Let Us See An Army Rise - Skillful Cook
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Let Us See An Army Rise

Because of you photo of a young boy eating.

Something amazing just happened, and it was this:

You showed up and poured out love.

Over the course of just 10 hours, you brought together $20,000 to feed kids without families in the Philippines.

And then you WOULD NOT QUIT.

In the following 5 days, you more than doubled our goal. As in 200% doubled.

Because of you, the little boy in that first picture? the boy who arrived at the shelter with burns and scars and a whole lot of hurt, along with a shy smile and a little bit of a goofy side and a precious soul of unsurpassable worth? that little guy and many more just like him will have fish and vegetables and fruit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the rest of the year, and you played a role in making that happen.

Little boy smiling in a blue shirt.

This week, I was reading the Hero Roster tributes, in addition to getting little rivers of mascara all over my face, I was thinking about this idea that beauty inspires beauty - that's what the Hero Roster was all about, right? People standing on the rooftops telling the internet world about the love and joy and life that they've seen and experienced through other beautiful human people. It was so fun to see this happening. Worldwide love call-outs!

But what also hit me hard was the idea that sometimes it's brokenness that inspires beauty, too.

There were so many tributes that hurt, literally hurt, just to read. So much was given in dedication to the memory of parents who had passed away, and to brave warriors who are still in the thick of a battle with cancer, and to babies whose moms and dads would never have the chance to meet them in this life.

You struck matches and sparked hope in the middle of your own darkness, and to be honest, it all sort of took my breath away. It moved me and it moved others.

I went for a run this morning, and as I ran superfast around our little lake (er fine maybe walked a little bit) I was reflecting on these last few days, and you all, and our unusually intimate blogger-reader relationship, and how and why and just the fact THAT you stood up, raised your hand, and opened your hearts.

Then I heard these lyrics come through my earbuds:

we call out to dry bones, come alive, come alive
up out of the ashes, let us see an army rise
we call out to dry bones, come alive

And I got a little watery-eyed for the 200th time in 5 days and thought: Yes.

This week you were a Love Army rising up out of beautiful places, and out of hard ones, too, calling forth life for yourselves and life for others even, for many of you, in the midst of your own heartbreak.

Beautiful things from beauty, and beautiful things from ashes, too.

Young girl looking at camera.

Truly, in literal terms, as I write this and as you read this, the aunties and uncles at the shelter are standing at the gates with open arms ready for the next babies, toddlers, teenagers to reach that heartbreaking life turn in their journey that will lead them to this temporary home of hope and healing.

The counselors and social workers and therapists are carefully preparing.

The guards are keeping watch.

The buildings are ready, the beds and cribs are made, the laundry is done.

And then it was your turn, and you stood up and opened your door and held out a plate of nutritious food.

In these last five days, we showed up with enough rice, chicken, vegetables, and baby formula to provide meals to almost 40 orphans for one year.

You know what we call that? We call that ASCRIBING UNSURPASSABLE WORTH.

Little girl sitting at a table smiling.

I usually try not to take life too seriously, but wow, guys.

I can't not be so serious with this one. The weight and the honor of what this challenge has been all about, and what YOU generous readers are all about, regardless of who you are, your age, your job, your politics, your financial situation, your faith, or your physical location across the globe? Seeing this energetic mosaic of people come together around a shared common love goal? Oh my oh my oh my.

It has resonated with me so deeply.

Okay. Pulling it together.

In the name of not taking life too seriously, while you were all giving and sharing and being your generally awesome selves, there was plenty (both of the good and weird variety) happening here behind the scenes.

Here's an inside look at what was going on here in between compulsive page refreshing and nail-biting and espresso-chugging over the last five days.

Starting Wednesday morning at 8:30am.


Comments from Lindsay.


Conversation between Lindsay and Jenna.


Conversation between Lindsay and Jenna.


Conversion between Lindsay and Jenna.


Conversation between Lindsay and Jenna.


Conversation between Lindsay and Jenna.


Conversation between Lindsay and Jenna.


A screenshot of a conversation between two people named Jenna and Lindsay talking about fundraiser.


Meme conversation.
Imessage conversation.
Conversation online.
Imessage conversation.


Conversation over text.


Money raised.

With the money raised, you made it possible for this new little baby - the one I told you about? - to step out of that van and have a safe place to land, and arms to snuggle into before bed, and a nutritious meal three times a day.

Woman holding a baby in a purple outfit.

And not just him, but 40 more precious lives.


Woman holding two baby girls.

So proud to serve alongside you, friends.

So very proud.

up out of the ashes, let us see an army rise

♡ ♡ ♡

Filed Under: Life

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I would say congratulations, but that’s not quite right. It’s more thank you–thank you, Lindsay and Bjork, for giving us this window into this oh, so essential work and these beautiful children. And thank you everyone who gave not just money, but love.

    Also, don’t feel bad that full-time work in the Philippines wasn’t for you. I spent a month teaching English in China, and when we left the rest of my team went through withdrawals for the people, the culture, and I…just wanted to get home already. It was a great experience, but it affirmed that I belong (at least for now) in the country I was born in. Even though I’m ethnically Chinese! Part of me regrets that, but I’ve mostly accepted that some of us are meant to work where we are. The work you’re doing for the Children’s Center of Cebu here, from Minnesota, is no less important and beautiful than the work that the aunties and uncles do every day.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Wow – thank you for the kind and encouraging words Katie! I really, really appreciate it. 🙂 Thanks for your heart and your thoughtful comment!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    just had to leave a quick comment saying i’m so glad/happy/proud that you (we?) all made this happen. i’m smiling so big right now. thanks very much for all you guys do!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Heh Lindsay etal-late to read this. FELL OFF BIKE in driveway [yes-didn’t make it out of driveway] and separated shoulder so just now finding out about those “souls of unsurpassable worth” and the need. Would like to help. Count me in for $500.00.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    We had really close friends in Nova Scotia/New Brunswick, east coast, Canada. They were Filipino!! We housed their two daughters they went to university in Nova Scotia. We love Filipinos, would love to adopt a couple kids!!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    That Lauren Daigle song is a powerful one! I love reading your posts, you crack me up. What a beautiful heart you have! Thank you for all that you do and the many ways you inspire others!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Every year during Lent my school collects money for a fish farm in Africa. They will always need on going help just like these children.
    Maybe this could be your Easter or Spring event. Something to feed our souls.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    That is amazing! But seriously I think I have to start reading the posts before I put makeup on in the morning. #allthefeels

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thanks for this encouraging post Lindsay. Just going through some craziness right now in my personal life and Lauren Daigles music has been such a blessing to me! Her Trust in You and First songs….oh my…what powerful lyrics. And I’m reminded that no matter what the doctor tells me today that I can trust Him and His will even if the outcome is not as I hope. Thanks for a little hope and inspiration today.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow, I have to say how touched I am. I usually read here and don’t take time to comment because well, like everyone else I’m crazy busy. I had to stop today though because this entirely choked me up. I think this is absolutely amazing!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thank you for these wonderful posts–brought tears to my eyes multiple times as I’ve followed you this past week or so. Thank you for giving me (and so many other blog readers) the opportunity to contribute a tiny bit of good to the world!.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow! Thanks for inviting people to be a part of God’s beautiful story. James 1:27 says “True devotion, the kind that is pure and faultless before God the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their difficulties”. And also…Lauren Daigle…my favorite! My favorite line in that song…”And by Your spirit breathe upon them, show the world that You alone can save”.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    ????seriously this post made me cry. That is such an incredible thing you guys did. I am glad I could be a part of it! Your personal story to the orphanage really made this donation special. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, I started following POY a few years ago since it stood out to me from other blogs because of the devotion you and Bjork had for the kids at that orphanage. You’ve got a great heart for those kids and you were willing to do hard things there in obedience to the Lord. Thank you for again going beyond the easy and comfortable parts of life what really matters. Thank you for using this blog as a platform to bring joy and hope to so many people. Thank you for the reminder that we all have important roles to play to share the love. Congrats on doubling your goal! What a great God we serve!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    This was such an incredible opportunity for you and for these children. You are a savior and this privilege deserves everyone’s undivided attention because it is changing the world. How could we not contribute? I am so proud that you were able to spread this cause and with your passion and your hard work, accomplished more than what you could fathom! Bravo!

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    Sooooooo… I have this (food) blog list that I check everyday before work. But things were quite hectic these past weeks, so I only dropped by today. As usually, I checked past posts and I’m trying to not shed tears here at my desktop. I just placed a 10$ donation and I’ll try to stay tuned for next projects (even if they’re not “glam” :P)
    Greetings from Portugal! *

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi! I came back here to see if it was too late to donate and I see you doubled your goal in a day – holy wow! That’s incredible. Well, our house sold unexpectedly (it wasn’t even on the market!) and our lives got turned upside down so I totally forgot to donate. Oops 🙂 Would still love to and/or wait until you have another one. Your readers are a generous, kind, and fun community!

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    It is encouraging to read this. My husband and I (and babies!) spent the month of December in the Philippines. It is our second home. A community that we love (Tondo, Manila) recently experienced two devastating fires that left hundreds without homes, food, clothing, etc.

    Here in the states we quickly, created an event to gather clothing donations. The response was amazing! More clothing than I could take home. We are now raising money to ship the items AND help with food.


  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    I so hope I can be involved in this somehow, someday, Cebu is an absolutely magical place, people there are amazing. I would love to volunteer. Hopefully one day. Posts like this remind me nothing I have experienced although it seemed pretty bad, is anything like to how these kids have it. I hope I can help in the future.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      PS we spent our 16th anniversary there. I do so hope we can make it back one day, hopefully for a more humanitarian purpose.