I am really doing it! My airplane ticket says Seattle to Monrovia - October 2, 2008!
I have attempted to keep everyone up to date on what is going on, but I will review just in case.
Last spring, I spent 2 life changing weeks in Liberia. Liberia is a country in West Africa that has been torn apart by civil war and poverty. Thousands of children live in orphanage homes there.
Since my visit, I have found myself with a whole new perspective on life and what is important. I learned that electricity and running water are not requirements, they are luxuries. I fell in love with the country. The people as a whole were so gracious and the children, precious. Within 24 hours of being in the country I knew I would return.
When I made the choice to return I doubted why I could be of any help, my nursing experience is literally from a different world. As I continued to think and pray on it I realized the qualifier for me and all they really need is someone that is willing.
So, I am joining the ORR team and returning to Liberia for at least 6 months. ORR is currently contracted with about 20 orphanages that care for approximately 1000 children. Their goal is to meet the practical needs of these kids. ORR comes in to the poorest and worse off orphanages and works to ensure that they have a safe and sturdy home, a roof that does not leak in the worst of the rainy season, latrines, food and water.
As the Healthcare Coordinator with ORR, it will be my responsibility to oversee the overall health of the orphans. The most prevalent health problems are preventable; malnutrition, worms, skin infections, and malaria are some of the most common. There are also a lot of educational opportunities to teach the orphanage directors and children about things that will help them to remain healthy. I will be personally caring for many of the children as well as partnering with local clinics and pharmacies to help establish long term relationships for the care of these orphans.
Many people ask how they can help…
I will start by asking that you partner with me in prayer.
-Pray for me. I have a lot to get done “closing up shop” here while I prepare to leave the country for several months. Also pray for traveling safety and adjusting to the heat, food and culture, and for my back (it has been bothering me a lot lately).
-Pray for the ORR Field Team. As well as myself there will be 4 other team members in Liberia. We need strength, endurance, communication, protection and health (in fact, Matt Cramer who has been in Liberia for the last month has been feeling ill and may have malaria).
Andrew Tyler - In-Country Director and Administrator.
Matthew Cramer - Media Coordinator.
Ashley Stoll – Relief Programs Manager.
Jennifer Gerson – Capacity building manager.
-Pray for the kids. The orphans are who we are there to serve, they live in horrible conditions with little to eat or play with.
There is no mail service in Liberia. E-mail will be the best way to keep in touch with me. If you would like to send something, you can do so through an organization called Service to Servants. www.servicetoservants.com. They send a container via ship to Liberia several times a year. The next container is scheduled to leave sometime in November. The website will walk you through the steps you will need to take to use their services.
Ideas of what to send-
The kids always need clothes and underwear of all sizes.
The ORR team loves treats they can not get in Liberia. Non-perishables are best, cookies, blister pack gum, Sam’s Cajun trail mix (from wal-mart).
There are always financial needs. ORR is currently working on several projects at orphanages. See the ORR website for more information. www.orphanreliefandrescue.org.
Of course I am responsible for all my own funding while I am there. If you would like to help out financially contributions can be made through my church.
Send personal donations for me to-
Evergreen Foursquare church.
PO Box 1472, Auburn, WA 98071-1472.
Please write “Liberia” in the comment line.)
Send donations for ORR Projects to-
Orphan Relief and Rescue
17866 HWY 110 N
Garden Valley, TX 75771
Other ways to contact me-
US ORR Office –903-963-3536
I would love to hear from you!
“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:19-20