Wednesday, July 25, 2007

From Sorrow to Joyful Dancing

Recently, a Christian organization hosted a three-day concert in the city where our girls live. Thousands attended.

Nine girls from the Rapha House Christian praise team were asked to perform for the audience. It was a real honor.

This Christian dance and music team is just one of the many activities that the girls at Rapha House can participate in. They dance beautiful cultural dances and praise routines to Christian music.

After the performance, one of the Rapha girls said, “I was impressed that God gave me the opportunity to sing and dance for the people. And I praise the Lord that He loves me and could use me this way.” Another Rapha girl in the audience said, “Tears came to my eyes because I heard the people say that our dancing inspired them.”

Read what the Bible says: “You have turned my sorrow into joyful dancing. No longer am I sad and wearing sackcloth. I thank you from my heart, and I will never stop singing your praises, my LORD and my God” (Psalm 30:11,12 CEV). God has done that for these girls. And he has used you to help. Thank you for caring. Thank you for praying. Thank you for giving.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Countering the Lie of Abuse

Abuse does more than violate a girl’s body. Abuse is a statement against a girl’s worth. Abuse says, “Your choices don’t matter. Your freedom is unimportant. Your desires are irrelevant. You don’t count.” Abuse injures a girl’s sense of self.

How can we repair the damage done by abuse? How can we counter this lie? Not by events, sermons or discussions. Not by raising awareness. Not with legislation. And not with concern and sympathy.

Are such things important? Yes. But such measures do not necessarily meet abused girls where they live. Only by providing abused girls with safety, justice, practical care, therapeutic support, and real opportunities for a better life do we counter the lie of abuse.

Actions make all the difference. You see abuse is an act that injures a person’s sense of self. And only when pure love acts do we counter the lie of abuse.

One passage of Scripture says it best: “Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it” (1 John 3:18 CEV). To each of our supporters, we say, “Thank you for your practical expression of love.” Together, we can counter the lie of abuse.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Making Room for Hope

Sopheap lives in a poor house. Sopheap is an older girl from our shelter who recently married. She relocated to her husband’s village. He is a poor rice farmer without much hope for improving his lot in life.

After assessing the situation, we decided to make an offer to this young couple. We would provide Sopheap with a sewing machine and supplies, so she could begin her own tailoring business in the village. She learned sewing at Rapha House in our job-training program. Furthermore, we would finance a food market that she and her husband could operate in the village, giving them a means of steady income rather than the seasonal work of rice farming. Additionally, we retired an interest-charging loan that they had taken out to start their lives together. We’re providing this couple with business management training. And we’re doing all this without charging them a penny of interest on our loan to them.

When you give to the Rapha House Freedom Foundation, you make a practical difference in the lives of people wanting to escape the desperation spawned in poverty. You're making room for hope. The Apostle Paul said that he was eager to remember the poor. That’s what real Christians do.