Monday, June 20, 2011

from David...May team member

Where is God?

When you look around and see these kids
When you look around and see the poverty
When you look around and see the illness
We ask ourselves, where could God be?
And he tells us, He's in our world, He's in our heart.

When you smell the burning trash
And you hear the honking horns
You hear the cries of the children
You ask yourself, where is God?
And he tells you, He's in your world, He's in your heart.

When kids are alone on the street
No clothes no shelter no food
Forced to steal and slave
We ask ourselves, where is God?
And he tells us, He's in our world, He's in our heart.

When I have been blessed with so much
When I don't understand why I am here
When all I can do is ask, why them and not me?
I ask myself, why isn't God here?
And He tells me, He's in my world, He's in my heart.

When I love on the kids and people
When I see their smiles and feel the hugs
When I see another project finished
All I can do is fall to my knees and.....
I thank God for being in the world and in our hearts

When friends sell all their earthly possessions
Because they listen to a call from God so clear
They take up their cross to carry and go
All I can do is fall to my knees and.....
I thank God for them being in my life and in this world.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"For I know the plans I have for you......"

June 7, 2011 Update

The weeks are flying!!! We were blessed to have a team of 10 with us in May, and there are another 11 heading this way on June 20th! We can’t wait to have them here!

We wish we could sit with you and share one-on-one just how God is working in Sierra Leone! There are so many stories to tell! We are adding pictures to our blog as internet connections will allow, and we pray that the images and captions give you a feel for the wonderful people we are ministering to.

Leading up to the May team:

• Monthly food distributions continue to bless 244 orphans and their caretaker families
• Skills development is impacting about 60 young adults in the Jui community
• Agricultural work in progress to prepare fields and plant in 3 locations
• Dr Lyn Westman of Mercy Ships visited the Hope Centre, Margaret’s orphans and Inna’s orphanage as we made plans for a Kid’s Camp in August geared toward children who have experienced trauma…30 of “our kids” will attend the week-long camp
• U.S. Ambassador Michael Owen and wife, Annereike, toured the Centre and took time to encourage students in Chuck’s community health class
• We were blessed to have Olivia (Physician’s Assistant) and Jana (Physical Therapist) from Mercy Ships with us a couple of weekends
• We celebrated Easter with several missionary friends, and have now begun a monthly “international service” the 2nd Sunday of each month complete with music, Bible lesson and a meal to share

Impact of the May team:

• The focus: construction at Hosetta School for Children with Mental Challenges
• The team alternated between working on the facility and interacting with the students through singing, teaching sign language and setting up a playground area
• Young friends from previous years in Sierra Leone came to help with the construction and to renew relationships
• A mural was painted at Hosetta reflecting God’s desire for each child there…Jer 29:11
• A new bracelet-making skill was taught to 6 of our War Widows and 3 older orphan girls that we trust will lead to more long-term financial sustainability for their families in the future
• The 5th graders of Finch Elementary in McKinney, TX raised “pennies for polio” for the 3rd year in a row to benefit children at Leonard Cheshire School in Freetown, Sierra Leone…the school received 8 mattresses, 35 sheets, 20 pillow cases and 2 large bags of rice because of the student’s efforts
• Margaret Tucker’s orphans and numerous neighborhood children were blessed with new clothes provided by a sewing group from FBC Warren, AR
• Margaret’s roof and crumbling cement flooring have been repaired just in time for the rainy season, and she and the youngest 2 orphans now have a bed…they are no longer sleeping on a foam mattress on the floor
• Funds were left with us to provide baby formula and other necessities over the next year for Margaret’s newest orphan…a baby girl one month old
• The WMU of FBC McKinney sent frizbees and other “easy-to-pack toys” which were a blessing to the kiddos
• All team members brought “goodies” provided by their own friends and families to give away as they felt led
• Bags of rice have been distributed to several families because of close ties to team members
• A visit to street kids in Waterloo may lead to future involvement

Plans for the June team:

• The focus: curriculum development and teacher training at Hosetta School
• Evening Bible Schools at 2 locations – Margaret’s orphans and St George Refuge for Street Kids
• A visit to see street kids in Waterloo
• Investigate future agricultural opportunities
• Visits with Mercy Ships representatives for physical therapy and agriculture
• Connect with “Young Life” representatives

Prayer requests:

• June team – pray for those they are leaving behind, for packing preparations and safe travel, good health, pray for every divine encounter they will have along the way and those that God has set in motion for them once they arrive in Sierra Leone
• Rains are coming almost daily now – many of our friends here have leaky roofs and no window screens or mosquito nets, Malaria and Typhoid are on the rise, roads will soon become even more difficult to travel, people’s livelihoods will be affected

Our prayer is that God will bless you as you faithfully pray for us and give toward His work here in Sierra Leone.

Our love and gratitude,
Tom and Becky