People ask me all the time how I possibly travel the way I do, run a ministry, and care for my three young children. The answer lies in a beautiful and finely orchestrated dance my husband and I have committed to doing together. We purposefully don’t have a nanny or outside help because we know when God calls a family into missional living, He provides a way.
This summer, as ministry is taking me through ten countries in two months, I have been faced with a heart-bending challenge: care for my three children, or care for thousands of children, most of whom are anonymous in this world. But they’re children, just like mine, and they need to be loved.
My husband and I reluctantly sent our children away to long summer camps so that he and I could both do the work God has called us to do. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I admit, the nasty thing called mom-guilt was consuming, almost overwhelming.
This week, my kids came home!
God used that time at camp to wrap His arms around my children in glorious ways that Bryan and I could not, because He loves them more than we do. They have returned home with a purity in their attentions and desires, with a peacefulness about themselves. Their hearts and minds have been reset, cleared of the chaos of everyday life, focused entirely on Him, and on their family, whom they love. And even in absence from each other, God used camp to pull us together, and knit us more tightly into the godly family He dreamed up long ago.
On the other side of the world, summer camps are also used. But unlike camps here, camps in Moldova are places where forgotten, left-behind children are sent, when the institutions in which they live a life of neglect and abandonment, close for the summer. Most of these camps are completely devoid of programming, leaving hundreds of children largely unsupervised and with nothing to do but wait until their institutions reopen weeks later.
Sweet Sleep is changing this.A mission team of 25 people who are passionate about loving these kids in Moldova will be leaving on Friday, July 10, to conduct an adoptive family summer camp. This is the first of its kind in Moldova. Nestled in the quiet woods of Moldova, 20 Christian couples who have been called to adoption and foster care will come together, to be trained in what to expect when they bring children into their family. And 120 children – biological children, adopted and fostered children, and children awaiting adoption – will attend as well, where they will be enriched with VBS activities and recreation.
New families will learn to worship a loving God, together. New sibling groups will form lifelong bonds of kinship, respect, and understanding. Parents with a desire to love the orphan will be trained and equipped to do so. And the forgotten will learn that they are able to be loved, that they are wanted, and that they can, in turn, love as well.
We are so close to being able to provide this experience for these children in Moldova.
But as with all things, we need your help! There are still 45 children who need sponsorship to attend this camp. For only $200, a child will experience the love of Christ in a safe, enriching environment, and in the process will learn to love and to be loved by his or her brand new forever family!Sponsor Summer Camp for a Child in Moldova.
Sweet Sleep is stepping out in faith this summer. We are saying YES to His call on this ministry. We’re stretching beyond what is easy or comfortable, and God is blessing that! Thank you for your words of encouragement and your generous support of this work. Thank you for responding to these stories as I tell them. As He promises, there are many things He has to share with us (John 16). I pray that as He unfolds His story, and I tell it, that it glorifies Him, and in the process, brings hope and love to the orphaned and abandoned children of this world.