Monday, April 14, 2008

What a Gift!

Our friends at Brookside Church in Omaha took a special offering for the Hope Children's Center. When we first introduced their leaders to the vision, they had hoped to steward a small piece of the project. Maybe they would dig the well. Or perhaps they could even raise enough to construct one of the modest buildings on the site.

And so Brookside's leaders prayerfully introduced the vision to the Brookside church family. I guess God's people caught the vision. After the offering was taken and accounted for, they FAR surpassed even the most ambitious guesses. The total offering ... $130, 476!!!

Immeasurably more than than all we ask or even imagine... (Ephesians 3:20). This is God at work!

And so we continue to take steps forward. With wisdom, but with boldness. God is with us.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Partners in the Work

One of the sweetest blessings we've seen as God leads us to build this Care Center is the new partnerships that have been created. When we work together we can accomplish so much more and it is a display of God's grace - a unified front of God's people working together to accomplish His goals.

A strong partnership has been forged with our friends at Brookside Church in Omaha. Here is a note from John Alford who is leading the way for that church:

Thanks Cornerstone for allowing Brookside Church to be a part of this Hope Center project! We have great respect for your church. A number of our high school students have gone on to SALT company and have been discipled by you guys. Not only that but your pastors have frequently served us in a teaching capacity for our retreats.

Thanks for all you are doing for the cause of Christ! You are carrying your torch well. The Hope Center has truly engaged our hearts and we sense that God’s hand is all over it. We are leaning into a year of emphasis called, “Justice and Mercy.” God seems to be awakening in us a passion to do more to help the poor and to help restore the broken. So thanks for giving us opportunity to partner with you and to learn from you!

John Alford (Brookside Pastor)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pray and Not Give Up

After my last post I was challenged by the story of "the persistent widow" (Luke 18). Here Jesus teaches us to seek the favor of God - even cry out to Him day and night, to ask Him to display His justice and to grant mercy. Specifically I began to pray in this incessant manner for the land we need for the Center.

God has been good! Navice discovered a parcel of land immediately adjacent to the one we originally eyed - even closer to the market and school and also bordered by the same small river. And once the negotiations began a very sweet miracle occurred - the city of Serenje GAVE us the land - five hectares (~12.5 acres). Incredible! Then our friends took Navice to Lusaka to get the appropriate papers drawn up for the center, and a lawyer there agreed to do her work for FREE.

But we have hit a snag. The family who owns the original and adjoining piece is unwilling to sell. Though it is discouraging, it is not time to lose heart. The two parcels owned together would be almost exactly what would be necessary to grow and raise the food necessary for the children. We believe it to be the right choice. And so we continue to ask God. Who could doubt His generosity? Who could doubt that He is for us? The fact that He is choosing to say "not yet" on this second piece of land only gives us opportunity to demonstrate a grateful heart and a persistence in prayer. He is good, and He cares far more for these orphans than even we do. He will do what is right -and we will wait on Him.

Please join us in praying for the Hope Children's Center. And don't give up. He is going before us and knows best. Pray that we will find His timing impeccable and THANK HIM for what He has done to bring us to this point.