August 1st, 2013 at 8:00 am
We’ve heard this phrase time after time. Everyone knows it. We think of home and certain things come to mind. It’s different for everyone, but for me it’s things like family, love, comfort, and familiarity.
But what about the people who don’t have a home? What about the kids who have never known family, or even love? Not only are they “houseless”, meaning they don’t have the four walls or comfy bed, but they are truly without family or community. What about the orphans?
“We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes…” – David Platt, “Radical”
This week has been very unique to our experience in several ways. There is a short-term mission trip here from K-Love radio station in the states! Two of the DJs, as well as two Christian artists (Mike from Mikeschair, and his wife Molly from City Harbor) and then several listeners of the station are all here for a shoe trip! There are 29 of them total. Having them here has been so special and has taught us so much! Because of Jesus working through them, we have been able to distribute hundreds (hundreds) of shoes! There is so much joy in this service. We get the privilege of washing each person’s feet, giving them socks, and putting their shoes on for them. [Luke 13:12-17]
Three days this week were spent in a local orphanage. The conditions here are very poor. It felt more like a prison than a place to call home. The brokenness here was overwhelming and everyday brought tears for our team. I will never forget many of these faces.
One of the hardest things to learn about these children is that many of them have families outside of those walls. They know them, and love them. Sometimes their family members even visit them. But most of them know what abandonment feels like. They have been told they are not wanted, not worthy of love. They have to imagine a life outside the concrete walls and barbed wire, and know that it is unobtainable for them. Adoption is not even an option; it must feel very hopeless to them. The orphanage is severely understaffed so they experience day after day with no hugs, no encouragement, no love.
These kids need Jesus. They need to understand that there is hope, and this world is not our home. We are strangers of this earth. Our heart belongs to Jesus, and that is where we will find our home. They need to know that God is the father that does not abandon. He goes before us and walks alongside us. That is where we experience love. Thank you, God.
“For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” Hebrews 13:14
“Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:19-20
In Jesus name we were able to go to this orphanage and show them love. For a few hours they could have as many hugs as they wanted. For a little while the boy who cried in my arms had someone who cared, someone to hold him, to tell him its okay. Who knows how long its been since he’s had that. If I accomplished nothing else the entire time I’m here, this would be worth it.
We also need to understand that we do not belong here. As Christians we have to know that the suffering will end, and there will be a day when that little boy will have eternal happiness and experience unconditional love.
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:33-34
By Rachel Miley, student at Samford University. She served as a team leader in Guatemala this summer through Buckner’s Project Go! program. Project Go! volunteers travel all over the world and dedicate one or two months of their summer to minister to orphan children, caregivers, in-country staff, and short-term mission trip groups. This post originally appeared in Rachel’s blog at http://sendrachel.wordpress.com/.
Are you looking for a place to serve? You can find mission opportunities like the ones available through Project Go! on Be On Mission. You may also toggle between Open, Ongoing and Completed projects on the map by using the color pins above the search tool.
Be On Mission is an online global missions locator that allows users to Search, Submit, and Share about mission opportunities around the world. To learn more about Be On Mission, contact email@example.com.
SIBASA, South Africa – “I believe that when biblical principles are put into practice then the biblical results can be expected,” said Joe Fields, pastor of New Beginnings Church in Lewisville. “We are mandated by Christ to go and make disciples; if we do our part, Christ is faithful to do His part.”
In February 2013, Fields and his congregation at New Beginnings Church were blessed to partake in a mission trip to Sibasa, South Africa. During their stay, they were able to evangelize to all walks of society; senior citizens, youth and children encountered the love of Christ and Field’s team shared about salvation with all.
“We walked the same roads every day and we made it a point to talk to everyone that we saw and let them hear the word of Christ,” said Adrianne Blue, member of New Beginnings Church.
The Lord allowed Fields and his team the true blessing of seeing 6,080 people accept Christ by grace and faith while in South Africa.
“It was an experience that I shall never forget and one that I wish every believer could experience,” said Fields. “To be able to see heaven enlarged right before your eyes is an incredible experience.”
An ordinary day on the trip consisted of a daily devotional and breakfast, and by 8:00 a.m. they were hitting the road headed from village to village, in schools and markets, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“It was a rewarding experience to have encounters with so many different people not only telling them about Jesus, but also teaching them how to evangelize,” said Blue.
They stayed in the field until noon every day, at which time they broke for lunch and prayer, but once the last bite was eaten, the team was back in the field winning more souls for the kingdom. Come evening time, the group would host a worship service where the locals could come and experience how to worship Christ. Charlie Singleton, director of African American Ministries, brought the message during the commissioning services and participated in the sending forth ceremonies each night.
The group arrived at a home in the village and knocked on the door. The mother answered the door and welcomed them into her home. Once Fields told her that they were there to share the gospel, she immediately began to outwardly display a feeling of great delight and relief.
“It was as if they had been waiting for someone to come and share the gospel with them,” said Fields.
The mother asked the group if they would wait while she went to get her husband and daughter so they could hear the good news as well. When she returned, she had her entire family with her and they received the gospel with great joy. After Joe prayed the prayer of salvation, the daughter, who was carrying her infant daughter in her arms, asked if the team would pray for her baby to be healed from sickness, so they did. Later that night at the revival meeting, the family was seen rejoicing after becoming disciples of Christ.
“I will forever be thankful to God for allowing me to personally experience such an awesome event,” said Fields.
Since the trip, New Beginnings Church in Lewisville has a new excitement running through its congregation; they are more eager to win their local community with the same biblical methods of sharing the gospel they were able to use abroad.
JUAREZ, Mexico – In 2013, Phil Miller, director of Bible Study/Discipleship, and Daniel Rangel, director of River Ministry and Mexico Missions, traveled to Juarez, Mexico, to bring attention to the growing need in the churches to receive training on teaching and sharing the gospel with others. The main focus of the training was how to have an evangelistic Sunday School. Full Story »
As I prepare for each lesson daily, I pray that God speaks through me and says to each child what he or she needs to hear. Each day that passes, I get closer to leaving. This makes me work harder because I want to make the most of my experience. Full Story »