Friday, March 9, 2012

The Act of Turning Compassion into Action

Almost four  years ago, an IHH mission team had the opportunity to visit a small private orphanage in the Northern Region of Ghana, West Africa. Immediately our hearts were captured by the beautiful motherless infants who call this place home. We came home and put our compassion into action by telling our story and asking people to sponsor the children. We thank God for moving in the hearts of people to help make the lives of these children a little easier.
Pictured above are orphan home supplies purchased with donations from IHH supporters. Thank you for your compassion, action, and love for these little ones.

*Due to privacy issues, we are unable to post pictures of the children or the name of the home. If you are interested in helping or donating, please contact for more information. We would be glad to share more of this story with you!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Nothing Else Like It In The World" ~ Guest Post by IHH team member Mindy

When we arrived at El Olam orphanage, my controlling, over-planning self was not thinking about who would be on the other side of those doors. I was worrying about whether or not we would have enough sock monkeys for each child. One of my past co-workers had generously donated them but they were so cute and so big that we really didn't have anything else comparable to give to anyone if we didn't have enough. I think God probably laughs at the silly things we stress about. Usually they are things we have no control over at all, and that He has already handled with his attention to the tiniest details. Well of course we had 25 sock monkeys and 25 older children at the orphanage. The children were so excited to get the sock monkeys, and I just thought it was so incredible to see so much joy in one room. It really gave me a perspective about how thankful I should be for the little things in life.

We followed handing out the sock monkeys with handing out the beautiful dresses that the kids at Kimberlin had made. The little girls were so precious picking out their new dresses and just as God had provided with the sock monkeys, we had just enough dresses and shorts to clothe all the older children. Once we handed out the dresses, this precious little girl in the picture stole my heart. There were a few babies there with the older children. It appeared that if they had an older sibling they were allowed to stay downstairs with the older kids. Well this precious little girl wanted to make sure the babies got new clothes too.

When we first arrived we had dropped off some baby clothes upstairs, so I told her I would go get the clothes. The only thing standing between me and those clothes was the ability to communicate in Amharic the words "baby clothes". I grabbed my camera and recorded a video of the orphanage director translating for me. I ran upstairs and played the video back for the workers that were with the babies. They understood and brought the clothes back out that we had left with them. When I brought them downstairs, this sweet girl picked out an outfit for each of the babies that were downstairs, and then she asked to take the clothes back upstairs for the babies. We headed back upstairs and as we went she asked if she could carry the clothes. I said yes and filled her arms with baby clothes. I just thought I had seen real joy earlier. This little girl burst into the baby room with her arms full of clothes and didn't rest until she had picked out the perfect outfit for each baby in the room and helped to dress them. She was just beaming. She was just so excited to be part of the process, to be the hand that delivered the gifts.

I reflected back on this little girl over and over during the trip each time we were able to be His hands and feet. As we were painting fingernails, blowing bubbles, handing out bears or cars or suckers I totally understood how she felt when she handed out those clothes. I was so overwhelmed and blessed that our Heavenly Father who could fulfill all of these needs with a single spoken word loved me enough to allow me to be part of the process. Our team was priviliged to share the love He has so generously given to us and to personally deliver a message of Hope.

If you've been considering going on a short term mission trip but thought of a million reasons why you can't go this year then you would be right where I was last April. My prayer for you this year would be that come next January you would be right where I am now. I've now gone on my first short term mission trip and I can tell you: "There's simply nothing else like it in the world."  ~ Mindy

Mindy joined our team in September, after God had placed Ethiopia in her heart months earlier in the spring.  Mindy directs our church's large Awana Sparks club, and was instrumental in leading the "change drive" in which the Sparks raised hundreds of dollars toward IHH's water project.  Unbeknownst to her, even then God had plans... not only to miraculously bring the water project forward so quickly, but for her to go stand on the very land that had once been dry, to fill a water container with the water she helped to bring there, and to look into the eyes of the precious people of the village.

She has a heart for the Lord, the gift of leadership, views the world through the lense of compassion, and serves others diligently, as though serving Christ Himself.  As a team member she spear-headed fundraising efforts as well as became a point person for key donations such as medical supplies and...sock monkeys!  What a blessing and it was to have Mindy on our team this year and serve alongside her. ~Cyndi

Ethiopia Bound!

On January 3, 2012, a group of 8 departed for an amazing week of ministry with IHH's ministry partners in Ethiopia. It was a privilege to be sent to work among the precious people of Addis Ababa. We returned 10 days later, having poured ourselves out, yet full, having received so much more in return. In the coming days the team members will be sharing some of our experiences and what God is doing in Ethiopia.  THANK YOU for praying us there and back and for supporting work that will outlive us all and continue to bring others the HOPE that is Jesus Christ.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Gearing up for Ghana!

The mission this year is the same as it has been for the last eight years:
Share the love of Jesus with the Dagomba tribe of Ghana, West Africa.

We show that love in many different ways, but mostly just through building relationships and Bible storytelling in mud hut villages among a predominantly Muslim people group. Along the way we help feed hungry orphans and widows, provide training and support for the church pre-school, rock and hold infant orphans at a local orphanage, provide funds for poverty-stricken children to attend school, pray over sick children and adults, and raise our hearts and hands in worship with our African brothers and sisters.

Here is more information about the mission if you're interested:

Read more about the Dagomba tribe, an unreached people group, here.

Get more information about the trip here.

Previous mission blogs: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011