1. What led you to take on the role of HopeChest Partnership Leader?
I have sponsored children through various organizations my entire adult life. I have a heart for the orphan and the needy. I feel that they are very close to God’s heart which is exactly where I want to be. The role of Partnership Leader just opened up at my church, and I felt God calling me to take on this responsibility.
2. Tell us about your favorite moment traveling to Rosa de Amor.
This is a hard question. There were so many good moments! Do you have an hour to read my travel journal? I’ll try to keep it short. Before we left for the trip, the mission team had all of the sponsors make a short video to share with their sponsored child. One of my favorite moments was watching the children view these videos. I have never seen such pure delight and sheer joy over something so simple. If there was ever a doubt in my mind whether sponsorship makes a difference in a child’s life, that has been erased. The children were so happy and amazed that someone cared about them and wanted to share it with them. They asked to watch the videos again and again. (Our poor translator!)
3. How have you seen lives at your church change through traveling or sponsoring a child?
I think any time you travel, your world opens up just a little bit more. In the context of a mission trip, I think God’s world opens up before your very eyes. I have seen our congregation grow spiritually in their sponsorship as our church embraced this new mission in spite of some financial troubles. I have witnessed my friends experience God in a way that had not been available to them before traveling to Guatemala. Their faith has been stretched and the grace of God has become more real. While in Guatemala, we took Rosa de Amor staff out to dinner. One woman did not understand why we would do this. We explained that God cares about them as much as He cares about the children…the ones they care for, and we wanted to encourage them. With tears in her eyes she said, “I feel like I have been given a prize from God, a treasure from heaven.” And so the ones who gave, were given so much more…
4. What are your dreams and hopes for Rosa de Amor?
I have many dreams for Rosa de Amor. There is a piece of property the orphanage director owns apart from the orphanage. It is my hope that we can find a way for her to use this property as income. This income would maybe allow her to hire a cook or social worker freeing her from the cumbersome load that she carries. I also dream of building a classroom at Rosa de Amor someday. They do not have a separate place to learn. Some of them have school where they do their living. It can be very distracting for them. Another hope is to put in place some kind of transitional plan for the children as they become older. I want them to dream about their futures and be able to be employed as adults.
5. If you were auditioning for The Voice, what song would you choose and who would you choose to be your coach?
As a faithful watcher of the The Voice, this is a question I have given a lot of thought to. I would probably choose Halo by Beyoncé (because this is fictitious, yes?), and I would choose Blake as my coach. No, Adam. No, Pharell. No, Blake. Blake. Final answer.
6. What is the biggest challenge you face as a HopeChest Partnership Leader?
I think one of the biggest challenges is keeping people engaged in the project. In our small church, we have many who have not been to Rosa de Amor and many who will never go. Though not all are called to go, it is hard for a small group of first-hand experiences to maintain passion in the congregation. I am new as a Partnership Leader, and it is my hope to increase awareness and improve communication so that Rosa de Amor continues to be a big focus in our church. I believe that missions should be the most important thing.
“Church doesn’t create mission; mission creates church… When the church looks in the mirror, it should see missions. Missions is not one of the things that the church does, on a level playing field with worship, discipleship, stewardship, etc. and it is certainly not something we do from our excess. The Church is missions.”
Dirty Faith by David Z. Nowell