We are currently involved in numerous projects around the globe, all with the sole purpose of restoring, educating and equipping women to make a massive impact in their communities.
There are approximately 1.9 million orphans under the age of 17 in Myanmar. Thousands of these young boys have been kidnapped and forced to fight in the national army. Young girls are often sold to neighboring nations. Since 2007, Leah’s Sisters has been committed to helping feed, educate, and prepare these kids to be world-changers in their nation.
Deep in the Mountains of the Myanmar and China border, the Wa people live a secluded life but many of their children suffer from cleft lips and palates. Leah’s Sisters is partnering with the Pan Rak Foundation, the Chiangrai YMCA, and the Overbrook Hospital to provide surgeries for these children which will give them back their face and future.
Thousands of Laos children are trapped inside Thailand’s slums with out basic security, enough rice for one day or an opportunity to go to school. Our Leah’s Sisters team is building a place of refuge for these children in North Thailand where they will live free from hunger and danger and be educated and equipped for their future. Be a part of building Grace Place.
Partnerships are a wonderful thing...
I first met Khai and his wife, Lun in Yangon, Myanmar when their nation was still closed to the outside world and when it was illegal to speak about Christ. I was in awe of them: their deep humility and quiet grace plus a tenacious, never-give-up kind of faith. Would we partner with them? They asked. Take a risk. Teach their women? Help start an orphanage with a few children in a rented house?
And if it happened, be ready to be arrested with them?
If they could, I could. Our Leah’s Sister’s team went into the cut-off-from-the world culture and gasped at the poverty and antiquity of a nation left behind. And every time I went back, it was the same: No internet access. No long distance calls to the States. Limited freedom. And every time, I wanted to drive by AungSan Su Chi’s house where she had been held captive for….years and silently prayed for her. The rules were clear: no stopping, no pausing, no honoring (or praying).
Now, sixteen years later, Aung San Su Chi is directing the country, McDonald’s has learned how to speak Burmese and everyone has a cell phone of their own. The internet is open, political prisoners freed, and Christians have meetings in the city’s stadium. No more hiding.
And the orphanage that started with seven kids in a rented house? They have their own property; a girl’s wing, a boy’s wing, a spacious living and studying area with sixty-five kids. Most of them come from the Chin ethnic group and all of them have tasted war and death and poverty. And now they have a future. Amazing!
This last year Leah’s Sisters bought them their first vehicle. They sent one of their own to a driver’s school to learn how to drive and when I arrived in Yangon this last time, he was proud to show me that the orphanage had a bona-fide licensed driver. Yea God!
Khai and Lun and our partnership are still thriving. We’re not through with loving kids, educating them, or handing down our faith to their generation.
We need more partners so we can rescue more children.
Consider these facts:
- Street children and orphans are especially targeted for recruitment into the Child Army
- Young girl orphans are at risk to be trafficked into Thailand, Laos and Cambodia
- Nearly four million of Myanmar’s children are not enrolled in school
Leah’s Sisters has helped establish an orphanage in Myanmar where these children are fed, taught, loved and sent to school. You can help sponsor one of these children for $35.00 a month and insure they are educated and taught in the ways of God.
Saving Faces and Futures.
The Wa people live in bamboo homes with straw roofs and floors lifted from the ground, deep in the mountains of Myanmar and China. Several decades ago they were known for their head-hunting practices; cutting off the heads of their enemies and putting them up in their rice fields to make the rice gods proud. The last heads seen was in the mid seventies, but they are still known as ferocious warriors who live mainly in isolation. Most of them are animists, who believe that sickness and bad weather come from spirits in the waters and trees (thus their former need for for human heads to make the spirits happy),
The Wa have no written language and have a literacy rate of three percent. Infant mortality is at 50 percent. The population is made up heavily of widows and orphans and hundreds of these children have cleft lip and cleft palates.
Leah’s Sisters is partnering with the Pan Rak Foundation, the Chiangrai YMCA, and the Overbrook Hospital to provide surgeries for these children which will give them back their face and future. Already, we see results which are stunning. Love at work and making a difference! These life-changing surgeries also open up a door to share faith (in the God who created the water and the trees) and hope without fear.
Surgeries are $600.00 and a concrete way for us to make a difference in the WA State of Myanmar. If you would like to help one of these orphans or children of the poor, please know that any donation amount will make a huge difference.
When you first walk through one of the slum areas in Chiangmai, you realize you’re within walking distance of one of the most popular malls in the modern capital of Chiangmai where you can pick up groceries or diamonds; your call. It makes the experience more surreal, like you’ve dropped off of an unseen border into another country.
Stagnant, green water full of floating trash and human waste lie unmoved beneath bamboo slats put together for make-do dwellings. My first thought is to not to gag (how rude would that be?). Outside on the street, weary women grill chicken guts, spice them up and sell them. Do I want some some? I decline. I remind myself not to touch anything, not to breathe too deeply. I say a little inside prayer that eventually turns into an unspoken chant: Dear God don’t let me get sick.
But then, there they are:, old women with tired smiles, teen-agers, coughing with colds or flu ( or worse?) adorable kids, darting in and out of the nasty dirt walk-way. There’s nothing else to do here; I have to love, hug, climb up on the stilts and sit inside with them awhile. Ask questions. Offer hope. Pray.
People change everything. Turns out they are not statistics or a news show. Eternal people can only be understood through eternal vision.
I learned that lesson when I moved to Thailand as a teen-ager with a brand new marriage (three-months-old) and a dream that maybe I could plant my life in Thai-land’s soil and make a difference in its future.
I started with a question I still use today when I want to do the impossible: “What if?”
Say, what if we could build the first Girl’s Home in North Thailand? (Now of course, there are girl’s home popping up all over the world and for good reason, thank God) But then, the concept was so new that some called it, “Mary’s brothel”. Other’s said it was a foreigner’s fantasy and would never last.
Not so. Baan Mai (New Home) took in hundreds of girls over the years: beautiful, young and at –risk of being sold ( by poor parents in remote villages).Other were at risk of staying uneducated and poor, and others just needed a home while they went to school or college.
One of these girls, Rattanaporn, got her start at Baan Mai and later, while in Bible College, found the man of her dreams, who became a pastor.
Now, I am in the slums, ministering with them, part of their team. I see their lives first hand: compassionate, resourceful, sacrificial. I am breathlessly proud of this daughter-of-the-faith and her husband, in awe of the results of the crop of dreams I planted in my twenties.
Here she is, leading me into a dark world of addicts and abuse; poverty and pain. They introduce me by name to children of Laos who are without passport, stable identity or hope of a successful life. Many of their parents are serious drug addicts and prostitutes. Most of them go to sleep alone and wake up in unbelievable poverty and infested-disease-ridden filth.
Still, both Rattana and her husband are brimming with hope and possibility. I get this. This is my faith-daughter and she has vision, sees eternal futures changing. She knows pain first hand and never succumbed to being a victim. She is planting her life in the same Thai soil I started my dream in: the same city, the same faith and using the same vision process: mix hope with possibility and draw a new future with long strokes of faith.
What if Rattana and I can produce a “grandchild crop” and multiply her kind in another generation: compassionate, faithful, successful?
What if, together, we changed the future of hundreds of these kids?
What if we started by buying the land to build on?
What if we built a home called Grace Place to raise orphans and displaced children?
We will. In 2016 we bought the land and staked our claim for the orphans and children of the slums. This year we will build.
I invite you to be part of the miracle of creating an eternal future for these slum children. I recommend starting with a question: What if in 2017 you were a part of planting a new crop that will change the landscape of Thailand and build a future for Laos?
In Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, we taught in a local school and some women walked for seventeen miles to learn. In Bukavu, we taught in the largest church in the city and made sure the women were out by five p.m. so they could walk back to their homes in daylight, without fear of being raped by the rebel army surrounding the city.
In India, they tell us the largest percentage of the women who come to learn are regularly beaten by their husbands. In Venezuela, beautiful teen-agers and young women with model-like bodies come to learn because they think their worth is only in their sexual bodies. In the Ukraine they come, hundreds of them, to be taught about courage and destiny and hope. In Haiti, they come to be encouraged, because in Haiti, life is a series of challenges to keep body and spirit together.
Parliamentarians, Senators, lawyers, business women, and recently, the wife of the Vice President of Myanmar have come to Leah’s Sister’s seminars. But so have poor, pregnant teenagers and young mothers and weary grandmothers. They come for another drink of spirit water, to be set free from inside bondage. They come to receive encouragement as leaders in impossible surroundings.
They are our sisterhood around the globe and we are committed to training, encouraging, and helping them find their voice for their nation.
What about the poor women in the villages who have no money for the $15.00 bus ride into the city, they ask. Can they come, too? And what if some of the ones in the city have no money to buy a plate of rice for lunch. Can they come, anyway?
Yes. Why of course they can come, we tell them.
And could we use chicken in the curry because meat is a gift? They keep asking.
Yes, that too. Chicken in the curry. We’re celebrating life and love and God and purpose. Definitely chicken in the curry.
We need your help to keep feeding body and souls in these nations. When you sponsor a Leah’s Sister’s seminar, you are offering a sacrament of free bread and wine to the broken and bruised of spirit. We’ve seen the results. In these meetings, we have launched community leaders and affirmed calls to ministry and helped women network for their own businesses.
Your partnership in training our global sisters will make a difference in multiple lives for years to come.