I just have to post this article I just found! For those of you who think you are too old, too tired, too busy, too anything to GO, just read this! Proof that God is never finished with us. This woman was never able to have children, yet by age 81, she ended up with 300 orphans under her care!
Our Uganda teams stay at Canaan's Children Home orphanage in Jinja, Uganda. This is how they get to wake up every morning! Won't you come and be a part of our Holiday December trip to visit these orphans?! Let's pour out the love we have received over our Christmas holidays onto these children who do not have the families we have. I promise in every way that you will not be disappointed! We are currently accepting applications.
A NEW ADDITION TO THE YOUNG FAMILY! One of our Visiting Orphans board members has just adopted a 13 year old boy from China. It's such a neat story. Read Christine's post about it here: http://orphanresponse.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/forever-faithful/
The Young Family just sent an email out and their son is now home with them! Praise the Lord. Here's the email announcement:
His name is Wenke Li Young and he is 13 years old. We adopted him from Siping China. This is the orphanage we visit each summer, and it has been a pleasure getting to know this sweet boy. We are so proud to now call him our son. He is adjusting well to American life, although everything is new to him. I hope you get to meet our son, he really is something special. To read his story, please check out our blog: orphanresponse.com, the post “forever faithful”. Blessings from our family to yours, Tracy, Christine, Zach, Ben, Lilli, Wenke
Children dancing and playing the drums is TOTALLY acceptable and encouraged in Uganda! Remember, these are orphaned children loving, praising and worshipping the Lord! We could learn a thing or two from them. I LOVE church in Africa! I think it's very similar to what heaven will look like. :)
This is a video from our last team's time at My Father's House and Royal Hope Academy orphanage.
I heard a news report yesterday on one of the Christian Broadcast stations that because of the downturn in our economy that more of the church body is choosing NOT to go on mission trips. I would like to refute this! I can contest as the Executive Director of Visiting Orphans that this is simply not true! Our agency is sending out four times the number of short term missionaries in the year 2010 than any previous year. Yes, there may a few other factors to take into this growth, but the growth would not happen if God's children simply were not choosing to put their faith in God and visit orphans all over this world.
I personally believe that this larger unemployment rate is opening up more energy and time in peoples lives to go on trips and serve. It's also causing people to be more desperate and question what try doing with their lives and time, wondering what their purpose is. They are realizing what life is all about and it's not about material things, but serving others. Then, they go and visit Haiti or China or Africa and return with a new sense of destiny and perspective on what's truly important in life.
But it's also the folks who still have their careers and full time jobs who are choosing to GO. The church is truly becoming more compassionate and aware and BRAVE! They want LIFE. They don't want to be lulled to sleep anymore by their consumeristic culture. And last but not least they are putting more faith in Gods finances and not their own to get them to the mission field. Where is that bigger faith coming from? Maybe it's coming out of truly wanting to experience God and take Him at His word...Maybe people are wanting to seek more Truth and think they can find it on the other side of the world...I don't know. That's a good poll for us to take. I do know this, there is one simple common factor, they all just want to go and love orphans. They are "getting it" as we say at VO. Some how awareness is spreading and Gods people are listening and hearing and responding.
So I refute that false news report! Wonder where they are getting their information...truly now from us....
Here is a letter one of our recent Africa team members sent to his friends and family explaining his experience in Africa: Friends and Family
I am finally back stateside after a life changing trip to Africa. I willingly went on the trip to create change in myself, and in my life and boy o' boy, did it ever! I wish I could accurately articulate every fiber in my heart and mind that is different, but I know for a fact I'm not quite there yet.
The trip, as most of you know, was spent between two different countries, Uganda and Ethiopia. The two nations could not have been more different on some fronts, and could not have been closer on others.
The sites and sounds of Uganda were full of rolling grass covered hills, dark clay roads, mud made homes, and children yelling "Muzungu!" Which translates to 'white person,' a term of endearment there (or at least that's what they said). We saw over 700 children in 6 days! We actually lived in a home, that houses over a 115 kids, which was one of the most impactful parts of the trip. Seeing the same children every day, building bonds and relationships was amazing!
Ethiopia was a much more urban environment as we spent most of our time in the capital, Addis Ababa. This part of the trip was different for me, as it meant I was able to see Ashlie, my best friend, and her new baby boy, Easton. I can admit feelings of selfishness in Ethiopia, as most of the time I only wanted to hold my first nephew and comfort my best friend.
At this point, I'm not going to write about the dark past of the children, or the terrible conditions most of them live in, mostly because I don't have the words yet. There is a weight on my heart now that I have never felt before, and as I figure out to position and reuse that weight, I'm want to mention the hope and joy that filled the children's faces. It was mind blowing, that these children despite having every reason in the would to be filled with hate and despair they chose HOPE and JOY!
Think we could learn something from them? I think so.
To those who were able to help make the trip possible, I sifting through thousands of pictures to create a personalized thank for each of you.
I have included just a few pictures from the trip...Again, there is so much more to see, but this will work for now.
Here's a great short video from our last team who went to Uganda. Our teams work with Royal Academy and My Father's House in Kampala. Here the children are welcoming our team as this was the first team to visit them! I LOVE how excited the children are. They are singing, "Welcome to all our visitors. Welcome to the heart of Africa!" The heart of Africa certainly are these children b/c they are the heart of God. And as their orphanage director, Rebecca Sorrenson said, " As I scan this line of children, I just see stories of children who come from backgrounds of polygamy, islam, rhasta, witchcraft. Children who have been abused, neglected, raped... NOW LOVED! treasured, saved, Praising sweet Jesus, adopted into a worldwide family with the King of Kings as their Father! What an awesome orphanage director! She knows the truth of the Spirit of Adoption and these children are learning about the love of their Abba Father. You can visit this orphanage and many others on our December/January trip to Uganda. You can find out more and sign up here.
It's amazing to see our teams touching so many continents at one time. We currently have a team in Honduras ministering to the orphans there. You can follow their journeys here and here
We also have a team in Ghana, Africa. VO's sweet Autumn is with this team. It is her first trip to Africa and I can't wait to hear if she loves this place as much as I do. She is updating her blog as well.
And then we have a team that leaves for Uganda on Saturday.
Join us in praying that God reveals Himself in a mighty way to the people of Honduras, Ghana and Uganda. It's exciting to see so many people going and serving in the name of Jesus.
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".