On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, Rapha House experienced a beautiful outpouring of love from Greentree Christian Church in Rolla, Missouri.
This outpouring of love was part of a special tradition. Each Sunday prior to Thanksgiving, they come together to share a meal and collect a love offering to bless a ministry that they love.
This year, Rapha House was the recipient of this love offering. A small team of Rapha House staff was traveling home from the International Conference on Missions (ICOM) and came through Rolla just in time to partake in the celebration.
Just before the meal, the church family gathered in great anticipation to see the total amount collected from the love offering. The church staff and I were given numbers on poster boards, and music from the “Price is Right” played as the church staff shifted themselves around to reveal the final total.
I am right there in the middle of the photo holding the “8”. You can’t see my face because I was ‘ugly crying’ behind that poster board as I realized that this church family had just taken up a $153,178.82 offering for the ministry of Rapha House International. What a beautiful outpouring of love for the children we serve!
The joy of this gift was felt by all as we celebrated together throughout the evening.
Boun, a former Rapha girl, was traveling with us, and she wanted to offer her thanksgiving for what had taken place. Here are her words-
“Thank you so much for all your support and all your prayers for the girls of Rapha House. You cannot imagine how much you have changed the girl’s lives, not just one, but many girls. When I came to Rapha House, God changed my life forever… I could see it was the place God would bring me joy and smiles. Then my counselor told me about God and how to forgive the one who hurt me and gave me a bad life… I want you to know that all the girls know God and now they have a better life because of your support and all your prayers. Without you guys, I don’t know where my life would be today. Thank you so much.”
This gift will be used to build an administrative building on our Siem Reap, Cambodia compound. This new building will free up cottages on the property which are currently being used for administrative purposes to offer safety, hope, and healing for more child survivors.
Earlier this fall, I had the opportunity to visit the church family of Greentree Christian Church, and speak about the ministry of Rapha House. Following each service, excited members approached me about the Thanksgiving offering which was to come. I will never forget speaking to one woman who was clapping her hands together as she told me that they could not wait to take up this offering! What a humbling experience for Rapha House to receive such a gift of sacrifice from this church family as they joyfully poured it out to further the Kingdom of God by serving broken children!
Thank you, Greentree Christian Church, and all Rapha House partners who give sacrificially this Christmas season. Because of you, many child survivors will have the opportunity to experience freedom and hope.