Giving Thanks for Great and Mighty Things
When we started 2018, we believed that this would be a year of breakthrough in the ministry.
At that time over 100 of the 700 orphaned or abandoned kids that we committed to serve didn’t have a sponsor. That means that we had already committed to friends in Cambodia, Myanmar, China, and Nepal to go ahead and take in a child that was in desperate need because we were confident that God would make a way for SEAPC to support their daily food, clothing, healthcare, and education costs through child sponsors around the world.
Those monthly sponsorship costs average $50 per month per child and those commitments were made to these friends over time for many years. The commitments were adding up but it seemed to us that the sponsors were nowhere to be found. Rest assured in knowing that in our big global house those kids that we committed to are fed, clothed, and loved first and then the rest of us get to eat. Every month we send resources to serve those children first and then trust God to provide for all of the other ministries and projects we participate in around the world. By God’s grace each month we were able to pull together the $5000 monthly shortfall.
It was a battle for us. I would regularly search back through my contacts and email lists, reaching out to friends in an attempt to find sponsors. Many leaders in the ministry made great sacrifices for these kids to be sure that they had what they needed. Every month, by the first of the month, the pressure would begin to mount around us. I’d sit down with Tony Wimer (our management director) and our executive leadership team, pull out the funds those kids would need, and then sort through the rest of what had come in. Tony is a giant of faith in my eyes. At the end of each month, when all the money needed for the entire ministry wasn’t there, he would somehow stand in joy and confidence. By faith, he would move the money we did have to the orphaned children, build me up in encouraging words of God’s promised provision, and send me back out into the world to pray.
Then, in late January, a man called and said that he felt he should sponsor every kid that needed sponsorship until we were able to find sponsors for them. BREAKTHROUGH! Our number one prayer request had been answered.
After that call, a blessing came to SEAPC that I had never witnessed to that point. All other seemingly impossible challenges around us began to become possible in our eyes and “breakthrough” became a common word and a regular experience around us.
Next, a marvelous man of God called and asked if he could sponsor the building of each of the remaining six technical centers we had agreed to build for the 488 impoverished schools we served in Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia. BREAKTHROUGH. This was the next big, crazy, and impossible vision that I knew needed a miracle. I spent many nights last year praying beside my bed, on airplanes, and before church services, as the pressure came from the builders and Cambodian government to fulfill this commitment made to them in 2015. Now, we had an answer!
Then, by the middle of the year the confusion and challenges that no one really sees—except those working in them—began to dissolve within the ministry. Things like websites, management software, audits, printing providers, visa applications, government access in the nations, and banking conformed to become the tools they are intended to be: serving us rather than the systems set in place to keep us down. BREAKTHROUGH.
These breakthroughs soon followed:
– This ministry became physically and mentally healthy.
– Heads of national governments and their families around us gave their lives to Jesus in our presence.
– Doors opened into Vietnam, Korea, Israel, England, and the Middle East.
– The fruit that we believed for matured. The BC Arise program has the highest graduation rate and the lowest dropout rate of any province in Cambodia; the Chinese government has set aside $10 million to serve kids with autism through our project in China; the Kashmir government has agreed for a global center for blindness within its borders and thousands of young people have found new hope in that land; public schools in Myanmar have opened their doors for us to serve their students; and a vision for an international healthcare program for Central America has been birthed in our hearts.
– Our vision is to witness a world connected through prayer that brings Christ-based change to those in need. God has placed us into a global community of Christian friends who believe that lives and nations are changed through prayer. I know that when we say yes to lost kids, its always by faith. God sees this and watches us to see if we will be faithful to them! He is faithful. And I am certain that we will see the remaining challenges we face find a breakthrough before the year ends.
Those challenges include building a Christian maternity and birthing center in a Muslim community in Kashmir, India; completing a center of rescue for kids trapped in gang violence in Guatemala; establishing the center for autism in Chengdu, China; and providing monthly support for missionary families living in Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia.
YOU are how He shows His faithfulness to me. I’m so thankful for this community of friends who pray. I’m eternally grateful for each of you who have agonized with compassion for the kids in need and who, by faith, have said “yes” to sponsoring them. You have often shared with us the joy in your heart to make a way for them. Now, I pray that this spirit of breakthrough that God has revealed to us will fill your heart today and spill out into your family as well.
God spoke through Jeremiah to a specific people living in a certain time, facing seemingly insurmountable challenges. I believe that He spoke this same word again to us at the beginning of this year. You are a part of this blessing and your prayers are central to this ministry. I am including you in this promise and asking you to please receive it for your household. His promise, paraphrased from Jeremiah 33, says:
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
– I will defeat your enemies for you
– I will bring health and healing
– I will reveal to you the abundance of peace and truth
– I will release your loved ones from bondage
– I will forget your faithlessness and sin
– Then you will be a joy and give me honor before ALL nations of the earth, who hear the good I have done to you
– The world will fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for you
May God bless you this Thanksgiving week and provide breakthrough in all areas of your life for His glory!