Thursday, March 17, 2011

He Knows His Plans…

As an adolescent I was drawn to mission work. I dreamed and prayed for an opportunity to go overseas on a mission trip. My heart always longed for Russia, but God closed that door for me, and gave me something greater. In the summer of 1998 I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I traveled to Ukraine, to a little city 50 miles from Chernobyl called Chernihiv. I had the opportunity to live in an orphanage for an entire month. God revealed to me His love and mercy and His desire for us to care for the orphans. These precious children were looking for love and acceptance; they too had dreams. They dreamed to have a family that would take care of them and love them. It seems to us, those who have been loved and cared for by a family, as an unfamiliar dream, but this was their only dream and desire. These children would light up with just the mention of Jesus; they knew that He created them and loved them and has a plan for them. The very mention of His name brought hope to those little faces. This very experience created a passion within me to become involved in an orphan care ministry. As I moved on in life I wondered if and when God would ever give me the desire of my heart. As a staff member with Lifeline I now have been given the desire of my heart. I have the privilege to see God at work through our orphan care ministry all over the world, and see the light of Jesus in these precious children and the families who love and care for them. I know one day I will return to Ukraine and see those precious children again. This verse was given to me while in Ukraine in the summer of 1998. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”(Jeremiah 29:11) This is one of the key verses Lifeline uses. When I heard this I knew God had me exactly where He wanted me. I encourage you to seek God with all your heart for your dreams and desires, so you too can have the desires God wants for you.

Serving Him Gladly,

Joanna L. Turner
Birth Mother Counselor

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