Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This means so much to me.

This is a really hard post for me. One that I've been wanting to share for a very long time. But it's one that is so close to my heart it's hard to share about. I'm too afraid that I'll minimize how awesome it was. That I might not communicate the presence of God that we felt in that place. A fear that I might get the details wrong. It's been two years now since I was there but at the same time it feels like yesterday. So I think I'll just post some of my favorite images from the day and make some comments about each. 

We really didn't know what to expect when we found out about this orphanage. All we knew is that it was some kind of cross between an orphanage and a home for the elderly. And that all the children at this orphanage had their parents martyred for Christ.

All we really could do was just do our best to communicate love to them somehow. Most of them didn't speak very much English. We didn't know that we were the ones who were about to be feeling the love.

They were probably some of the most happy children I've ever seen. And yet, I knew they had experienced hardship beyond measure. The lady who ran the home was only running a home for the elderly. She had no plans of opening an orphanage...till one day there was a massacre in a town where there were mostly Christians residing. The Muslims killed all they could find. The children here were found by this lady in the jungles surrounding their once happy homes. Now they were hiding from those who had just killed their parents. 

Andrew Jorgensen was our Team Leader that year.  He's a close friend of mine! I've never seen someone lead a missions team with such sacrifice as he made on that trip. He gave everything he had on that field. He served that team and those around him as unto the Lord. He had so many hard decisions to make too. I don't think anyone outside of the staff will ever truly understand all he went through to make the trip possible. Thanks, Andrew. 

This picture just makes me smile. This is Kelly, one of the most believing individuals on our team ... and we picked on her for it too. But she always had a cheerful attitude and really reached out to all she came in contact with. 

One of the Bibles a young boy brought with him. 

They sang to the Lord with such closeness. You could feel God's presence. And these children could sing like none I've ever heard before. It was so precious to see them using their amazing talent to sing God's praise. 

The joy was unbelievable. The love that we felt from them was something we had never imagined. Every one of them was a walking testimony of God's grace and love. 

So we thought we were going to have to do the ministering to them once we got there. Well, God had other plans. Instead, they blessed us. And what a welcome blessing after being in a foreign country now for four or five weeks. Again I can't really begin to say how perfectly they could sing. Every song brought goose bumps. 

They had just four microphones that they gave to their lead singers and the rest harmonized. 

These were my little friends hiding in the corner watching all that was going on. I love this little girl. 

And this little guy too! We were having so much fun playing a "peek-at-the-photographer" sort of game. They thought it was pretty cool when I showed them the images on the back of my camera. I love digital cameras -- if for nothing else than for the ability they give you to communicate with those you couldn't otherwise speak to. 

Well, now it was our turn to sing to them. And it was fun and they were very nice and listened...

...for a little while till they jumped up and started singing with us. The excitement in the air was something I felt totally unable to capture with my camera. 

It was the most amazing sense of oneness as we all joined in song, praising our Father in Heaven. 

These elderly folks, who in many ways are the parents to these children, had quite the entertainment. These children are so talented, they actually sing to raise support for themselves and everyone there in that "family".  It's a trade. The elders ones teach the younger. I'd never seen something so amazing. 

Andrew, teaching everyone a new song.

Okay, I fell in love. Tell me you don't love her too? She had the cutest little giggle. And such a beautiful smile. This might very possibly be my very favorite image that I got the entire trip. 

They were just so awesome! 

Meet my crooner buddy. This guy loved all the old classics. Frank Sinatra was one of his all time favorites. Yes, he could sing them too! He served in the military where he learned to speak English and discovered his love of music.

Of course I had to get a picture with my new-found friend. (As you can tell, that hair was living under a hat two seconds before this picture was taken.)

Good ol' Duck Duck GOOSE! 

We all went down to a field right before we had to leave to play their favorite game—soccer! 

We did all we could to bless their hearts ... but in the end it was ours that were blessed. I think we all cried when we had to say goodbye to these children. I would do anything to go back. And this one only one of the "extra" things we did on this trip.

I hope I succeeded in communicating a little of our time in this orphanage somewhere outside of Jakarta, Indonesia.

Btw, I just wanted to again say, just in case you missed it yesterday. I would love it if you could please read this upcoming Thursday's blog. I have something I want you all to be a part of. 

Signing off for today. God bless your socks off,

Capture. Create. Discover.
Something Amazing!


  1. Thank you for the amazing pictures! I went on the 2009 CI trip and visited that orphanage. The spirit of God there was so overwhelming!

  2. Hey man - awesome, awesome job :) So many life-changing memories from that place. Thanks for the post - it was amazing being able to share the experiences with you. We'll have to do it again sometime real soon!!!

  3. Incredible! Thank you so much for sharing. Such a unique experience and blessing this must have been to all involved!! I cried as I read. Thank you! :)

  4. Beautiful...simply beautiful.

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  6. Wow...there are almost no words...
    This is a beautiful post and truly amazing photos! I love them...makes me wish so much that I would have been there too! :)

  7. pictures are worth thousands of words...

  8. Amazing, Britton. Thank you for this post!

  9. I'm priveleged to be able to say "I knew you when..." It's incredible to see what God is doing with your talent. I enjoyed this and will be looking for more in the future.

  10. Awesome, Britton, thanks for sharing. Blessings, brother!

  11. That really hard part about missions trips...the longing to stay and the incredible bonds that you make in such a short time, even when you can't speak their language. Great post!

  12. Wow! That was amazing!! Thanks for sharing your blessings with us!
    Cousin Barb

  13. Words cannot describe that day, after reading this and seeing the pictures it’s almost as if I’m back there again. There is something truly special about that place, about those wonderful elderly people and those children. There is special bond and a love there that is unexplainable. Thank you for this reminder.

  14. I remember thinking. This language barrier is going to be so hard! It was like that barrier wasn't even there!! And to be able to sing praises together to God! Was indescribable!! Thank you for this incredible post!

  15. Britton, you brought tears to my eyes with this post!!! I had heard so many stories about this orphanage from Rachel and Andrew, but to see the pictures and the expressions on those children's faces (who had lost everything) was incredibly touching!! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us - maybe I'll have the opportunity to visit this orphanage myself someday!!

    PS I can't wait to see what tomorrow's post has to say!!

  16. Thankyou for letting those of us who have never have yet \but hope to one day go on a mission trip when you go remember the lord goes before you to prepare the way !!!!!! also what you give to others you give also to yourself, wow what amazing photos to portray an awesome time. well done Andrew!!!

  17. Thank you all, for the kind words and encouragement! I really appreciate it! If this and the next two post have encouraged you and you think you might now someone who could be blessed by them please spread the news! Thanks! And God bless you.