We invite you to join with us in walking for the kids of Liberia. Your personal involvement in our walk allows our kids to have an education that they would not otherwise ever be able to afford. We believe that education will change the future of Liberia. With a few small steps at a time we can make a difference!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Want Last Year's Shirt?

These are last year's walk-a-thon t-shirts.  They have the same quote on the back of them as this year's shirts.  (click to enlarge to read it)  I would like to sell them as part of the Memorial Day to Labor Day Challenge.  I have one small, 4 medium and one large in adult sizes.  I have an xl in adult but it looks like the size is incorrect on it.  It looks more like an adult large.  If you would like one, I will sell them for $5.00+shipping.  If interested, leave a comment or email me from the contact page.

Memorial Day to Labor Day Challenge

I wanted to update everyone on behalf of our kids.  Every child has been sponsored!  You have been gracious to the children of Liberia and you have honored HIM!  Thank you!

I have a pastor friend who did a challenge on facebook.  His challenge was to set a goal between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  My mind immediately went to what I could give up in order to give back.  It seems to be a common theme among organizations lately...."give up your soda, your coffee, a meal, etc. etc. and give that money to the needy, the orphan, the widow.  And, though you've probably heard it a million times and maybe even tried it before, can I encourage one person or maybe even two to give up something for this challenge?  But, what is that challenge $ going to be used for?  

This is the picture of Stephen and his wife, Rebecca that is on the side bar of this blog.  I have many pictures of them but since this is my all-time favorite one I am posting this one. again.  :)  Stephen is the guy who does all the work for the LLP.  (Liberian Literacy Program)  And, by "all the work", I mean ALL THE WORK!  From going to each school to do student profiles, taking pictures, meeting with all the families, setting up meetings, doing the meetings,working with school principals, distributing funds, buying supplies and uniforms and meeting with the Ministry of Health, this guy is truly busy.  Now imagine this.  He already has a full-time job outside of working for the LLP.  He has a wife and son that he adores and needs his time. ( BTW, Rebecca is pregnant and is due during the upcoming weeks!! Yay! I really can't wait and wish I was going to be there!)  He has been taking care of newborn twins for weeks since the passing of his sister.  He is involved in church.  He helps out his family and friends whenever he can.  That's Stephen.

But now imagine this...His full-time job outside of LLP barely gives him enough money to live on.  In Liberia they call that living "hand to mouth", meaning that there is not enough to go around.  He has taken in a couple different kids for the past year and fed them and given them a place to stay, even when he does not have much himself.  And the hardest part for me to type....last year from the LLP he received $250.00 for the year!!  Not much. Really not a lot when you take out expenses for all of the above!    

Stephen came into our program as a volunteer, just like the rest of us.  He knew we couldn't pay him when we started.  He still insists on volunteering.  His heart is in this program.  Since our program is growing and his workload is getting heavier,  I would like to give him something extra.  So, what I have decided to do is find things to give up during the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day and give that money to Stephen.  My personal challenge will be $25.00/month for those 3 months.  As I am looking at ways to fund another $25.00/month into our already taxed budget, I know that if I give up some of those unnecessary purchases (like the occasional pop from the gas station when filling up) it will add up quickly.  The kids have all given some clothes for a consignment store and my mother-in-law is donating aluminum cans from the place she is working.  We  are cashing in our brakes that we had replaced, to a scrap company.  I am going to Craigslist some items from home.  And, I am asking if any of you will join me.  Will you commit to this challenge with me from Memorial Day to Labor Day?  It doesn't have to be $25.00.  It can be $1.00, $5.00 or $10.00.  Anything will help.  Stephen is such a huge part of this program! Please consider how you could bless him in his efforts in Liberia.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

                                    "When you educate a girl,
           you educate an entire nation"
                         ~African Proverb

Walkathon Registrations are Ready!

Please check out our walkathon registration page.  We have finally added the form and it is ready for you to download and print.  Register soon to guarantee a t-shirt at event.  We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

             Education is the most
             powerful weapon which
             you can use to change
                  the world.
                ~Nelson Mandela~

Monday, May 23, 2011

Do You Like My Hat?

So here's our update on our Hat Day at school. The idea was, "bring a $1.00, wear your favorite hat to school."
Throwing a bit of Dr. Suess in there because that is what I am thinking about right about now.

So we decided to catch a few of those.....ummm, interesting hats.  This one definitely qualified for the "interesting" kind of hat.
We had normal hats...
and sort of "green bay packerish" hats...
We even had bicycle helmets.  Yep, they count.
We had really Goofy hats,
pink hair, yellow headband hats,

Uh, we interrupt our hat show to give you my hyper active son's "Mom, look at me!" pic.  Sorry.  We are working on not interrupting...
Oh, not finished interrupting yet?  Nope, "Mom, look at what I made in school today!" We'll keep working hard on this area...
Back to our hats, we had Tigger hats, too.
Bus 5 ~ We had very cool hats.
                                   Bus 10 ~ Looks like a cowboy theme going on here.

                                  The kids in Teddy's class showing off their hats.
                                          More of Teddy's class.
A representative from each class.
So, there you have it.  An updated version of Hat Day.  We think the day was a big success!  We were able to raise $222.00 for our Liberian school children!!  Our kids are making a difference!  A great big THANK YOU goes out to everyone who helped and contributed.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


For those of you that have sent letters to me......they are on the way to Liberia to your sponsor kids.  I know the kids will be delighted to hear from you, see your pictures and write back!  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Walkathon Shirts

For those of you going to go on the walkathon, your shirt is covered in the cost of attending.  For those of you who just like the shirt and would like to order one (or more), this is what they will look like:  (click on shirt for a larger view of shirt)
The cost for the adult shirts is $20.00 + shipping.  I will be updating with all the shirt prices, including children's sizes.  Leave me a comment if you think you are interested.  Thanks!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

We Are Almost There!


LeRoyd,   who is $10.00/month  LeRoy has been sponsored!!
Annie,      who is $10.00/month  Annie has been sponsored!!
Rachel,     who is $10.00/month  Rachel has been sponsored!!
Rebecca,   who is $10.00/month  Rebecca has been sponsored!!

We are so close to having tuition paid for ALL our students in the program this year. 

If you choose to be a sponsor of one of the above children, Stephen, our country director, will send you this!
Ok, maybe not this particular one, but one like it.  And although it is not a big djembe drum, it is a nifty (did I just say that? I haven't said "nifty" in a long time, maybe ages!) little item to have in your home......just because it is from Liberia.  

*And for those of you who just may want one just for fun~contact me and for $15.00 we will get you one too!  Shipping space is limited so it will be a first-come, first-served basis.  This offer ends this Saturday.  Thanks!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Success is a 6 year old boy who is in need of a sponsorship to attend his second year of school.  His mother is also a student at the University of Liberia.  She sells candy on the campus to support her and her son.  Success' school tuition is $50.00 for the year.  We would love to see him have a sponsor who will write to him and encourage him in his education.  If you feel you would like to sponsor Success, please email me at the above "contact me" page and you can immediately start a relationship with him.

Friday, May 13, 2011



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

President Ellen J. Sirleaf Talks on Education

Stratford Elementary Hat Day

Hats off to Ingrid, one of the fifth graders (who happens to be my niece) who is organizing this HAT DAY fundraiser.  A note went home with elementary students this week.  Bring $1 to school on May 12 and you can wear your favorite hat all day.

I will let you know how it turns out.  Thanks goes out to Ingrid Bender who is a mighty force (even at 11 years old) for Liberia's kids!

Garage Sale for Liberia

Friday and Saturday we held a garage sale to benefit the Liberian Literacy Program.  It was a success and we sold just about everything we had.  The remaining clothes and small things will now go to a consignment store to be sold.

Even the REALLY, REALLY, OLD, OUTDATED items sold!  (Like the brass end table with glass top)
In the end we sold $220.00 for Liberia!  Not bad, considering we sold most items at 25-50 cents!  Time to change the thermometer again.  :)

Six More Kids Making a Difference!

I wanted to post 6 more amazing kids who have decided to sponsor Christian for his next year of school. These kids have a heart for helping. J and G are from Liberia too so this project is close at heart for them. It is a joy seeing children/families give back to the culture their children are from. The children in Liberia get especially excited to have relationships with other children through pictures, letter writing and sometimes through actual trips to Liberia.

Here is Christian.  He will be finding out that he has a sponsor family for his schooling for this next fall.  He will also be getting pictures and letters from his sponsoring family.  I wish I could see his face when he receives that!  Donna will be traveling to Liberia soon and will be bringing back letters from the children for their families here.  If you want to be a part of sponsoring one of these kids, it's not too late!  We still have 3 children on the sponsorship page that are from Light Stream Academy, which means that their tuition is only 25.00!!  Take a peek and help us send them back to school in the fall.  And, then click over here and enjoy the Basten family blog and be blessed!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

My 12 year old couldn't wait to share her Mother's Day card with me. She wanted something special and from the heart. Here is the front:

and check out what she put together for the inside. LOVE!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Three new Light Stream Students are on the Sponsor A Child page.  Their tuition is only $25.00 for the year.  Could you be there sponsor this year?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

His Hands, His Feet Blog Post

Walk With Us!?

I recently learned of an organization called Walk Alongside Liberian Kids (WALK).  They have a sponsorship program in Liberia where, for $25 a year, you can send a Liberian child to school (tuition).  There are additional schools which cost a little more as well  (this particular school is backed by a church which helps with books, uniform, etc).


Americans spend that much on a pair of jeans, shoes, or a meal out.  Stuff that is 'gone' in 6 months or even 20 minutes!

So... we decided to sponsor SIX KIDS and send them to school!  Which, having been to Liberia myself, know that that's their only way out of poverty. Ben recently got a profit sharing check (first time ever in 9 years with this company) and so after we tithed off it it, we contemplated what to do with the rest after putting some in savings.  Our heads said, "we need a vacation of some sort so bad!" (it's been 2 years!) ... but our hearts said, "you need to invest in others with it"... so... that's what we did!

An education for six kids who otherwise wouldn't have one! 
Three boys and three girls!

We decided on the number "6" because our oldest six kids are able to write and draw pictures.  You see, this program is unique in that fact that not only can you send a child to school- but you have the opportunity to form a *relationship* with your sponsored child!

We are all about relationships in this family!

Our six kids will be able to write letters and draw pictures to their corresponding friend in Liberia!  They will also receive pictures, updates and report cards on their new buddy!  The amount of pictures and info they sent us about each child was quite impressive for Liberia!  lol!  The letters are hand delivered by team members and so that will be fun as well to hear about their reactions :).

So not only will these six kids be able to go to school, but the blessing is a two-way one.  Our children will learn greater compassion and develop a relationship with another child on the other side of the world.  They will see first hand what is "a little bit of money" to us in the U.S. ($25), can do on the other side of the world. As adoptive parents, this is also a great way to bring two of our kid's birth countries into their lives in a positive/life changing way (you know... social workers always ask you that question!  lol!).  We are excited to see what fruit this brings that we can't even anticipate yet!

So... will you WALK WITH US? 

Click here to check out the program and pray about how many kids you will sponsor?

Attached are a few of the kids whose lives our kids are investing in ... we invite you to do the same!

fatumattu and bintu (twins!)