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Monday, June 18, 2012

"Her smile was as big as the moon!"

Several months ago, I received an email from Christin Lites who was involved with orphan ministry at her church and wanted to know about working with Children's HopeChest.  Several months later, she contacted me as she was headed to Ethiopia with HopeChest and would be visiting Kind Hearts!!  What a great coincidence!

Press the play button on the slide show below (and if it stops, click the forward arrow to advance the slides).  Sponsor families - you'll see lots of great photos of your kiddos!!

Please read below for Christin's account of their visit to Kind Hearts.

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From Christin:
The FBC Orphan Ministry Team began after God opened our eyes to the needs of the orphans around the world. The founding couples began our quest to adopt, but felt called to do more. The ministry was started in 2010, but came to fruition in March of 2011 when our team and FBC hosted Orphan Sunday. The people of FBC gave generously one Sunday to help a Russian orphan with Down Syndrome find her forever family. 
Since then we have raised funds for two other orphans with Down Syndrome. We still felt called to do more. One of our original goals as a ministry team was to be able to connect into a physical location, go visit, and help care for orphans. We began praying about how we should accomplish this goal. We sent a team to Malawi, Africa last year, but didn’t feel as though this was where our ministry was headed. Soon after, we learned about Children’s HopeChest and began planning a Vision Trip. We sent four team members in May of 2012.
We had the privilege of visiting Kind Hearts on our first day in Ethiopia. As we stepped off the bus, we were greeted by warm hugs, kisses, and smiles. Looking into the children’s eyes was like looking into the face of Jesus. Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40.
After a joyful welcome, Fikre called the children under a tree. We had the pleasure of listening to their angelic voices sing about our Savior. For the next hour we played soccer, painted fingernails, colored, played Frisbee, blew bubbles, and played with a parachute.
I was immediately impressed with how well behaved the children were. The girls lined up and waited patiently to have their fingernails painted. Afterward, we handed each girl a crayon and coloring sheet. Even though I couldn’t understand the words that were spoken, I could understand their smiles. They were joyful and thankful for just this one piece of paper.
After I passed out all of the sheets and crayons, I sat down by a small girl. She was very young and didn’t seem to know what to do with the crayon. I began showing her how to hold it and color in the fruit on her page. Later in the day, she came up to me to show me her page. Her smile was as big as the moon! She wanted to show me her new creation. My heart melted!
After playing with the children, we toured the care point and arrived back in time to see them eating lunch. I was touched by their generosity, as they wanted to share their portion with us! Here they were hungry, and they were trying to give us their food! Priceless!
Before leaving, we were showered with more hugs and kisses. We had a hard time pulling ourselves away. We could have stayed all day!
Kind Hearts really set the tone for the rest of our trip. It was a great example for what other care points should be. In addition, we could see the difference in the children at unsponsored locations. Their behavior and health was not as good as the children we had loved on at Kind Hearts. Thanks to your efforts, these children love Jesus and have food to eat! It was our privilege to love on your sponsored children! Jesus Guitanu (Jesus is Lord).
Living to Love,
Christin Lites

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