When I share that we have an extraordinary community of donors and volunteers, this is why. Earlier this week LUV received a letter from Steven with a $20 donation. He wrote at the end of his note,
“It’s an honor to be a part of your wonderful ministry. Even though the gifts are small, my prayers are huge. God bless you all.”
We’ve been receiving cursive handwritten letters along with donations from Steven for years. What makes his partnership even more inspiring to me is that Steven has been incarcerated in a USA prison during all the time we’ve known him. “Even though the gifts are small, my prayers are huge.” His love is as abundant as the widow’s mites.
Lift Up the Vulnerable has a very small stateside staff. We are supported by a very active board of directors and a committed group of super volunteers and partners to help with a wide-variety of tasks. One of our 2020 goals has been to help reconnect with past supporters who had been lifting up the orphans in Sudan and South Sudan for years but lost contact during the 2018 transitions.
And, that’s where Louisa and Mamie have stepped up.
When the pandemic began to lock-down the world, Louisa—who lives in England—reached out to let me know that her company had put her on furlough for the next few months. With all of the extra time on her hands and stay-at-home orders in place in her community she wanted to volunteer even more. Over the past month, she has helped call and reconnect with hundreds of people to share about what God is up to through our anti-trafficking network.
During these calls, Louisa has heard many similar stories to hers: of set backs, reduced budgets, furloughs or lost jobs. But what she’s reported—and what we’ve seen again and again—is that our partners rise to the challenge of generosity and compassion in all seasons of life!
Like Mary who donated and shared: “I can’t enjoy the abundance of good food I’ve been blessed with if I don’t share with my brothers and sisters who are in need.”
Or, an anonymous donor who wrote, “I have all that I need and want to help meet the needs of the people in South Sudan during this critical time. May our loving God protect you all.”
Extraordinary partners from TX, TN, AL, CO, IN, AZ, Hong Kong and beyond have also gone the extra mile and shared from their abundance and increased their giving to help us cover the extra needs of the orphans and widows during this time.
Mamie is another super volunteer who has been serving the orphans in our network since 2005!
I remember when she first learned of the extreme temperature changes that the orphans faced while they slept (sometimes the temperatures can drop from 140ºF to 90ºF overnight). She made it her personal mission to visit what seemed like every Walmart in the state of Alabama until she purchased a variety of amazing fleeces so that each child could be warmed through the night and wrapped in love. At the time there were about 400 orphans educated and fed at New Life Ministry but no dormitories to keep them safe. Mamie helped bundle and ship these fleeces through our logistics network to South Sudan where they were distributed and received with profound joy and gratitude.
Mamie is now retired and once again has offered to step out of her comfort zone and help call past partners to share her compassion and passion for God’s children so that more lives can be lifted.
To ensure our children have the resources that they need to thrive, these calls are literally helping save lives!
Some of you may have talked to Louisa or Mamie already—others may be hearing from them or a board member soon. I encourage you to give both of these women some extra love as they share their hearts and their time to serve the most vulnerable in our network!
And, let’s never forget Simon and Tom.
Simon and Tom are servant-hearted truck drivers from Kenya currently en route with food and supplies to New Life Ministry (along the border of Darfur) and Our Father’s Cleft (in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan). These men have faced challenges at every corner—with new rules and regulations popping up over night adding more delays to their already long journey. In addition to that are unplanned detours, backtracks, stops, and restarts which are extending their trip even more. Simon and Tom are somewhere in the heart of South Sudan and have around 7+ days more of driving though rough terrain to reach their destinations. The rains have already begun. Yet, they are determined to deliver this life saving food to the most vulnerable orphans despite delays and risks. As Simon shared about his privilege to deliver this food, “I will do it again and again. I am happy when I contribute the little I can through what God has given me to help the most vulnerable.”
Please pray for their continued protection!
These are just a few extraordinary examples representing hundreds and hundreds of extraordinary partners—like you—that surround the most vulnerable in a global embrace of love.
The world is rife with racism, violence, prejudice, hate, bigotry, trafficking, and exploitation of vulnerabilities. As predicted, COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly through South Sudan. Despite being the last country in the region to register its first COVID-19 case, South Sudan is now leading Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, Ethiopia, and the Central African Republic with the number of cases. Schools remain closed and travel remains restricted. Human trafficking and oppression are on the rise. We continue to plan, pivot, and adjust as we learn more.
Yet, extraordinary Love is always greater still. And you are proving that extraordinary, compassionate, contagious Love-with-no-boundaries will have the final word.
Now, more than ever, let us trust and give, not “clutch in fear.”
– LUV anonymous donor
Join the movement of extraordinary LUV today!