Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Words from a recent mission trip participant...

"Having the chance to work in Zambia was truly the most amazing and life changing opportunity. The things I saw and experienced were unreal and are hard to put into words. While I was there I was blessed with the opportunity to meet Goodson, the boy I’ve been sponsoring. Meeting him and his family was the most incredible thing. Hearing updates about Goodson’s life and actually witnessing it was two different things. It shocked me to see where Goodson lives and amazed me to see the responsibility he takes on, looking out for his family at such a young age. Meeting him showed me God’s reason for putting him in my life and connecting us. To see Goodson’s faith in God was unreal, I could tell that he has been taught so much about the Lord. Goodson made me a picture covered with bible verses he knew and I could see his desire to learn more about the Lord and share his knowledge with others. I know my sponsoring Goodson has helped him, but seeing his unwavering faith with all that he deals with benefitted me in ways I never imagined. (Ellie and Goodson)

It was amazing to witness the hope these kids have and how it drives them. Some of the kids we worked with literally have nothing but their faith, yet they were filled with so much love and joy. These kids loved to share their knowledge of Jesus and sometimes the words that came out of these young kids mouths truly amazed me. One day a sweet little girl sang for me song after song just holding my hand praising the Lord, which was an extremely moving moment and one of the many times I saw the Lord working in the life’s of these sweet kids. The kids I worked with all asked how they could pray for me and I grew so much through working with these kiddos. All these darling kids just wanted to be loved on. Each day we worked with them they literally hung on us and greeted us like celebrities, so excited to be loved. Attending church there was unlike anything I’d ever seen. Everyone there was so eager to jump up and sing and praise the Lord. The service was filled with so much passion for God and after the service everyone greeted us and thanked us for coming.

It was truly humbling for me to work with the Arise Africa staff, they have completely dedicated there lives to God and to the precious children they work with. It was inspiring to see the endless hours they put into looking out for kids like Goodson and his family. They put an endless amount of time and work checking up on kids and it is so comforting to see that Goodson has these people in his life. Goodson has gone through so much, losing his home in a fire and being abandoned by his mother, but thankfully Arise Africa has been so supportive and been there to love on him. I realized the people over there don’t have much according to the world, but the joy and faith they hold on to is incredible and worth more than any thing else they could have."

-- Ellie Lewis --

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to all!
As I think about this day, I think about love of course, but I also think about service. Valentine's Day is a reminder of all the people we love, as well as the people who love well, which is often through service. On the list of people who love and serve well, Mother Teresa is definitely near the top, a great servant and lover of all people. As I consider what it means to love, I think of the sacrifice that it takes. We can learn so much about love from a woman like Mother Teresa. She knew what it meant to be "the hands and feet" of Christ, to love the unloveable. A great quote from Mother Teresa says, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." Consider this quote as you go about Valentine's Day. May you love those near and dear to your heart, and also those who may need love today.
Thinking of our kids in Zambia and thankful for our staff that love and care for them so well.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Arise, by Clayton and Ellen Kershaw.

If you haven't yet, go check out the book written by Ellen and Clayton Kershaw, called Arise. You can find this book online or at a bookstore near you. In their book, Clayton and Ellen share the importance of living out your faith "in whatever field you find yourself." What an incredible thought, whether in Dallas, LA, Zambia, or wherever we may be, God is calling us to live out our faith through actions, to love Him, and to love His people.