Tuesday, June 24, 2008

DAY TWO - fairhaven

Today we are keeping with our theme, surrender. We surrendered our time, plans and perspective; but probably even more than that. We learned that 42 years ago Mr. and Mrs. Brown surrendered $1.47 and the return on that investment keeps yielding astronomical returns for NOLA, Romania and over 400 children at Fairhaven Children's Home.

Since WV does so many trips, the work project cadence is typical: meet the host, hear about the organization, work your butt off, debrief, feel good. This time, things were different. Johnny had the room set up: air conditioned, overhead projector in place and a presentation waiting. He told the story of the Browns who wanted to start a children's home but literally only had $1.47 and a prayer. "Lord, here we are, and here is our home. If You will send the children, we will have a children's home." before they moved out of their three bedroom house, they had 34 children.

Since their humble beginnings in 1966 they have had 400 children through their program (they currently have 12 living on campus and most of them call the director (Johnny, who is the son in law of the founders, dad or papa john) they regularly ship cargo containers to their upstart orphanage in Romania. But the thing that took us most was Johnny's ability to connect those in need to those with abundance. He told story after story of an acquaintance that has 15 tons of beans to donate, or someone who had a million dollars worth of vitamins to donate or he knew of an orphanage who needed an EKG machine and 3 days later someone else had one to give away, incredible. By the way Johnny is looking for a Laringophone (the thing people who have lost their vocal chords use for speech). If you have one, please email us. Find out more about Fairhaven Children's Home at www.hopeforthers.org.

We we able to help FCH in many ways today with our 108 volunteer hours by sorting several hundred bikes, moving cut firewood, sending several tons of scrap metal to the recyclers, grooming horses and goats, playing with the resident children, clearing fields and cleaning lots of stuff. We had more opportunities to match FHC's ongoing surrender projects than we could seize.

Its so great to get so much done but when need overshadows opportunity, it gets frustrating. But its just the way it is in the kingdom, there is always more harvest than workers. C'mon workers.

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