Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sierra Leone follow-up #3: Leonard Cheshire

Leonard Cheshire School for Children with Polio:

Cheshire is an amazing place that was founded in 1961. Students are so obviously getting a quality education, and the staff is committed to their work. There are currently 40 children that live in dorms and another 38 day students. Our team was able to provide them with a suitcase full of over-the-counter medicines and another filled with toys for the children. Fifty kilo (112 pound) bags of rice were taken to each organization. Our men had been told that the boys would love to be challenged to a game of football (soccer), but that our guys might as well count on losing. Well, we certainly did lose 8 to 2. It was the funniest thing to watch grown men start out being so careful not to hurt the boys on crutches or on the ground, and then, as the boys racked up the points, to see them slinging the boys around in an effort to score. The rougher our men got, the more the boys loved it. It was wonderful to see them not wanting to be treated any differently than “normal” kids. While the guys played soccer the girls enjoyed making beaded necklaces. We toured the facility. The newest dorm was built by Mercy Ships in 2003-04. Several of the missionaries with Mission Direct previously served with this organization. What a joy it was to spend time at Cheshire!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sierra Leone follow-up #2: Mission Direct

There is no other place to begin than to tell you about the organization we partnered with for our trip to Sierra Leone – MISSION DIRECT. Words cannot express how totally devoted to God, and to the people of Sierra Leone, that these folks are. There is no question that we plan to team up with them again.

· MISSION DIRECT - founded November 2004 –
· Currently serving in SL, Brazil, Moldova, Dominican Republic, Uganda, Zambia and Cambodia
· Target area – the most disadvantaged countries on the earth
· Goal – to identify local organizations within the country that are seeking to meet the needs of the poor and the outcast, and to come alongside them with funds and manpower to better serve the community

In the capital of Freetown and surrounding areas of Sierra Leone, Mission Direct has partnered with 6 local organizations that are doing great work among the people.

· The City of Rest
· King George’s Compound for the elderly
· Men’s United Polio Brotherhood
· Hastings Women’s Polio House
· St George’s Refuge for Street Kids
· Leonard Cheshire School for Children with Polio

Over the coming weeks we will share highlights and photos of each organization. Our lives are forever changed. We had seen poverty before, but the scale to which we experienced poverty and need on this trip would be too much to bear apart from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God is doing an amazing work in Sierra Leone. It was our privilege to be a part of it in some small way.

Thank you again for every prayer you prayed on our behalf. Please continue to pray for Sierra Leone!

Our gratitude,
Tom and Becky

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sierra Leone Follow-up #1: Safely Home

We are safely home from Sierra Leone! We felt your prayers every moment we were there and we are already hearing from some of you that God was waking you up as early as 4am to pray for us. Thank you!

We are beginning to process our thoughts and emotions. We are certain that we will never be able to describe what we saw, heard, smelled and felt, but we will look forward to trying. Over the next couple of weeks we will send several follow-ups with pictures, and we are willing to share with anyone who will listen.

Again, we have been blessed beyond words by YOU!! We pray that God will richly reward you as you so deserve.

Our love,
Tom and Becky

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The 5 GRANDkids!

Hunter, Harley, Maddie, Jacob and Faith