Thursday, November 7, 2013

Let's Build This Wall


Nehemiah ranks up there with one of my all-time favorite Bible guys.  I've never actually sat and numbered anyone, but I am fairly confident that he would be in my top five.

I think it's because I feel like I can really get to know him and his heart as he writes.  His passion and prayerfulness overflows in every chapter.  And, forget the Fortune 500 guys and politicians of today's author lineup...he is one of the best leaders I've ever read about.  My goodness, was he a guy sold out for God or what?

I'm pretty sure that if I was a cupbearer in the king's house, in a foreign land, where I could have been treated a lot worse than I was, and I heard about a torn down wall from my hometown...I don't know if I would cry before the king and ask to go be the ONE to fix it.  (And, ask for time off PLUS the king's protection and supplies to actually build the wall too.)

But, then, as I stop and think about Nehemiah, I'm reminded of one huge part of this story that's easy to miss.

This wasn't just Nehemiah at work.  Because if it was only him, in his humanness, he wouldn't have gone.

This was an absolute broken-hearted-by-God moment.  God knew who He was choosing to do the task he had planned.  And, He absolutely crushed Nehemiah with the weight of its importance.

So much so that he couldn't NOT go.  He couldn't NOT ask.  He couldn't NOT do this all the way.

Have you had a call like that?

Something that nags at you at first, keeps you up at night, then turns to tears on your pillow, followed then by absolute action, because you just can't help but follow it?

Not all of us will have those.  Nehemiah's story shows that.  There were many, MANY people who become a huge part of this story...but didn't have the burden first placed on their hearts the way God placed it on Nehemiah's.

But, did they turn away?  No.  Did they say "This is Nehemiah's deal"?  Never.  Did they do it half-heartedly?  Absolutely not.  They worked all day every day alongside Nehemiah to get the wall built.  Their faithfulness and determination is another part of this story that gets forgotten, but is a vital part of why their success came.

Nehemiah had the call.  But, he was one, with many who joined him.

Nehemiah had the God-given courage to start this thing.  But, God never planned for him to finish it alone.

So, after he felt the call to rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem, and he asked the king to let him go do what he had to do, what did Nehemiah do next?

He called on the families.  Sons and daughters.  Brothers and sisters.  Fathers and children.

They built the wall as families.  Section by section by section.

Each one knew the part they were responsible for, and they worked hard, even enduring opposition, to make sure their section was secure.

As I was reading this story yesterday, I was struck with an image.

His Chase received a call.  It was specific.  To a certain group of children, for a specific purpose, in a way that captured our hearts completely.  We've had sleepless nights.  We've had tears on our pillows.  And, we've asked families to help build.

And, never once, have we ever walked alone.
Never once, have we been left to answer this call, or build these walls, alone.

Every family that is a part of a student's life--as a sponsor, penpal, prayer warrior--is building their section of this strong wall.  Every family is working hard to make sure their part is secure...that their student is growing in Jesus, and learning they are uniquely purposed and divinely created.

What power there is when we are all building.

We are watching walls go up where there used to be rubble.  And, strength where there used to be weakness.

If you are a family who is building the wall, thank you.  Because we work together, we will see the good God has planned for His children in the end.

And, if you are not yet a family who is building, there is a section waiting for you.  Come take up your tools, and your sword (yes, they held both in Nehemiah's day!) and fight for safety and security for these kids.  We need you in this.

And as family wall-builders, here are three big challenges to be praying about, as we put stone upon stone:

1.  Do you know a family who could be building beside you?  We have had some families bring others along, even just this week.  Would you consider inviting just ONE other family to build?  We need approximately 100 more to enter this effort, who will pour into these kids prayerfully, financially, and physically.

2.  Will you start praying for the family that stands on the other side of the wall?  This is a big one, so please read this carefully.  We are the builders.  The support staff, if you will.  But, on the other side of the wall, in the city, is a family who will be receiving the student you care for, within the next year.  As the orphanage closes by December of 2014, and families are found for each student, some of these situations will be hard.  Really hard.  Opposition will come.  Although we pray daily against it.  But, will you really, deeply, begin to pray for the family on the other side?  For the team that will surround these students during this big year of transition, and hold them up, as they walk new paths?

3.  Do you see yourself as the important part of this effort that you are?  I think some of us think our job is small.  Writing four times a year.  Sending some money when it's time for a new school year.  Praying when we pass the fridge and remember our student.  Y'all.  This is BIG.  This is important.  This is war.  As the families built the wall of Jerusalem in Nehemiah's day, they had to build with one hand, and hold swords with the other, because there was all kinds of opposition around them.  They took their building job seriously.  But, they also took their job of defending seriously too.

And, guess what?  God said "Defend the rights of the poor and needy." (Prov. 31:9)  He also said "Defend the weak and the fatherless".  (Psalm 82:3)

You are part of a vital defense team and this is more important than words can say.  Take your job seriously.  Realize the important role you play in the lives of your students and in their futures, especially this year.

There is power in family.

And, this year, we will get to witness families on this side (His Chase) building, while families on the other side (Rwanda) are being prepared.

There has never been a more important call.

Let's build this wall.  For His glory and for the blessed future of His kids.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

One Child with 250 Sponsors!

Yes, you read that correctly!

One of our youngest students at Sonrise, now has a family of 250 to call his own!!

Thanks to a friend of His Chase, who saw an opportunity to share our story with her organization, we were introduced to hundreds more friends who have now "joined the chase" too!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summer Camp, Our Newly-Named "World Changers", and Bono

Wow, so much has happened since the last post on July 22nd and we want to try and share just a glimpse into the ways God is working in the lives of the newly named "World Changers" in Rwanda. Yes, that is the new name Alex has given the 240 students in Rwanda: "Since the day I was invited to serve these kids, I felt in my heart that God is intending to make them WORLD CHANGERS. This Will be my perspective as long as I'm still serving them. I don't and I will not see them as orphans but WORLD CHANGERS."  We couldn't agree more Alex!! 

Here are just a few highlights from the past few weeks:

Monday, July 22, 2013

MATCHING DONOR TODAY ONLY!!

In three days, the 240 His Chase students are done with another school term.  For their holiday break, our Rwandan team will be hosting His Chase summer camps for all ages!  This begins THIS THURSDAY, July 25th, and will include English training, Bible classes, and LOTS of fun activities for learning Rwandan culture, like dance, drumming, art, and field trips!  

We are so thrilled to have this opportunity, and are thankful for their boarding schools for making this possible.  

But, we need the finances to make this happen.

And, we need it by Thursday.

Mark's big birthday wish for today is to fully fund camp by the end of the day.

That would be 240 kids X $100 each for camp costs.

And, GUESS WHAT?? 
 We have a matching donor who will double anyone's gift given today with no limit!!!

Will you help us with a $100 gift today?  (DONATE HERE.)

It instantly turns into $200...and allows TWO awesome students to have this chance to continue training in Bible, English, and culture, so that they can grow in their skills, confidence, and HOPE.

Thank you all for making Mark's birthday wishes come true.  We couldn't do this (and won't be able to do this) without you!!

DONATE TODAY!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

It's Pricey, and Priceless...Plus words from Jane!

I wish I could write all night, so I could tell you all the wonderful stories we continue to hear about these students.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Another Prayer Answered!

Sometimes you pray for years before you see the fruit.  Sometimes your prayers are answered in a split second, and you don't even realize it's happened.  Other times God makes Himself so known, that it takes your breath away.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Life of Love

For those of you who don't know, Claver is our dear friend and brother from Rwanda.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Term Two Begins!

"He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together." -Colossians 1:17

Friday, April 12, 2013

I want to tell them...

Nothing is more humbling and exhilarating and nerve-racking 
than enrolling 237 kids in boarding schools & universities, 
while having no idea exactly how God plans to fund this whole thing.