Tag Archives: Prayer

Journey117 Director Rants About Orphan Care and Orphanages

19 Oct

Are orphanages a good thing or a bad thing? Aren’t there great orphanages out there that are a good option for children? Should churches and organizations invest in orphanages around the world….or is there a better way to care for the fatherless? Lori Resmer, Journey117 director, recently blogged about orphan care and how she believes the Church is doing it all wrong. Check out her thoughts here.

It Started with a Broken Heart

11 Jul
Blog post by Mandy M., Team India 2012
My journey to this missions trip, honestly, started from a broken heart.  In the fall of 2010, I was happily engaged and busy planning a wedding to a man I was truly in love with.  I felt confident of the path I was on and content with where my life was heading.  One month before the wedding, however, my fiancé abruptly called it off and my world went into a painful tailspin.  I spent the next year grieving the loss of that relationship. . . and the dreams I thought would come true.  I relied heavily on my faith, family and friends to get through those first few months.
It was during that time that I was lead to Isaiah 43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” It became my prayer for the next year.  I prayed for the favor of God, to be boldly used and that He would spring something new up in my life.  I knew that since my life took such a dramatic turn, He must have very different plans for me and there was a great sense of adventure in that. I also had a burden to seriously started praying for a missions opportunity.  I have felt, for many years, the tug to pursue oversees missions but it wasn’t until the unfolding events of the last two years that I began to earnestly seek a way to serve Him in this capacity.  My desire to be near Him, to serve Him even more, was growing deeper and deeper.  My broken heart was healing and I was seeing the new adventures He was bringing my way.
I have always had a heart for children.  When this opportunity to serve with Journey117 opened up early this year I knew it was a great fit and felt so blessed to be able to serve!  I cannot wait to see how He uses all of us next month and know that this is only the beginning of something even greater in store.  We serve such an awesome God.  He takes you places you sometimes least expect and the road is often extremely bumpy.  But how He loves us!  I simply want to world to know this!  I am truly thankful for this opportunity.
Mandy resides in South Dakota and will be serving with Journey117 this month on Team India. 

To See Them Smile

10 Jul

Blog post by Lauren Y., Team India 2012

I can’t believe I’m leaving for India in a little over one month! Two years ago when God laid the kids in India on my heart, I never imagined I’d actually be able to go make a difference in their lives. I feel so completely blessed to have this opportunity.

Ever since 8th grade, I’ve attended mission trips with my church or school. Usually these trips involved working with kids in some way. I always got such joy out of playing with them, loving on them, and seeing them smile.

I realized that I am most happy and content with my life when I’m helping someone else to be happy. My mom helped me realize this fact when I came home from helping with VBS just beaming and filled with stories. She said, “You might want to consider studying to become a teacher!” So that’s exactly what I did. As an Education major, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different kinds of kids. I realized that I’m often drawn to those who come from difficult backgrounds or are less fortunate than many. I feel as though so often these types of kids are neglected or overlooked.

This is why I’m so drawn to India. Often times I think people are either unaware of the amount of kids living in the streets, or they don’t know what to do about it. I know I can’t fix the situation these kids are in, but I can at least let them know how much they’re loved and give them hope for the future. When I was looking for organizations going on mission trips to India and I came across Journey 117, I was so drawn to what they were trying to do. Loving on kids, just as God loves us, learning about what God would have us do to give justice to the oppressed, and enlightening others on the topic of injustice in the world.

People often ask me, “Why India?” And honestly, I don’t have a definite answer. All I know is that God has given me a passion for the country and its people. For about 2 years, I have been praying for an opportunity to go, and finally God has said, “Yes!” I can’t wait. Although I am so nervous and anxious, I am so excited that this trip could be the beginning of a whole new chapter in my life!

Lauren resides in North Carolina and will be serving with Journey117 this month on Team India.  

I Want Them to Hope Again

19 Jun

Blog post by Erin B., Team India 2012

Orphans are something that God placed on my heart about 7 years ago. I woke up from a dream crying. I was seeing a girl about 6 months old standing in a crib with her hands stretched up wanting someone to pick her up. She was inconsolable and desperate. I had the feeling that she had been crying for days and that nobody had picked her up or attended to her. My heart broke for children that are longing for love and have no one that loves or cares for them. I started praying for orphans on that day and have been ever since. My awareness for things pertaining to orphans was raised from that point on whenever I heard them talked about or found verses in the bible about them.

It wasn’t too much after that that I found the bible verse in James 1:27 that says “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” The verse helped me confirm that it is definitely God’s heart to care about orphans. About 5 years ago, I was praying on the phone with my friend Sonia from Uruguay. Out of nowhere I just started crying and couldn’t even continue praying for a while. My friend asked if I was okay. I finally managed to choke out that God was really putting it on my heart to pray for India and I proceeded to pray for India for about the next 15 minutes. It seemed sort of weird to be praying for India when I really didn’t know very much about the country or have any specific reason to be praying for the country but it all makes since now considering that I will be going to India with World Orphans on a missions trip. Continue reading

A Journey of Adoption and Orphan Care

1 May

Blog post by Katrina F., Team Iraq 2012

The “Journey” that has led me to where I find myself at this moment is a long story… a 4 year long story.  After my husband and I got married, 4 1/2 years ago, we started trying to start a family.  We have been through A LOT.  Infertility is an ugly thing… and it robs you of so much, but through it all, we have grown closer to one another, closer to God, and our faith has never been stronger.  We know that God has a plan for our lives and although some days I wish He would appear to me and at least clue me in on what it is, I know that there is a perfect plan in place and in time it will all be revealed.

My heart started growing for the less fortunate, especially orphans, as we could not have children ourselves and I really started to see how many children are truly out there that need so much and have so little.  My husband and I were in church one Sunday when the pastor brought in families who were moving to other countries to be missionaries… and one family in particular was going to Burkina Faso, Africa.  They showed a video of the children there in the orphanage that they were going to help out with –  they were literally living in cages (wire fences) on dirt. It was heartbreaking.  Immediately following the service, my husband and I seriously started talking about adoption and decided we were sure.  We wanted to adopt.  We had been praying about it… and now was the time. Continue reading

Human Trafficking – What am I doing?

14 Nov

I have a six year old daughter.  She is the most beautiful, smart, fun, wonderful little person I know.  The very idea of someone hurting her provokes in me some painful and angry thoughts that make me tremble as I try to type.  Modern day slavery and the sexual exploitation of children became real to me when I read the stories and thought that could be my little girl.  The thought of girls not much older than my daughter being sold as slaves and being forced to serve as prostitutes moved me to tears…

Then I started to find the staggering statistics about the fact that human trafficking is a 32 billion dollar industry that ranks behind only illegal drugs and arms as one of the most profitable criminal enterprise in the world. And that 27 million people are enslaved worldwide. And that a child is trafficked every 30 seconds.  600,000 to 800,00 people are trafficked across international borders each year.  Of the 600,000-800,000 people trafficked, 70 percent are female and 50 percent are children; the majority of these victims are forced into commercial sex trade   This is massive injustice on a global scale.  And it’s not just over there – it is estimated that 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year.

These numbers take my breath away if I slow down enough to think about the fact that every one of those numbers is a person just like me and my wife and my children. What can I do about a problem this big?  What can Christians do about this?  Honestly I have no idea.  Problems this big have so many layers that solving them will require solving many other problems as well – problems like the fact that so many people live in extreme poverty, and that in many places women and children are not valued as people but as property, and that many times the legal system cannot or will not protect the poor from exploitation by the rich.  But I do know this – I know that I cannot stand by and do nothing.  I know that I cannot spend all my time and energy and devote my talent and treasure to making my life as enjoyable as it can be.  I know that I am compelled to do SOMETHING.

So what am I doing? I am spending my time learning about organizations that are dedicated to helping children and families in need.  I would ask you to spend a few minutes at www.love146.com – read those stories, look at those pictures, watch those videos and see if compassion moves you to do something to help. I am giving my money to organizations like International Justice Mission.  Would you visit their site at www.ijm.org and read about the work that they do all over the world bringing freedom and justice to victims of slavery and exploitation and consider how you can help?  Can you read about the work being done by groups like World Vision www.worldvision.com and see if you are compelled to sponsor a child or give a family a gift or participate in their microfinance lending programs?  For me, taking the time to learn about World Orphans www.worldorphans.com has resulted in my opportunity to go to Ethiopia this December to serve Orphans.

The most important thing I am doing is this – I am praying daily that I can know God better, that I can know his heart and what he desires for me to do with all that he has blessed me with.  I am praying that he will show me how I can break out of my selfish mindset and begin to think in terms offering my whole life as a sacrifice to him, instead of giving God what is left over out of a sense of guilt or obligation.  I know that I can do very little in my own strength – I am the proverbial kid throwing the starfish back into the ocean on a beach filled with more starfish than I can count, but I also know that I serve a God who loves every person he has created and has repeatedly shown that he can do great and mighty things through weak and broken servants.

As I close this blog I would like to quote from the opening chapter of Daniel Walker’s book God in a Brothel:

I began to wonder what would happen if men everywhere embraced the God-given destiny to defend and protect the vulnerable woman and children in their communities.  What would happen if in addition to unleashing their strength, skills and passion on the sports field, in their office or behind their computer screens they discovered their true masculinity by answering this call to arms and to action.

I wondered what would happen if the church worldwide took the offensive against oppression and slavery so that such acts of rescue and restoration occurred every day. What would happen within our faith communities if we became proactive in the face of injustice? Indeed how would our own families, our own discipleship be forever changed if we were all actively involved in some way in rescuing the oppressed and defending the orphan and advocating for the widow.


What could we do if whole communities of Christians decided to give their whole lives to Christ as an offering instead of giving him what is left after we get what we want and “need”?

From raising money to going….

9 Nov

Blog post by Bethany A., Team Ethiopia 2011


Bethany A. will be serving on the Ethiopia Journey 117 Team leaving in December 2011.

Coping with Tragedy in Haiti: Losing a Child

29 May

Lauren, a recent nursing graduate from Texas, shares about a traumatic loss during a  Journey 117 trip to Haiti in May 2011. To read more of Lauren’s blog, check out http://chosenbyyou.blogspot.com/

Are they just a number?

It has been almost a week since I have been back from Haiti and it has been an emotional roller coaster. Each day I wake up and with each memory I hold onto, I still try to process it all. Here, I want to begin by re-telling some of the life-changing stories that happened while in Haiti.

At the beginning of the week, my team and I experienced a traumatic passing of an infant that cut down deep within me but changed my life forever. Bear with me as I try to vividly re-tell the story. On Monday, we had the opportunity to visit a home for dying and abandoned babies. When I first heard of this home, I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to go and hold, feed, and bathe babies, but I did not fully understand the heart-wrenching sights that I was about to see. When we arrived and I stepped foot into this home, my heart immediately dropped and I fought tears like never before. Wiping my face with the sleeve of my arm, I made my way down the stairs and before me were rows and rows of cribs filled with sick and dying infants. I cannot express to you in words how many there were; row after row and room after room. As I looked, these infants didn’t even seem to have an identity; their bed was labeled with a number. As I tried to process this scene, my mind began to think, “Are theses infants just a number here?? Is this real??” Inside, my heart was screaming as I looked at each infant. Even though they couldn’t’ understand, I told them, you matter. You are not just a number to Christ. He cares for you. He knew you even before you were formed in your mother’s womb. He loves you so much. This pain will end soon. Hold on little one. I was angry and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I walked through the row of cribs and touched each tiny little hand that reached out for me, starving for love, and begging me to pick them up. I immediately scooped up a sweet baby girl and as soon as she was in my arms, she stopped crying and her head laid on my chest. Again, I fought tears. I looked at her face to find that she had a severe eye infection. It was oozing and she looked as if she was in a lot of pain. She felt warm to touch and I’m sure was suffering from an infection that her little body couldn’t fight. In my mind, I began to think back to my hospital at home and the place where I would work. If I were to hold an infant like this in the states I would be gowned, gloved, and with a facemask on for protection from any type of disease, but with this little girl in my arms, I didn’t care. I stroked her head as she laid on my chest. I went to the side room and prayed over her as two of my other teammates gathered around with their sweet infants. Tears fell. My heart was broken and I couldn’t understand. Time passed and I held this little girl, trying to get every spoonful of food I could down here; her belly was huge (protein deficiency) but her arms and legs were so skinny; she was greatly malnourished. It was time for their nap around noon and as I placed her back in her crib, she cried and cried. I picked her back up and she stopped, as peaceful as she could be as long as she was in the warmth of my arms. I had to put her down, telling myself that I could get her again after her nap. We left the room and let the children sleep while we visited another orphanage for a few hours.

Continue reading

Team Haiti Update: Coping with Loss

17 May

I wanted to take a moment to write a quick update to all of you. The past couple of days have been rather emotional offering some extreme highs to extreme lows. Yesterday we were at home for sick and dying children. The scene was terrible: cribs of babies everywhere, most of them crying to get your attention because they just wanted to be held. Several of the babies had visible illnesses or deformities that were just heart-wrenching. We grabbed as many babies as we could handle out of the cribs and just spent hours loving on these kids and helping to feed during meal times. Some of the babies were 18 months or 2 years old but you would never guess it; they appeared to be just weeks old because the diseases had taken its toll on their bodies.

At the end of the day there a baby got really sick and one of the girls who happens to be a recent nursing graduate noticed that the baby was not breathing well and that the mother was next to her crying. Confused as to what was going on, she tried to figure out the situation to see if the workers responded to this scene. After a while she stepped in and took a look at the baby. She was clearly sick and not getting enough oxygen. Another girl and I were called in to help. Stepping into this surreal situation, we tried to do what we could. We had little to no medicine to work with and inefficient supplies. The baby stopped responding to any stimuli, so we started doing CPR after we lost a pulse and the baby stopped breathing. Continue reading

The Power of God

5 May

Blog post by Atonya S., Team Moldova 2011 

My husband, Mike, and I currently sponsor a child who is an orphan and we have been given a desire by God to help orphans.  Recently we felt called to go on a mission trip, so we started  looking  for a trip when we came across World Orphans on the internet.  After doing some research we decided to start praying about the Moldova trip.  We had peace about going, so we applied and got accepted.  I am excited about this trip because we get to share God’s word and love via a summer camp. Continue reading