Posts Tagged ‘Todd Guckenberger’

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Back2Back Ministries!

November 23, 2011

Two orphaned children in Mexico benefit from a nutritious snack thanks to the support of friends of the ministry.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Back2Back Ministries!

We truly cannot praise God enough for the ways in which He has blessed and provided for our ministry this year. These successes would not be possible without your commitment to partner with us. As we look toward the future, we are excited about how God is working through Back2Back Ministries and thankful for your willingness to come alongside our work.  Please know that you are a part of our Back2Back family and we truly appreciate your love and support of the orphan child. Please keep the children we serve in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season.

Advertisements

NASCAR Driver, Carl Edwards, and Copart Team Up to Auction Edwards’ Harley Davidson Motorcycle and Race Memorabilia to Benefit Back2Back Ministries’ Orphan Care Program

October 25, 2010

Carl Edwards with his XR1200TM Harley Davidson Sportster, which he is auctioning online to benefit Back2Back.

Copart, Inc., a leading online vehicle auction company, today announced it is teaming up with Roush Fenway Racing driver, Carl Edwards, for a promotion and online auction of his personal memorabilia.  Carl Edwards intends to donate all proceeds from the auction to benefit Back2Back Ministries’ orphan care program in Monterrey, Mexico. Back2Back Ministries is a non-profit organization that provides for orphans and impoverished families around the world with locations in Monterrey and Cancun, Mexico, Jos, Nigeria and Hyderabad, India.

“This partnership is an exciting way for Copart to support Back2Back,” said Todd Guckenberger, Executive Director of Back2Back Ministries.  “While they promote their auction via their social networking program, they are raising enormous amounts of visibility for our organization and helping to meet the practical needs of the orphaned children we serve.”

“We are incredibly proud to be the connecting piece of the puzzle in this campaign to support Back2Back Ministries,” said Copart CEO Jay Adair. “The opportunity to serve as the vehicle between Carl Edwards and Back2Back in raising money for this charity is tremendous and demonstrates a core value that we at Copart stand for.”

Both Copart and Back2Back Ministries will use social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogging and other viral marketing tactics to help drive people to the charity auction and sweepstakes, where they can become Copart.com members for free.  Once a member, fans will be able to bid on items that include Edwards’ used fire suit, autographed pit crew uniform, a hood off the No. 60 Copart Ford that Edwards raced in Nashville this season, and a Harley Davidson that Edwards won at the Nationwide Road America race in June.

“Sitting at the drivers meeting in Road America, they showed all of the drivers this really cool looking motorcycle that the winner of the race would win,” said Carl Edwards.  “I knew that if I won the race, that motorcycle would be mine. So, I was talking to a friend of mine, Lonnie Clouse who serves orphans through Back2Back Ministries, about selling the bike if I won and giving the proceeds to his orphanage. After we talked about, I was thinking about how I was going to sell this motorcycle. Luckily, I have the perfect sponsor to sell a vehicle online and raise money. This is a perfect case of everything falling into place and I’m really proud of working with Copart in order to make this happen.”

The live online auction will occur on November 15, 2010 at Copart.com, but fans can start placing their maximum bids today. Bid at copart.com or by visiting the sweepstakes section of Copart’s Facebook fan page.

Thank You for Your Support!

July 15, 2010

Thank you for your support and prayers in the aftermath of Hurricane Alex.  A few thoughts from Back2Back Directors, Todd & Beth Guckenberger . . .

Giving Thanks, by Todd Guckenberger, Back2Back Executive Director

March 19, 2010

I have been bombarded with questions of safety for the sites we serve.  Many know that it has not been smooth sailing in India, Nigeria, and Mexico and the press does not make it any easier.   I do not have all the answers and the older I get the more and more I realize that there are no guarantees, so I can not promise safety. I can only promise that Back2Back stands by the orphan whether it is easy or difficult. In my lack of having the answers, I am certain that we must pray.  I am not ready to walk away.  I am not ready to let fear win.  I believe in the impact that we have on the orphan around the world, and Back2Back will be relentless no matter how we choose to serve.

Beth and I have been talking about an article by Steward Brisco that encourages people to give thanks in the midst of fear.  This practice works for my 11-year old daughter who can sometimes work herself up with worry.

Join with me in giving thanks for what God has done in the ministry areas in which He has lead us to serve.

Mexico:

Jesus, I give thanks for Your provision for the 500 orphans we serve in Mexico.  I give thanks that regardless of whether or not people go and serve that they will not be forgotten.  You know each of them and that You have counted each and every hair on their beautiful brown heads.  I give thanks that You will “defend their cause”.   I give thanks for restoration of the hearts of the children that we have ministered to over years.  I give thanks that there are men and women on our staff who build into the teens and children we serve.  We are seeing fruit after years of investment.  It is not overnight, but rather through thousands of hours of friction against what the enemy has stolen from them.  I give thanks that some of those teens are now leading Bible studies, raising the bar spiritually for their “brothers and sisters” in the Hope Houses in which they live.  I give thanks for how You have used individuals to support the ministry as child sponsors, offer physical labor, and financially sustain entire orphanages, projects, provide birthday and Christmas gifts.   I give thanks that we have hosted thousands of servants, who have always been safe.  I give thanks that You have always protected our staff, both nationals and Americans.  I give thanks that our staff would only want to be where God has called them.  I give thanks that You have raised them up.  I give thanks to You, Jesus, that You have led us to understand that “sustainability” is what we are about.  I give thanks that we are able to be a part of seeing children get an education and stand on their own, breaking the cycle of poverty.

Nigeria:

I give thanks that in Nigeria You have raised up great nationals and Americans to serve in Nigeria.  I give thanks that You have quadrupled our staff team in less than three years. I give thanks that You have called our team to be there to serve the community of the Rekuba tribe.  I give thanks that You will provide for the neglected abandoned and abused in Nigeria.   I give thanks for the friction we have encountered in our commitment to go “deep not wide”.  I give thanks that You have brought us to serve in the most densely populated nation in Africa. I give thanks that You have led us to be about community development.  I give thanks that You have clarified that there are times when we need to say “no”.  I give thanks that You have provided a large boost of capital to get started.  I give thanks that You are in control and that we do not have to live in fear.

India:

In India, I give thanks that You relentlessly love the orphan child. I give thanks that even in a society that labels the orphan as the least of these that the least of these will come to You and be protected by You.  I give thanks that You are providing free private education for the orphans at EJH hostel (children’s home).  I give thanks that You are not dependent on us to provide for the orphan in India, but still choose to use us.  I give thanks that You have provided money for food from donors who have never even been to India.  I give thanks to You for great stewardship of Your resources. I give thanks for Brent and Lisa who have stepped out to serve You.  I give thanks that You have brought us to a country that has more than 35 million orphans that You call by name.

In India at one of the children's homes Back2Back serves

Off to a Good Start, by Back2Back India

March 5, 2010

Since late 2008, Back2Back has been serving orphan children in India. We recently had the opportunity to visit Hyderabad and see how things are going. It was a great trip.

Back2Back Executive Director, Todd Guckenberger, came along. He was able to see each of our ministry sites, meet the directors of those programs and interact with the children.

At Mercy Home Hostel, he was welcomed with a flower garland and the children lined up along the driveway, singing and dancing. That night, the children sang and danced for us again.

They performed traditional India dances set to music with Christian lyrics. Although the words are all in Telugu, the dance moves often demonstrate the love of Christ, breaking the bonds of oppression and showing compassion to others.

The children also recited scripture by memory, including several Psalms and entire Bible chapters.

Using an interpreter, Todd shared a message with the children reminding them that they are each a child of the most high God.

We brought our greetings as well, telling the children how much we missed them and encouraging them to do well in school and grow in Christ.

In the short time we were there, we were able to host a group from the UK who taught new songs, played fun games, provided craft activities and shared the story of Joseph with the children at Eternal Joy Home.

Although we are now living back in the US, our national staff in India has been overseeing the projects started by B2B India. We were happy to see that the children served by B2B were all doing well. Thanks to a generous ongoing donation, we are supplementing the food at the children’s homes to include eggs, milk and fruit. Because of their improved nutrition, we could definitely tell a difference in the health of the children. The girls’ bathroom is still clean and functioning well. Signs in English and Telugu remind them to participate in the care and upkeep of this renovated facility.

Three of the older students are now enrolled in a Bachelor of Education course that will certify them as teachers. Thank you to our donors who are helping to provide care for today and hope for tomorrow for the orphan children in India. Please continue to pray with us for the future of the B2B India ministry and the children we serve.

If you are interested in learning more about joining our staff team in India, please contact Chris Ramos at ramos@back2backministries.org.

Join the Back2Back Flying Pig Marathon Team or Sponsor a Runner!

February 26, 2010

The Flying Pig Marathon is a city-wide race held annually in Cincinnati, Ohio.  This year, the race is scheduled for May 2, 2010 at 6:30 a.m. and this year, for the first time ever, Back2Back Ministries is organizing a team of runners to raise funds for the needs in our three ministry sites by asking people to sponsor, or “adopt” a runner!  To date, the team consists of Todd & Beth Guckenberger, Matt & Julie Cooper, Tim Couch, Kurt Kersey, and Antonio Garcia Espinosa.  Click here to find out how to join the team and become a Back2Back Pig!  Not a runner?  Sign-up to sponsor a runner here.

Update on the Jepsons, by Beth Guckenberger, B2B Staff

February 19, 2010

Todd and I had the privilege of spending this last weekend in San Francisco, as guests of former Back2Back executive director, Dain Jepson, and his wife Terry.  The Jepsons are serving on the church staff of Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City, California and we were able to spend time with them in fellowship and ministry. I offered a class to the staff wives, we hosted a meeting for those interested in traveling to Monterrey this summer, and then I spoke at three church services on Sunday.

Janet Miclean, Peninsula Covenant Church Pastor to Student and Families, introduces Beth before she speaks to the congregation

Speaking at the Jepson's new church, Peninsula Covenant Church

It was sweet in many ways, for Todd and I to recognize that Dain and Terry have moved “home”, they are close to family and in the same area they met and married twenty-five years ago.

We continue to miss them at Back2Back, but see many opportunities in the future for our ministry lives to intertwine.

Bringing Light to the Issue of Orphan Care, by Beth Guckenberger, Back2Back Staff

February 10, 2010

Todd and I just returned from the K-LOVE radio station’s annual Friends and Family Cruise on Premier Christian Cruises.  We were invited again this year to talk about orphan care on the cruise and join Family Christian Stores’ non-profit organization, the James Fund.  It was an amazing couple of days, as we heard fantastic Christian bands (David Crowder, Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, etc…), held seminars for the guests on orphan care and adoption, and raised thousands of dollars for one of our children’s homes, El Retiro Juvenil.   We met hundreds of people who have a heart for orphans and who are inviting them into their families and traveling to serve them in a way that evidences God’s pursuit of these children.

Like networking goes, we are hoping one door opens another and all the reasons why we were there last week we won’t totally see for some time.  We sure invited a lot of people to come visit one of our ministry sites.  We sent home papers explaining to all 2,600 passengers how they could continue to be involved financially with our ministry.   We fellowshipped with our partners in the James Fund in such a way that work didn’t seem so much like work at the end of the day…  isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?  Colossians 1:10 says “As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work.”  Join us in praying for the seeds we planted…

Steve Biondo, President of the James Fund, and I sharing about orphan care at a seminar

Vision for Nigeria Land of Hope Campaign, by Corrie Guckenberger, Back2Back Nigeria

December 10, 2009

Back2Back is partnering with Self-Sustaining Enterprises (SSE) in Nigeria.  SSE  has given Back2Back fifteen acres outside of Jos, Nigeria to develop as a Back2Back ministry site with a community center, enabling us to expand our ministry to local children and families in need. If you would like more information about our campaign to raise funds for the development of the land, please contact landofhope@back2backministries.org

It was so encouraging to see more than 100 people show up on a cold rainy evening to hear what God is doing through Back2Back in Jos, Nigeria.  We had our first capital campaign on December 8th in Cincinnati and it felt a bit as if I was attending a family reunion.  I think that is my favorite character trait about serving in this ministry.  Thousands of people have gone to serve at different sites, different times, and for different purposes, but many came together that evening and there was an underlying reality that even if I haven’t met you, I know you and a sliver of your heart.

Corrie Guckenberger, relaying the vision for the Land of Hope Campaign at the Nigeria Open House

Beth & Todd Guckenberger, sharing their heart for Back2Back's ministry in Nigeria

John Guckenberger at the Nigeria Open House

I was just reminded that ten years ago, Todd and Beth had their first fundraiser for Back2Back’s Mexico ministry site at Snyder Farm, the same location where the Nigeria Open House was located. Back2Back has been on quite a journey since then, following the Lord’s calling.  He has done so much that it can be overwhelming to think that He is still at work, moving and stirring and leading us now in Africa as well.

The vision of where we feel the Lord is asking us to go was shared by everyone and it was daunting seeing it unveiled to others.  As we unfold the desire to develop relationships in the Kisayhip Village near Jos and build a host village next door for us as a staff to live, I am too aware that it is too big a project for mere man.  For that reason, I get excited to see God work out the details in His time and in His way.  Our desire is to just be obedient to Him.  We are so grateful for everyone who came to the event, encouraging us, supporting us, and cheering us on.  That is truly what family should feel like.

Back2Back Nigeria Property, "Land of Hope"

A few of the children we serve in Nigeria

Village children saying hello from the Back2Back Nigeria property to be developed

Rajeshekar, by Todd Guckenberger

August 14, 2009

I spent some time today talking with the Back2Back directors of our ministry in India.  I was encouraged to hear how they are making a significant impact in a small orphanage of about twenty-two children.  The orphanage can cover the cost of rent, food and the basic needs of all twenty-two orphans for a mere 400 dollars a month.  When Back2Back considers partnering with and serving at a particular orphanage, we consider several factors.  One of the criteria for partnership is that the leaders of the children’s home must deeply value the spiritual growth and development of their children and be dedicated to providing them with the best education possible, as that is their only hope of breaking free from poverty.  The directors of the orphanages must be committed to raising children who make a positive difference in the world around them. The Back2Back field director in India described how the demeanor of the children has become more joyous since he and his wife have begun to consistently serve there alongside the orphanage director to help the home provide for the basic needs of the children.

All the children there have received a full scholarship to a local top-ranking private school, allowing them to receive an excellent education.  I was especially impressed by one particular story that they shared about a boy named Rajeshekar, who was born without hands.  He is one of the top students in his class; he is extremely bright and has an unbelievable potential to succeed academically.  But at the same time I was incredibly discouraged thinking about the fact that his school years would be the best years of his life.  In India, children born into a low-class are treated as outcasts and have to fight severe discrimination their entire lives. Those born with birth defects are even more shunned by society.  His class within the caste system, along with a serious birth defect seemed to leave him doubly disadvantaged.  I immediately commented to him that these might be the best years of his life. After all, his children’s home and school were sheltering him from the harsh reality he would likely face after graduating and leaving the orphanage.  Our director agreed.  We continued talking, discussed our role in helping children like Raj overcome the enormous odds stacked against them.  We concluded that the only way of helping those who are marginalized is to continue to create relationships and partnerships in India that provide us with opportunities to walk alongside the “least of these.”

It does not matter if it is India, Mexico, Nigeria, or another part of the world.  Regardless of location, God has called us to serve widows and orphans.  To Back2Back it is a clear commandment and call in our hearts and by His grace He will continue to lead us to the marginalized.

My prayer for Rajeshekar is that we can come alongside him and empower him to pursue the dreams and goals that God has placed in His heart.  Please pray about getting involved with this children’s home, through our ministry in India.

Below is a video of Rajeshekar learning to ride a scooter with a little encouragement from the Back2Back staff member who was filming.

Welcome from Todd & Beth Guckenberger!

June 1, 2009

Welcome to Back2Back Ministries Official Blog!  Staff from Mexico, Nigeria, India and the home office in the US will be sharing their thoughts on life, God, faith and orphan care.  We invite you to come alongside us in our journey and share your thoughts and comments!