One of the greatest skills I’m learning in my work is how to invite others to be apart of what God is doing in Thailand and Cambodia. It’s been a hard skill to learn but one that is most definitely necessary and directly impacts the poor and orphans. We at LightBridge have A LOT to celebrate from this past year! One of the ways we invite people to be part of such a HUGE work, is by sharing what God is doing and has already done. There’s not a better person who’s got this skill down…infact, I would say she’s incredibly gifted at it. I wish I could write like my boss Karla Tillapaugh! So compelling! So moving! So beautiful. Take some time to read our latest LightBridge newsletter!
A Newsletter of LightBridge International
I have a piece of art hanging in my home. You probably do as well. The piece I have is woven and embroidered and hangs in my living room. It is a wonderful display of beauty and design; it showcases intricacy that highlights certain aspects of the piece. The weaver of this art had a focus, an intention and a scheme. It is beautiful to me.
If I turn the weave to the underside, the design is lost in the messiness and chaos of loose threads, knots and raw material. I don’t like to look at the underside.
Lately, as I’ve looked at this piece of art, I’ve been thinking about another Weaver and the designs He is creating. Our Master Weaver, the Lord Jesus, has been weaving some beautiful designs during this past year at LightBridge. Sometimes, to my untrained eyes, I can get caught up only looking at the underside, where His design seems chaotic, messy and, dare I say — even ugly. My heart easily forgets that He is not yet finished with the designs He, alone, is crafting. I can get distracted and discouraged by what my eyes can’t see. I bet you can relate.
How thankful I am that the Lord allows me to step back and see the topside of His weaving, every so often. His designs are beautiful, filled with purpose and intention. Even when His designs aren’t yet complete, the twists and turns of His weaving are mysterious and comforting. As we wrap up 2012 at LightBridge International, I’d like to share with you some of His weavings – the topside, the underside, or the unfinished.
For the past six years, LightBridge has been running three orphanages: Blossom Home, Huen Nam Jai and Jury’s Orphanage. At all three, the beauty of His weaving is undeniable: Children learning and growing and becoming like Jesus at each respective orphanage. The unfinished weaving can get overwhelming though.
Please pray for the teen kids at each orphanage who are wrestling through typical teenage rebellion. Pray for wisdom for orphanage parents and for softening of children’s hearts toward the Lord.
Our first clean water project in the MineField Village is up and running. We are delighted at how the Weaver brought the building of this clean water project to completion this year. His weaving here is not complete though as the villagers don’t understand their dire need for clean water. Even with training for the past few years, their limited understanding is prohibiting the positive effects of clean water.
They are failing to realize that even just one drink from contaminated water has enormous impacts on a body. Please pray for us as we work to educate clearly the enormity of the problem. Please pray for the villagers to begin to grasp the seriousness of dirty versus clean water. Pray also for the resources to establish clean water projects in various locations in the village so all may have easier access to water.
Creekside Bible Church in Castle Rock, Colorado began partnering with our refugee camp orphanage, Jury’s Orphanage this year. Sending ten stellar team members on a mission trip, this team caught a vision for coming alongside Ga-Bleu (Jury’s director). The beauty of His weaving in this relationship is delightful to see. The difficulty of the underside has been Ga-Bleu’s health. What was first understood as ‘cancer in the blood’ is actually a rare blood disease (not cancer), but still a serious health issue. Ga-Bleu is undergoing treatment, and is gaining strength.
Thankfully, God provided for her parents, Jury and Saw Htoo to return to the camp and be with her during treatment as well as help run the orphanage. Please pray for complete healing for Ga-Bleu.
JOB CREATION & SUSTAINABILITY
God has expanded the ministry in the MineField Village by weaving together job creation and sustainability programs in 2012.
LandMine Design is our first job creation program where women in the village are learning how to create jewelry using recycled magazines, toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls. This program is taking off with our first seven women creating beautiful jewelry. The Master Weaver is weaving together some beautiful designs and we are thrilled to launch this new initiative in early 2013. The underside of this program is the vast amount of need and desperation for the women in the village. Our focus has been very small, starting with only seven women in the program; many women want to be in the program and be given the opportunity to earn money. Please pray for wisdom in getting this program off the ground and for God’s blessing and provision in expanding the opportunities for many more women to begin earning money to provide for their families. Be watching for our official LandMine Design launch date coming soon!
Micro-business loans for villagers to borrow money at low cost (or no-cost) interest rates. With these loans, villagers may purchase essential farming equipment to grow crops to feed their families as well as develop small businesses to sell crops to the surrounding areas. Our Weaver has placed this vision on the hearts of our LightBridge board members. The underside is the complex development of such a program among villagers who don’t even know (yet) how to read. Please join us in praying for the Weaver to pave the way, provide for, and give great wisdom in knowing how best to establish and operate this program.
Our Master Weaver has woven our first full year of school to completion. The 177 students are learning how to read and write, how to add & subtract, and are also learning of the Weaver who is weaving marvelous plans for their lives. The underside is the lack of nutrition that these children live with daily. God provided the funds for a feeding/cooking area which was completed this past month. We are trusting Him to provide the food to feed the children each and every school day. Would you pray for His provision for this very practical and real need?
During 2012, we were delighted to see God draw many villagers to Himself in the MineField Village. What joy to see over 50 villagers give their hearts to Jesus, and then follow Him in baptism. God is weaving such beauty in each of their hearts. The unfinished part of His weaving is deeply burdening because of the lack of spiritual leadership in our village.
We’re so thankful for our in-country leaders who are following up with discipleship at the village each week. The need is so very great for God to bring a pastor leader to our village to live among the villagers and continue with evangelism and discipleship among these dear people. Would you join us in praying for the Lord of the harvest to provide for this very immense need?
I wish I could share more of the stories of God’s weaving in our LightBridge locations just during this past year. I think you get the idea that He is weaving together many incredible things. In honesty, His work of weaving is sometimes painful and we are reminded of our deep need for His faithful comfort as we trust His Master Weaving.
As I consider the weavings that God is doing, I’m reminded that a huge part of His weaving has to do with YOU! In looking at the piece of art in my living room, I see a cord woven throughout the entire design – it really is a crucial part that holds the various segments of the design together. That cord reminds me of you, our faithful champions and partners. You are a huge part of the designs God is weaving in the LightBridge ministries through your faithful prayer support and financial gifts. Without this cord, the ministries simply would not exist.
As we come the close of another year, I want you to know how thankful I am for your part in being the ‘cord’ at LightBridge. Your partnership in this ministry is invaluable and unmistakable. In closing the year, we trust the Lord to weave together the funds and prayer support necessary to provide for the coming year of ministry at LightBridge. May I ask you to consider what part of this cord you might play in your year-end giving? Our needs are great as we face the vast ministries God is weaving together for 2013. Would you prayerful consider making an increased, additional, or first-time gift to LightBridge this year? Perhaps God is burdening you with a calling to join with us on a monthly basis. How honored we would be to partner with you in continuing these ministries during 2013! Please use the enclosed card to indicate how you’d like to be involved in expanding the cord of God’s weaving as we enter into 2013.
Finally, I hope you are encouraged to consider how God is at work weaving His designs in your life as well. We serve a Master Weaver who is creating masterpieces in our lives. He is not yet finished! Join me in thanking Him for His work of Weaving this Christmas season.
Delighting in His Weavings…
President of LightBridge International