Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Here I Am

Two weeks ago today, I stepped off an 18.5 hour return flight from South Africa. I'd taken a group of pastors from Central Pennsylvania to see the work that Forgotten Voices is doing in southern Africa. In a two week whirlwind tour we visited Zimbabwe, Zambia and spent one night in South Africa. We visited with roughly 15+ families and met with only a handful of the 150 churches that partner with Forgotten Voices. We experienced humorous moments - see picture of baby monkey chewing on Julie’s ear - and heartbreaking moments - like the visits with families who had no food and no seed to plant. We prayed, we laughed, we cried, but most importantly we had the opportunity to meet true heroes of the faith. We spent time with devoted pastors, listening to what their church is doing to help their communities, praying with and for them, encouraging them and rejoicing with them over the work that is being accomplished.

Every single day these men and women arise from their beds and say, “Here I am Lord, use me.” Throughout the day they change their hats - one second they are a pastor, the next they are counselor, a social worker, a business man or woman working on income-generating projects to benefit their communities. They put on each hat with a spirit of humility and a reliance on God and the Spirit to lead, guide, and direct them. When you sit with these men and women you can begin to see what it means to be the Church in the community. Each of our project partners adds a unique approach to addressing the AIDS crises. They develop locally-relevant action plans for meeting the needs of children who have been orphaned by AIDS and other vulnerable children in their network.

I love volunteering for Forgotten Voices to help equip our church partners to fulfill their action plans for their communities. I have witnessed firsthand the value these action plans bring to a community and have seen our partners transforming communities one child at a time.

I serve by leading our volunteers here in the United States and helping run the day-to-day operations of our ministry. Forgotten Voices has roughly 30+ volunteers in the USA who help us equip our brothers and sisters in southern Africa. We are looking to grow our volunteer network throughout 2011. If you are interested in volunteering please visit this link for volunteer opportunities.

In closing, my challenge to you is to arise each day with the spirit of “Here I am Lord, use me.” Learn from our partners, grow along with us as God continues to reveal new things about Himself, and participate with us in making a permanent change in the life of children.

Nate Shaffer - Volunteer Executive Director

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