Jonathan and Heather Aldis are dear friends from the days when Lisa and I were on staff at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship. Since then, they have been regular supporters of the work I've done with Orphan Lifeline and World Orphans. Heather has always employed creative ways for us to be able to serve churches around the world that are rescuing and caring for the least of "the least of these." When our church-based homes for former street boys were leveled by corrupt officials and Muslim extremists before Christmas in Nairobi a few years ago, the boys were left trembling with fear and cold (Yes, it can get down to the 40's overnight in Kenya's mile-high capital city.) Heather stepped in and organized groups to quilt blankets for them.
Touched by the great need in Haiti, Heather responded once again. This time, two of her young daughters, Sara Grace and Anna Kate held a benefit concert (Sara on the violin, and Anna on the cello) to raise money for Haiti's orphans. Heather used a viral Internet fundraising tool at http://www.firstgiving.com/hatianbenefitconcert to make the appeal and track progress (be sure to check it out.) Heather recently updated the fundraising site to read:
After hearing about how the earthquake left so many children in Haiti without families, the girls decided to do something to help. On February 28 they played their instruments in a benefit concert to help raise money for these precious orphans. Your generous giving, sweet encouragement, and kind presence at the concert all helped to make their dream a reality. Thank you!
The ministry of World Orphans is already working in Haiti to relieve the suffering of these orphans. We firmly believe there is no better organization in place at this present time to meet these needs so won't you consider joining this effort to help these children by making a donation today! You can do this through this website until the end of April. It is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support their fundraising efforts.
Many thanks for your support — and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!
Heather also sent out an e-mail to friends and family which serves as a perfect illustration of how we should encourage and support advocacy in our children at an early age:
This concert did do so much more for our family than I ever anticipated. First of all it showed the girls that although they are young they can help to make a difference through being faithful in what God has given them. It reminded us of God's great love for the orphans as He worked through His people to relieve the suffering that comes with living in our world. And finally, it reminded us of how very blessed we are to have you for our family and friends. Your encouraging words helped us to press forward. The initial financial contributions totally exceeded our original expectations so just today I doubled that goal online hoping that more friends will choose to partner with us. Donations will be accepted through the end of April. Words cannot adequately express how very thankful we are for your partnership in this effort to relieve the suffering of these precious children. Countless orphans will be cared for because of you. THANK YOU!
I have updated the website to include a couple of pictures and video should you be interested. Check it out! http://www.firstgiving.com/hatianbenefitconcert
Thanks, Heather, Jonathon, Sara Grace, and Anna Kate, for your hearts for the children!
The Haiti Orphan Relief Team (HORT) can be found on Facebook.
Abandoned-Orphaned is the personal blog of Paul Myhill, President of World Orphans. Subscribe to the blog in the upper right-hand corner of the home page. Paul can be found on Facebook and on Twitter @paulmyhill.