Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Man Up & Dance!!!! Seriously...

As our new Tuesday Testimonial, we just thought we'd follow up on the last one we posted. Stephen Elder, one of the Man Up team members was talking about his skills with dancing in Uganda. I bet you didn't believe him, so we decided to show you!

Honestly though, I can't think of anything more incredible or amazing then dancing with orphans. I know it's as close as heaven you can get..They are the most precious children ever...in the Lord's sight and in mine.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Testimonial! How to Man Up!

Our Executive Assistant, Amanda Herdina interviews two Man Uppers in Uganda on how their trip has impacted them:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

India as per JohnnySwim...

Our Artist Partners, JohnnySwim (Abner & Amanda Ramirez) would like to share about their upcoming trip to India below. We hope you will join us! You can find out more about this trip here.

The first thing I had to assure my wife about our upcoming trip to India was that the people there DO NOT burn their poop in the streets. This was very important information for her.

India exudes a majesty I have never forgotten, and my wife, Amanda, has had to endure years of my monologued fascination of the sights, sounds and experiences of my first, and only trip. However, somewhere in my all my storytelling, she combined two stories in her mind: one of me seeing someone poop on a public street and another of the smell of burning trash… this led to the afore mentioned fear of bathroom etiquette in India. That fear has now been assuaged.

It was the summer of 2004 when I visited some remote regions in Northeast India. Set in the foothills of the Himalayas, our team served in orphanages and played concerts with the children of the local villages. The kindness I felt in serving proved to me yet again that giving is better than receiving. As is true in so many cases, I went to India to give and found I was the one receiving most. I've never forgotten the faces, the food, the smells, or the smiles from that 10 day trip, and I cant possibly begin to explain the excitement in being able to return to India now 7 years later accompanied by my wife and an awesome team from Visiting Orphans to serve, to give, and to love on those who often feel forgotten; to let them know there is so much love for them and that the love that is in them to give can change the world. How would we know to love if we were not first loved? None of us are orphans in the Kingdom of God. I challenge you to come with us for 10 days in India, this September (yep, THIS september) and see the course of your life changed for the better; to give of your heart so freely that to expect any return would be vain; to give the hope that can only be given in an embrace and to see the miracle that is belief occur before your eyes. This life is good, and the best parts of it are what you give away.

And trust me… no one will burn their poop in the street. (At least i hope not.)

-Abner Ramirez

Monday, August 08, 2011

What Is A "Man Upper"?!

If you are a friend of Visiting Orphans or me on Facebook then I'm sure this is the question you are asking! "What is a Man Upper?!" Currently through the wonderful partnership with our awesome team leader, Roger Gibson, we sent out a team to Ethiopia and Uganda with the whole concept of Manning Up for the orphans...

As Roger and his wife Kari would get together with me and my husband, Simon, one thing we would discuss at length was the trend we saw in our Visiting Orphans teams. Just about all our teams had about 80 to 90% women as team members, with little to no representation of men to be found on these teams. Now, us women are more than happy to REPRESENT in this way, but it saddened and grieved our hearts as it seemed men were just not "getting it"!

We understood that when you think perhaps of visiting an orphan that you think of holding and cuddling babies, and that's it. But the majority of Christian men were not realizing how many young boys and teenage men were orphans in this world! And yes, they loved being visited by women, but oh, how their hearts LONGED to be known by men. How they wanted to be recognized, known, and remembered by men who visited. Most of our trips...I would say 90% of them spend time with these boys, not babies. The babies need us too, yes, but it's those children who are stuck in the system who really need us..and these are the ones this blog post is specifically addressing.

At one facility we partner with in Kampala, Uganda there are usually 200 children there and only seventeen or so of them are girls! The facility is the children's prison which the ministry of Sixty Feet is actively trying to help. All these street boys who get picked up for minor offenses, or none at all...stuck for days behind bars...sometimes for weeks in solitary confinement, only because they are homeless and without a family...

So, our response was to send out a team targeted specifically towards men and it WORKED! We sent out a team of 38 people, 80% which are men to Uganda and Ethiopia this Summer. In fact, they are still in Ethiopia as I write...

At the children's prison in Uganda, these boys got to come out of their bars for hours and SCHOOL our American men in Soccer (futball). :) They learned how to play basketball from Dude Perfect. They worshipped without abandon and taught our men how to do the same! This is the Abba Heart of God...now does this sound like a boring mission trip which is totally out of a man's comfort zone?! No...this is the heart of a man!!!

So, we have another Man Up trip planned next Summer and we plan to send another one in the Spring. But what I want men to remember is that we need them on ALL our trips. That's the point of this whole concept. To Man Up and love the fatherless... to be God's hands and feet as He shows how to be a Abba Father to them. Our other teams need you more than our Man Up teams do. Our goal is to see all our teams with an even ratio of men and women of God serving together. Our God is both male and female...and we are in His image. We need to serve together to be a complete representation of Him.

Please think about signing up next year for one of our trips, ESPECIALLY if you are a man and you "get it"! Join with us as a Man Upper and love on these orphans as only a man can do!

p.s. All photos are copyrighted by Wynne Trippet Elder, 2011.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Testimony from the Great Wall of China!

This week our Tuesday Testimonial is obviously belated. Sorry about that! We were waiting for our Chifeng, China team to get back so we could upload their video. Here is team member, Christine McNeal, talking about her time visiting orphans in China and how going back year after year makes the biggest difference in their lives! And the cool thing is that she is hiking the Great Wall of China as she gives this message! I love how she is so winded and out of breath as she shares with us. :) We hope you will be inspired to love on the orphans in China with us next Summer!