Many people often ask me how we got involved helping Syrian children in Lebanon. Many years ago I watched on 60 minutes parents and their children dying from chemical weapons. I was not prepared how awful this was. Sometimes people don’t like when I share such awful things, but we can’t turn our eyes away from the evils of this world, especially as a Christian. God has called us to be a light to those suffering and in need of Christ. I was devastated watching this. To see a parent suffering from the effects of the chemicals, and yet trying to reach over to their child to help them and being uncapable was probably one of the most shocking heartbreaks I have ever seen. Both parents and children watched each other take their last breaths. A few years ago, I also saw the exodus of many Syrians leaving their homeland, because Isis was threatening to kill them if they didn’t do what they demanded. In their efforts to escape harm in their country, many children lost their parents, grandparents and sadly siblings. I can’t imagine losing your whole family, leaving your home and everything you know. God was drawing me in to do something.
A friend told me about a man at my church who was sending containers of food and supplies to the Syrian refugees living in tent camps over the Beqaa mountains in Lebanon just over the border of Syria. He said, we could have thousands of nonprofits help and we will never be able to help all of them. I called “Heart for Lebanon”, a nonprofit working directly onsite and Chris told me that she felt in many ways God had led these people out of Syria to hear the gospel for the first time which is what they do. They share the gospel with the people living in tents. They also feed over 2,500 families there and have over 300 children in the school they provided. They have a mobile church on wheels that drives around throughout sections of this huge tent camp doing church services so Syrians that had to flee are given new hope. I wanted in. After all I had read and seen, I knew God didn’t want me to turn a blind eye to this. Families that live in the tents are asked to take in the orphans that have nowhere to go, because their family was killed either by Asaad’s regime, the President of Syria or Isis members. These are some of the children we have been able to provide monthly packaged food packs to. It is encouraging to see these smiling faces as they get to learn again which they missed so much when they fled their country to safety. Thank you to our sponsors who help feed these kids. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without even knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
Many countries have been suffering from a terrible drought across Africa and one of the hardest hit countries is Uganda. I remember a year ago when we helped plant food and the drought was so bad that people would open their harvested beans only to find there were none inside. Can you imagine that after 9 months of planting and hard work, you still had no food? People got so desperate we heard someone even sold their hoe to buy their family food.
These children attend our partner’s school called Nissi Christian School which is in Lira, Uganda. Before Orphan Gospel stepped in, these children were sponsored for their education, but their parents or caretaker were responsible for their food. The only problem is because of the drought, they were sending their kids to school with no food. A child might come home after school to discover there was no food either when they
came home. Orphan Gospel has been feeding these kids now for over 6 months and we are feeding them until December of 2017. We will have to evaluate whether we can continue to help as we need more child sponsors to help us. Recently our partner told us one of her students prayed thanking our sponsors who have given them not one, but two meals a day. This way they can concentrate on their studies rather than thinking about how hungry they are. Education to a Ugandan is more important than anything else. Being educated is every Ugandan’s dream. Here some of the kids are being fed a yummy meal! Thank you sponsors, this would not be happening without you!!
We have all watched on the news for the last couple of years about so many people fleeing Syria to reach safety. My heart was especially pulled watching families leave their home country in inflatable boats, many of them drowning along the way, many of them children. Even though many have fled, most Syrians want to stay as close to their homeland with hopes of one day returning. We chose Lebanon for many reasons. First, it is very close to where they are from and they want to go back home. We also discovered that 50% of the people are children!! Many are orphans, because they lost their parents to either ISIS or from the government killing their own people, and in some cases with chemical weapons. Watching what chemical weapons does to people in their final moments is horrifying, especially seeing a child suffer in such a cruel manner. Families who have their own children have taken in orphans as temporary families for them. Our partner feeds 3,000 families and we are assisting with this. We asked them if there was a project built that they need and they said, “No, we have 600,000 people without food and water and this is our greatest priority.” They have had to choose the neediest families which is not an easy task with so many people. We have been able to help forty families with over 200 kids. They also are educating 300 children with Christian curriculum and they spread the gospel with a mobile church truck doing church services for people throughout the camp. Our partner is based out of North Carolina and travel there regularly going back and forth to raise funding for these people. We are thrilled to help and praying they will have an opportunity to someday go home and rebuild. We LOVE this ministry!
These men in Lira, Uganda are celebrating fresh water being brought back to their community. This borehole had not been working for quite some time as it needed repairs so have clean, fresh water for this community once again. This meant having to walk to waterholes that are infested with parasites that they have to drink and use to water their ginger for the ginger project we have been doing for 94 families. With the drought, there was little water as it was. This means that their children won’t be drinking water that is diseased and can cause them to become sick, have diarrhea and become so dehydrated that it can kill them. To this village and community it means “life”! For only a few thousand dollars, we were able to fix this water borehole and you can see how much joy it brings these men to know their families will be will drink healthy water and that the water will help care for their ginger crops and other food they are growing so they can support their families. To these men, it means dignity to provide for their families. By helping them, we prevent their children from becoming orphans and with the horrible drought this will provide much relief. Thank you to those who continue to give to Orphan Gospel so we can make a life changing impact on those across the globe.
We began partnering with a Haitian organization for two reasons that stood out to us that we did not see in other Christian organizations. One, they teach the gospel to the kids that they are raising and two, besides helping their own children at their center they also help children in the surrounding area at their medical clinic. Many families don’t have the physical means to pay for their kids care at the local hospital so the kids can come to our partners clinic for care. We really like the time and attention to medical care that our partner gives as well. I learned working with Ugandan partners for over 5 years that one can often bounce back if malnourished or if just a medical challenge, but when they have both, for many it means death. Orphan Gospel helped with both food and providing much needed medical supplies. Our partner is the second largest support to the main hospital in Port-au-Prince for young children and babies. We recently bought food, diapers and feeding tubes. We were going to purchase a lab machine for blood testing for their children so they no longer have to wait 3 to 4 days for lab results which can often be too late for a child. But thankfully it was donated by the company, what a praise! But, they needed the cartridges that are used for the blood results which cost $12 a blood test, but can save a little one. We bought 100 cartridges and sample supplies for a total of $1,560. It’s astounding so little can possibly save 100 children so their illness can be assessed right away and the correct treatment can be given immediately so they can survive. Thank you to our donors!!
We are so excited to begin our first project under our new vision! We are now investing in projects that can be completed from start to finish. We are going to be assisting our new partner in Uganda with Agricultural Toolsets, ginger plants and seedlings to 94 families so all families in one village get to be a part. There are 188 families in this one village and all are receiving these. We are funding 94 of them. Under our old program we were able to provide 89 families toolsets and seedlings over a 3 year period whereas with our new partner we are helping 94 in 9 months. Getting these families started on food sustainability will hopefully prevent them from having children that are malnourished and need to come to the Therapeutic Feeding Center. We are excited to be able to do things smarter and more efficiently! We will be following these until completion. There is a drought in Uganda so please pray for rain as they are in great need. See more pictures under our Projects page!