Summer Serve Play Groups

playgroup dates

About Proximity is so excited to host Summer Service Play Groups in Holland, Michigan!

Let’s come out to make a difference as a community with our families.


Here is our Facebook Event Page. 


Printable PDFs to share with others. Included are the service opportunities for each week and all the activities we have planned! 

Summer Serve Play Group Schedule Summer 2015

June16: If the World Were a Village


June 23: One Hen

OneHenHungerJune 30: The Red Bicycle


July 7: Mimi’s Village

Mimi's Village Play Group

July 14: Planet Ark 


Serve Projects: 

Bringing donations is completely optional! Even if you are unable to participate in the donation part of the service project, still come out to the play group! We’ll learn together and have fun. We want everyone to feel welcome. Click on the printable PDFs to see what we are gathering for each week.

A few ideas:

  • When shopping for donations for Holland Rescue Mission and Community Action House involve your kids. It’s a great opportunity to talk to them about needs families might have and what items can be a support and encouragement.
  • When bringing $1.00 donation for Shot@Life, World Vision, and World Renew encourage your kids to earn the money by doing a small job around the house, helping will feel even more meaningful to them.


Want to learn more about the organizations we are supporting? 

Holland Rescue Mission

Community Action House


World Vision

World Renew 

All our stories are donated by Citizen Kid Books.  


We can’t wait to see you this summer! 


Email: Lisa Van Engen at 




Women and Girls Fund by Global Impact

A call to action:

Roughly one billion people in the world live in extreme poverty; the majority of them are women.

WG Walking

{Photo courtesy of Global Impact}

Each year, about 300,000 women suffer a preventable death during pregnancy and childbirth.

WG Care

{Photo courtesy of CARE.}

Two-thirds of the children denied primary education are girls.

WG School

{Photo courtesy of PLAN}

Women and girls make up ninety-eight percent of trafficking victims.

wg girl

{Photo courtesy of Global Impact}

1 billion women will be victims of violence in their lifetime.

wg little

{Photo courtesy of Global Impact}

1 in 9 girls is forced into marriage before her 15th birthday.

wg sad

{Photo courtesy of CARE}

Today, through my work with Global Team of 200, I am able to introduce to you the work and images of The Global Impact Women and Girls Fund. 

Global Impact brings together four respected, best-in-the-business international organizations focused on helping women and girls.  Global Impact partners with CARE, World Vision, Plan USA, ICRW International Center for Research on Women.

Through this fund, you join with millions of people to change the world by helping to provide education, protection and rehabilitation from violence and exploitation, job training, healthcare, safe drinking water and a host of other services to women and girls around the world.

wg sewing

{Photo courtesy of PLAN}

By investing in a girl, she can lift herself out of poverty and abuse, altering the condition of her family, her community and, ultimately, the world.

wg one girl

{Photo courtesy of PLAN}

Last year at this time About Proximity was hosting the documentary film Girl Rising.

These are the faces, the images of the women and girls. 

They are our sisters. In this, we know they are strong and beautiful, absolutely deserving of every opportunity we ourselves have. 

{This post is a part of a sponsored awareness program that seeks to help women and girls everywhere live healthy lives wherein they are protected, respected, educated and empowered to reach their potential. Visit}



Richard Stearns, President of World Vision has a new book called Unfinished Believing is only the Beginning. 

About Proximity was given a hard cover copy to review and giveaway!

Stearns first book was the National Bestseller The Hole in our Gospel. In that book he spoke about his journey from CEO of Parker Brothers Games and Lenox, Inc to World Vision.


In Unfinished, Stearns writes about our Biblical mission to proclaim God’s truths and act on his life-changing love.


The book lacked the deep story telling Stearns included in his first book. He spent much of the chapters giving overview to the bigger story found in the Bible. I still enjoyed the book and its message very much. The stories he tells of his work with World Vision and other people’s acts of love are the strongest parts of the book.

One story stands out against the backdrop of the book for me. He told of how tourists vacationing at Haiti ocean resort locations are placed on buses with blacked out windows when they arrive at the airport. Then, they are transported to their destination. The windows are blacked out so they do not see the abject poverty they are passing by on the way to their resort.


The work is unfinished.

How often when we are not in direct proximity to suffering, do we black out what we see.

We were made for so much more.


You have a critical role to play.

We need to cast off our inward, secure, isolated lives and look outward.

The book has a great study guide and an act,pray, influence and give guide.


Leave a comment and be entered to win a hard cover copy of the book! 

Are you ever tempted to black out what you know? What do you think when you read the words we were made for so much more?

Girl Rising Partners and Response


These are the ten partner organizations of Girl Rising and 10x10act:


  • Sign Girl Up’s Petition to End Early Marriage. 

Girl Up is a United Nations Foundation that believe American girls have a role to play in empowering girls in the global world. They provide resources for girls to become global leaders in making a difference.

download (2)

  • Donate to Partners in Health

Partners in Health help children attend school, achieve basic education and funds nutritional programs so they do not attend hungry.

download (3)

World Change starts with Educated Children at Room to Read. If every child received an education 171 million children would be lifted out of poverty.

download (5)

  • Sign the petition for equal economic participation of women. 

Women need legal protection, access to finance, education and training and access to markets, The Third Billion  and La Pietra Coalition is helping to make this a reality.

download (6)

  • Join the work of Pratham an education movement in India.

Pratham works to help every child attend school and learn well in India.

download (7)

  • Give through Plan Because I am a Girl gifts specific to girls can be found here.

Given a chance, girls can change the world. Plan USA sustains projects for micro finance, ending child labor, and abandonment of early marriage.

download (8)

Building a better future for children $35 will help a girl go to school and overcome poverty. 

download (9)

  • Donate through Care to train teachers. 

Care defends dignity and fights poverty. Among the many things Care does, it helps provide education to children.

images (24)

Girls Learn International (GLI) educates and energizes U.S. students in the global movement for girls’ access to education. Chapters in middle and high school partner with global schools.

Book Review: The Hole in our Gospel

What does God expect of us?

A group of my close girlfriends read the book The Hole in Our Gospel, their church had committed to reading through this book together.  They passed the book onto me.  I finished it and immediately wanted to start at the beginning and read it again!

I encourage you to put this book on your reading list and share it with someone else.

The Hole in Our Gospel is by Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision since June 1998.  Stearns was a CEO of Lenox, Inc., an upscale tableware and gift company when his life drastically changed.  He tells the remarkable story of God’s call on his life to join the work of World Vision.  The story you are suspecting does not reside in the pages of this book, Stearns repeatedly said no to taking on this position. God’s plan for him was unrelenting, months later he found himself in the jungles of Uganda in the midst of three brothers, orphaned by the AIDS crisis.

The book continues to follow Stearns life story, his travels, the people and places he has encountered, the difficulties the world faces, and a persistent, uncomfortable call for Christians to confront the hole in our gospel.


If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.  Proverbs 21:13

Richard Stearns writes, The American Dream often promotes this view of it [money] :  I worked hard, I earned it, and it’s mine to do with as I please. The view suggests that we are “entitled” to any income that comes to us because we worked for it.  (pg. 204)

I think deep down we KNOW that we are not entitled to anything, everything we receive as a gift from God is ENTRUSTED to us.


How different our standard is from Christ’s. We ask how much a man gives. He asks how much he keeps.  ~Andrew Murray.


If your income is 25,000 per year, you are wealthier than approximately 90% of the World’s population.

What about 50,000 per year? You are wealthier than approximately 99% of the World.


Christianity is not about being comfortable, doing easy things, and avoiding pain.

  • A study guide is available at the back of the book posing discussion questions, opportunities to take action, and prayer.
  • Visit for more resources.