In 2006, I packed my bags and boarded an airplane that would take me to a very unfamiliar place. I buckled my seat belt and took a deep breath and questioned myself once again as to what I was doing traveling half way around the world. Over the next 20 hours I tried to make since of "the call" I had answered. Why me? Why had I been chosen? Why had I accepted? What did I have to offer? As the plane began to make its descent, my heart began to beat out of my chest and my hands began to sweat uncontrollably. There was no turning back now!
The unfamiliar place I had landed was Zambia, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, where AIDS has left one and a half million children without one or both of their parents and where life expectancy has fallen to 35 years of age. Although I was at the beginning stages of my walk with the Lord, he had been very persistent in reminding me daily that I would be making this journey with the team being led by my pastor at the time and director of Breath of Heaven Children's Ministries, Ted Lawler. As many of you may relate, I didn't quite understand why I was being called and felt as though I was unworthy of being part of such a "Godly" mission. With all those feelings put aside, I uttered three simple words, "Yes, I'll go!" It was then that my world turned upside down.
From the moment I stepped foot on Zambian soil, I knew deep in my heart that I was home. I fell in love the moment I looked into the eyes of his children (who I now call my own), and I knew without a doubt that my life would never be the same. I have had the opportunity to return to Zambia three additional times, the last being in 2010, and have prayed daily ever since for the Lord to hear the cries of my heart to return. I am beyond excited to say that the Lord has heard and has answered my prayers!
I, along with my husband, will be returning to The Breath of Heaven Children's Village in Lusaka, Zambia in July 2014 with a team from our home church, Elevation. I know deep down in my heart and spirit that this trip is going to be special. God continues to amaze me in his faithfulness and grace. I am often without words when speaking of the love I have for the Lord. He has been so good to me. He knows my thoughts, my desires of my heart, and answers my prayers even when I may see them as impossible.
As I begin the planning process of this amazing journey I would love for each of you to come along side and help by praying for our team. Please pray that God will begin to prepare the team for the journey set before us as well as preparing the hearts of those we will be ministering to in Zambia. We will also need prayers for safe travels and that all financial needs will be met. If you would like to provide financial support you may click the blue "donate" button below or send a personal check payable to Alicia Orloff or Breath of Heaven with my name and "Zambia Mission Trip" in the memo.
Your support, both financially and through prayer, is greatly appreciated. I look forward in sharing this journey with each of you. If you have any questions and/or need my personal address or Breath of Heaven"s address, please feel free to contact me. For more information on Breath of Heaven Children's Ministries go to www.bofheaven.org
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