Our team had a great full day which is pretty typical of most Visiting Orphans mission trips. We started at our America World Transitional Home. There were so many children and so many babies and each one of them were so wonderful. It warmed our heart so much to know that each child there had already been referred a family...until I found out - all but one child. This child, a boy about seven years old, has been on our Waiting Child List for a number of months and it doesn't make sense to me. He's smart, well behaved and very artistic. When all the children sang, "This is the Day, this is the day that the Lord has made..." he smiled the most and sang the loudest. I have to admit I was a little angry to realize that this one child, had been waiting in our transitional home for a family, while others who were younger or had siblings were being adopted out quite quickly. Will you be this family for this little boy? Oh, and he LOVES to laugh! You can see it in his eyes that he knows he does not have a family yet as he looks at you with such hope asking..."are you the one? Do you find me worthy enough to call me your son? What can I do to please you and show you that I am lovable?" I have not been married long enough to adopt, but I just don't see a reason why no one has chosen him yet...I pray you will be touched as I know he will bless you and your family immensely.
It was awesome to visit the home and meet all our staff. We have grown exponentially in our Ethiopia program and staff in Ethiopia, and it was wonderful to see and witness. We have sixty nannies on staff and four nurses ! There was not one time that a baby cried that it went un held or tended to. All of this is because of your generosity to our Orphan's Ticket Home campaign which helps fund all our needs at the transitional home. SUCH a blessing to see!!
After the transitional home, we went to play soccer with the street kids and tell them about the love of Christ. We saw two young boys fighting over the glue they were sniffing. We have chosen to visit the street kids like this on each trip I have led to Ethiopia, but this was the first time I met any boys addicted to the glue. So, with my friend, Ephraim, who has this ministry with the street boys, we took away his glue and began telling him and all the other boys and strangers there about Jesus and all he did on the cross to set us free. We then led him in prayer to receive Christ. We are not sure if it was heartfelt or not, but either way he heard the gospel and so did many others. After we shared with him though, we brought him home to the Ethiopia Guest home let him take a shower and gave him some new clothes and some food and we made sure he had plenty to take home with him. We then prayed with him again making sure he understood that Christ was the one who provided for him and He and all of us loved him. Ephraim promised to keep ministering to him and to continue to meet with him and the other street kids he mentors. Please say a prayer for him as he has a big addiction to overcome. Please say a prayer for both of these boys who God loves so much.
Tomorrow we will visit a Mother Theresa Home and the AHope HIV orphanage...It will be an even harder day for the team emotionally as both homes have sick babies and children. We want to leave a lasting hope with them though, so please pray for us.
p.s. to join our next mission trip to Ethiopia where you can visit and work with the orphans and street kids like this, please visit http://www.visitingorphans.org/.
This is Mindy posting for Amanda. We are having quite a bit of difficulty getting internet access while here in Africa. We're currently in Uganda in town of Jinja, and our hotel has no access. I was able to run into town and get on a very slow connection at the internet cafe. You can check my blog for updates until Amanda's able to post. You can go here: http://MindyGoesToAfrica.blogspot.com.
Well, if you are following my twitter posts, you know that our Ethiopian Airlines flight to Addis was cancelled after 5 hours of sitting on the runway which included a great airplane dinner and Marley and Me... We finally got into a hotel room at 5 AM this morning and have slept about 5 hours.
Ethiopian Airlines is run much like Ethiopia..go figure! Everyone is VERY trustful and laid back and communication only comes if you press them, or if you don't, whenever.... So, much of those 5 hours on the plane were with no word of what was going on. All we know is that something was mechanically wrong with the plane, so we are thankful they didn't risk the flight. Getting anywhere, all 200 or so of us left after not getting re-routing, was extremely difficult. It was like the great race. Who ever could catch a taxi first and get to the hotel to figure out the next plan won! :) Here was little ole me, having to take charge at the hotel b/c the woman behind the test did not have a clue nor did our Ethiopian Airline rep. So, I started managing and coordinating who got hotel rooms first and being that go between and demanding they call in their manager, which they finally did. I was amazed that not one other person stepped up to do this, but thank you Lord for the grace and energy and where with all to get it done and thank you Mindy for your help! it's been fun to watch how each team member falls into place and to already see the gifts in each one of them. The problem with my coordination of the rooms was that I kept giving them away to the elderly and those with children and we might have been there all night if my husband, Simon, hadn't of taken over to be sure WE got our rooms. :) I guess sometimes you can have a little too much compassion, or you can just be too much of a pushover!
It was a GREAT quick test and bonding experience for our group. I can tell God has called a great group together. Pray that there is finally SOME word today of what time our new flight may leave. Like Ethiopia, they have left us hanging with NO word as to what time that is...just that we need to keep waiting....
I'll be working on our itinerary in Ethiopia now since obviously we will be able to keep all the dates with the very delayed flight.. Please pray for that leading as well.
2 days and counting left until we leave for Africa! This morning I was watching the Travel channel, which my TV stays on a lot...and I found myself fixated on this show about a woman who traveled up to 14K above sea level to the top of a mountain in Colorado to find rare quartz and aquamarines...It took her three days to make this journey. I love the West and especially Colorado and I have hiked a similar mountain, so I was so into this show! The woman ended up finding this huge piece of quartz worth up to $25K and it weighed near 50 lbs! She very gingerly dug it out and brushed off the dirt and carried it out. Then, as the credits rolled I realized the title of this show was "Treasure Hunter".
I knew then and there that God was reminding me of the verse in Isaiah 45, "I will go before you and will level the mountains; I wil break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know I am the Lord, the God Israel who summons you by name."
We are going on a treasure hunt. But this time to Africa. The treasure we seek are the precious hearts of the orphans. The place were God resides. They are the hidden treasures...we are traveling to them...to uncover them and delicately lift them up from their places of despair and allow the Holy Spirit to blow on them, bringing hope and new life. This is our mission...and we are so privileged to be called by God for such a search. We go forth as treasure hunters!
"Change our hearts dear Lord and open our eyes so we can see these treasures that you esteem so highly...We love you and we are here as your jars of clay. Fill us and let us pour ourselves out on this little ones..."
I was shocked today when a 16 wheeled delivery truck pulled up to my house and said they needed to deliver some shoes. I had ordered some shoes to share with the orphans on our trip but only expected 2 or 3 boxes. The delivery man said he had 2 skids of boxes! So, thanks to God I still live in my house which has this 700 sq. foot storage unit and a driveway to it. This big truck drove into my backyard and deposited over 200 pairs of BRAND NEW shoes!
Soles 4 Souls is the agency that donated these shoes for our cause. They have helped me before, but they sent used shoes. This year they really spoiled us and will really bless children and adults in Africa! We can't wait! Now I just have to figure out how to pack them all in the 4 bags I have left over to fill!
Here is our the schedule and itinerary for our trip. Thank you for praying for us!
June 21st: Arrive at 7 PM in Addis Ababa. Check in at the Ethiopia Guest Home June 22nd: Travel to Gunchire, ET and help build playgrounds at Kidmia June 23rd: America World Transitional Home June 24th: Mother Teressa Orphanage & CFI (Compassionate Family Int) drop-in center Kechene/Lafto June 25th: Soccer Ministry to Street Kids & AHope Orphanage June 26th Departing from Ethiopia to travel to Uganda at 11:30 AM
UGANDA Jinja Friday, June 26 - Day 1 Arrive: 1:30 PM in Entebbe, UG Airport pick-up and transport to Jinja Visit Amazima Ministries
Saturday, June 27 - Day 2 Spend time at Amazima Ministries
Today it hit me...in less than 3 weeks we will be in beautiful Africa again. Meeting some of the most wonderful children and people in the world - their humbleness, graciousness, desperateness. It changes your life. I can't wait! I think our time in Uganda will be the most impactful and I feel that God has such a purposeful plan in each member of this team for our time there.
How can the earth feel so huge and yet so small at other times? To think that Africa is on the other side of the planet and yet a day's worth of travel and we can step into other people's world and cultures. "Jesus, I don't want to remain comfortable... That is the biggest temptation for us here in America. Change our hearts Lord, do not let us return unchanged. Give us bigger visions for who we are and for what you have purposed for us. Let it be less of us and more of You in every way..."
Follow along as I take this mission seriously and minister to the orphans in this world.
Visiting Orphans...It pretty much speaks for itself. Our lives are made to give away to others and I love it that helping orphans is pure and undefiled religion! Follow along as I take God seriously about this mission and minister to the orphans in this world. He is constantly at work in our lives..we just sometimes have to shift our perspective to notice Him. I pray you will hopefully see Him in the words and pictures below..through my perspective.
This blogpage follows the mission trips I lead to minister to orphans in this world. I am the Executive Director of a mission sending agency called Visiting Orphans. (www.visitingorphans.org) I believe my mission in life is similar to the President of Compassion International, Dr. Wes Stafford. In his book, "Too Small to Ignore" he says, "On one side of this international bridge, my role is to minister to the poor, to the orphans, to "comfort the afflicted." And then I cross the bridge, coming back to the Western, more affluent world, where my job is to speak and write and to "affict the comfortable" to call them to action." Loving people on both sides of the spectrum...
I pray that something in my words or pictures will inspire you to reach out beyond yourself...to GO and help the "least of these".