Thursday, May 8, 2014

The World Had Changed For Us

I got to her office before she did.
I was nervous.  I didn't know what she would do.  How she felt about me being there. 
The last time I saw her she was standing outside the gate crying as we drove away.  She had raged for hours before we left.  She didn't trust us.  She didn't believe that we truly cared about her Vanya.
I had nothing to fear.
When she saw me she grabbed me and hugged me in the tightest of embraces.  We laughed and then hugged again. 
It was surreal.
I was in the same office.  Same stuffed animals on the shelves.  Same furniture.  Same view out the window.
But the world had changed for us. 
We were no longer pulling in opposite directions for the same child.  We were now on the same team.  Caring together for the same boy.  Caring together for her Lost Boys.
She pulled out an envelope and gave it to me. 
In it were pictures of Aaron.  Pictures we had sent.  Four families had followed in our footsteps.  Each family had given her pictures.  Those pictures were held and treasured.  Passed around for everyone to see.  She brought them out and showed me.  She showed me EVERY.SINGLE.ONE of those pictures.  Pictures I had taken.  Pictures I had sent.  I looked at them with her.  They meant the world.  He was safe. He was thriving.  He was loved.
We didn't walk away when we left that institute.  We didn't go back to our normal life.
We yelled for the Lost Boys we left behind.
We found a ministry team to go in and love on our boys.
A team that was already ministering to numerous orphanages and institutes and internats but who willingly and lovingly added our boys to their list.
We raised money.  We raised support for the team.  In 2012 and 2013 we did a Mulligan Stew and both times part of the stew went to the team for our Lost Boys.
We never told them what do with the money.
We trusted them.
They used it to build a relationship.  To open hearts.  To demonstrate love in action.

Last year they were given a big chunk of change.  Money donated from this blog.  Thousands donated.  Again.  No rules.  We just asked that it be used to bless the Lost Boys.
I sat in her office in December and she cried.
She cried as she shared that the money we had given repaired the heating system at the institute.  They were desperate.  Facing a winter without heat.  110 boys in heatless buildings.  She hugged me.  Again. 
Thank you.  Thank you. 
I can't imagine what they would have done if we had not donated that money.  I cannot imagine what life would have been like there without heat this past winter. 
This year our Mulligan Stew is going to send 400 children to camp in a country that has gone a bit mad!  The region where the camps will be held is smack in the middle of a prime piece of property that their bigger neighbor would love to claim as his own. 
Yet the ministry team is pressing forward.  Stepping out in faith.  They are building the camp.  Buying supplies.  Believing that if God has opened this door that HE will make a way.  They live in that country. They are facing the reality of a takeover on a very very personal level.  It is their world. Their country in chaos.  It is their brethren who are being threatened.  Yet they press on. 
I know this team.  I trust them.  They are not Sunday-morning bench warmers.  They rolled up their sleeves a long time ago and have been doing the Lord's work no matter the circumstances.  And trust me. They have had a lot of circumstances hit them over the years that would have knocked many out of the game.  Orphan ministry is hard work.  This team doesn't quit.  They are diligent.  They are trustworthy.  They are single-minded.
We are raising $24,000 for them to send 400 children to camp.

400 precious orphans.
If something happens and they can't bring the children to their camp then they will take camp to the children.  At each orphanage.
If that isn't possible then they will take every single nickel donated and either use it for the orphans (covering the costs of broken heating systems etc) or they will set it aside so that they can use it for future camps.
It will NOT be used for anything but the orphans in that region. 
It is a country in crisis so yes, it is a risk to donate money to a camp that may not happen.  But as long as the door is open and as long as the  way is clear - Camp Lela will happen.  And if their country breaks apart - then $24,000 will go a long way to meeting the needs of desperate directors who have already had their budgets cut by 50% because war is on their doorstep. Either way - every single dime donated is going for the care of orphans.
Personally, I am praying my heart out that nothing stands in the way of the camps.  Our son, Ben, has his heart set on going and helping at the camps.  Since I can't go - he will be the next best thing!  And the opportunity for the special needs children to get out of their dreary worlds to go to camp just brings me to my knees. 
So Donate. And Pray.  And Share. 
You money is not going to go to waste.
Orphans are going to be fed!
Let's get these kids to camp!!
So far 24 have been sponsored.
We have 376 left to go!
This ends May 31st!

1 comment:

  1. Candice PauloskiMay 8, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    I donated 60 dollars and shared, praying that you make this goal :)


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!


Save up to 95% on Homeschool Curriculum at the 2018 Build Your Bundle Sale