Helping Causes Like Empower Worldwide Outreach

12 Jul

Yesterday, Tim and I participated in The Amazing Race, from Ashland to Africa–a Scavenger Hunt Road Rally!  Our team of four was Tim and I and ShaNa and Jeff Benner, all of us not even knowing what to expect beyond that ShaNa was extremely competitive and would whip us all into shape.  Hence, we had them drive!

After meeting up at Park Street Church in Ashland we proceeded to race, with the first stop being ShaNa and I’s neck of the woods, good old Polk, Ohio.  Following a clue, and a famous story about the last public hanging in Ohio being in Polk for murder, we found the tombstone of one of the men who was publicly hanged.  (Note to self: This may have been why I was scared of my own backyard growing up!)  Then we raced off to find Fowler’s Woods, a state park out in the middle of nowhere ville rural Ohio near Olivesburg.  A great boardwalk and looking like a very cool place to actually take a LEISURELY walk and enjoy the birds at some point, we were in a race and splitting up, we lost each other.  Needless to say, I found myself along walking the board walk at about the fastest pace I have gone in years giving the fact that I have possible rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.   The burn and the pain actually felt good though as the thought of what was next lied ahead. I did enjoy the trees, the woodpecker homes, the yellow wildflowers, and the peaceful cracking of limbs in the woods. (For another day to fully enjoy….).

Once they found me, almost dead (LOL), we were off again, stopping at the Olivesburg General Store, established in like 1883 and still a full functioning very small town old-fashioned store with ice cream, penny candy bins, antiques, and more. I’d like to go back and look sometime when we aren’t frantically trying to find a .o1 cent gas reciept, giant jaw breaker, and horseshoe cookie cutter.

Once we got our clue we found ourselves off to find the location where The Shawshank Redemption was filmed, none other than the Mansfield Reformatory of course.  What a great architectural structure up close. We raced to make words dealing with prisons, and caught a glimpse on the second floor of the old crumbled jail cells stacked on top of each other.  Wow, I can’t imagine a life such as that.  I would love to go back and take a tour. If you are interested, google online the Mansfield Reformatory for the various tours and ghost encounters. It was even featured on Ghost Hunters!

We then had to race to Mifflin where we spent way too long driving and turning around, driving and turning around, trying to find the Mifflin cemetery which was actually right under our nose!  Had we not lost so much time doing this, our next clue would have been about the Copus Hill Massacre, where a family of settlers was killed by native americans during the time of the Indian Wars.  It sits near Greentown and the Charles Mill Dam.  It was so much fun doing this drive around the Ashland area.

We came back in to the church to have a wonderful meal, part of which was cooked for us by a native Kenyan woman.  MMMM, the best salsa with cilantro I’ve ever tasted!  The goat meat in the rice, not so much, but would have been better had I not known it was goat. We really enjoyed the presentation about Empower Worldwide Outreach.  This organization, led by Kathy Ditlevson from Ashland, is a wonderful grassroots project that is helping orphans and grandmothers in areas of Kenya not yet touched by another organization.  Fresh off a mission trip in June, Kathy and some of her other mission helpers, discussed building chicken coops for grandmothers who are taking care of 5 to 10 orphans in their mud and stick, sometimes metal roofing, homes since their children (the orphans’ parents) have died of AIDS. HIV/AIDS is killing 700 Kenyans a day!  Empower is teaching children to be “empowered” to make change. Showing how to have good relationships with the opposite sex, not just sexual relations. Showing how life can be more, such as through the youth soccer initiative that teaches team work and leadership.  Building the chicken coops so they have eggs to feed the orphans and teaching them to sell the eggs to have a business and money to buy other food.  I suggest that you take a moment to go to and see what this cause is all about.  We are God’s children and God has told us to take care of the widowed and the orphans, which is just what this cause is doing. This is God’s work and we truly should take a moment to do our part.

Empower Worldwide Outreach limits the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS in children of sub-Saharan Africa through prevention education, the empowerment of caregivers, and sustainable micro-enterprise.  If you have more questions, or want to know how you can help, please e-mail Kathy at kdit@empowerworldwideoutreach.comand tell her you saw my blog.


One Response to “Helping Causes Like Empower Worldwide Outreach”

  1. amieriddle July 13, 2009 at 5:50 pm #

    This sounds like SO much fun! Love the picture too!!

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