My parents live just around the corner from us and that means our kids get to spend a lot of time with their grandparents. Sometimes I envy those grandparents. It seems they have it easy. They get the kids in small doses – for play time and snack time and then they get to send them home. They are not around for feedings, baths, homework, meltdowns, sibling rivalries, etc. It’s nice to be a grandparent.
But then I remember that we can’t do it alone and quite often when we are at the end of our rope it is our parents who step in and fill the gap. When a kid is sick and we have to work… grandparents. When a car breaks down and we have to get kids from point a to point b (and c and d and e)… grandparents. When I am not sure how to handle a situation and I need some parental guidance, who do I call… grandparents. It really does take a village and we could not do what we do without their help.
Life is like that. We often need the help of those around us to do all that we have to do.
There is a great story that illustrates this concept in Scripture. In Exodus 17 Israel is fighting the Amalekites. As the battle rages on Moses is standing at the top of the hill with the staff of God in his hands overlooking the fighting. We are told that as long as Moses held up his hands the Israelites were winning. But whenever he grew tired and lowered his hands the advantage shifted to the enemy. In verse 12 we read that whenever Moses grew tired Aaron and Hur would come alongside him and hold his hands up “one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady until sunset” and Israel won the battle because others helped Moses do what he could not do on his own.
At Visiting Orphans we view our role in a similar fashion. We send people on short-term trips who get to go and be with children, love them and then come home, but our role is so much more than that. Our desire is to come alongside local churches and long-term missionaries who are doing the hard work every day. We want to be Aaron and Hur to them as we hold up their arms so they can do what God has called them to do.
Peter Rwagasore is a pastor in Rwanda. He and his wife Jane serve as guides for our teams who come to Rwanda. We also partner with their church to serve the community. Here is what he has to say about how VO is supporting their work…
“I may be tempted to write a book on how much the VO teams have been of great help to my family and the church. Jane and I started New Covenant Church in Kigali Rwanda in 2007 and our vision was to take the Gospel to the forgotten ones, poor, orphans, and the backsliders and our goal was to empower them so that they may live an abundant life. We met financial challenges in the ministry because we were not being paid by the church. When VO came to Rwanda they hired Jane as their Guide and this brought a huge blessing to my family because many teams started coming every year.
One and a half years ago we moved our church from our living to a place full of prostitutes and drunkards and The Lord brought many who getting saved in our church. (At that time) VO began to partner with our church. Teams that came started serving with us in different areas of ministry like supplying food to the widows, single moms, renting homes for former prostitutes, buying musical instruments for the church, and encouraging our members by making home visits. Last year, we started another church in Bugesera in the Pygmie community and we saw a need of starting a nursery school and VO team members helped us to pay for the rent of two classes. VO team members are helping us to build a school on land donated by the government.
Indeed VO has been our Hur and Aaron! I don't have enough vocabulary to say how much VO has been of great help to us. I may say that VO has been a beacon of our ministry. May The Lord continue to strengthen in everything you do for the Glory of his Kingdom.”
Visiting Orphans partners with ministries in 14 countries. These ministries do the hard work that God has called them to do every day. They battle poverty, disease, corruption, and more to bring hope to the hopeless and light to dark places. I think all of them would tell you that they cannot do it alone. We hear story after story of teams arriving at just the right time, with needed supplies and even more needed encouragement.
When you support VO you help us support them. You help us be Aarron and Hur to 45 ministries who serve over 5000 children and families in 14 countries.
In Romans 10 it says that we can’t go if we are not sent. Will you come alongside us as we come alongside these amazing ministries? They can’t do it without us and we can’t do it without you.
-written by Frank Pass, VO Trip Coordinator