Sozo Supporters Share Their Stories
“I'm Brooke Bacon; I live in Broomfield, Colorado. I’ve been married to Ben for 16 years and we have 4 children ages 9, 7, 5 and 1, and a Westie. I am a proud graduate of Baylor University and currently work as an HR Director at a global mining company.
I learned about Sozo a few years ago when our pastor at Flatirons challenged the congregation to learn about Sozo and consider financially supporting the organization.
As a mother, the most compelling part of Sozo’s work to me is their care for children, specifically through education and healthcare. Motherhood has burdened me for children around the world, desiring all children to have what I’m able to provide for my own children who live a privileged American life. Partnering with Sozo allows me to feel like I’m doing a small part to support the children of Afghanistan.
I recently heard about how Sozo has started a program to provide vocational training to the parents of the elementary school students. This struck me as so valuable to see Sozo's outreach to the entire family. I also appreciate that some of the curriculum focuses on social-emotional development, which is vitally important in developing children and young adults to become empathic and productive members of society.
I happen to work for a wonderful and generous company that offers a dollar for dollar match for employee charitable giving. It’s as simple as me filling out an online form, and submitting the receipt for my donation, and my company sends a matching donation to Sozo. This is one of the ways that organizations partner with employees, by supporting organizations that are important to them. I encourage anyone who works for a company to inquire about a charitable giving benefit, and take advantage if there is one; the cost to the organization is low, and the benefit to Sozo is significant.
Partnering with Sozo has been a meaningful experience because my family gets to be a part of spreading love to a part of the world that is full of terror, fear and uncertainty. I love the meaning of Sozo—to make well, to rescue from danger. It’s a privilege to partner with an organization with this mission in one of the most impoverished parts of the world.’’
“I am Jane Summay, a native of Lexington, Kentucky. I moved to Louisville after my marriage to Russ, who was a medical student at U of L. I was an elementary school teacher and I started with Southeast. As Southeast grew, my husband, Russ, was given the job as the elder over the outreach department.This led us to many trips abroad and stateside to visit work being carried on by Southeast. I have three sons who are married, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren. One of our sons lives and serves in Bosnia. I have tried to make a trip to one of the partners we're connected with each year after my husband’s death. Louisville is now my home city and I guess that I will always live here until God takes me to my heavenly home.
I became aware of and involved in Sozo's work when Southeast sent my husband and me to Afghanistan to determine if Southeast wanted to support the work that was being done there. We were drawn in by the [Afghan] people that we met. They gave us such love. They were not angry with us, but had a great personality in making us feel welcome.
Having worked with Sozo staff members on trips to Afghanistan, I got tied to these Afghans and knew prayer was great for them, but being with them in person was an easy way to share love and hope.
I am always interested in the trips made by Sozo. Sozo's in-country leader knows where and when is the best time to be involved. And of course, we were and I still am, great supporters of Sozo's Executive Director and her involvement with Sozo. The combination of these two people and the Afghan people always inspired us and kept us interested in Sozo and its work.
As we all know, all projects need prayer, people and leaders, but projects and airfare must have a financial backing to become realities. Even if you cannot be a part of going into all the world, you can provide the financial support that is so necessary to be successful. Knowing that I can contribute financial support makes me a part of the work in Afghanistan.’’
“I'm Charlie Berger. My wife and I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico where we own a small architecture firm.
My daughter and son-in-law attend Flatirons in Colorado and while we were visiting them one weekend, we attended Flatirons. It was a weekend where Jim (Burgen) mentioned Sozo was building homes for widows in Barek Aub. I thought 'what a worthy cause, homes for widows.' We began giving with that project.
I really have confidence that the money is going where it’s supposed to go. The number of teams Flatirons sends to Afghanistan every year shows that. I also support empowering Afghans and feel we have a responsibility to the country. Sozo's work with the kids and their education. That’s what gets me.
I’m only able to be generous because God has been generous to me. We give because He provides. My (post-retirement) goal is to spend a few months a year in Haiti working in an orphanage. I think giving in these ways is what God has called and gifted me to do.’’
We are so grateful for every supporter—whether individual, family, corporate sponsor, or organizaion, because we see firsthand the important impact their time, gifts, and prayers are making daily. Our goal is to add 30 new monthly donors to Sozo. If you could give $30 a month, we will continue to make a significant impact on the lives of children and families.