It gets me excited to hear/see my dad excited. I’ve seen him in places that have been very burdensome and while he’s handled it (I think) very well, you can tell that his heart wasn’t really on fire. Well, a few years ago, he helped start an organization called “Asia’s Hope.” And since then they’ve housed and fed hundreds of orphans in 2 countries and don’t show any signs of slowing down. Right now, he (and my mom) are on their way to Florida for the Grace Brethren National Conference and stopped on their way at Momentum (Grace Brethren Youth Conference) and well, I’ll let him tell the story….
It’s 1:30 AM and I just got back to my hotel room…but I just gotta bless God! I just GOTTA tell you what God is doing now…
Just when you think God can’t BLESS you any more…
A couple of weeks ago, we were BLESSED by God to receive a gift of over $40,000 from a man in Canada who sponsors one of our orphans at our big Doi Saket home near Chiangmai. He recently was married and asked all of his wedding guests to give a gift to Asia’s Hope instead of he and his bride…he asked us for a proposal months ago. We suggested a computer/learning lab for the orphans. He agreed!
NOW, we will be starting to build that building soon…and by the fall, we will have it full of new computers and learning software…and books! PRAISE GOD!
So tonight, Joyce and I are on our way to Florida for the Grace Brethren Church’s national conference…and we stopped off at Cedarville University for an event for 1,500 Grace Brethren teenagers called, “Momemtum”. This used to be called, “Brethren National Youth Conference”. It’s a great conference and attracts kids from all over the country.
We stopped by because tonight’s speaker, Pastor Jim Brown of Goshen, Indiana, pastors a church that already sponsors TWO orphan homes with us…one in Thailand and one in Cambodia. Pastor Jim, his wife, their 3 kids and their team from Goshen was JUST with me two weeks ago visiting those homes!
So, when I found out he was speaking to 1,500 teenagers tonight, I thought I’d set up a table outside…who knew what might happen…
What I DIDN’T know was that God was going to BLESS US TONIGHT – BIG TIME!!!
Pastor Jim delivered a marvelous sermon about the orphans, the widows and the poor. It was an amazing sermon and he challenged the students to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT – NOW! ( I had no idea he was going to challenge them to give an offering.)
He DID challenge them to give an offering with a goal of raising $15,000 to give to an organization called, “Feed My Starving Children”. He told the teens that if whey could raise $15,000, they could feel 100,000 people for a whole YEAR! A great goal!
(This was not a part of anything Asia’s Hope is doing, but that was OK with me. I was so excited to see these kids get involved in something to bless the poor.)
Well…as he challenged the kids, up front they came…bringing their ones and fives and tens, and twenties….and they were putting the totals up as the kids came. As they put up the running total of what had come in, the cheering started….$600….$1,200…..$1,800….and then…things got OUT OF CONTROL!
The total jumped to $3,600…..and $8,700….and then $12,000….and the cheering continued to get LOUDER!!!
Then $14,000….and then….over $15,000! In less than 5 minutes, the goal was reached!
Then Jim and the directors of the conference, Ed Lewis and Dave Rank, were huddling on the stage. Students kept bringing up money….
All of the sudden, I see written on the big screen, “Dave Atkins come to the platform.” So I got up and met them at the platform…
“How much is an orphan home to sponsor for a year?” they asked. I told them….and they anounced to the crowd, “Now, we’re going to sponsor an orphan home in Cambodia for a year…we’ve got enough money to do that!” More cheering!
And the students kept coming… big lines now…waiting to give…the band started playing worship songs, “We bless you, Lord…we bless you….”
$36,000….$49,000….$67,000….CHEERING LOUDER!!!! LOUDER!!!!
They asked me, “Could we sponsor TWO homes? For TWO YEARS?” I said, “Sure,we’ll do whatever you guys want to do!” Can we call them, “Momentum orphan homes? (that’s the name of the conference) I said, “I don’t care what we call them…lets just HELP THE ORPHANS!”
$75,000….$82,000…..$90,000…..FINALLY, when the last person was finished…
They asked me to say a few words to the students. I thanked them for the kids and I told them what a difference they were making in the lives of these precious orphans in SE Asia. I told them they could come on teams and MINISTER with these children. I told them I was proud of them…I had a hard time keeping it together, I was so moved by God!
The leaders of the conference asked the kids to give MORE money over the next few days so they could completely SPONSOR TWO ORPHAN HOMES FOR TWO YEARS!!!!!!
After the meeting was over, I was MOBBED by nearly 100 students and leaders at our table wanting to know how they could GO and how they could GIVE and how they could be INVOLVED in helping orphans!
It was the most INCREDIBLE THING I’ve been a part of for a LONG, LONG TIME!
That’s why I just got back to my hotel room…
Wow, this has been an incredible month for Asia’s Hope!!!!
I am going to bed. I am not even sure HOW we’re going to put all of this together…exactly. I don’t think we need to know that tonight. Tonight, we just need to say,
…and say, “Goodnight.” I just couldn’t go to bed without telling you guys the good news!
Wow…what a GOD WE SERVE!!!!!! (end of message)
So yeah, giddeyup. Anybody want to go? If you’d like more info, just click on the link to the right titled, “Asia’s Hope.” You’ll find your answers there (quote from the first Ninja Turtles movie). Oh yeah.