Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday's A+ Award of the Day

Today’s A+ Award goes to Mrs. Jana Trabert. I rather doubt that you’ve ever heard her name, but after reading this story, I hope you will not soon forget her name.

Here’s the story.

It’s not every day that a happily married woman slips off her wedding ring, once-and- for-all, grinning from ear to ear. But for an Orange Country resident, Jana Trabert, taking off her ring this past spring was a joyous moment.

And, her husband didn’t mind. As a matter of fact, her husband, who is still very much in love with her, is thrilled with Jana’s new found freedom. And he completely supported her decision!

Keep reading. You don’t have a clue what the rest of the story is yet. Jana said, “I’ve always said to myself that I didn’t want to be ordinary. Yet here I am the most ordinary housewife in Orange County, in the middle of something extraordinary.”

You see, Jana sold her wedding ring and donated the proceeds to a charity, With This Ring, to help drill wells in Africa. But Jana isn’t stopping there. Since that momentous day when Jana took off her ring, the Traberts no longer feel bound to their possessions—as a matter of fact, they are selling their house and simplifying their lifestyle so that they can help even more.The Traberts say that Orange County, California, is roughly the same size as Yendi, a region in Ghana stricken with disease due to lack of clean drinking water. “Orange County Gives Back is our chance to give from all we have, to share with our brothers and sisters in Yendi. It’s a reminder that we have more wealth on one finger than most of the world’s residents see their entire lives,” says Ali Eastburn, founder of With This Ring. “Orange County Gives Back is a collaboration of local businesses and individuals to raise the $160,000 needed to drill 20 wells in Yendi.Eastburn founded With This Ring in 2007 after she sold her own wedding ring. She now encourages other women to do the same. To date, 50 women have donated their rings, resulting in two completed well projects this year.Eastburn emphasizes that a donated ring not only brings clean water to Africans, it changes the giver. That is clearly evident in Jana Trabert. Eastburn says of Trabert, “To see Jana now, you would think that she has always been a world changer. It is only when you hear her story you learn that the change has been recent.”I’m not sure I want to recommend to my wife to donate her wedding ring or engagement ring. However, I greatly admire the Trabert’s commitment to helping others around the world.

I’ve been in one worship service where people felt led to give personal items to help others. After the 2005 Tsunami, our church committed to rebuilding homes in Thailand. The pastor challenged us to give to help. In less than a day, we raised over $125,000! Yes, you read that right! Sure, some people gave large amounts of money. However, we witnessed women giving their wedding rings and men donating watches. We saw families giving their automobile to the church, to be sold and the money going to help rebuild homes. That was a moving service and powerful testimonies of what God was doing came out of that service and the services to come. Several hundred homes were ultimately build because of the sacrificial giving of so many in our church.

Mrs. Jana Trabert is great example of sacrificial giving. Way to go! Mrs. Trabert, you definitely deserve the A+ Award of the Day! I admire your commitment to this cause! I admire your husband’s support. A+ may not be enough to recognize what you’ve done! Well done!


  1. Steve: good story. It would do all of us well to reevaluate where we settle our hearts. We have too much bling anyway. This is a cool story for a good cause.

  2. Yes...evaluation is good...bling, not always good...

    Seems Jesus said something about our heart's treasure...didn't He?

  3. Favorite story like this so far! Very touching.. and definitely in-line with what Jesus said about our heart's treasure.


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  5. Great story Steve,

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. What another awesome person in this world.

  7. There are so many great people in our world...some of them are right here in this blog stream!

  8. A few years ago, I "sacrificed" to go to Russia for two weeks on a mission trip. I put it in quotation marks because I realized, then, that it really wasn't a sacrifice.

    My logic may be fuzzy, but from my perspective, a sacrifice is giving up something that you *need."

    God has promised us to meet our needs.

    When we sacrifice for God, will it not be replaced, in some form or fashion?

    The replacement may be monetary, it may be a sense of peace or joy, or it may be a heavenly reward when we see what our gift has done.

    I don't say that at all to belittle Mrs. Trabert -- I say it to encourage all of us to be a bit more willing to "let go" of the things we are attached to and let God use them as He will and can.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I can't wait to read what you have written.