In a few short weeks JMI mission teams will, again, be seeking out the poor, orphaned and forgotten of Moldova.  We venture out with the good news of Jesus Christ wrapped in a summer camp format.  That is the known.  To those plans, God will add what we cannot know or imagine.  And that is why I like to refer to mission trips as ad-ventures!  You always get more than you bargained for!IMG_1222

Team 1 (June 24-July 1) is comprised of people from Rolling Hills Community Church in Tennessee and folks from Virginia, Colorado and even Switzerland.  Team 2 (July 1-8) is heavily Rolling Hills volunteers with others from Colorado and Wisconsin.  And Team 3 (July 15-22) is made up of friends from Oklahoma and Florida.

When we go on these trips, they become so much more than the mission we envision.  Though our primary intention is to seek out the most vulnerable children and present the love and saving work of Christ in engaging ways, we invariably walk into situations that call for something more from us.

On previous trips, that “something more” has included children from entire orphanages in desperate need of shoes; orphanage camps that couldn’t open because they could not pay an overdue electric bill; 16 year old young people who were on the verge of being discharged from their boarding schools with no family to take them in and no shelter alternatives; a young lady who was chased away from her home by an angry father with a butcher knife; a boy who had been severely beaten by his father and brought to the orphanage on the day we arrived; an orphanage that had children lined up along the building in freezing winter weather because they had used up their government allotment of coal (it was colder inside the dormitory than outside!); four children living alone, without their parents, in a literal shack full of geese…I could go on and on.

Regardless of our plans, we will encounter situations – critical situations – from which we cannot turn away.

If you could not join us this year, will you commit to pray for us?  Pray that we will walk squarely into the most desperate needs and be given the honor and privilege of rendering aid?

If you could not join us this year, will you also consider a $25 or $50 contribution to “It Matters to This One!” our annual fundraiser that allows us the resources to program for children but also meet emergency situations that we simply cannot ignore (nor would you want us to)!

Gifts can be made online at www.justiceandmercy.org/donate or with checks made out to JMI and notated, “It Matters to This One!”  (Mail to:  1810 Columbia Ave., Ste. 100, Franklin, TN 37064 or drop your gift at the JMI booth if you attend Rolling Hills Community Church).

Thank you for caring, sharing and praying!

Steve

P.S.  Some of you who have been to Moldova before know Tudor Frimu, one of the truly exceptional guys in our Boys2Leaders program.  His mother passed away late last week, less than two weeks after he was baptized.  He and his siblings are now orphans and have no way to pay for their mother to have a proper burial.  I have committed JMI to cover those comparatively modest expenses but if you know Tudor and would like to make a gift to help, you can give in either of the aforementioned ways.

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