Ok this post has been a long time coming and some of you already know all about what I am going to say. About 6 months ago, Ben came home from work and told me he was really feeling like God was calling us to do more for the orphans. As many of you know we have one adopted son and are in the process of adopting again. But as it turns out God has called us to more. Long and short of it, Ben and I prayed and prayed and felt such a strong calling to meet the needs of many orphans in practical ways.
We started a non-profit called The James Initiative. The idea behind this initiative is to bring hope. Bringing hope by building and sustaining orphan communities. Our first project we plan on starting is in Ethiopia. We would like to build a children's center for children to come to to get clothed and fed. We also want to build family-style homes around this center for those orphans with no mom or dad to live with "house parents" Eventually we would like there to be a school, a clinic, and agriculture. These may come about through partnerships with other non-profits. We are in the infant stage of this project. All we know is we have to follow the calling. We have a wonderful group of people already on board with this project and praying over this project. God will remain in the center of this project and at the front of all our steps. Please understand, this is God's ministry, we are just participants. It is ultimately for His glory. We are humbled to be a part of bringing hope to these children.
Right now we have incorporated and our in the process of getting our 501(c)3 status from the IRS. As far as in Ethiopia the next steps are to go and to apply for NGO(non-governmental organization) status. We need favor with the Ethiopian government that they will like our proposal and give us freedom to work in their country.
Ben and a few others are hopefully going later this fall to Ethiopia. We already have some ethiopian contacts that are going to help us once we get there.
And here's the thing...there are millions of orphans waiting for hope at this moment. The numbers and statistics can seem overwhelming, but every moment we have, is an opportunity to make a difference! It is time for radical sacrifice in our lives. When we strive to be a blessing, we in turn are blessed! I pray that our actions toward orphans reveal Christ in us. As David Platt explains in his book, we are God's plan A for the hurting world, there is no plan B. WE have to be His hands and feet.
"You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."
2 Corinthians 9:11
Anyone who wants to be a part of the James Initiative in some way is welcome! We are very excited about what the future holds and are so thankful for those who have already stepped up to be a part! Bottom line.....Hope in Christ should be shared.
"Hope means a continual looking forward to the eternal world. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought the most of the next." C.S. Lewis
Go to the website to learn more! I am hopefully going to be blogging on it as well. Here is also a video we did for an upcoming conference. Check it out!
*Statistics from the video are from UNICEF, World Health Organization, and Christian Alliance for Orphans .
There is so much more to share but I think it will take many posts to share the whole vision. Please stand with us in prayer over this initiative! He is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine! Ephesians 3:20
Website is www.thejamesinitiative.org or click on The James Inititative above. I still dont know how to make links different colors. Bear with me!