Stewardship. It’s a word used often in Christian Circles.

Stewardship. It’s a word used often in Christian Circles.

STEWARDSHIP. It’s a word used often in Christian circles. At Loving One By One, we take it seriously. We don’t want to be a ministry that is always only standing with our hand out. With the purchase of the new land, we have expanded our farming greatly. The goal is to raise pigs, goats, and cows to offset the financial burden of running a ministry with 60+ employees and 115 students at the school, who are all fed twice a day. In addition, the farmland produces bananas, giant avocados, passion fruit, eggplant, tomatoes, beans, and several other staples of the Ugandan diet.

The recently built home for the pigs is already being outgrown with new piglets that have been born recently, three baby goats, and a mother cow is expecting in July. Whew! Talk about raising a family! The work is never-ending, but our goal is to be sufficient as far as the food is concerned within the following year.

We want to be like the servant in Matthew 25. Only we don’t want to say, “Master, you gave us five talents. Here are five more.” Instead, we want to say, “You gave us 5 talents and we have produced 100 for you.” Maybe a stretch…but why not shoot for it.

Since the reporting last month of our mama who abandoned her four children because she couldn’t afford to feed them, the ministry is in the process of evaluating our New Creation families a lot closer. Currently, we have found NINE families who are struggling to feed their families.

Loving One by One has seen the NEED to provide part-time employment for these families around Grace Land. Uganda, as the world over, is facing SEVERE inflation. As a result, those barely making ends meet before finding it extremely difficult to feed their children.

While individual child sponsorship provides a solid Christian education, all uniforms, two meals a day, and complete medical for the child, parents, primarily single mothers, are in dire straits.

For only $40 a month, you can give work to these families. We are starting the program with nine families, but more are on the waiting list to be employed.

Please visit our site here to learn more about these families and who you can support them a family for only $40 per month. You can be the lifeline that these families have been desperately praying for.

Ken and Sherry founded Loving One By One Ministries after their first visit to Uganda in 2004. They saw the extreme poverty and medical needs of the poor and decided to do whatever they could to help alleviate the suffering wherever they could.

Birthed soon after this first trip to Uganda – a ministry based on the word of our Lord Jesus as recorded by Matthew, “I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me.” Our efforts focus on providing education, as well as basic physical, spiritual, and medical needs to refugee children and their families.
We invite you to view our site here for more information about Loving One By One’s progress and to search God’s will for your lives in assisting with these efforts.

On MissionFinder, we have over 600 ministries offering mission trips, internships and job opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

Crisis Response: War in Ukraine

Crisis Response: War in Ukraine

Twenty-four hours a day, the line of Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border town of Medyka stretches as far as the eye can see. Tired, hungry, and scared, people are fleeing for their lives.

Ukrainians, volunteers, and Convoy of Hope staff talk in measured sentences. No one is shoving. Without warning, people turn their faces to the ground, sky, or away from one another to weep. Comfort is offered between close friends and families. So many tears have been shed recently that the coming and going of emotions is part of existing now.

On Sunday, Convoy of Hope partnered with a local Polish organization to provide 9,000 meals to refugees who recently took their first steps of safety into Poland.

Convoy’s Christian Rodriguez offered a warm smile as he passed out chocolate candies to kids in line. “You do see hardship. You do see trouble in their eyes,” he said. “But you also see hope as they come through. Getting that meal in them and seeing their kids get taken care of … they have hope.”

Katia and her son, Gabriel (2), eat a warm bowl of soup provided by Convoy of Hope.  Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine — the city where Russian soldiers recently took over a nuclear power plant — fed her 2-year-old son small sips of hot soup that billowed with steam in the cold. Nearby, Katia’s mother fed her grandmother. Four generations of Katia’s family escaped danger today. They simultaneously breathed a sigh of relief and mourned those they left behind. Someone will come to pick up Katia and her family soon to take them on the next step of their journey.

Amidst the sound of rolling suitcases and bus engines, thousands of refugees edged toward the front of the line. Each one took them a little farther from their home and a little closer to safety. Along the way, kind and generous Polish people, along with organizations like Convoy of Hope, are offering food, diapers, clothes, stuffed animals, and hugs. Hospitality and compassion are abundant, and Ukrainians can use as much as the world can spare.

Convoy of Hope’s response to the crisis in Ukraine continues. Along with our partners throughout Eastern Europe, Convoy of Hope is doing everything it can to help those who are in desperate need.

Thanks to your support, Convoy will continue providing hope to Ukrainian refugees. To support this response and others like it, click here.

A response team from Convoy of Hope’s global headquarters is now on the ground in Poland. Within minutes of arriving, the team witnessed thousands of refugees — primarily women and children — dragging luggage and seeking shelter. Simple needs, such as electricity for charging phones and the ability to stay warm are incredibly difficult to find. Many children seem dazed

Convoy’s International Disaster Services team is actively trying to make contact with partners in affected areas. Please keep Ukraine in your prayers and continue to stand with Ukrainians who are suffering.

Many, however, have taken a different stance, seeking safety far away from the places they recently called home. Officials from the United Nations reported that at least 100,000 individuals have fled their homes, and millions more may do likewise as the fighting continues.

Through local partners, Convoy of Hope is working to provide shelter and necessities such as water, food, and hygiene items for refugees fleeing Ukraine. Thank you for sharing hope by standing with people who need it most.

To support this response and others like it, click here. Convoy of Hope is actively reaching out to local partners to find ways to help Ukrainians amidst attacks from Russia.

Through partnership across Europe, Convoy of Hope has worked diligently in Ukraine since 2014, alleviating suffering in and around the nation. Convoy’s International Disaster Services team is actively trying to make contact with partners in affected areas. Please keep Ukraine in your prayers and continue to stand with Ukrainians who are suffering.

Convoy of Hope is an American nonprofit humanitarian and disaster relief organization that provides food, supplies, and humanitarian services to impoverished or otherwise needy populations throughout the world. The organization also engages in disaster relief work. Learn how you can help support their work in Ukraine here.

On MissionFinder, we have over 600 ministries offering mission trips, internships and job opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

No One Has Watches, But Everyone Has Time

No One Has Watches, But Everyone Has Time

I had never felt the feeling before, and I’ve never felt it since. I was sitting with Raj, one of the farmers who sold produce at the local marketplace. We were in his home, talking and laughing. I sensed for the first time in my life as though God himself were telling me, “This is what you were made for.” It was a summer a few years ago, and I was on an Island Encounters outreach in Fiji. It’s humbling to realize that what I walked away with from this outreach was far greater than anything I could have given.

There are a lot of preconceived notions about Fiji, and though my grandparents were born and raised there, my perceptions were no different than those of my culture. A foreign, exotic place with crystal clear water and white sandy beaches. A place so beautiful and seemingly luxurious you’ll hear the sarcasm more than once:

“Fiji? For a mission trip? Wow, really suffering for Jesus.”

It’s a revealing statement about what we collectively (myself included) believe about overseas missions. But Island Encounters breaks the one dimensional box we’ve tried to fit missions into and facilitates experiencing Jesus in everyday life, regardless of your country of residence. Over those two months my viewpoints were drastically changed concerning missions and calling, service and sacrifice.

Shift one: Labor.

Although we participated in many different activities, much of the day to day work was spent on Oasis Farm. The Island Encounters farm wasn’t as glorious then as it has become today. It was in the early stages, a “Garden of Eden” concept where vast fruit tress, vegetables, and unique farming techniques would unite people and provide them with knowledge and skills. Even before any of the transformations had taken place, the farm was magical. This was the first shift in daily mission work. Could developing a farm be missions? Oasis Farm is obviously not the call for all missions everywhere, but I believe its intent is magnetic, and one that can universally apply to followers of Jesus everywhere. To creatively pursue passions we’ve been gifted with, for the purpose of displaying God’s love. Each member of the body with different affinities to showcase the diversity of God’s kingdom. This is Oasis Farm.

Shift two: Outreach.

I was struck by the relationships Island Encounters had with the local community. These relationships didn’t center around inviting neighbors to church or handing out Bible tracts (not that those things can’t be helpful) but it was more about being the church. If someone was hungry, a meal would be cooked, when someone lost a job work would be provided, someone without shelter would have a place to stay. Needs were selflessly met and these relationships were more friendships and partnerships than outreach. This caused me to rethink what it looks like to operate this way, regardless of the country you live in.

The story about sitting with Raj and feeling God’s presence in the moment was less about being in Fiji with Raj (though I’d say yes to it any day of the week), and more about God’s call in my life to operate in the communal fashion exampled to me in Fiji. It wasn’t the burden of convincing others that for much of my life I believed I was responsible for. This was Biblical living, driven by and focused on love. After all, Jesus didn’t say they’d know us by our converts, but by our love. These bonds were formed by waking up everyday, throwing seeds, and watching God grow some of them.

Shift three: Community.

There’s a saying in Fiji, that “no one has watches, but everyone has time.” Being present had been wildly unfamiliar to me in my culture. I tend to live either in the past or in the future. In Fiji, people are always right now. They sit with you, not to get it over with, but because of the connection it brings. They talk with you, not to exchange obligatory pleasantries, but because they truly care. If they love you they want to show it, and they are quick to love. Their community is communal. Not a mass of individuals desperately building their kingdoms, but a collective of people who recognize the importance of others.

The dissonance in my own life surrounding this is still being revealed to me all these years after having such an experience. In the gospel of Luke prior to the cross, Jesus is constantly present, even with the knowledge of a future crucifixion. Jesus lives as though there is nothing more important than the children in front of Him, or the blind man that needs healing, a crowd that needs feeding, or disciples who are learning to trust. Many Fijians have this figured out, and it’s inspiring to witness. This is an opportunity to step into the work God is doing in Fiji, and then step out into the unique calling He has for you. Corey Schwarz

Ray, Laura, and the entire Island Encounters team breathe life, encouragement, and purpose into the lives of those around them. Island Encounters is for anyone who is thinking about overseas missions, but also anyone who wants to be challenged to grow in love for others.

Anyone who wants to rely more on Jesus by putting themselves in situations they may be unfamiliar with. Anyone who wants to cultivate community and witness the change God can bring to the lives around them. Anyone who may be curious about Jesus and the freedom He promises. Anyone who is interested in finding a deeper purpose.

Island Encounters is all about relationships. It’s about encountering God, others and yourself. Island Encounters exists to demonstrate the love of Christ by meeting practical and spiritual needs across cultures in the context of relationship.

Do you want to spend some time with us in Fiji? Learn more about our semester program running in Fall 2022 here.

Through our study-abroad programs, short-term teams, internships and more, we want to guide you into greater life encounters. Encounter God in new ways through a guided study of the Bible as well as what missions is and how to most effectively shine Christ’s light in a way that transcends culture. Learn more about Island Encounters here.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering mission trips, internships and job opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

 

5 Ways Knowing Jesus Changes Christmas

5 Ways Knowing Jesus Changes Christmas

Here are some thoughts from our friends at Jesus Film Project

Christmas has a weird distinction of being an extremely religious holiday while also being a secular holiday. It’s entirely possible to celebrate Christmas wholly isolated from the nativity story while embracing many of the same elements.

But as a follower of Jesus, important things begin to change about Christmas. And traditions take on new meaning and importance. Here are five things about Christmas you see differently in the light of Jesus.

1. The season’s meaning becomes clearer

For a lot of non-Christians, Christmas is still a meaningful time. It fills them with nostalgia for their childhood. It’s an incredible time to gather with family and friends. They might even consider visiting a church as a crucial part of that Christmas tradition.

But when you make a choice to follow Jesus, the nativity story takes center stage. And while we still appreciate many of the secular traditions that have become so familiar to us, we discover that Christmas is about how far God will go to be reconciled with His creation.

2. Gifts become an expression of faith

In Acts, Paul quotes Jesus as saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Of course, you don’t have to be a Christian to believe that to be true, but it does take on new depth and richness in light of Jesus’ birth, life, and sacrifice.

In light of the nativity, Christmas becomes even more about bringing joy to others and giving meaningful gifts. God is a great giver of every good and perfect gift, and we become givers, too.

3. Service becomes an integral part of the season

People from all walks of life tend to get more charitable during the holidays. Many organizations that rely on charitable giving report that a lion’s share of their donations tend to come in at the end of the year, coinciding with the holidays.

This is especially true for Christians who perceive the value of building God’s kingdom. We recognize the local and international needs, and we become moved to meet them physically and financially. And while Christmas is a time that helps engender that desire to give, Christians are service-oriented all year round.

4. Christmas carols become more meaningful

The Christmas season is one of the rare times when it’s not weird to hear Christian sentiments playing over the speakers at your local shopping center. Christmas carols are a significant part of the holiday tradition for everyone—but something changes when we align ourselves with the gospel. All of a sudden, they come alive.

A song like “Joy to the World” becomes filled with glorious significance. And we discover the beauty of God’s salvation, and a promise that God has begun the process of setting things right in lyrics like “No more let sins and sorrows grow. Nor thorns infest the ground. He comes to make His blessings known, far as the curse is found.”

When you love Jesus, these traditional songs become rich and deep.

5. The joy of Christmas comes alive

The idea that Christmas is a joyful and peaceful holiday is woven into the cultural fabric. But the truth is that if we’re not careful, this season’s stresses jeopardize those feelings that we long for. The expectations we place on ourselves to get the holiday right can make it harder for us to be present for what Christmas actually represents.

When our hearts are tuned into Jesus, joy and peace are easier to recognize and grab hold of. The joy isn’t found in decorations, presents or even social gatherings. It’s found in good gifts of God, which give meaning and delight to everything else. And our peace isn’t endangered by difficult family dynamics or high expectations because it’s anchored in the presence of Jesus.

The wonder of the season

There are many wonderful things to love about the Christmas season whether one considers themselves a Christian or not. But everything changes when the nativity story becomes more than a story you tell your children.

At Jesus Film Project, we want everyone, everywhere to encounter Jesus. Sharing the story of Jesus. We believe film is the most dynamic way to hear and see the greatest story ever lived — so we are driven to bring Christ-centered video to the ends of the earth.

More than 490 million people have come to Jesus after watching these films!

On MissionFinder, we have over 700 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

7 Suggestions for Delightful Gatherings

7 Suggestions for Delightful Gatherings

Your upcoming holiday get-togethers have potential for wonderful memory-making. God may have some surprises ahead, but here are seven suggestions to help make your celebrations delightful.

My earliest memories as a child of our extended family gatherings with my grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins were the highlight of the year! It was not just the opportunity to receive gifts and partake of sumptuous delights, but I loved the festive atmosphere and joyful interaction with our extended family.

God’s will is that we experience happiness and unity in our times together. Our unseen adversary plots to undermine this goal. Here are some time-tested tips that can help you and yours enjoy this “most wonderful time of the year.”

1. Start with prayer

This may seem obvious but it’s often overlooked. Prior to the upcoming family get together, pray for God’s favor and discernment so He can bring a blessing when you come together.

2. Serve

Be intentional to embrace the heart of a servant rather than a spectator and mere consumer. When Jesus gathered for His Last Supper with His friends, He washed their feet and reminded us, “I have given you an example” and “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:15-17). Invest in those present by possibly helping with the dishes, clean up or engaging with their children.

3. Ask Questions

Scripture teaches that “the purpose in a man’s heart of a man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out” (Proverbs 20:5). Accept people as they are and take a genuine interest in their lives. Imitate Jesus who would be in the temple among teachers “listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46).

4. Be Comfortable with Silence

No need to keep the motor running when there are pauses in conversations. “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” (Proverbs 17:28).

5. Avoid Arguments

“A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone…”
(2 Timothy 2:24). Stimulating conversations can quickly take a wrong turn necessitating someone to skillfully redirect the flow. “The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.” (Proverbs 17:14).

6. Reach out

In getting ready for our bountiful feasts, do we do as Jesus instructed? When a man prepared a supper and some invited guests didn’t come, Jesus said he should include the less fortunate and “bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind” (Luke 14:21).

Watching the seventh game of the World Series recently, I invited a grieving man whose wife died a year ago. On a somewhat regular basis, my wife and I have reached out to invite people who would be alone for holiday events. These can also be wonderful opportunities for sharing the love of God to those in need.

7. Show Understanding

For those of us who are used to simply plopping down for lavish gourmet offerings during the holidays, we may not be aware of how much time and effort goes into the culinary spread. Our hosts literally invest days in planning and preparation for the special occasion.

It sure doesn’t honor them or help them maintain composure when hungry participants add stress with annoying inquiries or failure to come when called.

Think how much tension can be eradicated by following God’s wisdom: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

Ninety-nine percent of our stress-inducers can vanish by putting this verse into practice. Be proactive and meditate upon this verse before you attend.

Our Lord Jesus, the Centerpiece of our upcoming holiday gatherings, proclaimed, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9).

Let’s all embrace this high calling in our upcoming holiday events.

From Larry Tomczak, best selling best-selling author of nine books, including a quarter-million bestseller, with 43 years of trusted ministry experience.

Reprinted with Permission by   ChurchGrowth.orgCLICK HERE to subscribe for FREE

Church Growth’s mission is to provide practical Christian growth resources to help pastors, churches, and individuals reach their potential for Christ; to promote spiritual growth in individuals and churches, thereby leading Christians to maturity and leading all people to Christ; and to equip pastors and Christian leaders so they can equip others to do the work of the ministry.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

Connecting Through Language

Connecting Through Language

Mercy Ships are filled with volunteers from around the world, representing different cultures and languages from their home countries. Though it is a requirement to speak English onboard for safety reasons, many of our volunteers find ways to share their native language in different capacities. For volunteer and native French speaker Alexandra – also known as “Miss Alex” during her time serving as a teacher in Guinea and Senegal – language is a way to connect with our patients as well. Alexandra helped teach  French to elementary students onboard the Africa Mercy. The children, whose parents were serving as volunteers onboard the ship, came from countries all over the world.

“For some of them it meant learning their second foreign language, because they were already learning English, the language of communication of the volunteers on the ship,” Alexandra said. “It is always impressive to see how fast children pick things up. What they learned in class, they could use when visiting patients in the ward or with the local people in town.”

Students in the Academy weren’t the only ones who benefited from learning to speak French. Volunteers onboard have also discovered the value of communicating with people in our host nations in their own language.

“The best example is what happens when I start speaking French to a patient or a member of the day crew for the first time,” Alexandra shared. “The day crew consist of locals who work on the ship and have all kinds of jobs like translating, cooking, cleaning, and driving. When I say ‘Bonjour, ça va?’ and they find out I speak French, they immediately light up and start talking. Understanding each other without the need of a translator definitely helps with communication, and connections are made more easily. I think that is a good reason to learn at least a few words.”

Mercy Ships tries to facilitate volunteers connecting with people in their own languages. Therefore, volunteers can often sign up for optional tutoring, weekly classes, and conversational French groups onboard. In countries like Senegal, where French is not the lingua franca, there is also the  opportunity to learn native languages like Wolof.It may be clear that, as a visitor, learning a language is necessary. But there is also a personal gain in doing so.

“If you go to the market or if you are in a taxi, it is pretty convenient to speak the language, even if it is just a bit,” Alexandra said. “It makes you feel more comfortable when traveling. Also, it is good for your brain to learn a second or third language — learning keeps it flexible.”

Learn more about how to join or support here: Mercy Ships The Mercy Ships Academy is a fully accredited international school for children from kindergarten  through high school. We believe that it is essential for students to communicate with the people we serve in West and Central Africa. To this end, the Academy offers a school-wide French Language Program that gives all students from kindergarten to Grade 12 the opportunity to learn French as a second language and develop a deeper understanding of French and francophone culture. Our emphasis on learning French is beautifully explained by the British author John le Carré who said,

“The decision to learn a foreign language is to me an act of friendship. It is indeed a holding out of the hand. It’s not just a route to negotiation. It’s also to get to know you better, to draw closer to you and your culture, your social manners and your way of thinking.”

A global charity operating hospital ships in developing nations since 1978, we bring hope and healing to the forgotten poor by serving all people without regard for race, gender, or religion. Long-term and short-term volunteer opportunities typically fill service or specialized medical or technical positions.

At any given time during its nearly 40-year history, Mercy Ships has had between 1 and 3 ships in service. Currently, the Africa Mercy is the only Mercy Ship in service, but it represents greater capacity than all prior hospital ships combined. Since the deployment of the Africa Mercy, Mercy Ships has been committed to adding another ship to the fleet.

It’s the world’s largest civilian hospital ship providing state-of-the-art care to those in desperate need—free of charge.On MissionFinder, we have over 700 ministries offering mission trips, internships and job opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world.

Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here. 

Learn About Djimby’s Amazing Journey

Learn About Djimby’s Amazing Journey

Djimby may be small, but she is one fierce fighter. The 6-year-old’s strong will and independence come from her grandmother, Ndeye, whose own determination helped instill these values into her granddaughter. However, Djimby’s big personality couldn’t hide the painful condition that she endured most of her life.

When Djimby was a toddler, her parents noticed that her legs weren’t straight like those of other children. She had developed a condition called windswept knees, which made standing and walking difficult.

“I couldn’t watch one of my grandchildren suffer without doing something,” Ndeye said. That’s when she made a vow to find her healing.

Over the next three years, every avenue for healing Djimby’s legs reached a dead end. Ndeye knew that unless her grandaughter’s legs were straightened, she wouldn’t be able to go to school. Even worse, Djimby would often wake up in pain. Despite the setbacks, Ndeye vowed to continue her quest saying, “I am healthy, and I can walk. So as long as I am living, I will be looking for a solution.”

This perseverance fueled her, even when all seemed hopeless. Then, one afternoon, a neighbor unexpectantly stopped by with incredible news — a hospital ship was coming to Senegal with volunteer medical professionals providing free surgeries. Mercy Ships was on the way.

Soon, Djimby and her grandmother made the long journey to Dakar, where the Africa Mercy had arrived. After Djimby was screened for surgery, she was given a date for the operation. Healing was finally in sight after so many years of searching, and Ndeye felt more hope than ever.

After Djimby’s life-changing surgery onboard, months of rehabilitation were needed so that she could learn to walk again. Following the example set by her grandmother, Djimby’s determination was unrelenting. Day by day, she willed her new legs to move forward, one foot in front of the other, until the day finally arrived to return home.

Today, Ndeye believes that her granddaughter will have a more prosperous future. Soon, Djimby will be able to attend school, fully healed, and standing tall for the first time in her life.

Thanks to friends like you, Djimby received a life-changing surgery

Globally, 5 billion people lack access to safe surgery. Children, teens, and adults suffer and die every day from treatable causes, and one child in eight will die before age 5. With the support of people like you, we deploy hospital ships to combat this overwhelming statistic. Since over 50% of the world’s population lives near a coast, our ships are the best way to reach them with state-of-the-art medical care.

Mercy Ships began our mission to provide hope and healing to those in need in 1978. Each year we send hospital ships filled with volunteer professionals who selflessly provide life-changing surgeries to children and adults who otherwise would go without. Together we are saving lives.

Mercy Ships seeks to leave the host nation better equipped with the training, tools, and infrastructure to care for their own. Sustainable health care requires a plan. Mercy Ships Capacity-Building programs identify local needs and work closely with local governments to establish initiatives that make a lasting difference. We leave a legacy that extends for years—and even generations.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

My Adoption Story

My Adoption Story

For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.

I have had this verse memorized since I was in middle school and it has been a constant reminder of God’s goodness in my life.

I grew up in Beaumont, a small town in Haiti. There I lived with my parents and two older siblings.

When I was nine my mom gave birth to my beautiful little sister. What should have been an exciting and celebratory time ended up being the worst moment that I could have experienced as a nine-year-old. My mom had died from giving birth.

A few months later my father did what I believe was the hardest thing for him, but the best thing for my siblings and I. He placed us in an orphanage called God’s Littles Angels (GLA).

Life at GLA was good. I made a lot of friends there, I am still in touch with some of them, thanks to social media. It was at GLA where I learned English, where I learned how to write my name. It’s where I got some basic education before coming to America.

My baby sister got adopted when she was about one year old to an amazing family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For my two older siblings and I our time at the orphanage would be longer than most…three years total.

The older you are the harder it is to get adopted because not many people want to adopt older kids and I don’t blame them. Adopting older kids is a risk and it’s challenging.

On July 2007, our time at the orphanage finally came to an end. It felt good to finally be the one that got chosen, that got to go be with their forever family. My siblings and I got adopted to a wonderful family in the beautiful Nashville, Tennessee.

For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11.

By then, I was 12, my brother was 14 and my sister was 18. At the age of 12 I had a good understanding of who I was, I knew what had happened, so building a trusting relationship with my new adopted parents would be hard, I was extremely shy and I could barely speak English.

It took me a while to call my parents mom and dad and it wasn’t because I didn’t want to…. I just couldn’t. Adopting older kids is giving knowing that you might not get anything back in return. I had to choose to love my parents and to accept them as my mother and father.

How could I not love these people? They gave my siblings and I a second chance in life. They were obedient to The Lord and I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision for them to adopt us.

I’m so grateful for everything they have done. I’m grateful for adoption.

When I came to America I had little to no education and now I have a bachelor’s degree, which is a great accomplishment for me. There are many people in Haiti who will never get an education and it’s not because they don’t want to, it’s because they don’t have the opportunity or the resources. One time I was looking through my adoption papers and there was an x where my biological dad was supposed to sign his name. There was also a note that said father does not know how write his name. I stood there crying, filled with embarrassment and a broken heart. My own father, the person that helped brought me into this world couldn’t write his name. I have been so appreciated for my education ever since I read that. I love learning and I am grateful that I have the means to do that here.

I’ve had some amazing experiences in my life and I believe that if I wasn’t adopted my life would be completely different now. Even though it took the death of my biological mother for me to get a better life I’m grateful and try look at with a positive perspective. God orchestrated everything for me before I was even born. There are still moments when I ask God “why?” Why did my mom had to died? She was one of the most beautiful people I had the privilege of knowing. Even the worst days of our lives have a purpose and are part of our testimonies.

Being adopted has been good to me. I’ve met so many wonderful people in my life. I have traveled to different countries. I now work at one of the most amazing hospitals in America. I am here and I’m alive, healthy and growing. I have health, vision and dental insurance and for that I’m grateful for adoption.

Adoption is a beautiful thing, domestic and internationally!

My name is Miklene, but you can call me Miki. I used to be a shy little orphan girl and thanks to adoption; I’m chosen! I’m loved! And I have been made new. I believe strongly in adoption. It changes lives.

God’s Littlest Angels was founded by John and Dixie Bickel on Christmas Day, 1994, when a 1 pound 15 ounce baby was born at the local mission hospital in Fermathe. Because of her size, she was not given much of a chance for survival.

With the parents’ permission, Dixie took the baby home. John put his skills to work making an incubator out of a cardboard box and a heating pad. At the time, Dixie didn’t have access to IV supplies, so she kept the baby alive by feeding her with an eye dropper every two hours. Within four days, she was drinking from a doll bottle. After four months, Angel Noël was able to return home to her parents.

God’s Littlest Angels (GLA) is a Haitian orphanage located in the mountains above Petion-Ville, in the village of Fort Jacques. The majority of the children brought to the orphanage are between the ages of newborn and eight years old. We also have sibling groups, and children with special needs. GLA offers short term assistance to children needing a place to stay due to ill health or the death of a parent but who are not for adoption. These children will return to their biological families once their circumstances improve. Some children who cannot return to their biological families are waiting for adoptive parents.

God’s Littlest Angels has ministered to the children of Haiti since 1994 and has been involved in international adoptions since 1997. In the year 2000, GLA implemented a school sponsorship program for children unable to attend school due to the lack of funds. Today, around 200 children attend school sponsored by people in North America and Europe. To learn more about their work and how you can help please visit God’s Littlest Angels.

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