By: Sandra DeJean
Several months ago one Friday morning Ms. Carmen Morris of Sanctuary of Moses in Benin, West Africa asked me to come lead a children's program in one of the cities there. I accepted. But after months of preparation, some painful vaccinations, a move to another state, and 20 hours of travel time to get here I started to lose focus of what brought me here in the first place.
Those close to me these last few weeks have lovingly called me the "VBS queen." I must have come to Benin 'cause I'm one of those adults that don't want to grow up and just have fun all the time, right? While I do wish EVERY week was VBS (unless I had to plan it, of course) and firmly believe it is one of the best methods of outreach for children (and adults), that's not the reason. Or even the fact that the ministry of the Sanctuary of Moses is an awesome work that will change the lives of so many children and families here in Benin is not my reason for being here.
Yesterday, we had some down time and went to a local marketplace. There, I found my answer. While other team members were bargaining for lower prices, I sat at the vendor next door and there she was. Little 11 month old Erica put everything back into perspective.
The moment I saw her I loved her! I was reminded that Jesus looks at us all no matter how old we are or where we are in our relationship with Him and loves us (I think of the rich young ruler in Mark 10:20-22). He loves Erica and put that love in my heart. He loves the children of Benin and has put that love in my heart. He did that the moment Carmen asked me to join her on this trip.
Actually, I realize now that on that Friday morning while on the phone Carmen, God asked me to join Him in Benin.
And that's why I'm here.
Friday, July 25, 2008
By: Katie Wanless
While listening to Carmen prepare us for the sights and sounds we will experience in Ouidah, I, Katie, was struck with the reality that this week I will be face to face with the children that have been in slavery at one point, children who are at risk for being sold and some who will ultimately be sold. I have no idea the hurt or pain or sadness I am going to feel. This is not something one can emotional prepare for. Then it hit me. The things I am going to feel is just a glimpse of what God feels when he looks at His children knowing the pain some of them suffered while in slavery to sin, knowing that many people are at risk for staying there and knowing that some people will never come out of their slavery to sin. God's heart morns for his people and yet smiles at the fact that there is HOPE. He is hope. Christ is HOPE.
God loves these forgotten children in Benin.
God loves the lost and weeps for their return.
God loves His children and hurts for their pain, and smiles because of the hope of Jesus set them free.
God loves you!
"But now that you have been set free from sin and have becomes slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Greetings and welcome to the Sanctuary of Moses blog! Our hope is that this space on the web could be of use to communicate the wonders we've seen, the blessings the Lord has brought to us, and how we could invite you to be a part of the Lord's work in Benin, Africa. Blessings to all of you!