Monthly Archives: August 2016

Beyond Folded Hands {a guided prayer kit to take orphans to the throne of God}

I’m not an artist. I’m better with words. At least, that’s what I’ve always believed, that’s what I’ve always told myself. I feel at home with a pen in my hand. It’s familiar and comfortable. I know what to do with it, and I am confident that the ink on the page will eventually produce something I can be content with. But, a paintbrush, not all that different in size and shape from my pen, feels utterly foreign and somehow makes me feel like a child again. That’s how this project started.

There’s no technically correct art. No syntax, grammar, logic, spelling. No thesis statement or 5 paragraphs. Art is free expression, spontaneous and authentic expression. Perhaps that freedom is what unnerves me. I prefer rules and order. But when I embrace that freedom, I am able to see things that all my rules and definition block out. I am able to pay attention to things that are often silenced.

Last spring, I started talking to Erin Leigh. I asked her to help me. I asked her to help me discover how I could use artistic expression that I knew made me weak to engage with God in new ways. I wanted to learn how to pray beyond folded hands and closed eyes. It was risky and scary, but I loved it. It was good, and I wanted to share it and bring others with me.


Months later, Creative Conversations With the Creator is the result. It’s a kit that comes with an 8-page guidebook and everything you need to complete the various activities in the guide, including a quality watercolor palette and brush, pens, practice sheets, watercolor paper, a photograph focal point, and beautiful artwork by Erin Leigh created exclusively for this kit. Using the pieces included, you are invited to learn new ways to engage with God and put them into practice through projects that build on each other to bring the fatherless to the Father. Included is even an opportunity to return a piece to us to be handed as a gift to a child in China who waits.

Valued at approximately $50, we are making it available for those who make a suggested donation of at least $45 to The Sparrow Fund. If you are local and would like to pick up your kit, the suggested donation is $35. Donations beyond the cost of producing the kits will be used to fund orphan care initiatives in China. Get your kit now while supplies last HERE. We are so excited to link arms with you as we go deeper together.



Kelly founded The Sparrow Fund along with her husband Mark in 2011. She works alongside Mark in his full-time purposeful work in China and works part time as a therapist at the Attachment & Bonding Center of PA, Kelly has a particular interest in (a) encouraging parents who are struggling to attach with their children, (b) helping parents walk with their children in understanding their own stories, (c) helping couples continue to pursue each other and grow together while they parent their children as a team, and (d) training and supporting orphanage staff in China to build relationships with children and each other. Kelly and Mark have been married since 1998 and have 3 biological children and 1 daughter who was adopted as a toddler from China in 2010. You can learn more about their journey on Kelly’s blog.


oh happy day shirts collage 670 wide

Our most perfect design yet.

Inspired by the Chinese boys hosted in the Philadelphia area who sang this song over and over everyday after hearing it on their first Sunday in America.

They sang the words. Now, we’re wearing them.
Remembering the boys and all the boys and girls they represent as we do.

 All proceeds from sales of this shirt will go towards funding our orphan care initiatives.
our orphanage trips. supplies and gifts. new programs.


Shirts come in adult and youth sizes. The adult shirts are our favorite shirt ever— a super, super soft tri-blend. The youth sizes are a cotton/poly blend that is really comfy for even the most sensitive kiddos. Adult sizes come in heather grey, denim blue, or teal. Youth sizes come in heather grey, denim blue, or bright pink.

How to get some for yourself:

  • Complete the short form HERE with your name, mailing address, how many shirts you want in what sizes/colors, and all that good stuff.
  • Pay for them ($20 per shirt plus shipping) via sending money to through your PayPal account (FYI – it’s the account for The Sparrow Fund, not a personal account…promise) or by donating via clicking the donate button on this website.
  • Share, tweet, and text using hashtag #ohhappyday to help us spread the word about these super cute first day of school or birthday or adoption day or casual Friday shirts (this one is optional, of course, but most appreciated).

Together Called 2017 {prepare}

We know you have been too busy in the back-to-school aisles to be thinking towards spring plans for just the two of you grownups. That’s okay, because we’ve been doing it for you. Together Called 2017 isn’t until the weekend of March 31st-April 2nd, but plans are already underway to make the 5th annual marriage retreat being held this year at Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Lehigh Valley an unforgettable one.

We can’t wait to tell you who is going to be serving you at this year…


Hagerty-348Nate and Sara Hagerty are parents to five (almost six!), whose arms stretched wide across the ocean to Uganda and Ethiopia to bring home four. Former Young Life staff, they were the inaugural speakers for Together Called in 2013 and have walked through older child adoption, interrupting the “birth order” and a decade-plus of infertility. Sara is the author of Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet (Zondervan, 2014) and has her second book coming out in August of 2017 via Zondervan. Nate runs a marketing agency for financial professionals. Most of all, they are followers of the man, Jesus, and have loved Him through pain, perplexity and joy — and want to find him in every unseen moment and help you do the same.

Hagerty Family


Philip&JessicaMorlan_kissPhilip & Jessica are worship leaders and teachers for a nonprofit ministry called Seeds Family Worship. They partner with churches around the country to lead multigenerational worship events that equip families to live out the Deuteronomy 6 message. They joined Seeds in 2009 because of their great passion for God’s Word and His design for the family. They help families learn God’s Word through Seeds signature word-for-word scripture songs and love to encourage families to live out their faith at home as they lead and teach from their own experiences. (Look on most of our team’s most played playlists and you’ll find their tunes.) They’ll be joining us from Franklin, Tennessee where they make music and do life together with their five children, two of whom the Lord brought to their family through adoption (Madelynn-18, Sam-16, Hannah Joy-16, Gabe-15, and Isaiah-12).

Morlan_Maddy's Grad Family Pic


Registration for Together Called 2017 will be Sunday, October 9th at 8pm EST. Check our Upcoming Events page closer to that date for more details about the weekend schedule, breakout session speakers, whose sponsoring the whole deal so you are cared for well, and how to register.

Go ahead right now and put a reminder in your calendar to register that evening (or grab one of those post-it pads that you just put in your child’s new backpack and put reminders all over your desk). In past years, the retreat fills fast (as in, that night). We don’t want you to miss it!

TC2017 Bear Creek announcement