Honoring God through serviceJune 9, 2016 by Sarah O'Connor
Honoring God through service
Empowering Lives International is powered by people like you, who give continually of their money, their prayers, and their time.
From East Africa to the U.S., we, the ELI community, all seek to honor God. Shayla is no exception. When she was just 15, she and her family traveled nearly 10,000 miles to our Children’s Home in Ilula, Kenya. She played with, served, and fell in love with the orphans that call Ilula home. Shayla befriended one little boy in particular, named Joseph. Shayla explains in her blog that she uses her babysitting money to help pay for Joseph’s basic needs and education; ensuring that the cycle of poverty stops with him… Honoring God through the most unlikely of friendships.
An excerpt from her blog “He’s Stolen My Heart”
Our departure crept in like thick, dark ink, tainting our final moments. Only hours before our family said our goodbyes, I sat in the cool dewy morning air holding a cup of hot chai tea, Joseph sitting beside me, his legs swinging absentmindedly. As I sat there, I basked in his sweet presence and gulped in the sight of his turned up nose, animated hands, and rambunctious spirit, not wanting our time to end. When the van pulled up–the moment I had long dreaded–Joseph and I walked out to meet it, holding hands for the last time. The kids whom I’d come to adore, engulfed me in a sorrowful embrace, lips trembling…
A month later, my mom and I sat at the kitchen table talking about our loved ones back in Kenya. “Shay, I’ve gotta tell you something I think you’re gonna be really excited about,” my mom said, biting her lip to hide a grin. She grabbed her laptop and slid into the chair next to me. On the screen was a photo of Joseph, with the words “needs sponsor”.
New hope lifted a burden I didn’t realize I was carrying…
Shayla and Joseph at Ilula Children’s Home – 2015
To read the rest of Shayla’s Story visit her blog at: http://shaylajoy.com/title/
We are so blessed by people like Shayla, and like you, who care deeply about the lives of children and families in East Africa. Thank you for joining with us as we seek to honor God.
Empowering lives together,
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