It’s been a while since I’ve written. I’ve been on a computer hiatus-trying to be more present with my kids and not spend so much time on email and blogs.
It has been wonderful! I’m really glad to get back though because God has been doing great things that I can’t wait to share.
It will probably take me 5 posts to pour out all that was poured into me during this retreat and I’m really excited to start with this post and what God has shown me regarding those orphans that may never feel the love of a family of their own, but deserve to feel the love of their father in heaven and know that they matter.
About a year ago, our small group had just finished reading “Radical” by David Platt and we knew that we were being called to step out in faith to serve orphans. We couldn’t keep doing life as if we didn’t know that each night across the world, thousands and thousands of orphaned and vulnerable children would go to sleep alone, afraid, hungry and without the hope of Jesus.
So, we began searching and praying for what that would look like for our group. Of course, my heart longed for Ethiopia. I would have loved for our group to choose to serve in Africa, but the Lord had other plans. One of our group members had been in Haiti right after the earthquakes and we were all moved by his stories and pictures of this hurting land (he was so moved that he and his wife are now in the process of adopting 4 sweet children from Haiti :-).
One day last January as I was scanning Tom Davis’ blog (author of Red Letters and founder of Children’s Hope Chest), I saw that they were in the early stages of establishing care points in Haiti to minister to and care for needy children and orphans there. Having worked with Children’s Hope Chest in Ethiopia, I knew that they were a solid organization that truly loves the children they serve and I was thrilled by the “coincidence” that God would align our desire to help in Haiti with a need that seemed to fit our groups desire to help orphans there.
So, we contacted them and over the course of last year, God brought us to an orphanage in Haiti called Fond Blanc. It’s in a rural area several hours outside of Port au Prince run by an amazing pastor with a huge heart for orphans (He just happened to be in our area several months ago—coincidence??? I think not. So we had the chance to meet him before our group travelled to Haiti-such a blessing.)
We now have the amazing opportunity of coming along side him with the help of Children’s HopeChest to serve 41 orphaned and vulnerable children.
Like I mentioned before, at first my husband and I were torn with serving in Haiti when our hearts and ties were in Ethiopia. We absolutely love Ethiopia and the people there. I literally feel like I’m going home when I get there and I can’t wait to get back and visit the staff and kids at Trees of Glory—they are my international family. But the Lord began to speak to me-especially over the past few months-as if to say, “It’s ok-you can love orphans all around the world-open your heart to Haiti.” Just like he grows my heart each time we’ve added another child, He has grown my heart with a love for Haiti and these 41 kids that He’s divinely placed in our path. So, we will continue to serve Trees of Glory whole heartily and we will make room for Fond Blanc.
God made this so clear to me over the weekend during my “date with God” session (amazing quite time). During this time, we were asked to pray over a map of the world while worship music played and ask God to place a particular country or region on our hearts. All I could hear was “Haiti” and I just felt the presence of God.
Next, we were to open our bibles and just ask God to speak to us through His word. I began going over some scripture and somehow came to the book of Habakkuk. Now, I think I’ve read from this book maybe once or twice, but it’s definitely not my go to book of the bible.
Here is the verse the Lord gave me:
“Look at the nations and watch-and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” Habukkuk 1:5
Now here is something you should know-the orphanage in Fond Blanc serves 41 kids (and that’s who we are seeking sponsors for), but there is a school there with over 300 kids and great need. Even before this verse, when I found out about the school, I envisioned all of those kids one day having sponsors and who knows how far the reach will spread once God starts to move his people to serve these kids.
This is also the very first care point that HopeChest has established, so it’s like the tip of the iceberg has been exposed, but the need there is overwhelming, so who knows what his plans hold.
I was just in awe of this verse. That even if we were told, we would not believe the great things that God has in store for Fond Blanc and Haiti.
While there are over 300 needy kids in and around Fond Blanc, you have to start somewhere, so we are starting with ONE. Meet the newest member of our international family:
Beleau, our little first grade boy:
(he looks so sad and I look forward to the day we get to see him smile)
Our kids are sponsoring him. With 6 kids, that’s just $5 per month that they are responsible to earn so that Beleau can eat, go to school, have basic medical care and most importantly be discipled.
One of the things that really stuck with me during the adoption conference this weekend is the statement that “God doesn’t see orphans when he looks at these desperate children, he sees DESCIPLES.” That’s powerful and that changes things. If we start looking at our children and these children as God sees them, then we start to see disciples.
The seven couples in our group have divided our 41 kids living in the orphanage at Fond Blanc up and our family has the honor of presenting these 5 disciples in training who are in need of one person or family to make the decision to believe in them and believe God and His great plans for them.
This is Billy, another 5th grade boy of approximately 13 years. The whereabouts of his parents are unknown and he has been taken in by the Pastor or the orphanage.
**UPDATE-Billy is sponsored! Thanks Rein Family!**
Another sweet boy, meet Franclin. He’s a first grader born in 2000, who has lost his mother.
UPDATE: SPONSORED-(thanks to my parents-now I have a new "brother")
These two sisters have lost their father and are waiting for their sponsor families to invest in them.
Meet Kerline. She’s a sixth grader born in September 1997.
If you would like to partner with us and take part in the privilege that we have to pour into these children, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Monthly sponsorship through Children’s HopeChest is just $34. An amount we spend without even a thought is life changing for these kids.
You will have the opportunity to pray for and minister to your child through monthly letters and by sending pictures. You will also have the chance to travel to meet your child on one of our mission trips (or if you happen to be in Haiti) if you so choose (highly recommend it).
Having seen the difference that sponsorship has made for the kids at Trees of Glory, I’m so excited to see what God will do with our new friends at Fond Blanc through the generosity of those that choose to say YES to investing in ONE.
For pictures of our group’s recent trip to Haiti, please visit: http://www.fondlyblanc.wordpress.com/