Wow, that’s exciting!
What are you doing this time?
How can we help?
You’re taking your children WHERE?
Along the way, we’ve partnered with Pastor Celestine and the children of CEHBED (an acronym for something really long and French) to create a safer, more sustainable living environment for the children. (You can see the building we helped build in this video shot in 2011 by members of a partner church in Bristol.) Many of our kids have gone on to attend technical schools to learn how to be mechanics and seamstresses. The twelve-year plan has included building the new building, continuing to provide for basic needs, and helping them start small enterprise businesses to provide a sustainable income for the orphanage.
Aside from our work with CEHBED, we have partnered with two other pastors: Tomety, in the remote village of Badoughbe, and James, the leader of a fishing community in Lome. Both pastors run sustainable businesses that employ members of their communities and have facilitated micro-loan programs for widows and single mothers.
You may have noticed that I used some form of the word “sustain” several times, and that wasn’t on accident. When we talk about “changing lives” or “changing the world,” our organization believes in empowering people to do the hard work of changing their communities. 4HIM has a history of giving a hand up, rather than a hand out to our neighbors and friends, and we have learned that when we approach giving in this light, everyone learns, everyone feels loved, and everyone wins.
At other times, we’ve shown up to find that the children of the orphanage needed new mattresses because of a bed bug infestation or new shoes for school, but Pastor Celestine did not want to ask for help, and we are able to meet these needs with a few hundred dollars. When we do these things, we use money from our own pockets and from the general fund at 4HIM. It’s the kind of giving that has immediate, tangible results. Again, this is the kind of giving that equates with pure joy.
|Modeling some gifts from our friends during our 2011 trip!|
These are things we know we already want to do, and I know that we will come across more problems to solve along the way. We would be honored if any of you would partner with us! Thanks for reading our story, and thanks in advance for your support and prayers for traveling mercies.