Thursday, July 10, 2008

Therefore Go...

Heath and I prayerfully decided to answer the call to go. On July 22 we will set out with 8 others from our church to Yei, Sudan in Central Africa. We have partnered with “His Voice for Sudan”, an established ministry led by Vernon and Amber Burger...“We are lovers of God. We are partners with lovers of God all over the globe. Our desire is that God's glory would be made known in all the earth. Our mission is to empower orphans, widows, and Church leaders to make disciples of all nations.”

Amber and Vernon have started two orphanages in the Sudan.

"The first orphanage was built in a village called Morobo, Sudan. It began with 48 orphans, 12 widows (to care for the children), 1 pastor, 1 guard, and 1 farmer. It has grown to 72 orphans, 14 widows, 3 cooks, 1 pastor, 1 guard, and 1 farmer. This is the first time in the lives of these children that they are able to eat 3 meals a day on a consistent basis. On the Orphanage grounds there is a school. Education is a large part of the orphanage. The school is for the orphans and also the local children. This has been such a great outreach. There are currently over 200 children in the school.

Along with the school, there is a Church. The children attend the Church and are overseen throughout the week by a pastor. This has also been a great outreach to the community. During the week the church is a place where people can come from Congo, Uganda and from all over Sudan to be trained in the Bible."

The orphanage that we will be at is in Lura. It is their second orphanage to establish in the Sudan.

Heath and I have been so excited for this trip for many months now. I can't believe we leave in 11 days! This is so exciting for so many reasons.

One of which is, my husband has never been overseas on a mission trip. In fact, he just got his very first passport one month ago. I feel so blessed to be able to share this experience with the love of my life. For the first time, we will be able to minister side by side in another country! I am thrilled beyond my ability to express.

There are 3 women going, myself, my friend Corey and our pastor's wife Jennifer. While there, the 3 of us will spend the majority of our time with the widows who run the orphanage. Through fellowship and Bible studies, it is our prayer that we can convey to these widows that they are beautifully and wonderfully made, and each of them are loved and valued.

There are 7 men going. They will spend their time with the children of the orphanage playing games with them and listening to their stories. It is our prayer that seeds of hope and truth are planted in the hearts of the children here as we strive to build relationships with them. They will also spend part of their time painting the orphanage.

I just feel so blessed and am in such awe that God has given Heath and I this opportunity. As you can imagine, I have many reservations about a trip of this magnitude and distance, but God has already proven Himself over and over that He is in control and that He has directed our paths for this journey.

I will outline many prayer requests over the next 11 days.

Y'all are the sweetest for already voicing so many prays on our behalf and asking about the trip. I can not tell you how much it means to me and how much those prayers are needed.


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20 comments:

connorcolesmom said...

Janelle
I am lifting you and Heath as well as the others from your team up in prayer

I will have my hubby add all of you to his prayer list as well

May God shine His light through each of you

May He protect and bless you

May He open the eyes of the orphans and widows to His love and promises - He is the father to the fatherless and defender of the widows (Deut 10:18)

I look forward to the pics and the recap :)
God bless
Kim

Lindsee said...

Janelle! What an amazing opportunity. Just by your obidience to go God is being glorified already. I will pray that HE begins to stir in the hearts of those that y'all are about to encounter! He is cleary stirring in yours and Heaths heart already! Praying, sweet imaginary friend!

Lindsee

~Jodi~ said...

Janelle,
I love your blog and am not sure i've ever commented or it's been awhile but i love your heart and your passion and love for missions is so clear! I am praying foryou and Heath and this opportuinty!! I know you will be a sweet blessing to all those women and childen lives that you touch and cross with in this time. That sounds like an amazing place I'll look forward to hearing all about it and seeing your pics. take care! and be blessed! Jodi

Heather said...

I will be praying for you guys. I remember my first mission trip with my husband ... it was awesome! So fun to do it next to him ...side by side.

Melissa said...

I found your blog through Amanda's a while back and have been lurking ever since. Praying that this trip is a fruitful and safe one for you and Heath - and one that remains with you long after you return!

Kara Clayton said...

Hey Janelle, I am so excited to hear about this opportunity you and Heath are getting to go and share Christ with others! I pray your trip is leaps and bounds beyond what you can imagine it to be. I know our God is faithful to use those who are willing! I loved (and was a bit jealous if I'm truly honest) reading about your weekend with Amanda at the conference y'all were able to go to! It sounds like you had an amazing time. Miss you tons and we HAVE to get together when you get back, I won't take a no answer! :-) Love you! Kara

amberburger said...

So excited for yall! I cant believe i am not going! You are going to love the kids and the widows! be sure and greet them for me!
love you!

Julie Robles said...

Hey Janelle, I am so happy for you and for the people you will be with in Sudan. God has made your heart so big! Don't let Heath drink the river water! Or any food with a name like "pig eggs".

Melissa said...

Hey, Janelle - thanks for your kind words! And yes, you guessed the skyline right! :)

Helen said...

You have the most fascinating life to me! You are doing such amazing things & I'm so jealous (in a good way). I hope you guys really enjoy such a special trip together.

MamaCass said...

I am so excited for you guys. This is going to be an amazing trip! Praying for you guys and the women and children you will be ministering too.

MamaCass said...
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carleigh said...

wow, that is so awesome! although brian and i have both been overseas, we have never been anywhere together. i know it will be life changing for you guys, and honestly, i'm a little jealous!

FordeFam said...

So exciting!!! I'll be praying for you as you're over there! :) Hope your shots went well!

FordeFam said...

So exciting!!! I'll be praying for you as you're over there! :) Hope your shots went well!

Holly said...

The Smiths are praying for each of you!! I look for the LORD to do amazing things before your eyes. You may just think you've won another Deal or No Deal. Expecting God!
Love,
holly

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

We'll be praying for every step!

I had no idea only 3 women were going! Y'all will have fun together with the women at the orphanage!

Lysa TerKeurst said...

As a mom of two sons adopted from an African orphanage... I feel compelled to thank you for saying yes to going on this trip.

My sons still recall the American missionaries that would come to their orphange for a visit.

They brought more than just hugs, Bible verses, and treats. My boys say the missionaries brought hope.

Pure hope.

The kind that can be very rare in a third world country.

You and your team will be physical evidence and touchable reminders that the hope we have in Jesus is real.

Me and my boys will be praying for you.

Blessings!

Lolly said...

Janelle,

That is so exciting and I am sure you will be blessed more than you can even imagine. In 1 Timothy, Paul writes about honoring widows. Showing them Jesus' love will be a ripple affect down through the children.

The big questions is how many are you going to want to bring home with you. I am sure you will fall in love with all of them.

I will pray for you. I can't wait to hear all that God is going to do through you and your church.

I'm looking forward to lunch when you return.

Darlene R. said...

Wow! I will be praying for you and your husband. What a neat opportunity for you both. I hope to be able to do something like this sometime.

Did you get your stuff in the mail yet?? :)
How did the shots go?