I wanted to share an email I received this week from Rebecca Brown, one our past Rwanda/Ethiopia team members:
I wanted to tell you myself what one Visiting Orphans trip did to my life...
Ok, lets see... on my trip we went to Rwanda first and it stole my heart. I really loved the Noel orphanage and wanted to do so much there. I really thought that God was going to bring me back there, until Ethiopia.
Most of the people on my team loved Ethiopia. I was already set that in my mind that Ethiopia was ok and wouldnt steal my heart b/c I was going to come back to Rwanda. The last two days of our trip some things got change on our agenda. The places we were going to didn't want us til like 3 afternoon. SO, we told Tymm, our team leader that we didn't want to sit around for the next two day waiting til 3 to do something - we wanted to help.
So, Nathan, another team member said, "would any of you like to take some street kids to lunch?" We loved the idea!! I thought that there was going to be like 4 boys that Nathan knew that would show up. We pulled up that morning and there were llike 30 kids. I remember thinking "OH my Goodness Lord, these are teenage boys." " I dont know what to do with teenage boys." I remember becoming a little scared of my stuff for the first time, thinking, "are they going to steal or beg from me?" I was the last one out the van and got out remember telling God a little prayer, saying... "I am definitely out of my comfort zone here Lord and I dont know who you want me to talk too. You are going to have to help me on this one."
As I was looking up from my prayer and looking back down there was this boy walking towards me. He grabbed my hand said MY name is Sami. Yes, the Sami everyone knows and loves so much. Sami asked me if I knew your hubbie Simon and that if I knew when he was coming back. That boy stole my heart! He never let go of my hand. He loved me so much for the next 3 days. That moment when Sami picked ME out of crowd God showed me that he always picks the weakest ones to do his work. That even though Sami didn't know me he loved me anyways, just as God loves us.
We go on these trips thinking that we will change these kids lives and they change ours so much more. I just fell in love with the street kids!!! I met Ephrem that day and later that night I have no idea what made him ask me but he asked me if I come for the summer to help. I prayed bout it when I got back and in the last few months God has made it his plan.
SO, I leave in 5 short weeks. I am selling my things and moving to Ethiopia. I had planned on the summer but as I am working with Ephrem ministry we feel that God is leading me longer term. So when I get there, I am going to try to find sponsors to sponsor me as a missionary to help Ephrem in his ministry, which God is about to take off with. So many doors are opening and very excited. I am going to get his sponsorship program up and running to get these kids sponsored by americans. I hope to get some kind of a tutoring program started and get a soccer tournment done this summer. I am so excited to see what God has planned b/c I could have never dreamed that this is what he had in mind for me.
This has been the most challenging thing having to give up so much and leaving what I do know behind, but I love a God who is great and awesome and see more potenial in me then I could have ever. So, I THANK YOU for Visiting Orphans and what you do for this ministry. I am sure I am one of many stories that lives where changed by God, but God used Visiting Orphans to do so. I hope that Visiting Orphans keeps the street kids close to them and continues to put it on the agenda so that kids lives can be changed through sponsorship. I am sure that we will be talking in the future as I contuine to grow in this ministry.
Its so crazy the connection you have being on a VO team. Loved that someone I never met came and supported me today. LOVE being a part of a VO Family :)
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".