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African Orphans

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Gratitude and Great Anticipation

By Bailey Kalvelage | Mobilization

Reflecting seems to always be part of the festivities of a new year. Whether in the quiet of the morning or between errands, we tend to ponder the past year, retracing steps both large and small. I invite you to journey with me through a few testimonies from World Orphans 2013 partnership trips. Relationships were deepened, kids and families were cared for, and the Gospel was spread…

“One of the events we did was a sports outreach where we took four buses of people to a sports complex. The day ended with testimonies from some of our team and then Jairo Jr. (pastor’s son) gave an invitation to accept Christ. The first girl that came forward was Abigail. She is 8 years old. When she was born, her mom had her dedicated at Verbo Sur (church), but her mom died a couple of months later. Her dad later died, and her grandmother is raising her. Verbo Sur has stayed close to her with the Community Development Center and feeding programs, and she comes to church each Sunday. This is a great example of the church stepping in and helping to raise an orphan right in their community."  – Partnership between Verbo Sur of Nicaragua and Gaylord E-Free of Michigan

“Every day at noon, Eglise de Dieu D’Andullan has intercessory prayer time. What an experience for our team: to take time each day to come together and pray! Oh, how we have things to learn from our Haitian friends! When I first walked into the church, prayer time was already in progress, and it took a little getting used to at first…most people were praying aloud, some quietly. Several were pacing up and down while calling upon Jesus, some kneeled and rocked, some reached their hands toward heaven, and one woman was kneeling and wailing. To me, it was an intimate picture of how we all come to the Lord in a very personal way. Without understanding their language, I could only see their love, their desire for the Lord, their relationship with Him…beautiful!”  – Partnership between Eglise de Dieu D’Andullan of Haiti and Lakewood Christian Church of Oklahoma

“In the afternoon, our team came up to the front of a house with seven young men out back. One team member walked up and shook hands and introduced himself. He started telling them his story, ‘I know what it’s like to be a young man…I want you to know you can have courage and salvation and all the freedom I have in my life. You will still mess up but you know Jesus.’ One young man said, ‘I’m a Muslim, but I’d like to have that Jesus.’ He prayed and accepted Christ. The US team member has prayed for him since then.”  – Partnership between Hope Home Care Cyegera of Rwanda and HOPE 221 of Tennessee

Whether it was hundreds of people being treated and prayed for at a medical clinic or a little boy sharing the victory at his choir concert with his US friends, God’s faithfulness has reverberated throughout trips in 2013. Each partnership has unique stories of salvation, worship, service, and love.

Baileysblog
Baileysblog

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them.” Acts 4:32-34a

In 2013, special churches in the US and around the world continued to join in partnership through World Orphans to care for children who are orphaned and vulnerable. This reflecting brings gratitude and great anticipation of what is to come in 2014!

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Trip to Ethiopia & Kenya Changes Lives

After traveling to Africa with World Orphans this summer, Alisha Bowker said she will be changed forever. "There are a number of stories I could share, each that had an impact on our team and myself, but a specific day will easily stay with me for the rest of my life," she said.

During the 11-day trip, the group visited children's homes in both Ethiopia and Kenya, but the day that deeply affected Alisha was when the group walked the streets of the the Mathare Slums in Kenya.

"Being my first trip I did not really know what to expect, aside from the simple fact that this is one of the largest slums in Kenya-home to well over 500,000 people. As we began our journey deep into the slums I was met with speechlessness," Alisha wrote after the trip. "I cannot even begin to describe to you the horrific conditions these individuals are living in."

Alisha described the living conditions for men, women and especially children as "a place so dirty, crowded, unsanitary, chaotic and forgotten that no human should ever have to call that home and yet hundreds of thousands do."

While visiting the slum, the group met with four families.

"I had the privilege to sit in peoples homes and listen to them tell their stories, I witnessed families being torn apart by disease and realized how important good health is to the survival of a family in the slums. I heard a woman tell of her difficult decision each month to choose between paying rent to keep a roof over her family's head, or paying the school fees in order to invest in her children’s futures," wrote Alisha.

"As we walked to each new home the local children would run up chanting their hellos and hoping for a smile, a photo or simply a touch. It took all that I had to not break down into tears; there was such innocence in the simplicity of their requests."

But in the midst of the devastation, Alisha still saw hope. Through World Orphans, the local church is able minister to families in the slums by helping them care for the children they have. And many children in the Fountain of Life children's home in Nairobi, Kenya are rescued directly from the slums.

Other programs, like vocational training, give teenagers and adults the opportunity to rise out of their circumstances and care for their families.

"We then headed back to the church and had the opportunity to speak to a group of teenage mothers who are part of a new ministry the church is starting. The women will be learning skills in jewelry making and sewing, with the intent to sell their products to gain financial support and stability," Alisha wrote.

"I was made aware that for many of these women this new ministry is their second chance…Their moment to get back on their feet despite past mistakes that left them in such a low and forgotten places."

The vocational training program in Nairobi and the Fountain of Life children's home are only two outreach projects out of hundreds around the globe that World Orphans has made possible.

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WO Church Partner Takes Support A Step Further

After sending a group to a WO home in Kenya, River Oaks Community Church in Maryville, Tenn. is taking their support a step further. Since their partnership with Fountain of Hope church in Nairobi, Kenya is relatively new, the church is hosting an entire evening dedicated to educating the congregation about the partnership and raising funds to support the project.

"Join us in hearing about our new partnership/relationship with Fountain of Hope in Nairobi, Kenya this Sunday night. It's going to be a sweet time in the Lord! 'Disciple making is not about a program or an event but about a relationship'-Radical-David Platt," wrote Kathy Davis, River Oaks member and WO staffer.

The evening will have a coffee-house feel and will include interactive exhibits about slum-life in Africa and stories about the summer trip to Kenya.

"Team 1:27 of River Oaks invites you to A Night of Hope. Join us as we see & hear amazing stories of 16 kids in Kenya. Enjoy coffee & dessert with us & be given the opportunity to share hope & love. Dessert & coffee served at 5:30pm with the time of sharing at 6:00pm," according to a public facebook invite.

A Night of Hope

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Location: 1220 Brown School Rd, Maryville, TN

 

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