Most countries we travel to are grateful for the service that eMi teams provide. However, on October 8th, I will be leading an eMi project team to a country that does not welcome international assistance with open arms. In fact, this country's recent history is fraught with injustices to its own people and in recent times shamelessly turned away international aid in the aftermath of a major natural disaster that killed 200,000 of its own people and destroyed the lives of many others who survived.
But just as eMi does not conduct projects as “feel good” opportunities for it staff and volunteers, so neither does eMi conduct projects to simply gain favour or accolades from local governments. Some countries are called “hard” or “closed” by missionary groups for a variety of reasons but nonetheless, these are places where people need the Lord, the ministries need our help and where we desire to live out Christ’s love.
The orphanage we are serving on this trip owns a property of approximately 30 acres. Several homes have been built for the staff and children but as the ministry expands they realize the need for a good master plan and an integrated building and infrastructure design. Besides planning for living and educational facilities, agriculture and aquaculture will also be integrated into the make-up of the ministry and the character of the property. These will help toward maximizing self-sustainability as well as offer skill training for its youth.
To help achieve these goals, we are bringing a diverse group that will include architects, a landscape architect, a sustainability/resource planner, two civil engineers (survey, water, waste water, site grading), a structural engineer, an electrical engineer and a draftsman.
Besides providing this service we will take moments to play with the children and we are making plans to buy groceries with donated funds and distribute them to poor families.
Ironically, the orphanage we are helping has been recognized by the local government as an excellent example of a well-operated orphanage. The testimony of the work and effort of the orphanage staff is going beyond the boundaries of the orphanage property!
Our goal is that our efforts will a) raise the living standards in which the children live b) be a good guide to ongoing expansion and development of the ministry for the proper stewardship of their resources and c) that this be a place of physical, educational and spiritual growth and development.
Please pray with us and for us as our team endeavours to serve this ministry to orphans whose families have suffered great persecution. Pray as well for all our families at home as they carry on the busyness of life without those of us on the team.
You can see more details of the project by visiting the link under Greg's Upcoming Projects at the top of the right side bar of my blog. Thank you to all our supporters and friends who have come alongside my family and me in so many different ways, making it possible for me to be a part of this work. I look forward to sharing with you all about this project upon our return.