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This was the question that I was asked recently by a passionate Kids Alive supporter. And as I responded, I realized once again that we have so much to be encouraged about and thankful for! And so I thought I would begin this newsletter by summarizing my “top six encouragements” so far this year!
1. I see God at work in Kids Alive – and lives are being changed forever! This is the reason we exist – to reflect the love of Christ into needy, hurting communities and to give children and their families the opportunity to experience fullness of life in Him. It is such a joy to me to hear stories of children responding to the Word of God, being baptized, and growing in their faith; of young people who are reaching their full potential academically and vocationally; of broken and bruised hearts being healed and restored. We must never forget to keep Him at the center of all that we do, and allow Him to work in us and through us so that the lives of these precious kids are transformed – forever – for His glory!
2. Kids Alive’s support base and funding are growing! During the first half of 2017, our revenue was more than $5 million – which is 14% higher than during the corresponding period last year. We now have more monthly donors and child sponsors than ever before. Of course, growth in our income means that we are able to send more funds to our fields – for daily operational costs and for special projects! While we continue to have a long way to go in this area, I can see that God is stirring people’s hearts for this ministry!
3. God is bringing some amazing missionaries to Kids Alive! I love reading the newsletters that land on my desk from missionaries serving around the world. It is inspiring to hear of people’s passion for their ministries, of their humility, love and creativity, and of new initiatives that are being launched. I also appreciate hearing of the challenges too – of the struggles, the hurts, the loneliness, and the hopes and dreams that didn’t work out. It helps me, and the staff team in the office, to pray better for each of our missionaries and the situations that they are working in. I am encouraged that God is bringing some wonderful people to this organization!
4. Kids Alive has some incredibly passionate and committed national staff! One thing that strikes me wherever I travel in the world is the quality of the national staff that we have serving as ministry directors, caregivers, teachers, cooks, security guards, bus drivers, and in a host of other roles. We could not do ministry without them, and I am grateful for the hard work, commitment, compassion, and the sacrifices that so many people are making on behalf of the children that we serve!
5. The quality of Kids Alive’s work is being recognized! Whether in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe, or the Middle East, we are seeing Kids Alive being recognized by government bodies and other organizations for the role that we are playing in caring for orphans, providing quality education, protecting children from abuse, and supporting families. This is encouraging, and something that we want to be seeing more of in the future!
6. I believe that God has great things ahead for Kids Alive! I believe that God will use Kids Alive more than ever before in the future, to develop young men and women who will become changemakers in their families, workplaces, churches, local communities, and even throughout their countries. And I believe that, with God’s help, people, and resources, we can positively impact the quality of orphan care across whole nations through the influencing of government policies and systems, as well as providing an outstanding model of care that impacts the work of other organizations working with orphans and vulnerable kids!
Thank you for your prayers and partnership,
Matt Parker, President