I would like to introduce you to a family who has been greatly involved with the orphanage, and who will be making a trip as a family to the orphanage—leaving in a little over a week from now. They are the Marquis family—Ben and Joanna and children Drew, Addison, Levi, Westin, Claire.
Although this family has been praying and also financially supporting the orphanage for some years, they especially became committed to the children there about one year ago.
I think that to tell you about it, it would be best to simply share an email that the mom (Joanna) sent to me on the 11th of July of last year. Remember, the decisions that she speaks of in the email came only after the entire family: mom, dad and kids, had been praying for some years for the children of the orphanage.
Here is the email from Joanna, 7/11/22:
Thank you so much for your email!! Some big things have happened for us since we've last touched base. Drew (almost 15 years old) attended a camp with our church youth group. He experienced a very real calling from God, and he feels very passionate about it. He explains it as the Lord has told him to start a nonprofit for the Log Church orphanage.
Ben and I wanted to get your thoughts on this, and we also needed to educate ourselves and learn what this would mean or entail. Ben talked a bit with the lawyer at his company, and we also got clear encouragement from our youth pastor who has a lot of experience with this area.
To be a little frank, Drew feels like (and I agree) that even just a little awareness for some people in our circle would yield financial support and prayers that are much needed and would be much appreciated at the Log Church orphanage. He feels God calling him in this area.
Addison (13 years old) also went to the same camp. She has been very interested in missions work, and has been passionate about going to Africa in particular. She asked God to show her a sign that this was HIS desire for her and not just her own interest. She describes a very real and distinct "cool breeze" washing over her at that exact moment.
We cannot ignore these ways we feel like God is calling and prompting us!! As a family, we have been praying and are hoping to go to Kisii in summer of 2023. What can we do to become more involved in some of the behind the scenes that you do?
Hoping and praying all is well with you and Vivian. Sending love and prayers!!
So that is the email, and the trip she wrote about is happening in a little over a week from now. It will be quite an adventure for them, but as you can see, they feel quite strongly that God has called them to this work. Also going will be one of Joanna’s brothers, Josh Jast. I think that Josh must be about 21 or 22 years old.
It is of great joy to me that this beautiful family is becoming involved in the orphanage in this way. It has been my prayer from the very beginning of the orphanage in 2017 that God would raise us some younger people to begin to take on some of the responsibilities.
Vivian and I, as you know, are no longer 21 or 22 years old.
Please pray for this family as they set out on this trip. I hope to be able to have some updates and perhaps photos from them from time-to-time that I can share on this blog page.