In Jake’s words…
Today was a day filled with sadness and heart break, but also a crystal clear vision from God. As we drove down the streets of Apeguso all I could think about was the song called “Yours” by Steven Curtis Chapman and the lyrics that say “I walk the dirt roads of Uganda and I am reminded that every child in Africa is yours.” The roads to Apeguso, Ghana were made of a rich, dark red clay that were surrounded by bush on both sides.
It seemed like we were on the road forever until we finally reached the little village tucked back away in the bush just off the red clay road.
I was on my way to meet a young boy named Israel. Israel has HIV, is an orphan, suffers from epilepsy, and was recently badly burnt by fire. I had seen the pictures and heard his story, but nothing in this world could prepare me for what I would see on the streets of Apeguso.
As we approached an isolated mud hut I was told that this is where Israel lived all alone.
As we opened the door a young boy appeared who was so ashamed of himself and his surroundings he could not lift his head to look at us in the eye.
His entire body screamed Help me, I am alone, I am afraid, and I am ashamed. My father has died, my mother has run away, and I have been neglected by this fallen world.
It was the first time in five years that I was lost for words and simply wanted to cry. I wanted to cry and ask God why? Why allow this type of suffering? Why allow this type of heart break? Why allow a child to be alone, afraid, and ashamed?
Then I felt God reverse the same questions that were stirring in my emotions and my own head right back to me. “Jake,” God seemed to ask, “Why would you allow this boy to be alone? What will you do to meet his needs? How will you provide him an earthly family and teach him about his true Father above? How will you raise his chin and provide him eyes of hope?”
It was so clear right then. Over the last five years my wife and I have dreamed about opening a children’s center in Ghana where the most vulnerable and hurting children could be loved. Where God could provide the least of these an earthly family and a loving setting to be taught about our great Savior.
Just an hour earlier I was sitting with the Ahodwo Architecture Firm discussing the plans of the children’s center we want to build in Asikuma. Everything seemed too easy until we came to the cost of the project. The total cost for Phase 1 of the project, which is the children’s home that will provide a family to those suffering and alone, would cost $130,000.
A couple months ago Kingdom Cares International received a surprise gift from our home church, Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa, of $40,000. When I received that gift I was sure that would be plenty of money to complete a children’s home. However, that would be too easy and require very little faith. I know the vision that God has given me for the home and I know God has shown up in big ways in the past. I felt as though God was saying to me, “Are you willing to take that step of faith and see Me provide once again?”
I gave a tentative yes to the architects, but yet doubt filled my mind as I made the trip to Israel’s house and village. Even as I sit here in the Ghana airport writing this post doubt covers every ounce of me. I know Satan will put those thoughts in my head and he will try to put up road blocks in our path. Tonight I got a call about someone disputing the land which now means we have to go to the land’s register office to make sure the land is clear and free. This just delays the project by a week or two and fills my mind with doubts and second thoughts.
I am sure we will face more roadblocks and question things more than once, but that is what faith is all about. I know God wants us to take a gigantic step of faith and to not just speak the verse that what seems impossible according to men is entirely possibly with God (Matthew 19:26), but to actually live it out in our lives.
The entire vision of the project is to develop five acres of land into an entire youth complex that will include the children’s center, a school, and a recreational area that will have a soccer field, basketball court, and playground. We want this to be where the children go and it will be our opportunity to impact their lives for Christ at an early age. The entire project will cost roughly $250,000 to complete. We are only focusing on phase I at this point and that is the development of the children’s center so we can care for children like Israel.
We have the first $40,000 thanks to Cornerstone Church and pray that all of you reading this post will choose to play a part in serving the vulnerable children and being the family that God intends for every orphaned child.
Below we have included all of the architectural drawings for phase I of the project. If you have additional questions please feel free to call me at 515-291-1542 or email (email@example.com).
I always have great fear and reservations when I look at something so big. However, I know the vision God has given me. When God started the journey five years ago to Africa some of the first words I read were from David Platt in the book “Radical”. It said when you start in on something that in no way can be accomplished by man, and the only way you will make it is if God shows up in a big way, you then know you are walking in the footsteps of God.
Donations can be mailed to Kingdom Cares International – 315 Ridgewood Drive, Huxley, IA, 50124 or you can donate online by going to www.kingdomcares.org and click on the donate tab at the top of the screen. All donations are tax deductible and you will be sent a receipt following your donation.