Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What GO. BE. LOVE. means

What does it really mean to GO. BE. LOVE.?

GO: get outside your comfort zone and go do what the bible calls us to do. In James 1:27, we're specifically called to visit orphans and widows. That's why Visiting Orphans exists. And that's why not only do I work for this ministry but I believe whole heartedly in the biblical implications of it.

BE: Be the hands and feet of Jesus. He commissioned us to go so that He could work through us to reach the nations, our communities, our world. It is a honor. We GET to be used by the God of the Universe to reach a lost world and to love on those the bible calls "the least of these". I don't take that lightly.

LOVE: God IS love. And part of being a disciple of Jesus is looking more and more like Him. This requires a willingness to die to ourselves and be conformed to the likeness of Christ. Jesus didn't sit back and stay where it was comfortable. He got out there and loved those that society considered unloveable. And we're called to do that too.

So my challenge to you today is this: Are you ready to GO. BE. LOVE.? If so, we invite you to join Visiting Orphans. We have over 60 trips to 13 countries in 2012 alone. And if not with us, go with your church or a child sponsorship agency or some other ministry. But I do challenge you to go. Let God use you to be the change the world needs. And in the process, you'll find that He's also changed you. You'll never be the same. And you'll be glad!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Music. is LOVE… Be.Love”

"Music. is LOVE… Be.Love” --Whitney Houston

It’s Tuesday morning.  And, it’s Valentine’s Day.  It’s 2 days after the Grammy’s.  And 3 since a true musical genius has left us.  Yup, these Tuesday blues are playin on repeat in my iThoughts….

But there’s something different about today.  These ‘blues’ are on a different track.  Playin for a different record.  They’re not playin to depress me, anger me, take me out of the game, or distract me.

No, these blues are playin a pretty tune.


Two things happened to me while watching the Grammy’s on Sunday night.

#1.  I was reminded where and why my love of music exists.

*Adele graced that stage with confidence, beauty, humbleness, and poise.  It literally sounds like angels every time she opens her mouth.  And she can even make the word ‘snot’ in an Acceptance speech sound acceptable!!

*The Foo Fighters made their entire album in a garage, using tapes.  And, although I’m not a huge rock fan--I totally respect this!  Proving that music doesn’t have to sound perfect to move people.  No gimmicks.  No computers.  Just.  Music.

*And then.  There really isn’t anything that needs to be said over Jennifer Hudson’s “Whitney Houston” tribute.  Simplicity.  Pure. Elegant.  Heartfelt. and Strong.  It moved me to tears and it broke my heart.  It lifted me up and cast light on my dark.  It stirred every emotion in my body….  And I still have the goosepimples from it.

and THAT, my friends, is what music is all about.  

No shenanigans.
No boisterous lyrics.
No outrageous costumes, dance moves, lighting, techno-tronics, computers, smoke, backups, and production.

It was just.  Music.

And it moved me. to the core.

And then, 
#2.  I was reminded just how powerful the art of Music really is

At the ripe ‘ole age of 7, I was introduced to the Whitney Houston craze.  From belting her ballads off my coffee table, to inviting her to my birthday party so she could sing, “I Wanna Run to You”--I was always loving, following, and being inspired by her every move.  She wanted to dance with me (Yes, I justified that “Somebody” was in fact, Me).  She told me I could be great, and that I had a future.  She told me to just believe.

And do I remember the day I heard she ‘took a wrong turn’?   Like I remember 911.  yes.  She broke my heart.

And all I could do was hope and pray she got back on track with her life.

But, it was because of Whitney, I inspired to do great things.  To BE great things.  I don’t have a voice like hers.  Heck, I don’t even have a voice.  But I have passion.

Whitney once said, “Music is Love.  Music and Love are the same things, really.  So, if our kids grow up with music in their lives, there will always, Always… Be Love.”

It’s not a question of whether we believe she fell off the deep end or whether she had a great voice, or poise.  Whitney believed, that at the end of the day, Music… is what would make the world go round.  BecauseMusic.  Is Love.

On this Valentine’s Day, I want to inspire YOU to Be. Love.  Be LOVE to the 163 million orphans around the world that don’t have a family to love them back.  Be LOVE to the 600 orphans in one little city in Rwanda this coming May and share YOUR musical gift to them.

Give HOPE to these little ones.  Inspire THEM to be great.  Because after all… I too Believe, THAT CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE….

“Music is Love.  Music and Love are the same things, really.  So, if our kids grow up with music in their lives, there will always, Always… Be Love.”

email or for more information on the Music Missions Trip, May 23rd to June 2nd

Written By:
Amanda Herdina
Visiting Orphans

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Leaving A Legacy

As most of you who follow Visiting Orphans know, Amanda Lawrence who was VO's Executive Director for the past 2+ years, recently resigned to be a full-time mom to her sweet baby boy Jordan Robert. Most of you are following VO because of Amanda. Most of you have either met her or feel like you know her from her blogs or facebook posts and no doubt for her huge heart for the orphan. I have the joy and privilege to say that I know her very well because I have been able to work alongside her at Visiting Orphans for the past 2 years. To say we were just coworkers is an understatement. We became close friends over these past several years. We shared joy and tears and passion to care for orphans and to awaken the church to their plight. It's not just a job when you work for a ministry that cares for orphans - it's a calling. We share that calling. We know each others hearts. And the Lord no doubt put us together in this ministry for a purpose. I learned so much from Amanda. I respect her. I love her and her heart. I would not be the same if not for these past 2 years serving alongside her and calling her my friend. What an honor. What a joy.

From the time Amanda took over as ED of VO in 2009, she grew VO from an average of 9 trips a year to almost 20 within the first year, we did over 35 the second year and this year, we now have over 60 trips on the calendar. It went from 3 countries to 13. It went from 1 staff member and then 2, 3, 4, and a year later - we had 10 staff and were sending over 1000 team members a year to visit orphans. It went from 8 or 9 leaders to 85+ leaders attending our leadership conference last fall. Amanda forged relationships and developed partnerships with ministries, adoption agencies, orphanages, churches, leaders and team members. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord used Amanda in an amazing way to propel Visiting Orphans to where it is today. I wouldn't be here without her. Our staff wouldn't be here without her. And quite possibly, you wouldn't be here reading this without her either. Thousands of orphans have been impacted by the message of the Father's love for them. Thousands of team members have been impacted by going and loving. Some came home and adopted, some sponsored kids, some started new ministries, and others continue to go. It's a ripple effect and it's very clear to see that God used Amanda to throw a very big stone into that water to get a very big ripple going! To which I can only imagine him saying "well done, good and faithful servant!"

So... as Amanda transitions into this new season of motherhood, I just wanted to publicly thank her for leaving a legacy that will no doubt impact generations through Visiting Orphans. I know that Amanda is not done caring for orphans. It still remains her life calling. So while she's no longer acting as ED of Visiting Orphans, that in no way shape or form means she's not still advocating on behalf of orphans. It's who she is and I know the Lord will continue to use her. The Lord is faithful and although this was a hard decision and transition for Amanda, it was also a sweet one because the Lord has fulfilled a desire in her heart to be a mom. And she's a great one at that! Jordan Robert is a blessed little boy!

As her friend who had the opportunity to serve with her these past 2 years, I want to say "thank you Amanda for who you are and all that you have done and no doubt will continue to do to care for orphans and turn the hearts of others to do the same! I love you!"

- written by Autumn Kerr