A Home for Children
Over the past year the Lord has laid on our hearts a burden to offer a home for orphans in Panama. I (Misty) was fighting it for a long time. Matt knew WAY before me! Finally, in November, the Lord confirmed to us both that this was what He wants us to pursue. But He has told us that He alone is the provider, not us. What a relief! We can trust Him for every provision. We knew there was a need, but not every need is a calling from the Lord. We wanted to hear from Him, and He confirmed it. Also, we presented the vision to our Board in the States at our annual Board meeting. They unanimously voted to investigate and pursue this orphanage concept. Our Panamanian Board is expectantly praying, as well.
We have lots of details and ideas on the subject, which I will not take the time to relay here. But to lay out our general vision, we see this as being a family type home setting, as far from institutional life as possible. We desire a place where these children can experience the love of Jesus and His fullness. The Lord has given us a vision for the orphanage to be on a plot of land that will incorporate self-sustaining agriculture and other farming. We believe this would be a unique concept for an orphanage in Panama, which is a place of very fertile land. It is astounding, but the Lord has given this same heart to other people already here in Panama at the same time. We already have one couple that is feeling called to be a part of this with their 2 kids, and we feel confirmed as to their involvement in this adventure. Praise the Lord! While there are many details yet to be covered, the Lord is already at work showing us various aspects of this project. We cannot wait to see what He will do! Matt has been looking at locations, but we are currently in the praying, investigating and waiting stage.
We have already shared this idea of the orphanage with the
Director over the department of government handling adoptions and orphan care (SENNIAF) and she is thrilled. Her response was, "Nobody will take
better care of the kids than you guys!" What confirmation that was to
hear! We hope this orphanage will be a best practices model to the
other orphanages and government workers. We hope to have our own
social workers and staff so that we can perform our own case
investigations for the children, rather than waiting years for the
government. We would also provide training to the government and
orphanage workers as able. The purpose of sharing this vision with you is to invite you to join in and pray with us. We are not asking for anything. We are simply waiting to see God work miracles! We don't know how or when, but we know He is working!!
Currently, we are busy finalizing our findings from the past several months of work and our investigations within the SENNIAF governmental office. We hope to present these findings to the Director of SENNIAF within the next few weeks or so. We plan to continue to partner with them in creating efficiencies, as the Lord allows. Please pray for us in this process. We want to mention every single detail that should be changed/reviewed within the government, so that their work can be as efficient as possible in order to benefit the children. The goal is to shorten the time period in which it takes them to do their job, so that the children can find permanency within months instead of the current years. Our hearts long for these children to be set free!