Thursday, December 18, 2014

REFLECTIONS FROM LAMb International - MERRY CHRISTMAS

Merry Christmas

The commitment
TO REACH,
RESCUE
ROOT
AND RELEASE
- as we work toward a
WORLD WITHOUT ORPHANS .
(2002) Years ago something happened deep within us that touched our hearts, minds and inner being.  We sat with Don and Johanna and started talking about serving our churches by providing training in the area of leadership.  Little did we know at the time that this decision would be the catalyst to LAMb International becoming a reality and a journey of training, consulting and equipping starting for the four of us.

“And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, here am I; send me…” Isaiah 6:8 was also to become our call and commitment to reaching the world through training and equipping.  And the first call to GO…came in a surprising way.

(2003) Invited to dinner at an Elder of our church’s home (Harvey Quinn) – to be there when a visiting missionary would be staying there, Lynn accepted the invitation and began to hear the many stories of Ed Dickson, from Loads of Love.  It did not take long for the conversation to turn to an invitation from Ed for Lynn to come to Ukraine and see what was going on over there.  Lynn saw that Hawaii would be the place he would want to see, but he did offer to do some work in Ukraine if needed.  From there the conversation led to the earlier commitment from the four of us (Don, Johanna, Lynn and Ruby) where we had the desire to do leadership training for those persons working in the churches.  Ed invited Lynn to "show up" and he (Ed) would set up training with a large church in Krivoy Rog, Ukraine.  Done deal – several months later we were on an airplane heading to Ukraine – without a clue why, how, or what we were doing.  Here the tide changed forever for us.  Life would never be the same and we would move forward with full force into the mission field.

Within a short time, we were committed to returning to Ukraine over the next several years, teaching and training, church leaders, orphanage staff, and those persons who were responsible for child welfare issues in Ukraine.  At the same time, God touched our hearts again deeply with the words of a song – These Are the Days of Elijah.

"Days Of Elijah"

These are the days of Elijah
Declaring the word of the Lord, yeah
And these are the days of Your servant, Moses
Righteousness being restored

These are the days of great trials
Of famine and darkness and sword
Still we are the voice in the desert crying
Prepare ye the way of the Lord!

Say, behold He comes, riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun, at the trumpet's call
Lift your voice, (it's) the year of Jubilee
Out of Zion's hill, salvation comes

And these are the days of Ezekiel
The dry bones becoming as flesh
And these are the days of Your servant, David
Rebuilding the temple of praise

And these are the days of the harvest
The fields are all white in the world
And we are the laborers that are in Your vineyard
Declaring the Word of the Lord

Say, behold He comes, riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun at the trumpet's call
Lift your voice, (it's) the year of Jubilee
Out of Zion's hill, salvation comes


The words of this song became our own “trumpet call!”  For the next years LAMb International operated with the defining scripture out of Ephesians 4:12.  ….”for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ..”

Teaching and training were our focus.  Through this two different NGO’s were registered as well.  One in Ukraine and one in Kyrgyzstan.  We worked with partners in Ukraine, USA and in Canada to build the work of ministry in both organizations.  The Institute for Human Services (IHS) in Ohio was a catalyst to building solid implementation strategies to help build the best practice training programs for these countries and other countries that were added later.  Still in partnership with IHS best practice training materials have been put into the hands of thousands across the globe, building capacity to care for vulnerable children, orphans, widows, disabled and crisis families.

And today we see the need of so much more needed.  By expanding into global activities, we can take the message of hope, to the nations.  Yes, the harvest fields are all white in the world and the laborers are few.  We want to answer the trumpet call today and are praying for what our tomorrow will be.

We thank you and leave you with a request - the opportunity to help us in 2015 reach even more with the message of hope.  The fields await and we know you are the wind beneath our wings.

Consider a year end or a monthly giving plan to continue the work of LAMb International.  You can donate through the buttons on the side of this blog or send donations to:  LAMb International, 406-33 Ellen Street, Barrie, Ontario L4N 6E9.

Thank you and God Bless You All.

Merry Christmas




Thursday, December 11, 2014

CAMBODIA - SPIRITUAL FIRE AND HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

PASTORS AND KEY CHILDREN'S WORKERS

VIETNAM
CAMBODIA 
LAOS
MYANMAR (Burma) 
THAILAND

To witness the fire and hope that was generated out of these days here in Cambodia touched our hearts deeply.  In a country and region of the world that has undergone such a tragic past - we can only say Cambodia is rising to a new place.

First the people are wonderful, kind and so gentle.  Yet, they speak openly of pain, challenges and the struggle to move into a new place - where families are strong and children are a treasure to all.  The commitments from the days here - coming from the participants were ones of promise and change.  Putting children first, teaching and keeping children as a primary topic in the church - focusing on the younger generation to ensure they are elevated to a place of inclusion in all the ministry of the church and ministry programs.  

No longer will vulnerable children be ignored, forgotten and considered a lesser part of the church.  This group of leaders stepped out making commitments to this as well as other commitments to REACH, RESCUE, ROOT AND RELEASE children as partners in their ministry programs.

In sharing in the area of trauma - I was overwhelmed with the stories that were shared with me after speaking and teaching.  One gentleman came to me and wanted to ask a question, "If a person were one of the young persons made to be part of the killing being done during the Khmer Rouge/Pol Pot era, and they are now a believer, will their trauma eventually leave them?"    Another person asked, "My daughter does not show any love to my grandchild, will this have an impact on her later in life?"

And the questions and comments continued.  Trauma potentially has such a long term life impact.  Talking to so many - knowing each story and question comes from someone looking for hope, healing and assurance of resolve or relief from pain - stops you immediately and reminds you of the importance of continuing the work of teaching in Trauma - to be a helper to those with such questions.

The biggest indicator of the importance of this topic came with the many requests to please come back, come to my country - when will you do more training on this topic?  And our commitment?  To work tirelessly in sharing, teaching, consulting to serve vulnerable children, orphans and crisis families. 

You see - things are changing in our world.  The church is rising UP and we believe we will see a change - where children are being nurtured in families - orphans are being adopted by loving mothers and fathers - and we will see the movement where we do have A WORLD WITHOUT ORPHANS.

JAMES 1:27 - Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

PS. 69:6 - God sets the lonely in families.......

Over 40 from Vietnam...

Cambodian children dancing for us...

"The children are the reason we are here...."
Our leader - Tri Budiardjo with the children who served us....


Praying for the children of Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand....

Preparing to start our day..

Sharing on the Impact of Trauma....

Seeing the slides translated into Khmer  - humbling...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

REALITIES OF HISTORY IN CAMBODIA - SOBERING

CAMBODIA

OPULENCE AND POVERTY
Challenges and Hopes
War and Genocide

We are here in Cambodia to speak and teach about Trauma, to share information that is focused on working with vulnerable children, crisis families and orphans.  This country has been through so much - from the impact of the Vietnam war era, and then through the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot genocide.  This history of prolonged civil war leaves the younger generation bearing the consequences of post war trauma as well as other social implications.

Across Indo-China, communities share a common perception of children as less important than adults.  In general there has been little focus on respecting the rights of children or understanding children's needs and development.  There is a lack of understanding of the Psycho-Social impact on child development that comes from the buried trauma of families from the last few decades of civil war and violence.

Sadly, the church is also grappling with the same difficulties and lack of understanding.  Too often, there is a sole emphasis on spiritual development, rather than holistic transformation.  There are many groups, and even individual Christians and faith-based NGO's that have been working on child development and child rights, but the local church is still lagging behind.  Church leaders need more exposure, practical know-how and sharing of best practices in addressing the issue.

On the other hand, the region is also undergoing a significant spiritual awakening.  New churches are emerging all over Cambodia.  In the last 10 years they have gone from 10 chuche to over 3,000.

Our time here in Cambodia is structured within a collaborative event where church leaders, ministry practitioners, mission thinkers and theologians from many nations and of varied age groups will seek God together.  We expect that the Holy Spirit will give us creative approaches and solutions to challenges facing children and youth in this generation.  

Sharing best practices from across the globe will enhance learning, raise awareness and help equip the church to cope with the challenge of raising this generation of children and youth.

We are honored to be part of this time of learning, teaching and expanding the challenge of Ephesians 4:12-17! 

His thoughts?


A stupa behind - a Buddhist monument to ensure health and well-being of the
person it is representing.  
Cambodia is largely Buddhist.  Only 2% of the country is Christian.
The friendliness of these men was humbling, reminding us to be very
careful and to watch our possessions - especially the camera which they wanted their
picture taken from.


The Killing Fields - there are over 300 that have been discovered in Cambodia.
The Khmer Rouge - Pol Pot regiem slaughtered over 2 million Cambodians between
the years of 1975 and 1979.  That means that 1 out every 4 persons were murdered
by the Pol Pot reign of genocide.


One mass grave is in this lake.







Monday, December 1, 2014

TUESDAY IS THE DAY - GIVING IS THE FOCUS

GIVING TUESDAY

DECEMBER 2, 2014


Don't forget to give bunches on Giving Tuesday. 
Praise God and Thank Him! 
Honor your spouse!
Thank those around you!
Praise others!

GIVE GENEROUSLY 
MAKE 
DIFFERENCE


Thursday, November 27, 2014

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM THE LAMb TEAM



Dear Friends

Across the USA today the celebration of thanksgiving is happening.   Families will join around a table with to enjoy fellowship, good food and to give their thanks.  Although this day is set aside as Thanksgiving Day – every day in fact is “thanksgiving day.” 

We have so much to be thankful for each and every day.  We pray today that you know we are thankful for you – for your heart for vulnerable children, orphans and widows.  We thank you for caring and loving those who are less fortunate.

And we pray for God’s richest blessings to consume you today and for the rest of the year. 

Blessings to you,

Lynn and Ruby Johnston

For the LAMb Team

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

THREE TYPES OF ORPHANS - SPIRITUAL, EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL - ALL NEED HEALING

MOBILIZING THE CHURCH
FOR 
THE 
CAUSE OF
THE 
ORPHAN

James 1:27


Leaving the 4/4 Window challenge taking place here  in Tokyo - was a humbling experience .  Japan is a country of great numbers, many earthquakes and passionate people.  A collection of churches eager to serve and make a difference.  Orphans need the church to arise.

According to Sophelia - "Before the tsunami, there were more than 39,000 children in “orphanages” in Japan. Around 3,000 of them were housed in 乳児院 (nyujiin: infant nurseries, usually for children under two years old). The overwhelming majority of these children are not orphans in the sense of having no living guardian. Nor have they been removed from their parents’ custody. The majority have living parents who retain legal custody but who are not raising them. In some cases children are housed in orphanages temporarily. In other cases, they will remain in institutions from birth until adulthood, never meeting their parents. " 

In the aftermath of the disaster, however, there are growing concerns that the country, as about 200 children lost both parents and an additional 1,200 lost one parent to the earthquake or tsunami. Most of the orphans are now living with relatives, but with unemployment at 90% in some areas orphanages may become the only option. It is very difficult, though, to get kids out of these welfare institutions and into permanent homes.

The CHALLENGE in Japan - for the church to step up and REACH, RESCUE, ROOT AND RELEASE  - meaning all children of Japan - and most specifically to the orphans.  Japan Arise it is your day as you serve vulnerable children, crisis families and orphans.   

We were so excited to see the church in Japan coming together - breaking down denominations and showing the passion to care for the 4/14ers.  The tomorrow for Japan is one of Hope and Expectation.  For the children of Japan it is so much more - Restoration, Rooting and Releasing them as the treasure they are - a son or daughter of the Most High.

EVERY CHILD NEEDS A FAMILY AND WE MUST WORK TOGETHER TO SEE A JAPAN WITHOUT ORPHANS - A WORLD WITHOUT ORPHANS
NO MORE SPIRITUAL ORPHANS
NO MORE EMOTIONAL ORPHANS 
NO MORE PHYSICAL ORPHANS



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

TUESDAY IS FAST APPROACHING - YES - GIVING TUESDAY



GIVING TUESDAY IS FAST APPROACHING

Imagine a day dedicated to giving back … around the world, across Canada and in your own community!
Just as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, GivingTuesday is the opening day of the giving season.

GivingTuesday is a global day of giving. After the sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday,GivingTuesday is a time to celebrate and encourage activities that support charities and non profits. Whether it’s making a donation, volunteering time, helping a neighbour or spreading the word, GivingTuesday is a movement for everyone who wants to give something back.

TO GIVE TO THE WORK OF LAMb International - just hit the button on the side of the blog.
Thank you so much!
HAPPY GIVING!