Over the past few years, God has led me on an unexpected and amazing journey. Since I was 12, I wanted to be a choir teacher. I know God placed that desire in my heart even then. So as I grew up, I pursued this dream. I graduated with a degree in Music Education and began teaching choir. It was a good job, and I enjoyed success in it, but God had an even bigger mission in mind for me.
In the summer of 2012, my husband and I felt called to go on a mission trip to Africa. We found a trip to Rwanda and Ethiopia that focused on serving orphans, and we knew it was the one God wanted us to go on. What a life-changing trip that was. Our prayer was that God would break our hearts for what breaks His, and He answered that prayer.
That first trip to Africa changed us. The physical signs of poverty were overwhelming. Images of children with swollen bellies, the smell of the trash heap where they live, and their cries for food are things that are seared into my memory. However, we learned poverty is more than just tattered clothes and filthy slums. We saw a poverty of spirit. These orphans desperately wanted to be loved, competing for the slightest hint of affection. As a half dozen children tried to all fit in my lap at once, I wondered when was the last time they had been held, and it broke my heart knowing that it had probably been far too long.
Although there was heartbreak, there was also great joy. We worshipped with our African brothers and sisters in Christ, singing in multiple languages, and praising God for his goodness that is not bound by any manmade borders. I experienced the truth behind Acts 20:35 that says, “…it is more blessed to give than to receive.” I knew God was shaping my faith and preparing me for something greater.
As I returned home and resumed teaching, things were never the same. We had a new perspective on the world. It affected our giving, our lifestyle, and our time. We became outspoken advocates for orphans and for missions. We partnered with a ministry in Rwanda to assist their needs, sponsored children, became trained as team leaders, and led several more mission trips to Rwanda.
After all of this, God was still persistently tugging at my heart. I began to pray about if God wanted me to leave teaching and pursue full time ministry serving orphans. After months of prayer, I knew this was indeed God’s plan for my life. I resigned from teaching and God led me to World Orphans, a Christian organization that has been equipping churches around the globe to serve for over 20 years.
I am honored to now work as a Project Manager for World Orphans. I manage our church partnerships in Haiti, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. To give you a quick overview of my role, I help with facilitating communications between international churches and their US partners, oversee financial accountability procedures, design and implement programs to help wholistically care for vulnerable families, and lots more! I LOVE my job, and it is such a joy to be working with churches as they seek to care for families in their community and share the Gospel of Christ with them.
I hope that you will join me in praying for this ministry, for the families, and for our staff. If you would also like to partner with us financially, I would love to talk to you more about that!
About World Orphans
Who is World Orphans?
To first understand what I do, it’s important to understand what World Orphans does. World Orphans was established in 1993, and they have worked to help churches rescue and care for orphans in almost 50 countries. In the first 13 years of ministry, World Orphans helped churches around the world build almost 500 children’s homes. In 2006 World Orphans transitioned to a more holistic approach to orphan care, engaging local churches around the world in the prevention and delay of orphans as well as residential care. Today World Orphans is passionately committed to partnering churches in the US with churches around the world to meet the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children in a holistic way.
World Orphans’ mission is to equip, inspire, and mobilize the church to care for orphans and vulnerable children. They want the local churches to be engaged so the orphaned and vulnerable children in their community can be restored, in turn transforming the communities around them by the Gospel of Christ. To learn more about World Orphans, visit their website.
What am I doing?
International church partnerships are at the core of World Orphans’ model and strategy of caring for the orphaned and vulnerable children through church-to-church partnerships. As Project Manager for the Americas, I will be responsible for helping with all aspects of managing, supporting, and equipping our international church partners while I will work with the Project Coordinators to communicate needs, updates, and results to US church partners.
My area of focus will be mainly in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, working with our 13 church partners there. Along with developing those partnerships, I will be looking to grow church partnerships in Guatemala and other Central American countries.
To keep up-to-date on everything that I’m involved in, I would recommend you read my blog and also like my supporter page on Facebook. You can also contact me to say hello or ask questions.
A partnership united by World Orphans between Wheaton Academy, a private high school in Chicago, and a pastor in Haiti. Through this partnership, funds were orchestrated to care for 20 children’s medical, educational, physical, and spiritual needs. This is a perfect example of what World Orphans looks to do with US and international partnerships!
How does a child become an orphan? As unfair as it may seem, the orphans circumstance was to no fault of their own. And the reality of the situation is that the cycle can be prevented. This short video by World Orphans examines how the orphan crisis relates to issues such as HIV/AIDS, child trafficking, prostitution, gangs, drugs, poverty and education.