I can't believe it's that time of year again... Where has 2011 gone? If you're anything like me, you're scratching your head as you look at the calendar, wondering how in the world you're going to make your December schedule jive while you contemplate the months gone by. Our children have grown up a little and we may notice an extra laugh line or two when we look in the mirror. If we're lucky, happy memories float to the surface more quickly than the sorrows that burdened our hearts this year. But whether 2011 was bittersweet or nothing but joy, life is a gift and we are so blessed to live it!
Last week during our One Body One Hope meeting, I looked around the circle at the amazing people who make up our board and thanked God for fitting together all of our different gifts and personalities. It is so obvious that we have each been given a role, and God is using our discussions and convictions (and even our disagreements) to make us a better, more unified group. We've grown a lot this year, and we've articulated a direction that we have all embraced with passion and anticipation.
In the first few years since it's inception, One Body One Hope was a relief organization. We "staunched the flow," so to speak, as we raised money to provide basic necessities for the kids at Christ Our Hope orphanage (food, medical care, clothing, etc.). Since we are working with an orphanage (an institution that will never be self-sustaining simply because it provides care for those who cannot care for themselves), part of our mission and mandate will always be relief. That's why we rely on the generosity of our child sponsors! However, we also have a deep desire to work in the arena of redevelopment, and we definitely feel God leading us in that direction.
We're not sure what redevelopment is going to look like for Christ Our Hope or the surrounding community, but our eyes and ears (and hearts!) are open and we can't wait to see what God has in store. In less than a month, most of our board will be traveling to Liberia to explore some of these options. We have also enlisted the help of a friend and filmmaker who will document our time there and translate the story of the kids we've grown to love into something that we can share with you.
As you contemplate the holiday season ahead, and the year gone by, we hope that you will remember to pray for the children at Christ Our Hope. Pray that the Lord will reveal ways for us to continue to support and encourage them, and pray that He will open people hearts to give. Pray for the ministry of One Body One Hope, and for the upcoming trip. Pray that we will continue to be salt and light, people living lives of love and generosity.
Happy holidays to you.