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Making a Difference


   This article is different than most. Instead of sharing spiritual philosophy
   or abstract theory, I’m going to share with you a real life story of how Spirit     
   has been manifesting through our church in exciting ways! Love has been
   moving a lot of hearts to take action by helping orphans. 
   Two years ago when our new Celebrate Life Spiritualist Community church
   was looking for local charities to become involved with, we kept our ears
   open. We didn't imagine that something thrilling was about to happen. I met
   woman who lives here in San Francisco, we'll call her "Cindy". When she     
   told  me she was on her way to a place in Mexico called Oaxaca (pronounced
   'wahaca') for a vacation. I unexpected, and immediately, had a very strong
   innner feeling that I "had to" tell her about our new church.
   Then Spirit forcefully prompted me to tell her, “we’re a small church, but
   we'd like to make a difference. Keep your eyes open for a project or orphanage
   in Mexico that's not well-funded and where our donations could actually
   make a difference." But Spirit was thinking even bigger.  
   It’s not common for me to share impromptu spiritual messages with strangers
   but at that moment I chose what felt right. Caught by surprise with this
   challenge I was proposing, she seemed daunted. Cindy said, “Well I don’t
   know any places like that.” My guidance prompted me to say with confidence,
   “Don’t worry, just keep your eyes open, you’ll find something.” With that
   prediction my job was done. Then I forgot about it.
   A few weeks later I got a surprise visit! My path crossed Cindy’s again and she 
   was so happy, she had great news! She not only found several options for us to
   explore in Oaxaca, but "Spirit" lined her up with one before she even arrived!
   No hunting needed!
   When she changed planes in Mexico City, a passenger next to her wanted to    
   trade seats, so he swapped seats with a lady named Elisabeth Tatum, who
   sat down next to Cindy. She quickly found out that Elisabeth was from our
   San Francisco Bay Area, but was on her way to Oaxaca to work at an
   orphanage in Oaxaca. Cindy immediately remembered my encouragement,
   and thought, "this must be a divine coincidence!" 
   As it turned out, Elisabeth was on her way to a very small, under-funded boys
   orphanage that really did need a lot of help. It was a place where even small
   donations would make a difference!   
   We arranged a dinner with Elisabeth and found out she believes in talking to     
   angels. She found the small orphanage in disrepair  11 years ago and decided
   to get involved. She created a non-profit to start helping with improvements,
   medicine, tutoring, and much-needed psychological counseling. Most of the
   boys have endured abusive families, alcoholic parents or relatives, and lost one
   or both parents.
   Because of these challenges, many of the boys carry emotional scars that
   might keep them from becoming happy, adjusted citizens. Without healing,
   they could end up addicted to chemicals, alchohol, going to prison, and/or 
   continuing the cycle of abuse and poverty. She offers them love with a
   mother's psychotherapy, and this brings healing. She offers them love and
   healing first, then an education to climb out of poverty
   Our church community got involved with just a couple hundred dollars in
   donations. As I got to know Elisabeth more and to understand the importance
   of helping these little boys who will be fathers of new families someday, I
   realized I wanted to know more. As folks donated money, I knew that if I was
   going to speak up for these boys I needed to show up and learn first hand
   about their lives and challenges. 
   So, in July 2008, I set out alone on my first trip to explore the city of Oaxaca, 
   Mexico. Wow, what a thrill! I found Oaxaca to be a Spanish colonial city
   founded in the 1500's and nestled in lushly green, rolling mountains.  The
   original civic center of the city is Monte Alban, an ancient site of the indigenous
   peoples' capital. It thrived as an arts and economic success, as well as 
   being architecturally rich, including pyramids dating from the 700's A.D.
   (They are still open to the public.)  
   Spending time with the boys was very emotinally moving. It was only my
   second time to be in an orphanage. I learned that their "house" holds 14 boys.
   They end up there if there's no room at larger orphanages or if they get
   kicked out of one for behavior problems. When they arrive, they are usually     
   malnourished with bloated stomachs, and sometimes show signs of being
   physically abused. If they have no where to go, they're usually destined to
   being homeless, working in the streets or fields, and being exploited by adults. 
   Members of our church and students from our classes donated 90 pieces of
   clothing for me to deliver. Since about half of the clothes were new--a rare
   luxury for these boysI suggested it would be great if they could select the
   styles and colors they wanted. Wow, it was like Christmas in July when
   they got to choose what they desired!
   "God", or Source, "coincidentally" aligned my trip to be in Oaxaca at the same
   time that my Spiritualist Minister friend, Tom Newman, to be there. After
   visting the orphanage with me, Tom felt inspired to get his church involved. 
   I came home with a love for the boys and wanted to make a difference.     
   Elisabeth designed a way for the boys to continue their education  
   beyond elementary school by going to a boarding school nearby. The cost
   foeducation with room and board is USD $225 per year. Tom's church in
   Florida sponsored two of the boys. On our church center's bulletin board in
   San Francisco, we put a couple photos of the boys, and soon one of our
   members sponsored a boy! 
     Then our church community sponsored another child, and then another.  
    The money just kept  flowing in! One of our Mediumship students
    sponsored another. Then Maria Haswell, who is one of our class graduates,
    founded a non-profit to do random acts of kindness, and she sponsored one!
   Through local press, someone who was drawn to her new group
   sponsored another boy! We were amazed by the easy momentum that was


   WOW this feels like a new movementand it feels great! Please note, a 
   movement happens only when people are moved to action, and they get
   To-date, we've directly or indirectly sponsored eight children, for one year each,
   and one child for two years! Now people are learning that Spiritualists care. 
    More importantly, we’re sharing God’s infinite love with
   these orphans inspite of the economic times. Their lives
   will be forever changed by experiencing caring-love.
   And we are changed knowing we are an extension of 
   amazing love!               
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Drew with orphans  from Casa     
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hogar in  Oaxaca, Mexico
   In July, 2009 I returned for my second trip, and I took with me one of my
   former students, Molly, to help with an arts project for the boys. This time, it
   was like going home. I was longing to see the faces of boys I met the previous   
   year. I carried with me two suitcases of more than one-hundred pieces of
   clothing, toys, and school supplies that our members and students donated.
   These emerging goals gave our community something exciting to participate in!
   And that's contagious! 


   In spite of the challenging economy, people this year have poured out their love
   to these boys. Several folks donated cash for me to use in Oaxaca for the boy's
   needs as I saw fit. A partial list of what we provided is: fresh groceries, paper 
   goods, school supplies, museum trips, birthday gifts, a learning arts project, 
   and 7 pairs of new school shoes.


   Molly wanted to share this with you:  This was my first experience working at
   an orphanage. I can say that the experience I had working with the boys
   scored a 10 out of 10! Daily visits to the orphanage consisted of activities such
   as  teaching a boy how to whistle, how to make a paper airplane, or playing
   table games. The art project we facilitated is called ‘Trees of Life’, which was an
   activity for the boys to draw their 'visions' for their future dreams. The intent 
   was to inspire hope for their futures.


   In looking back at this experience I reflect on what we gave to this group of     

   beautiful children, and what we sparked. Simply put, we made a footprint of
   joy, love, and confidence.  It’s a start, and the seed has been planted.”


   It’s important to note that all of this has happened very organically. We’ve put

   very little physical effort into this and yet it grew! People who love want to
   share it. They want to make a difference, and they want their community to
   make a difference! Sometimes they just need an opportunity put in front of them
   and Spirit does the inspiring!


   Our community leaders can discover and welcome new ways to give back to

   other communities. As we do this, love builds a bridge and the “other”
   community becomes part of "our" community! If leaders are concerd about 

   money going to outside groups instead of their own budget—I have good news!

   Because the Law of Attraction and Abundance is magnetic in nature, giving to

   other groups will attract more money for everything, not take away! As
   members, attendees and the public realize your community is making a positive
   difference, they will be inspired to be generous! It is universal law.    


    One way we get the word out about our projects and services is the internet, 

    such as Facebook,, MySpace, and Craig’s List. It’s free

    advertising, and it brings people in!


    Our church culture at Celebrate Life has a theme. In all of our classes and

    services we have an attitude of gratitude which says: Love Spirit, Love People-
    -and Make a Difference! We talk about the Law of Attraction and Love all the

     time so the most natural thing to do is to share this love with others. I am

    convinced that on the Other Side someday, we will be able to meet people who

    have benefited from our love here--even when they were strangers. Even
    though we didn’t know them, we still cared.


    Natural Law demonstrates that our loving actions cause positive ripple effects
    in the world. When our universal Spiritualist principles are lived, hurting hearts
    will be healed, hopeless souls find hope, and illiterate children will learn to read,
    write, and make a life. Then, they too as a living ripple of love, can listen for the
    voice of Inspiration and make a difference!  
    Living our universal principles means we are aligning with the thoughts of
    “God”.  This is huge! The thoughts of "God" are usually bigger than our
    own thoughts. But when we think them and let them move us to action, we    
    will not only enjoy the life-giving enthusiasm of fresh energy flowing through
    us, but we will also make a positive difference!  And that’s something that
    will bring a smile to your soul, now and forever. ~                   
    © Drew L. Vogt, 11/2009. All rights reserved. No portion may be reproduced without written permission from the
       Excerpts of this article were included in an interview with the author in Psychic World, April,  2010, Middlesex, England,
       and published in its entirety in the The National Spiritualist Summit, December, 2009.
    Related News:   Drew's next trip to Oaxaca is a sightseeing retreat, Discover the Spirit
    of Oaxaca, July 21-27, 2010. See full Invite, click events >> .