Bless An Orphan Update
In Matthew chapter 9, Jesus told his disciples that the "harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few." I know a lot of ministries that will tell you that 2,000 years later this still holds true!
Our mission field is endless, it's across the road, beside the person in the check out line, with our family, on the job, in the next state over, but it's also around the world in poverty stricken counties and countries that are economically thriving. Our mission field has no borders. We all have a mission field to labor, but there are also those who have been called to devote their lives to reaching the lost and sharing the love of Christ by sharing the word and caring for needs. There are fewer and fewer people who are stepping out to answer that call.
We've had many people come and go. Ready to commit out of emotions but not ready to commit in their will. The job is hard - physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It takes determination and a relentless pursuit of self sacrifice to endure what the foreign mission field can throw your way. We often see that there is a misconception that every day on the mission field gives you all the feels with souls being saved and lives being changed. There is a misconception that there is a constant "high" on feelings of accomplishment and victory. Those moments exist, but they are muddled between intense spiritual battles, witchcraft, cultural divides, governmental red tape, corruption, underdeveloped infrastructures that make life slower and more challenging, etc. And if you are in the mission of rescuing and taking care of children and the poor - it means a lot of snotty noses, diaper cleaning, children who can be out of control and dangerous because of their trauma, threats to your life, backed up toilets, lack of resources, sickness from dirty water and food, parasites, and lots of other fun things you never hear about. We've seen a lot of burn out for many reasons, but one is being ill equipped to deal with these realities. Emotional decisions will never sustain you. Maybe it's because we live in a comfortable society, but fewer and fewer people are making that commitment. Pray for missionaries. They sincerely need your prayers. Pray for others who will commit to a life of service.
"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much..." Luke 16:10
I've heard discussions and read blogs about whether or not "mission trips" make an impact or if it is a waste of time and money that really never amounts to anything. Well, I get both sides and I've defended points on both sides of the argument. Those who say money would be better served if instead of sending people on mission trips they gave to that cause rather than making it a photo op of selfies with poor people. Then, there are those who say mission trips can make a real impact on the lives who are serving and can benefit the mission as a whole. There are a lot of factors that go in to determining the effect. For us, we have had incredible success with hosting mission teams because we don't make the trip about them, but rather about those they are serving. We put people to work, because that's what they are there for! Most groups always bring extra donations of clothing, shoes, medical aid, and financial resources for us to help others. We've witnessed numerous people return to the US and pursue education and careers in public service after spending time with us. We've also known others who were so greatly effected they've become advocates for the work we do, or started projects of their own to help others. There hasn't been a single person who has joined us for a short term mission trip (and there have been hundreds) who haven't said their lives weren't changed for the better. So, we are all for mission groups as long as it isn't about selfies and comfort, but rather sacrifice and service!
This month (Feb. 26 - March 11) a group of high school Seniors from Illinois will join us again for a 2 week service trip. We love working with this high school! They have sent several other groups before. They have always been prepared to make sacrifices and not complain about being uncomfortable. This year the group will be working with us on the coast of Ecuador in a small poor fishing village that was devastated by the earthquake last April. We have several hundred children in our program in this village who receive support from you! The group will be assisting with medical camps, children's programs, as well as helping with our Matthew 25 Feeding program and delivering food and supplies to children and elderly who are in need. In addition, we will be continuing to help rebuild lives by providing basic relief - rebuilding structural damage, supplying beds, mosquito nets. etc. to families and the elderly.
Will you commit to pray for this group for their health, protection, and that they will hear God speaking to their hearts while they are with us? You never know when one will answer the call to devote their life to foreign missions. It was on a foreign mission trip when I was a teenager that the Lord solidified the call that I had always known was over my life to rescue and help transform the lives of His forgotten children. I had carried that burden in my heart from a very early age, but it was my first trip out of the US that made me even more determined to stop at nothing to make it happen!
Also, we could use your help if you would like to make a financial gift to be used during this service project. We need help with medical supplies, construction material, beds, food, etc. that will all be used to bring relief to the children and the elderly. Please consider a gift today!
As always, Marshall and I are so grateful for your love and support. God has been so gracious to us and He has used your generosity time and time again to encourage us! Please, continue to pray for our projects in the Philippines and our team as we seek wisdom on our mission in the US to help children as well. Pray that others will answer the call and for the resources to get the job done!
May the Lord bless you always,
www.blessanorphan.com Karissa Washburn