There is something about the joy that radiates from the eyes of a child. As an Elementary Education major in college, I have been in a lot of classrooms. From inner city schools who's student population battles the complexities of homelessness, gang violence, and drugs to Christian private schools with students that typically have involved and loving parents that would do anything to make sure their child succeeds. I've learned that kids are kids no matter who their parents are and how they are raised. They simply want to feel loved and accepted by those around them. The children of Kumasi, Ghana are no exception.
I have traveled to Ghana for 2 weeks at a time for the last three summers. Each time I return home, the one thing that always stands out to me most is contagious JOY that comes from the kids we work with at Cherubs Children's Home. Looking at the children's home we visit through the eyes of a US Citizen, it seems like the children have so little.
Journal Entry: July 29, 2016 10:53 pm
"The Children here have so little--yet so much joy. It has been hard for me to wrap my mind around how happy and loving these children can be when they don't even have what I assume to be basic necessities. When I was thinking about this at Cherubs today I just felt the Holy Spirit gently remind me, "abundant joy comes from the Lord". God is SO COOL!!! Tonight Pastor Mark shared Romans 15:13 that says, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." WOW. This was such perfect timing and I know it's not just a coincidence. God is teaching me so much about trusting in Him fully so that I can overflow with the abundant joy that flows from him."
Through my experiences in Ghana and the classrooms of America, I have learned so much about the beautiful innocence and the simplicity of life that children hold onto. We are all created in the image of God and that is so clear when you look into the joy filled eyes of a child. I've learned that joy is choice. Each day I want to wake up and choose to have that child like joy no matter the circumstances. If you have never experienced this kind of joy it only takes a day of your time to get involved somewhere that works with children. It doesn't have to be Cherubs Children's Home in Ghana (highly recommended though (: ) it can be anywhere- the nursery/children's ministry at your church or your local boys and girls club. Kids are kids no matter where you are. They're silly, full of giggles, and lots of love. When they are begging you to pick them up "one more time" for the hundredth time- look in to those joy filled eyes and I promise you, they will teach you so much about God's character and the JOY that overflows.
Hey everyone! It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything up here, so we thought it would be a good idea to quickly update you on what we’ve been up to and what our plans are for the future. Since our last post in 2016, we’ve taken teams over to Ghana, Africa in the summers of 2017 and 2018. We have also taken teams to Belize for sports-based missions and to The Dominican Republic as well. We have laughed, we have cried, and most of all, we have made life-long connections with people and shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
God has richly blessed us these past few years, and we believe there’s more to come for us in the years ahead. We already have trips planned and in the works for 2019 and 2020, with our nearest one in July of this summer! We will be headed to Ghana, West Africa with an awesome team of people. We ask for your prayers and look forward to posting more blogs like this and being more active in our online community. Stay tuned, because there’s more to come!
A big thank you to The Love Anyway Project, who featured Reagan in their recent blog post, shining light on her dedication and drive to help those in need. Read the interview here!
The Where Love Abounds team will be presenting at Stoney Creek Free Will Baptist Church on January 31st 2016. Come see how you can get involved.
In June, 7 baseball players, 2 coaches, 3 softball players, and 1 photographer took their first mission trip through Where Love Abounds. Needless to say, it was an exciting moment in the history of our organization. The team spent 5 incredible days playing baseball with their sponsor team in the Dominican Republic, Dios Primero (God First). Our team had a blast making friends with the "beast" baseball players on their brother team. Even though our Spanish was minimal and the boys in the Dominican spoke little English, the guys learned that a love of Jesus and baseball can cross all borders and all language barriers. When the long, hot mornings of baseball camps and scrimmages were completed, we loaded the bus to Iglesia Bautista where we spent the afternoons painting, cleaning, and playing bottle cap baseball with the children in the surrounding neighborhood. For those of you who do not know, bottle cap baseball might be the hardest thing you will ever try. Try picking up a broomstick, have someone toss a bottle cap at you, and attempt to make contact. Not so easy huh? No wonder so many guys in the Dominican are phenomenal at America's pastime. Our boys may have learned a lesson or two about baseball on this trip. :p However, the trip was a huge success. Pretty constant Facebook/Whatsapp messaging is still occurring between the two teams. We are in the process of planning another trip for next summer. Overall, Jesus was glorified on the baseball field, in Bible studies, through playing bottle cap baseball with children, and the act of serving a church in Santiago. God is good all the time. Thank you all for your continuous love and support.