voices with which to share your majesty among the nations. You invite us into your story, and grant us the grace to work alongside you, as word weavers, and storytellers. We would not know how, if you had not first shown us in your perfect and holy Word, the very Word who walked among us as a man, as God, as savior. Lord teach us to use our words for kingdom purposes. Part our lips to speak of your glory, of your redemption, of your unfathomable mercy. Jesus shape our craft to reflect all that is good and right and true, that we might draw people into the shelter of your wings. Give us the wisdom to speak honestly, and with love. Keep us from becoming clanging cymbals of self-promotion and idolatry. Lord, your story in us is the only one worth telling. Give us the heart to tell it well. Keep us humble Lord, in a world that determines worth by way of numbers and scales and dollar signs. Lord Jesus, teach us to build altars instead of platforms. Remind us of why it is we have a voice, and what it is you have asked us to do. Unite us in Christ, while defining the beauty of our individual creativity, generously given by your inspired, intentional design. Don’t let us ever think, dear God, that we are anything but the instrument for your story. In your holy and perfect name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Noonday Collection {Giveaway!}

A big, hearty welcome to Noonday Collection!

Noonday Collection is so excited to be sponsoring the Allume Conference again this year! This inspiring gathering of women so clearly highlights the values and dreams that are in Noonday’s DNA as a company. We love what happens when women come together in the spirit of uplifting and encouraging one another. At Noonday, we use fashion and design to bring economic opportunity to the vulnerable, and are passionate about bringing women together through our deeply interconnected network of Ambassadors, customers, and artisans around the world.

Sofiya

Artisan empowerment is at the heart of what we do, and we are honored to share in the stories of so many talented individuals in countries spanning from Rwanda to Guatemala. We especially have a heart for the female artisans around the world who are experiencing economic empowerment and freedom, many for the first time in their lives, because of sustainable jobs. In India, it is often considered inappropriate for women to work outside the home, but one of our artisans, Sofiya, dreamed of a life of independence and opportunity. She jumped at the chance to become a jewelry-maker, and became the primary supporter for her family after her father passed away. Through the artisan group, she has learned about her rights as an Indian woman and has even purchased her own motorbike—a rare symbol on independence in India.

Tigiest

Another of Noonday’s missions is to provide the tools women need to keep their families together. In Ethiopia, people diagnosed with HIV are often stigmatized because of the disease and forced to leave their communities, despite the fact that HIV is now as treatable as Type 2 Diabetes and cannot be transmitted by casual contact. When Tigiest found out she was HIV positive, she was forced out of her home and traveled to Mount Entoto to seek the healing waters that are believed to flow there. She was forced to leave two of her five children behind because she could not afford to care for all of them, a tragedy that left her desperate to reunite her family. On the mountain, she found a new community and a new hope. She began working as a jewelry-maker for Noonday’s partner group and with her earnings were enough to allow her to bring her other two children to live with her. She now provides a home, food, and an education for all five of her children, who are her pride and joy.

Ambassador Group Photo

We love that we get to connect women across continents, whether they live in Jaipur or Cleveland. Our network of 650 Ambassadors (and growing!) serve as the voice and face of Noonday in their communities. This powerful group of women are advocates, storytellers, and stylists and they create marketplace for our artisans at trunk shows across the country. For these unstoppable women, the community they have found in one another is a testament to what can happen when women fix their eyes on the same horizon. They come from all over the country and from all different backgrounds—they are homemakers, nurses, and computer programmers. Their lives may look different, but they all have one thing in common: a passion for seeing justice done for the poor. And that one thing is enough to unite them into a team of women willing to break out of their comfort zones, be vulnerable enough to ask for help, and celebrate each others’ successes.

Ambassadors

We are thrilled to be a part of the Allume Conference and to see firsthand the power of women gathering for the express purpose of growing, changing, and inspiring others. Our work across the globe has showed us that women everywhere have the potential to create big changes in their communities. And when women gather together, their combined influence has the power to change the whole world.

Giveaway

We want to give away $100 of Noonday Goodies to one lovely winner. Come on over and follow us on Instagram and then leave a comment below. Be sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win.

Giveaway ends Friday at 11:59 EST.

Breaking the Cycle of Oppression Through Education

Please welcome Shining Light International.

There are 62 million girls around the world that are not in school.

Pakistan has the world’s second highest population of girls not attending school. Parents often can’t afford school or if they could, they send a son, and the tradition of early child marriages remained a frightening reality. 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 scene in most schools in rural villages of Northern Pakistan.  

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Oppression and religious extremism create incredible hurdles for girls and entire communities to thrive spiritually, physically, and economically.  Not only are families struggling to provide food and protection from the violence that is prevalent in their nation, the lack of education severely stunts their economic opportunities.  When most Pakistanis are asked what they dream of most:  It’s education.  A hope for their future.  

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At Shining Light International we decided to join with our friends in Pakistan and say YES, there is a hope for the future. Through strong partnerships with local leaders, our goal is to empower and equip them to improve their own economic situation and create opportunities for their sons and daughters. Village committees are established to identify community needs and work with SLI to access urgently needed resources, materials, training and support.   

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Working hand in hand with the Pakistani people, Shining Light is aspiring to meet practical needs and resource sustainable programs. We do this through:

Education: 
Together we have established a private academy in which we provide high quality and affordable education to 375 children from troubled regions of Northern Pakistan.

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In addition, we have established schools in 4 rural Gujjar villages and provide school in tents with traveling teachers to allow nomadic families to keep their children in school as they travel to the high pastures. While the Gujjars have previously been 98% illiterate, there are now over 500 children, 150 of them are girls, in school for the first time in the history of their people.

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Women’s Vocational Training:
Women from all religious backgrounds; Sunni, Shia, and Christian are coming together under one roof for our year long Women’s Vocational Training Program in which they learn how to learn how to sew, knit, and embroider. Upon graduation, women receive a sewing machine to start their own business, provide a valuable skill to their families, or obtain employment.  In the mornings, the Center is transformed into a manufacturing space where graduates from the training program are employed in a safe, secure and supportive environment to design and manufacture products for sale to local and international merchants and organizations. We have been blessed to be a part of seeing nearly 300 women graduate from the program and gain an elevated status in their growing communities.  

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We believe that the only way to break the cycles of extremism and oppression in this region of the world is to equip men AND women to stand against them, and that when ALL children are educated, including the girls, entire communities are transformed.  We envision a world where light dispels darkness, hope overcomes despair, help empowers the helpless and prosperity replaces poverty making a much brighter future for many.

Join Us…We’ll be at Allume!

We could not be more excited to be joining such a powerful group of women who are using their voices and platforms as bloggers to change the world.  We recognize that to make a significant and sustainable impact in places like Pakistan, we need to gather an army.  An army of people who will stand with us and say:

YES…your little girls deserve an education.

Women are worth training and are crucial to a thriving society.

There is a hope and a future for the hurting communities of Northern Pakistan.

And we believe in you, so we will invest in you. 

We can’t wait to chat with you, hear your stories, and partner together to conquer the great justice issues of our day.  We’ll have scarves created by the women at our Life Stitch Manufacturing Center, Home Party kits to help you get started on raising awareness about girl’s education, and opportunities for you to use your blog get more girls in school in Northern Pakistan.  

Get to know us before Allume:
Hear more of our story: http://shininglight-intl.com

Connect with us on: 
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Google+

speaker interview with myquillyn smith

She’s like family, this speaker from near our neck of the woods. She’s someone that you’d love to visit and take a long walk with.  She believes that the imperfections of life add to its beauty, and has become a trusted voice in far beyond just the online space.  Nester is warm, inviting, and real, and it is our honor and pleasure to welcome her back to Allume this fall.

Friend, please meet Allume family member and speaker, Myquillyn Smith, aka the Nester.

Myquillyn Smith

1. What chore do you despise the most? 

I hate putting laundry away and cleaning out the car.

2. When was the last time you chatted with your neighbor? 

I chatted with my 80 year old neighbor last week when we stopped by her house, she’s delightful and cooks fried okra for us.

3. What sound do you love? 

I love the sound of a banjo.

4. If you could learn to do anything what would it be? 

I’d love to learn to paint.

5. What do you miss most about being a kid? 

I miss stalking mama cats to find their newborn kittens hidden away in random sheds in our neighborhood. (what does this say about my childhood?!)

Do you have a copy of her book The Nesting Place: It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful ?  It encourages women to stop waiting for their next house and to embrace their current home because every home has a silver lining.

Or visit her  here :: Website /// Twitter /// Facebook