As I head to Benin tomorrow, I am asking for extra prayers for safety, protection and Angels to be encamped all around our family and staff. Tim is in Liberia with a team of six, and i will be traveling to Benin on my own and meeting my friend there, who is running the orphanage/safe home. She will take me 3 hours upcountry and I will stay at the orphanage/safe home in our guest housing. I will then be traveling daily along side my translator who is a national pastor and dear friend. He also serves as my cultural advisor and body guard, as he watches my every move. Where I am going, is one of the darkest places in the world spiritually. Crazy things happen and I always need extra prayers for protection and grace during these trips.
My highlight is always seeing the kids. It will be great to be with them. I will be delivering letters from their sponsors, which they are always so excited about. This is one of their highlights in life. I also bring a round of clothes, underwear and toys, that they expect from me as a mom. Thank you all who provided these items. You are so wonderful.
The goals for this trip is to get updated profile pictures and progress reports of each child as well as I will have them write a letter back to their sponsors. Logistically this is a process because the children only speak French and a tribal language of Fon. So I keep my translator very busy while I am there.
Each morning I will go to the social welfare office to download and send my emails, as this is the only place in town that has wireless internet.
On my last visit the social welfare department pleaded with me to go to some villages with them where children are in some horrible situations. I have been putting them off for a while on this, as financially we are already maxed out, but I can't hold them off any longer or our relationship with them will suffer. So If they ask again on this trip, I will be checking a few things out with them, even if all I can do is value those in front of me and to pray for them. Sometimes that is all that God asks. We will see what God does with all this. I never know what God is going to do in advance, I just walk forward in all that He asks. If you have read my book, "Inspired to Action", you have seen how God is just looking for those who are willing and available, then He does the rest as we walk forward. So I walk forward with no expectation except to watch Him show up. And oh how I am always surprised and in awe of how He ALWAYS shows up to bring, Redemption, Restoration and Rescuing to his beloved people.
Benin being one of the largest child trafficking export in all of Africa, we see some awful stuff happening to children, which is why we opened the orphanage/safe home there. We are making a huge difference in rescuing children, as well as influencing policies for how children are treated through our relationships with the social welfare office and people of influence.
Looking at our Orphan Relief and Rescue accounts before I leave, we are in a huge need financially in our operational budget to keep this dream alive. We need some miracles from God at this time for provision. So this is definitely another prayer point. This is not an abnormal situation, as our faith is regularly stretched, but God does ask us to pray and God has to be the one to prompt different ones to give for this work to keep going. We are so grateful for all of you who do give, as you have been such a huge blessing to these kids and this work. Consider being a monthly financial partner if you are not already.
Another goal is to meet with the Judge who I became friends with on this last trip. After my visit with him in August he freed 3 of the 4 innocent women who were in prison with their babies for crazy allegations. This all came about as a a church on Whidbey Island prayed fervently for these women and their babies though a very corrupt judicial system. You can read those details in my facebook notes. It was a huge miracle. I will be checking on that 4th women to see why she is still in prison, as well as I will bring more clothes to the little children who are in prison with their mothers and touch base with these new friends of mine.
Checking on some of our precious kids from the past to make sure they are still doing okay is also on my agenda.
This trip will be a full one, so I am thankful for all of you who breathe prayers regularly for these endeavors. We are so grateful for you!