The Lord called me to step out in faith and confront my fears head on when He stirred my heart to go to Zambia, Africa in 2006 with a team from Emmanuel Christian Fellowship, led my Pastor Ted Lawler. As I set my feet on the soil that would one day be the foundation of Breath of Heaven Children’s Ministries, it was difficult to imagine what God would do with this dry, overgrown landscape. Today, 12 years later, I continue to stand in awe of His love and grace as I navigate through this life, seeing the world through the eyes of our Father while unveiling the truth of who He is as our Heavenly King.
Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa that is rich with culture, wildlife and breathtaking landscape. In the morning, you cannot focus on anything other than the bright colors of red, yellow and orange painted across the sky; a mere example of the goodness of creation as stated in Genesis chapter 1. Along with the natural beauty of the country is also the beauty that lives within the Zambian people. Zambians have shown to exude the love of the Father in every interaction they have. Those that have a relationship with the Father, walk boldly in knowing whom and whose they are and give praises to their mighty creator for all that He is providing for them. Unfortunately, for most, life in Zambia does not consist of a life of heavenly abundance.
It is heartbreaking to see the beautiful country of Zambia plagued by the HIV/Malaria pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the continent of Africa, devastating the lives of many families and over 1 million Zambian children. Having seen this devastation first hand, I along with those affected, cry out to the Lord as David did in and ask, “How long Lord?”
Ted and Judy Lawler, the founders and directors of Breath of Heaven Children’s Ministries, know that as they continue to be still and listen to what the Lord is asking of them, Zambia can and will be healed. The vision that the Lord gave them to “look after orphans and widows in their distress” has grown into what is now a prosperous village in which orphans and widowers have been brought together under the same family unit covering, while heavenly healing continues to provide them with a hope that surpasses all death, destruction and brokenness. I have had the privilege to travel to Breath of Heaven seven times over the last 12 years, and it is during this time I have witnessed the work of King Jesus taking back the territory that the enemy and his wicked ways had once taken. I have looked into the eyes of children whose mothers and fathers died of HIV or Malaria and then were left alone to be another Zambian statistic.
With Breath of Heaven Children’s Ministries, these same eyes, once filled with loss and despair, are now beaming with hope for a future and each of them are walking in boldness knowing that their identity is deeply rooted in their Heavenly Aba Father.
With what will be the establishment of 14 homes, a church, school, and medical clinic, I know that the future holds so much more for the orphans and widows of Breath of Heaven Children’s Ministries. The healing of hearts and experiencing the love of the Lord first hand has allowed dreams of the future to take deep root in their souls. They know that they are in the process of “being transformed.” They see His goodness and proclaim it daily as they hold out their hands and receive all that He has for them.
Authored by: Alicia Orloff
Breath of Heaven Children’s Ministries. The Crisis. www.bofheaven.org
Holy Bible. Biblica, 2001, www.biblica.com