Tag Archives: Widows

My Friend, Manuel

4 Jul

Blog post by Anna R., Team India 2012

I was around 8 years old when I realized not everyone lived surrounded by a large family and loving parents. I met a little boy around my age who didn’t have a mommy. His dad brought him and his older sister to live with some extended family in the small town in Mexico where we lived at the time. His dad had to work in the city and was not able to care for them so they stayed with family and went to school in town. It was a very foreign concept for me. I could not imagine not having my mom make flour tortillas for me, make large breakfasts of my favorite foods on Saturday mornings, have my clothes laid out for me on a school day, or not being there when I had a nightmare or was feeling sick.

I became very good friends with Manuel all through elementary school. He was a normal kid; we had fun at recess and he integrated to the town with ease but even at that early age I could see in his eyes a somewhat hidden sadness, which I always attributed to that fact that he would never see his mom again. Now that I’m older, I appreciate the many other things parents do and provide to their children: teaching by example, nurture, protection, unconditional love etc. and while preparing for this trip, I dearly remember my good friend Manuel.

I heard about Journey 117 at one of my “Dinner Club” outings. I, along with a group of coworkers, get together around once a month to go to dinner at a new (non-chain) restaurant. We try different and ethnic foods and in conversation, I mentioned that I would love to go on a short-term missionary trip. Diane said her daughter has gone on several trips and she forwarded me some info regarding her daughter’s trip last year with Journey 117.  Once I read about the organization’s mission, the hardest part was deciding which country to serve in.

I’m anxiously waiting for my India trip. I can’t wait to learn and experience a more direct way of serving the orphan and the widow. I have a heart to serve others especially through church programs with children and youth but this will be a whole new level of service. I am exited about what I can do to help some of these children and share the love and care that I am so blessed to have. Most of all, I am ready to learn from them and draw from their strength and courage.

Anna resides in Wisconsin and will be serving with Journey117 in July on Team India. 

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What Will You Do?

28 Jun

Blog post by Saundra P., Team Ethiopia 2012

Many years ago I sponsored a dear, orphaned child named Adeline who lived in an orphanage in Haiti. Adeline was 15 years old. But she looked to be much younger as she was so small. As a result of the sponsorship, Adeline received food, clothing, shelter, healthcare and went to school. I exchanged letters often with Adeline and I was also allowed to send her a small gift package. One day I received a photo in the mail of Adeline pictured with the gift of a Barbie, shoes, and hygiene items. Adeline had the biggest grin on her face. It touched me to see how much God loved her. That was my first experience with an orphaned child.

Adeline from Haiti

“Happy is the generous man, the one who feeds the poor.” – Proverbs 22:9  

Since that sponsorship, I always wanted to go to Haiti and I never went until last year with Journey 117 Team Haiti. My second experience with orphans was while serving in Haiti with children and families who were living in extreme poverty and in such suffering that no person should ever have to witness. Starving children. Lack of clean drinking water. Poor living conditions. Sickness and death from easily prevented diseases. The lack of concern by a government that does not care about the wellbeing of its citizens. In spite of the terrible conditions in Haiti, orphans flourished when placed in loving homes or orphanages. The children had access to food, clothing, shelter, medical care and received a Christian education. Since returning from Haiti, not a day goes by that I don’t remember the smiles and laughter of those happy kids. The kids that are our future; a future made possible because God opened the heart of someone for the fatherless and the widow. Continue reading

Serve with Journey 117: Iraq 2012

22 Feb

Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. – Isaiah 1:17

This verse, penned in Hebrew Scripture as early as 740 BC, speaks to God’s heart for the orphan and commands us as believers to take action on their behalf. The charge wasn’t given to government authorities, non-profits or celebrities….it was spoken to the CHURCH, to believers of the faith. These commands still ring true today as we see these statements repeated over and over in the Old and New Testament. And this command is the heartbeat and foundation of a program we call Journey 117, a ministry of World Orphans that seeks to empower and equip believers to live out this calling in their own lives.

Now, in light of this truth, we are delighted to present an opportunity for believers to get on board with World Orphans this summer to incorporate all of these things into one trip….to seek justice and encourage the oppressed, to defend the orphan and care for widows, to learn to do right.

We are organizing a Journey team to serve in Iraq in the Kurdistan region to assist our in-country staff that is working to care for orphans and widows. World Orphans has helped to build a community center called the Refuge that is being used to host events for the people in this region, most of which are displaced peoples that have migrated north to escape the war-torn regions in other areas of Iraq.

This area where the Refuge is located is called the Freedom Martyr’s Village and was established by the Kurdistan Regional Government to provide a safe haven for families whose relatives died in the war. Since adoption is prohibited and “outsiders” are not allowed to care for orphans, this facility allows our staff and teams to practically serve a desperate, hurting community with grace and love.

Would you consider joining our Journey 117 team this summer to help serve the orphans and widows in this community? Our team will use the community center to relationally engage the children by organizing VBS-style activities, sports and recreational games, arts and crafts, and music and drama, to name a few.  We are praying that God brings a variety of people to join this team, those with unique gifts and abilities, to help us organize a well-rounded outreach program for this community. The team will also visit nearby orphanages to gain a better understanding of what the realities are for the fatherless in this country.

We are so excited about what God is doing in the hearts and lives of people in Iraq and how He is equipping World Orphans to serve these people in such a real, practical way! We invite you to join us this summer as we extend His love and grace to the people in the Freedom Martyr’s Village.

If you would like to apply for this team or wish to contact us with questions, please visit www.journey117.org.

Freedom Martyr’s Village
The Refuge – almost complete!!