Sunday, September 01, 2002


Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child
Wheels to the World

3,000 gift boxes to orphanages & hospitals
120 wheelchairs in Cape Coast region

Beyond Nowhere

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place … obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. Hebrews 11:8

You have to know where you’re going to arrive at the Village of Hope Orphanage. This is not “the middle of nowhere”; this is a hundred miles beyond nowhere! The facility houses 125 orphans (most lost parents to AIDS) in the Central Coast Region of Ghana. Our team of 3 Americans, 2 local missionaries, and 7 African church workers and pastors, drove the coastal route passing through suburbs, slums, and the mayhem of the marketplace. The sight of uncountable impoverished masses, crowded in stalls at the open-air bazaar, buying and selling their wares, is hard to describe. Commerce reigned amidst trash, raw sewage, stagnant water and stench. Another day’s existence bargained for, exchanged and secured - this day’s daily “bread”.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:1-3

Our uneasiness rose with the dust around our van. We turned off the main road onto a dirt path, following the last sign leading to the Village of Hope and the children awaiting our arrival.
Several wrong turns later, we reached our destination. The orphanage is a complex of 5 housing units on several parched acres of land. The Director was eager to give us a tour of the facility showing us living conditions of the children. Each “house” was arranged comfortably as a family-style unit with living and dining areas, and sleeping quarters neatly decorated with curtains, pictures and other semblances of normal family life and childhood. Cardboard signs were placed in the hallways for furniture and a future yet unseen. “Computer Lab” read one, “Library” read another.

But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted perish. Psalm 9:18

The program began with songs of praise and worship, the children singing with enthusiasm and joy. Then the Director led them in a chorus that sounded written just for them: “When I have lost my mother, when I have lost my father, when I have lost it all, I still have Jesus”

From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise. Psalm 8:2

How many Christians sitting in pews on the other side of the ocean, understand such loss and yet such gain? Fighting back tears, we finished the program and distributed the gifts. But there was no question that the gifts we shared with the children that day paled in comparison to the one they sang of.

Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach … the unsearchable riches of Christ. Ephesians 3:7-8