Sunday, July 13, 2008

Village of Hope

I am so amazed that we have been in America for over a year. I can no longer click in the archives of my blog and look at what I was doing last year on this day in Benin, because a year ago today, we were already in America. The Lord has been faithful and he has led us through step by step. When I look back at those first few months we were here I can immediately feel a sickness in my heart. It was a dark time. I was overwhelmed and confused and having trouble focusing. I had the help of many friends and a very loving family. Even so, no once could fix the feeling for me. I had to walk through it with my strong husband and we led our children as we held tight to the unseen hand of God. One day at a time we concentrated on what was right before us and most of the time that is all I could do. It has taken time.

In many ways I feel like we are finally all here.

Our bodies arrived here July 3, 2007 and the rest of our spirit took time and arrived in small pieces. One year later, we are doing well, all 6 of us! Although that is completely true, there are moments I find myself daydreaming about our life in Benin and longing to reunite with our circle of friends there. This is certainly true for Tori and Timothy. They still talk often of our friends there, our home, the way we used to do school and our amazing Superdog Booker. It was a lot of fun to tell Tori and Timothy on our one year anniversary that the Lord has provided for our family to go back for a brief visit at the end of August. Richland Hills is providing all of the funding for our travel expenses and this is a wonderful blessing!
During the last 18 months that we were in Benin we discovered a wonderful place where God is at work. We discovered an orphanage where around 75 children are cared for. These children have lost their parents due to the HIV AIDS virus and others have been rescued from child traffickers. These children are lovingly cared for and blessed by adults who have sacrificed a great deal to protect them, feed and educate them. Recently we received a letter from the director there describing the present needs of the orphanage. The Lord has put it on our heart to raise what money we can to take and bless these children and their caregivers. Randy has created 2 web pages where you can learn more about this special place. (Click on the green sentences below and they will lead you to these pages.)

Please look at these pages and consider how you can participate with us in blessing these children. Help us spread the word as well! We are so excited to go and see our friends in Benin and to see what the Lord has done this past year. We know the Lord's heart is turned towards these orphaned children and we look forward to the opportunity share the Lord's love and joy with them in just two months!!! There will be a great testimony when we return. I anticipate it already. Participate with us if you can!

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