Sometimes, when I get off conference calls or come back from Africa or wake up here in the USA and look at the to-do list for the day, I feel almost debilitated. Stunned by the task before us, humbled by the enormity of the mountain. When day after day, I have email conversations and phone calls and breakfasts with people that express great joy for our work, then choose to do nothing to help it continue --- it's tough.
But then, I remember. I remember the faces I've seen. The stories I've heard. And the promises of our God. It's not about me or you. It's about being faithful to the things God has called us to do --- defend the fatherless and the oppressed by listening to their cries. It's about living out the desires of God, even when we feel alone in the world. God is there with us and those we strive to serve. His word constantly tells us this.
"17 You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more."
Even if there is not even one out there responding to the calling that God has given us to follow, our work goes on because God has called Forgotten Voices to give voice to the forgotten voices of southern Africa --- the local churches meeting the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities.
You stand with us and that inspires me daily, just as our projects inspire us. Do you know of someone in your life that should hear about the ministry of Forgotten Voices? Consider passing along a link to this Journey Across Africa.
THE NEW LIFE MINISTRIES CHURCH
MUSHILI, NDOLA, ZAMBIA
One of my favorite people is Christian, who I've written to you about before on several occasions. I invite you to read some of these previous posts to learn more about the background of this hero of mine in Zambia.
The church that Christian leads, New Life Ministries, is helping lead the way for Mushili, Ndola, Zambia. So many children have been pouring on to the steps of the church that they now have a children's ministry, men's ministry, and women's ministry built around the plight of the orphan. They've built a garden on the church grounds for people to come voluntarily and grow crops for the ministry. They've worked with the city to build a cell phone tower so the church has money to support vulnerable children. They're working on improving schools and economic opportunities by giving their time, talents, and resources to the plight of children -- the fatherless, who need a champion and are crying out to God to be remembered.
By God's grace, the church there is responding with an abundance of love and you are joining them in that response --- by giving your time to tell your friends and your resources to invest in helping Forgotten Voices answer their prayers.
This first group of women, some of the initial class of 15, is about to graduate the program in December. Praise God!!!! :)
Project impact description: 50 children orphaned by AIDS back to school by Forgotten Voices helping church pay school requirements and 60 widows trained in tailoring skills, as well as start-up fabric (15 every 6 months for 2 years). To do this, we've also helped the church acquire 4 sewing machines and repair 7 machines that were donated by the local community.
PRAY (in their words):
- We praise God for answering our prayers for financial support as we’ve been praying for the same.
- We praise God that we are able to take the children whom we registered to school
- We praise God that we are able to keep about 15 widows by empowering them with the skill of tailoring.
- Praying for the project that we have to continued supporting the orphans and empowering the widows
- Praying that after we have given a skill to the widows, we also have to find resources to empower them thereafter
- Praying for the completion of the church building
- Praying for most of the widows who are sick. There are on and off to classes.
NOW: By the beginning of December, we need to send another $4,000 to this church to continue assisting this program. Money we don't yet have. Please consider making a gift to help Forgotten Voices meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS and those that care for them.
To make a gift online, visit ForgottenVoices.org or send in a check to Forgotten Voices; PO Box 1368; Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-1368. All gifts are tax-deductible. THANK YOU!
NEXT STEPS: We head back to Zimbabwe, where you'll meet some children that I think about almost constantly. I'm excited for you to hear their story. Come back tomorrow as our Journey Across Africa continues.
All the best,