Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Look Who's Giddy
I returned back to the States from my 6th trip to Zimbabwe 20 days ago. As you may recall, one of the BFGO Board Members went with me this time. Together, with all of the children, we had an amazing experience. Many of you generously contributed to a fund that made it possible for us to take the kids on a 3 day retreat. Those three days were packed with ministry, high-energy playtime and 3 big beautiful meals per day. Our ministry teachings were focused on the life of Joseph, although we also explored prosperity from a biblical perspective. It was such a beautiful retreat and we are so thankful to each and every one of you who made it possible through prayer and giving.
It's difficult not to just completely gush over these beautiful smiles. Joy amidst their trials doesn't make sense. I've had people state to me before that the children "look like" they are great and don't need anything. I'll be honest... that bugs me. Joy isn't an indicator that "life" is good. Joy is an indicator that Jesus is good. These children are filled with the hope of Christ.... more than any other children I have ever met. They sleep because they believe that they rest in the palm of His hands. They hope for tomorrow because He has promised to not forsake them. They love with abandon because they are able to rejoice that Christ sets the captives free. Oh yes, they have joy!
Michelle (BFGO Board Member) and I were able to have a wonderful, long and thorough meeting with the orphanage director and many of her staff to go over their monthly and annual budgets. Their very bare bones budget (barely scraping by) would be $10,000 per month. A better and more realistic budget is $12,000 per month... and even that doesn't take emergencies like truck repairs into account. As of right now, together with all funds coming in from various sources, they are trying to survive on $6,000 per month. Basically they rotate what they pay for because they cannot pay for everything. They are always behind on something...whether it is rents, school fees, utilities, salaries, etc. We want to be able to make up that shortfall.
The children are giddy! We shared the vision for the sponsorship program with them during the retreat. Each one of them has already written a letter to their future sponsors and they are so eager to be chosen... not just for the financial support but primarily for the relationships that can be formed via letters/photos over time. While I was there in Zim I received emails from two different people who had pledged so sponsor specific children. When we shared the news with them, those two children were celebrated in monumental ways. Their were roars and shouts and laughter and praises!!!!! It was overwhelming and so beautiful.
Beginning next week I will share some of those letters online. Please consider impacting the life of a child through sponsorship! Zimbabwe, financially, is the most depleted country on the entire continent of Africa. There is a 93% unemployment rate. 93%! This children need help, period. And it looks like we are the only ones trying. Help us make this dream a reality for them.