Ever wonder what the C-B-C on the Pray for CJ bracelets stood for? You may not have known this but it had a double meaning. First, it was a reminder to pray for CJ's CBC's (complete blood counts). As you may well remember that was, and still is, of significance for CJ as he continues to take medications that affect his blood levels. He is constantly monitored through the CBC (blood tests) to see how his body is handling the chemo and how his immune system is holding up.
What you may not have known is that CBC also stands for Children Battling Cancer. Way back when CJ was first diagnosed God put that name on our hearts as a reminder to pray for CJ and other children battling cancer. It was our hope that one day that name would become a symbol of the battle children face when they are diagnosed with cancer. We never could have imagined how soon it would do just that.
What you definitely do not know is that ever since CJ was very little I have prayed that the Lord would lead our family to a family ministry we could pour our lives into together. I have specifically prayed for it to involve our whole family, effect our whole family, and that the Lord would use our family to build His kingdom and glorify Himself through it. Obviously, I could never have dreamed or imagined that it would involve Childhood Cancer in any way shape or form. I am still perplexed, yet surrendered, to God's ways. Regardless, we believe this is the beginning of that family ministry so we are steadily following His lead.
Children Battling Cancer, Inc. is now an official non-profit corporation in the State of Florida. We have been busy building the website www.childrenbattlingcancer.com and organizing our first official awareness fundraiser. Now, we want to introduce CBC to you and ask for your prayer and involvement in this huge leap of faith.
Before I begin, let me say that we have sought advice and guidance from our pastors, other church leaders, personal mentors, other non-profit organizations, other parents of children with cancer, and most importantly, the Lord. At this point, we are taking each step on faith while trusting Him for guidance and direction. I must confess that at one point I tried to pass off the ideas I felt the Lord was giving me to other ministries. Instead, God made it clear that they were not for other ministries and I was not going to pass them off that easily. So here we are humbly yet boldly moving forward.
We realize that Children Battling Cancer, Inc. would not be here today without all of you. We see all of you as a huge part of what we stand for. You are the reason we want to offer support to families going through this. It is what you have done for us that we so jealously want to see other families receive. To be perfectly honest, we can not accomplish what we believe God has called us to do through Children Battling Cancer without you. That is because we see CBC as a bridge from you directly to the families in desperate need. That will become clear through our mission statement when you check out the website.
I don't want to spend too much time repeating here what you will see on the website but I do want to reiterate that our goal at CBC will be to 'bridge the gap' we believe God has shown us between the community and families with Children Battling Cancer.
What we want to make clear first and foremost is that we see Jesus as the most desperate need these families can have if they are not already in Christ. However, we believe the opportunity to fill that need will come as we meet the practical felt needs these families also so desperately face. We realize that it is of "no value if a man profits the whole world and yet loses his soul," (Mark 8:36). We believe this scripture is going to keep us accountable when we plan each and every event, fundraiser, and service CBC will offer. Yet the other scripture that comes to mind that has been a driving force behind CBC is James 2:15-17. "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go I wish you well, keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?" We want to go beyond wishing well and do something about the physical need we consistently see. We want to "comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God," (2 Cor1:4 ) and we want to share this amazing opportunity with all of you.
This is where you jump in and become a part of CBC right where you are. We are kicking off this brand new ministry with a Chemo Bag Awareness Fundraiser during the month of September. September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month so we are going to use the month to do just that by bringing awareness to the community and in turn using that awareness to bless these hurting families and let them know they are not alone.
How it will work: You will order your chemo bags. Yes, I said Chemo bags, the actual bags chemotherapy is often delivered to a child in before it is administered. We are going to take these bags and use change to change them from a bag that causes fear and pain, into a bag of blessing and joy. Each bag contains a brochure and label explaining the fundraiser clearly.
You will pass them out to your friends, family, co-workers, or even better, your church! You will have a bag for yourself as well. You will place your bag on your counter at home, desk at work, in your car, or wherever you think best. Throughout the month of September you will use it as a reminder to pray for Children Battling Cancer while dropping your spare change, coins, dollars or even a check into the bag at the end of each day. We encourage you to add a note or card in the bag letting a hurting family know they are not alone in this battle. Imagine a family being handed a stack of cards from strangers with words of encouragement, scripture or prayers along with whatever form of support the receive from CBC! That is powerful.
At the end of the month you will collect the bags you distributed and we will pick them up from you. (If you are not local you can count it all up and send us a check in place of the change)
It is simple, yet extremely powerful!
Get your local church involved. This is a wonderful fundraiser for a church. If you are interested in submitting a proposal to your local church to host the Chemo Bag Awareness Fundraiser please contact us so we can walk you through that and send you the proposal forms.
We are so excited to partner with you in making a lasting difference in the lives of these families. There is so much more I want to say and share but I will instead refer you to the website www.childrenbattlingcancer.com There you will see more clearly what we believe we are being called to do and see further ways you can get involved. We want your input, your prayers, and your support. Pray about your involvement with this fundraiser as well as other opportunities presented through CBC. Share your ideas with us. Please let us know how many chemo bags you would like us to send you. We want to get them out to you for the month of September.
For those churches already involved, we are so grateful for your support and look forward to partnering with you in making a difference in the lives of these children and their families.
CJ preparing chemo bags for delivery.
Brett adding labels to the bags.