Auction Tickets Available Now!
The 11th Annual Serve The Children Auction is less than two months away! This annual event is a key fundraising activity AND a ton of fun. So be sure and get your ticket before they sell out!
SUPPORT A MISSION TEAM
War has an appetite for children. As it devours lives and innocence, the distinction between victim and perpetrator can become confused and blurred.
Serve the Children was founded during the Liberian Civil War to help children like Tom -- child combatants and those at risk of becoming combatants.
Here, Tom generously shares the story of his journey through Liberia's civil war, and his subsequent search for peace.
Tom's journey is not finished, but his story is a reminder that God's grace is powerful and redeeming.
Are You My Person?
This October I traveled to India with Doug Collier, Josh Collier, Julie York, Ari and Jessica Chamberlin and was later joined by John Keay. This was my second trip to India this year. Previously, Julie and I had visited friends from nursing school for a wedding. Both of us left India with the same favorite memory: leaving the chaos of the city to visit our friends' house and drink chai on the roof with them. Our busy trip to Kolkata was enjoyed, but we both desired to return to a smaller setting.
I thrive on getting to know the stories of others. There is deep encouragement in hearing about the grace of God in others' lives. Our return trip allowed me just what I desired.
If you have ever spoken with anyone who has been to the Ankoor Children's Home, you have heard about Nalini. She retired recently from nursing in hospital settings that make my brain explode. Julie and I listened in awe as she told us about caring for 70 surgical patients at a time. I cannot comprehend this since my maximum patient load is 5. Interesting how God prepares us for what is ahead. Mommy (Nalini) uses her many life skills at Ankoor. Not only can she treat medical issues, but she is highly organized and effective. The children know what tasks they are to do and are quick to come when she calls. I was amazed by the discipline of the children and all of the things they can accomplish.
One day, Mommy had tears in her eyes while telling me of her frustrations. Children are human beings and no matter how disciplined, they are still broken, just like the rest of us. She fights constantly for the children's best interest. The kids are not always obedient and this is what brought Mommy's tears that day.
I agreed that it must be frustrating to work so hard and at times see no results. She began crying harder. She said, "No, no..." and then spoke of how precious the children are to herI was stunned into silence as I listened to her stories of the children. Eventually not just Mommy but also Julie and I were crying. Mommy finds enormous grace for these children specifically because she knows their stories. She still experiences frustration, just as God does, but never gives up. God shared His heart with Mommy and Daddy. What a beautiful illustration of His feelings toward us.
Teaching isn't exactly "my thing". I'm a nurse, so I function better on a one-to-one level. I pondered what I could teach these kids and I realized that I needed to do what I loved when I was little: crafts. My suitcase looked like a multicolored, neon chicken had exploded in it.
One day, Julie and I brought out the embroidery floss to make friendship bracelets. Most of the younger kids were doing homework or chores, so just Priti, Roshan and Tejas were with us. Tejas is an absolute master of friendship bracelets and needed basically no instruction, however Roshan was different.
I spent over an hour with Roshan going over the same concepts of keeping the threads in order 1, 2, 3, 4. There was absolutely no comprehension of this concept. I was raised in a family that pokes fun at everything and holds almost nothing as off-limits. Fortunately, Roshan and I are of the same kind. Eventually he and I were both laughing at this massive friendship bracelet failure.
The next day Mommy was telling us more stories about the children. If you ever experience this, you are now warned that you should prepare in advance to hear them. They are heart-breaking. She told us about Priti and Roshan and how they came to live at Ankoor. I was having difficulty imagining this bright and hilarious boy six years ago, begging for money on the street with only an eight-year-old sister to protect both of them. Apparently it took over a year for him to adjust to this new life. He was shy and had no friends. Now he is mischievous, bright and always with friends.
Yes, I observed God's grace on this trip. I heard the dark stories of the children's past and I know what they have been rescued out of. God not only showed me His grace on this trip, but His sense of fun, play, and joy.
Our team taught English (with an emphasis on phonics) as our "serious" purpose. I know we all enjoyed any time we got to see the kids, but we especially liked free time. The girls play a game called Laguri which was a little too intense for me, but the rest of the team were fierce competitors. The kids love having attention. It was so joyful to be included in their play.
One of the last days, we handed out cards and gifts from the sponsors. That day, Yash was sick, so Julie and I helped him make a sock puppet. He was called away to receive his card and gifts. He came back beaming and showed us his family. He read me the card and then proceeded to show everyone his prized possession.
That night at dinner, one of the boys in his class came up to me and said, "Are you my person?" I had no idea what he was talking about, but after further investigation and some help from some other boys, I understood.
He had seen Yash's card and wanted to know who his "family" was. After I determined that this kid had no sponsor, I decided, yes, I would be his person. Sponsorship is an amazing thing. I wonder what it feels like to know that someone exists on the other side of the world who cares about you and prays for you. You would want to tell everyone how you are loved, just like Yash did. How powerful.
Love is transformative and I am grateful that God uses broken people to communicate His love.
Join a mission team to Liberia or India!
Teams to Liberia travel every June.
Teams to India travel every August and October.
More details and an application can be found
in Mission Trip Resources below.
Or, just drop us a line!
In Liberia, $25 / month provides an education, medical care, counseling, school uniforms and a P.E. t-shirt. In India, $25/month provides a safe and loving home for a child, three nutritious meals each day, an education and clothing.
But did you know that the relationship you create by sponsoring a child changes the child in a fundamental way? Read here about research that shows how the very act of sponsorship raises a child's self esteem and has a profound impact on their outlook.
They explain this with the Hope Hypothesis!
Want to change the world? Sponsor a child! You'll receive a sponsorship packet by mail, and the opportunity to correspond and exchange small gifts with your child.
If you like the idea of radically changing a child's life and having an impact for generations, contact us now using the form below. Let us know if you prefer a boy or a girl child!
Come With Us!
The mission of Serve the Children is to improve the future of children by meeting their educational, emotional, and physical needs in a Biblically-based environment. We currently provide assistance to children in the West African country of Liberia and in central India.
In Liberia, we offer tuition-free education, medical care and counseling for children impacted by war and poverty. We are known in Liberia as the All God’s Children school system, with three schools and 1,400 students.
In India, we partner with Hosanna Ministries to operate the Ankoor Children’s Home and the Gnyan Sampada Residential School--a loving, secure boarding home and school.
Serve the Children is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in the State of Washington in 1997 and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
Board of Directors
Zac Barnes, Vice President
Sara Sandefur, Treasurer
Amanda Carlson, Secretary
Kyle Bristow, Board Member
Joshua Carlson, Board Member
Dr Jeni Gregory, Board Member
Karen Toy, Board Member
Martha Berg, Administrative Assistant
Sackie Kwalalon, Liberia Country Director
Kiron Gaikwad, India Country Director
Dr Doug Collier, CPA, President
Mission Trip Resources
Serve The Children, 4423 Point Fosdick Drive, NW Suite 202, Gig Harbor, WA 98335 | TEL: 253.851.1794 FAX: 253.851.3997