It was almost three years ago when Lifeline’s UnAdopted presented The Church at Brook Hills with an opportunity to lock arms with a partner who was working to equip orphans, who would most likely never be adopted, with life skills so they could be prepared when life outside the orphanage became a reality.

This partnership is in Liberia.

Liberia is a beautiful little country on the West Coast of Africa. Has a population of around 4 million, 14% of which are evangelical Christians which means the church is alive and vibrant there. But because of decades of war, civil unrest, and even genocide, Liberia experiences tremendous poverty, an economy that barely exists, poor infrastructure, and on top of that a large population of orphans.

There is urgent physical need there.

Eight months ago I along with 3 other members from The Church at Brook Hills had the opportunity to visit our partner in Liberia. Through Lifeline’s UnAdopted ministry, Brook Hills is able to partner with REAP – which stands for Restoration of Educational Advancement Programs. It is a camp, initiated and led by Liberian nationals, for children living in a network of 17 orphanages around Liberia. Young men and women come to the camp and are able to learn skills like sewing, accounting, brick masonry, carpentry, mechanics, computer repair skills, farming, just to name a few. These skills give students the ability to provide for their future and give them the “know how” to work and be contributing citizens to their community.

Not only are life skills being taught, but most importantly the camp gives children the opportunity to hear the gospel and be discipled under the leadership of believers who are working the camp.

While we were in Liberia, I met a young man named Arku at one of the camps. Arku is seventeen years old and lives at an orphanage for the deaf. And as we spent time with Arku, you could just tell he had a light within him that made you want to know him more. We found out that Arku had heard the gospel and was a follower of Christ and he was able to articulate how Christ had transformed his life and allowed him to come to the REAP camp to know God more and to learn farming skills.

That same day we met Arku we were invited to come and visit the orphanage where he lived and see what life for them looked like.

Arku and the others were there to show us around the orphanage and at some point in the conversation, Arku looked at us and said, “would you like to come see my garden”? Knowing that Arku had learned farming skills at the REAP camp, I was eager to see what he had learned.

But when Arku led us around to the back of the main building on the compound, there was no garden. No, what I saw before me was an entire working farm full of cultivated land, simple irrigation systems, land plots with rows of corn, beans, potatoes, even a number of vegetables I had never even heard of.

This young man had taken what he had learned at the camp and put it to work. Not only that, but as he continued to develop his skills he had also begun to teach other children at the orphanage how to do it as well, and they were able to help provide food for the orphanage and sell the rest to have money in their pocket.

It was a beautiful picture of disciple-making.

And it’s happening in the lives of hundreds of orphans who will never be adopted but who will hopefully, because of this partnership, have the confidence and skill set to not be afraid of what the future will hold.

I wish I could tell you with confidence that Arku will experience what it is like to have a mom and a dad, or a last name that binds him to a forever home. I wish I could tell you with confidence that Arku will ever experience someone calling him “son” or that he will know what family is like outside of his experiences in his orphanage. But I cannot.

But I can, in great confidence, tell you that there is a young man named Arku who has hope because he knows the Father, and who is our brother because he believes in Christ Jesus, which unifies all of us who believe into one family.

And so this, this confidence is why we give to the Global Offering. So that the gospel can be made known to boys and girls living in 17 orphanages throughout Liberia. And so they can develop into the men and women God has created them to be – full of hope, confidence, skills for life, and ultimately so God’s great name can be made known throughout Liberia and the whole world.

Arku’s story is just one of the hundreds of stories around the world that our faith family has the privilege of participating in. Through the Global Offering, God is allowing The Church at Brook Hills to strengthen the local church around the world and to meet urgent physical and spiritual needs.

Give online to the GLOBAL OFFERING