Tom Davis, Author of Fields of the Fatherless, a wonderful book about God's heart for the orphan will be speaking at our Orphan's Ticket Home Galas in Atlanta, Nashville, and Stockton, CA. You can read more about this speaking engagment and see what Tom said about America World and our Gala's here.
Our Guest Artist will be Sparrow Recording Artist, Britt Nicole! You can register for this event here.
This year our mission team hit a big snag on their travel to Africa. We all got to the Dulles airport just fine, boarded the plane to Addis and then after sitting in the plane for five hours, unboarded and found out the flight had been completely cancelled. They put us up in a nice hotel room and we left for Addis almost 24 hours later. Needless to say we lost the first day of our mission trip and we didn’t understand why God would allow that, other than to give us a good night of sleep before heading out on this mission.
Well, it all made sense as we arrived to the Ethiopia Guest Home, where our team calls home while we are in Addis. As we pulled into the courtyard of the home, we saw this young man doubled over in pain and many of his friends and neighbors surrounding him and helping him walk. We were alarmed but proceeded to get our bags into the house, etc. As we looked around the house and chose our rooms, some of us went out onto the balcony and could see that this man was still hurting and had sat down while his friends tried to get water down his throat. So, I mentioned that the guys ought to go and help and pray for him…and off they went. Ignited to do God's will wherever it may reveal itself! These guys are so awesome! So sensitive to the Spirit and wiling to be used by Him!
Nate, Chris, Simon, Zack and Dave all gathered around this young man to see what was going on. Nate, Chris and Simon, who had joined us on last year’s trip immediately recognized him! In this huge city of Addis it was the same young man who had assisted our driver last year on our bus! Chris picked him up and carried him to our car, while Dave who is a surgeon began asking him questions about how he was suffering. Simon and the rest of the guys, Dave included, all prayed over him and sent him to the hospital with some of the Birr (money) that our group had collected in donations.
The next day we heard that he began to feel better even on the way to the hospital and that one of the staff of the Guest Home took him to lunch and he was asking her questions about the Lord!
So, God is always right on time! If we had come even one minute earlier, we may not have witnessed this scene and been called to action. We are so thankful for interruptions like these on our trips. We look for these “invitations” to get involved. It was even the first time for some of these men to pray in public and lay hands on someone. That is one of the things I love about a mission trip! It will always take us out of our comfort zones and it will cause us to live out the Gospel we all know so well.
Now that I am home I will be blogging about my past days in Africa. On the last night I asked every team member what was their most memorable moment. Here is mine:
One was when we spent the day at the Mother Theresa Orphanage in Ethiopia. This orphanage has about 400 kids with HIV. The number is staggering and a very small percentage of these children are ever adopted. It is one of the most hopeless places we visit as a mission team.
The guys played football, aka, soccer with the older boys while most of the women led the children in songs and arts and crafts. While I was working with one set of kids, Audrey cried out my name. When I turned to see what was the matter, she was trying to help a little 4 year old kid out of a ditch. He had been pushed by another child head first into this rock ditch and blood was running all down his face and onto his hand, while he cried in pain. Without thinking, I picked him up immediately and rushed him to the clinic that was on this large compound. I was with a volunteer there and she asked me if I had any open wounds. I had not even thought about that. Not once did I hesitate to not pick him up b/c he had HIV. Thankfully it never crossed my mind! However, in that moment, the danger of this virus and the threat of it scared me. I quickly realized there was no concern as I did not have an open wound, and I laid my head against his bloody head and tried calming him and comforting him. It seemed to work. Pretty soon the nurse took him and laid him on their table. He was crying as she pressed on his head. She uttered something to him in amharic and he quickly stopped crying. I was amazed as she put disinfectant on his sore and he didn't let out a peep. I myself would have been crying and carrying on. So, I asked her what she said and my heart broke with her answer. She told him, "if you keep crying, I will not help you and you will get an infection". So, no matter how hard she pressed, he did not let out a sound. You know this tiny boy wanted a Mama during this time. Someone to let him cry. Someone to kiss his wounds. Someone to reassure him he will be okay.
Most orphans NEVER have someone to pick them up when they fall, or to kiss them, or to comfort and hold them. They either go uncomforted or are hushed like this nurse did to him. I excused myself from the room as for me even, it was too painful to watch. Pretty soon, he found me in the multitude of children and grabbed my hand. He was such a quiet and shy boy that even the interpreters couldn't get him to talk, so I don't know what he thought. But he did manage to say that his head was still hurting. Then all the sudden he left with all the other children to go to lunch. He didn't look back..he just walked away. That was a sad moment for me too. I realized that they are used to visitors coming and going and never seeing them again. He didn't even bother to say good-bye. Why bother...there's no hope in it for him.
Later that night I laid awake in tears as I realized he could have had a concussion and no one looked into that chance. I was so worried. So, Simon and I prayed for him until we couldn't stay awake any longer. If you think about him, please continue to pray for him. I wish I could tell you his name. I am more than ashamed that I do not know it. He just wouldn't talk though. I completely plan to visit him in January when I return. I will let you know how that reunion goes...
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".