This Liberia trip was incredibly productive. These trips are never easy, but so worth the hardships endured.
Little sweet gifty followed me all through the orphanage home as I was doing my usual rounds of inspections. This was an orphanage we built two years ago for kids living in a displaced camp. She insisted on holding my hand as much as possible and nuzzled up to me as I walked around assessing the home. It was clear she wanted as much affection as I could give her even while I was in my business mode. One of our staff, informed me that she was one of the newer children in the home. As I looked closer at little Gifty, her skinny little arms and dissented stomach brought an extra awareness that she had not been taken care of in her previous home. I would later find out, she was left to care for herself in the community, and ended up each day wandering into the orphanage home just to get food and love. The director researched her situation and found out no one was even concerned for her welfare. No one seemed to care she was suffering. Not even her biological mother. So she was accepted into the home 6 months ago. With her beautiful and precious spirit, it is hard to believe no one cared whether this little girl lived or died. I once again reflect on the magnitude and importance of what we do each day as we fight for those whom no one else will help.
It is great to see them doing well physically. but also now doing good emotionally as well. Through our child development program our Kids are also thriving incredibly. Our staff, through mentorship and Christ centered teachings, have made a huge difference in these children’s lives. The kids behavior and self worth has significantly improved over the last couple of years. They are taught that God loves each of them uniquely and has a beautiful plan for their life.
It is always a highlight to spend time with the children we serve. Yet my other tasks also include touching base with each of our field staff members, as well as with Liberia’s Social Welfare staff, and orphanage directors.
Highlights with our Orphan Relief staff is always seeing what a phenomenal job they are doing with all they are entrusted with. I am so impressed with how they accomplish so much with such limited resources. They truly make every dollar count on the field to help the children and orphanage directors we serve.
In meeting with the Social Welfare department, I am so amazed at the favor and influence we have with the Government. They truly recognize us as vital partners to what they are doing within their country to help the vulnerable children in need. To my surprise they have now requested our help to create the policies for the new Foster care system that they would like to implement in the country. This is an incredibly big task, especially in Africa, yet it is a vital need. There are hundreds of children who are coming into the system with no place to go from the abusive orphanages that are being shut down. So please be praying for the social welfare dept. and our staff to have incredible wisdom through this process.
On this visit it was apparent that each of our core orphanage homes we are helping are centers of Hope in their Communities. The positive impact each home is having on their surrounding area’s is truly wonderful to see. Most of them have a church and a school, as well as are allowing the whole community to use their fresh water wells we have put on their properties. They offer bible studies and children’s programs on Saturdays and during the week the community children are invited to attend our child development/mentorship classes that our Orphan Relief and Rescue staff do each week. We are so proud of each of our directors.
As I have come back to Seattle my head and heart are so full, and I am so in awe of all that God has entrusted us with. So many kids have been rescued. There is always a part of me though that is still broken and in deep mourning for those others who need us to fight for their life, and that is where we have to continue to work together to make sure the others who are suffering can be rescued.
Thank you for your prayers and encouraging words for our family, staff and children we serve. We covet your prayers and partnership in all this.