Lord I want to feel your heart
and see the world through your eyes
I want to be your hands and feet
I want to live a life that leads --Casting Crowns
It is always amazing the way God works. I can look back over past years, hardships we have faced, people who have been put in our lives...God has been preparing us, shaping us for this time in our lives.
Africa had been placed on our family's heart...Burkina Faso specifically. You may have never heard of Burkina Faso before. It is a small country, approximately the size of Colorado, which resides above Ghana in the 10/40 window in West Africa.
What is the 10/40 window? It is a stretch of land that lies across Africa and Asia from 10 degrees latitude north of the equator to 40 degrees latitude north of the equator. What is significant about this area is the following:
- Although it represents only 1/3 of the earths land mass, it inhabits 2/3's of the worlds population.
- 90% of the people living in "window" are unreached people groups. They have never heard the good news of Jesus Christ.
- 85% of the people living in these countries are among the poorest in the world.
In Burkina Faso there are over 150,000 orphans. Many times the mothers die in childbirth or due to complications during childbirth (1 in 10). Parents may also die due to AIDS, but more commonly due to preventable, treatable diseases. The problem is that they don't have money to keep their families fed, let alone pay for medication or medical procedures. The staggering truth is that the average life expectancy for an adult is 46 years old and 1 out of every 5 children may not make it to their 5th birthday.
Mike and Delaney traveled to Burkina Faso this past January. They stayed at the Sheltering Wings Orphanage in the town of Yako. There are approximately 48 children, aged newborn to 22 who live at the orphanage. Hundreds of children attend the primary school and secondary school which are part of Sheltering Wings. There is also a medical clinic, sponsorship program, widow basket program and weaving program. God is at work in Yako and there is more to be done in Burkina Faso.
As we prepare for the journey ahead we ask for your prayers. We are going to need a whole team of people praying for us each step of the way. There are many things we need to do prior to our move, so please pray specifically for our focus to remain on God's plan and not our own, for protection from the enemy's lies and discouragement, for our hearts to be prepared for the hardships we will encounter, for the love of Christ to shine through us, for discernment and sensitivity to a culture very different than our own, for our minds to stay sharp as we educate ourselves, train for missions and learn new languages.
With love and blessings!