Dear Providence family,
I am writing this letter to you with great excitement and gratitude! Excitement about celebrating with you some of the many incredible things that God has done in and through Providence in 2014. Gratitude for your investments of time, money, prayer, encouragement, and other resources that are helping to make all of this work possible.
Let’s start by celebrating God’s work through Providence in 2014. While we still have a lot work to do and need to raise about $15,000 to meet this year’s budget, we are in the best shape that we’ve been in at this point of the year since I started with Providence and we are poised for so much more in the future. Here’s a few of the reasons why I’m so excited:
Our La Providencia team has continued developing the lives of over 100 children at La Providencia through the family homes and Academia La Providencia, as we added another 15 beautiful children from the Aguas del Padre community to the school this year. I wish that I had more room in this letter to share with you some of the stories about how our children and families have continued to thrive this year. Hopefully I can tell you about them over coffee or a meal sometime soon.
- We completed and published In Pursuit of Orphan Excellence: My Kids, Your Kids, Our Kids, which I was able to edit and author with 14 amazing co-authors doing front-line orphan care ministry around the world (including our very own ALP teacher, Katharine Marrow). The book’s immediate impact is blowing our minds, as orphan care organizations, churches, and individuals from Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the US have already contacted me for advice on how they can provide better care in their ministries after reading the book’s discussion on a best-practice orphan care framework. And people with no involvement and little interest in orphan care have told me that after reading the book they now see how loving orphans is for everyone, including them. One leading orphan care expert recently gave me this humbling and encouraging “review” via text: “It’s the best book out there by far on orphan care.” I can’t wait to see how God uses this book in the future.
- We started working with William Jessup University in Rocklin, CA, to develop classes on the spectrum of care for orphaned and vulnerable children, with the hope that one day students will be able to earn a degree in this area. We taught the first class this fall semester, as a full class of 24 students learned about the “Abandoned, Orphaned, and Trafficked: Making a Difference in the Lives of At-Risk Youth.”
- We continued deepening relationships with many of you through 18 mission teams from around the US to La Providencia, including several medical and dental teams that performed over 200 life-changing surgeries at our John Eaves Medical Center.
- This month marks the 10 year anniversary of La Providencia in Aguas del Padre, which we are celebrating with festivities during the weekend of January 15-19, 2015.
Through this work at La Providencia and other parts of the world, Providence is providing a framework and model for others to bring excellence to the lives of millions of orphans that may not otherwise have had opportunity to develop their unique, God-given skills and talents.
That’s why I’m so excited to look into 2015 and anticipate all the great things God has in store for Providence in Honduras, in the US, and around the world. Take a look with me at some of the things that we expect to happen next year:
- More family homes—We are planning on constructing more family homes and fill them with new families at La Providencia (stay tuned for more on this over the next few weeks)
- Inspire and equip pastors, churches, and organizations to effectively love orphans with excellence through ThinkOrphan: an Immersive Experience, a curriculum we’ve developed, and through training seminars around the country
- Trainand equip other orphanages around the world to implement the framework from In Pursuit of Orphan Excellence and improve the standards they’re setting for the children under their care
- More children at Academia La Providencia, more relationships developed through our new and existing partnerships with churches and organizations, lives being changed through more teams visiting La Providencia and our La Providencia team visiting churches in the US, new teachers and a new schedule at Academia La Providencia, and a whole lot more opportunities for God to make Himself evident to us in amazing ways!
We can’t do any of these things without people like you heeding God’s call in your lives to work with us in our efforts to love orphaned and vulnerable children with excellence, as God loves them. For that we are eternally grateful. I hope and pray that you will continue to be an active part of the Providence family, working with us to meet our 2014 need and finish the year stronger than ever, and investing your lives with us in 2015 and for many years beyond.
Your brother and teammate,