As most of you may know, my dearest J.L. suddenly went to be with the Lord on December 28th. Our family is still struggling to believe that he is really no longer with us. But, we share the hope in knowing we will see him again and that he now beholds Jesus face to face.
Here is the last email blast he was preparing the morning he died. As usual, he left the house to do his cardiac rehab program and I stayed at home, as was also usual, to help with editing different writings of his. But, I was specifically getting this report ready for Jane to send out later that Wednesday.
You will hear his passion for the children’s programs as you read his words and see all the pictures. (He often laughed and said that Jesus gave two great commissions. One was to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, and the other was to go into all the world and take pictures of God’s work!)
Many people are asking what will become of JL, Patt & Friends now that J.L. is gone. The JLPF board of directors is meeting to discuss this very concern. You will be hearing directly from them and me in the weeks ahead as we transition from J.L.’s leadership to mine and the board’s.
Enjoy J.L.’s last report – even imagine hearing him, with his “outside voice” and his enthusiasm and excitement, as he reports on the great things going on with the children!
So very grateful for your continued prayers!
Patt, for our family, staff and board, and our national partners
Deuteronomy 31:8, God’s precious promise to me and us.
“…On coming to the house,
they saw the child with His mother Mary,
and they bowed down and worshiped Him.
Then they opened their treasures
and presented Him with gifts…”
Dear Ministry Partners,
We can see from this familiar story of the Wise Men that giving gifts is an expression of worship when done in the right spirit. Most importantly, they gave their gifts to Jesus. They did not exchange them with each other like we do at Christmas!
But when He was an adult, Jesus made it clear in His Parable of the Sheep & Goats that when we give gifts to the needy in His Name, we give to Him. He taught that when we give food to the hungry…water to the thirsty…clothes to the naked…medicine to the sick…show hospitality to the stranger…and visit those in prison – we do it unto Him (Matt. 25: 31-40).
That’s exactly what you helped us do during the Christmas season for needy children, widows, refugees and prisoners. So our next few eNewsletters will be pictorial reports on the people you gave gifts to through JLPF. Patt and I hope you will be blessed and encouraged as you re-live the experience of the Wise Men through the Christmas Love Feasts, Advent Celebrations and gifts you made possible through your love, prayers and financial generosity.
And just like the Wise Men took a long journey to worship Christ through their giving, you will also take international journeys to places like Nepal, India, Africa and Haiti. So let the journey begin!
First, let’s visit the Christmas Party at the Grace Children’s Home in Kathmandu Nepal…
The Grace Children's Home that we funded almost 20 years ago through NDI.
After all the years, and many children, it is in wonderful condition, and
beautifully decorated for Christmas.
Before receiving their gifts, the children had a time of prayer and worship.
Sister Maya is the founder of the home, and helped Pastor Hanok distribute
the gifts to the children.
Pastor Hanok is assisted by one of the most senior elders of Aradhana Church,
Durgasingh, a healed leper. Each child received a warm winter jacket and other
clothing for the current cold season in Nepal.
Pastor Hanok and Maya with nine happy children
who were blessed by you, our ministry partners,
who gave like the Wise Men.
I want to take you back more than a dozen years to one of my earlier visits to the Grace Children’s Home. While each of the children is precious, I want you to especially meet two girls, Sunita and Ashanjoli. In the pictures below, Sunita is in the yellow sweater and Ashanjoli is wearing the purple jacket.
A much younger me (!) visiting Sister Maya
and the children at the Grace Home.
As always, the children sang and recited Bible verses they had memorized.
In spite of their handicaps, Sunita and Ashanjoli thrived at the Grace Home,
and excelled in their studies.
Here are Sunita’s and Ashanjoli’s stories.
When she was 2 ½ years old, Sunita Tamang was brought by her mother and a friend to the Aradhana Church with severe burns. Her drunken father had thrown her into the fire and her mother had rescued her – but not before Sunita was badly burned. When Hanok saw the tragic condition of this little girl, he called Sister Maya and asked if she could care for her in the Grace Home. Maya agreed and quickly took her to the Patan Hospital for much needed medical attention. Sunita lived at Grace for 13 years until she graduated from high school four years ago. Now, she lives with her aunt and is in her second year at a business college, studying management.
Ashanjoli came to the Grace Home when she was 4 and still lives there today, helping Maya care for the younger children. She had broken her leg in an accident as a small child and came to the home with a foot that had not healed properly, because of inadequate medical care in her village. Sister Maya saw to it that Ashanjoli received a series of treatments that made it possible for her to walk, run and do anything else she wants to do today! She is now 20, is in her first year in the same business college as Sunita and is also studying management.
On our last trip to Nepal, Patt and I had the joy of visiting with Sunita and Ashanjoli again. It had been many years since we had seen them. As you will notice from the pictures that follow, they are now beautiful young women.
When we met together at the Aradhana Church, they both thanked us for giving them help and hope in life through their many years at the Grace Home. Sunita tearfully said: “If it would not have been for you, I would not be alive – nor would I know Jesus.” I also began to weep and held her in my arms with her beautiful face against mine. As I did, our tears mingled together. Heaven wept with us! But they were tears of joy and thanksgiving for the grace of Christ that had made it all possible!
It was one of the most unforgettable moments in my life! And it was all made possible by the financial support of our ministry partners – who will never meet them personally. But one day, you too will embrace them in your arms in heaven – as the Lord Jesus embraces us all!
Remember the beautiful smiles of these two young ladies.
You will meet them again in heaven.
Now, after this walk down memory lane at the Grace Children’s Home, let’s pop in for a visit at the Himali Home, which is a sister Children’s Home in Kathmandu.
As our regular readers will remember, we recently dedicated their new three story building when Patt and I were in Nepal (click here to review that report). It was wonderful to receive these pictures this past week of their first Christmas Celebration in their new facility – all decorated with colorful lights!
Sister Laxmi and the children await the arrival of the Wise Men bearing gifts
for the children - otherwise known as Pastor Hanok, and the elders of the
Because of the gracious giving of our partners, we were able to send the
funds to buy new warm jackets and clothes for each of the children
Pastor Hanok and his fellow Wise Men from Aradhana helped
distribute the gifts to each child.
Just like American children, they were eager to open their gifts
and try on their new clothes.
Each child received a new warm sweater, gloves, hat, and a jacket.
Patt and I thank each of you who were "God's Wise Men", and gave to JLPF
so we could give gifts to these precious children.
After each Children’s Home had their own time of receiving gifts, we brought them together for a combined Christmas Love Feast. Since the Himali Home moved into their new facility recently, they hosted this year’s Christmas Party.
Ashanjoli is now a wonderful Sunday School teacher, so she helped
organize and lead songs and games for the combined groups.
Several of the games emphasized their spiritual unity in Christ.
Sister Laxmi prepared the "Christmas Love Feast" for the children
from both Children's Homes. It was truly a Nepali feast!
Because Sunita is a graduate of the Grace Home, she came
to the combined Christmas Party in her traditional Nepali dress.
One of the highlights of the Christmas Love Feast was the two cakes
that all of the children shared - with sparklers on top!
Three beautiful spiritual sisters who are the fruit of these two Children's Homes:
Sashi, (left) profiled in an earlier report (please click here);
Sunita, (middle) currently a student in business college;
and Ashanjoli (right) who still lives at the Grace Home, is an
active leader in her local church and attends business college.
Pray for these beautiful Nepali sisters in Christ
who are the fruit of your love, prayers, and support.
The children of the Grace and Himali Homes send
their love and thanks for your gifts that made
their Christmas Celebration so special!
Patt and I have our arms around two beautiful living examples of why we do what we do. There is no greater reward in life than to be God’s channel of blessing and hope to precious children like these we have pictured in this report. Thanks for loving these two “adopted daughters” of ours. They are some of the “abiding fruit” that Jesus promised that He would bring forth through our lives (John 15:16). Thanks for your continued partnership with us to minister His love and compassion to them in every way possible.
In our next report, we will visit another of our Children’s Homes for their Christmas Celebration. Until then…
In the spirit of the Wise Men,
JL & Patt