Shelter A Child

Today is a special day for me because I am going to share with you something that has been on my heart for quite some time. So many of us have been blessed to grow up in a loving home with parents who took care of us, loved us, and raised us to be the people we are today. We grew up knowing what it felt like to be held, to be loved, and to feel needed. Our parents held our hands crossing the street, wiped away our tears when we were in pain, and laid beside us when we were scared. I am not sure if I can even comprehend how it feels to not grow up in a home to call my own, much less without parents to love and guide me. My heart breaks when I hear of children living on the streets all alone. It brings me to my knees in thankfulness to my Lord for blessing me with my family.

I have always prayed that the Lord would show me a way to serve Him by helping those in need. Recently I felt led by Him to build an orphanage. Although I didn’t know where, when, or how-what I did know was that if this is what I was called to do, then He would provide me a way to do it. After searching days and weeks on the internet trying to find an organization/charity who could point me in the right direction, I had the opportunity through a family friend to speak with the Southeast Director of ICM, International Cooperating Ministries. ICM builds churches and church orphanages all over the world and our conversation was so amazing that I got off the phone exhilarated. You see, I found out that ICM has wanted to build a church orphanage in a certain location in Rwanda for almost 6 years but they needed someone to commit to raising the money to do it! How awesome is that- At the exact time I felt led to build an orphanage there was already the idea of one that needed to be built but didn’t have the funds to do it. Right then and there on the spot I signed up with ICM to raise $30,000 to build this orphanage! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a part of something that will change these children’s lives forever.

This is the logo I made for my charity/fundraiser with ICM. I am no graphic designer but I though it was cute.

Isn’t this picture precious. All of the picture you see here and on my new Shelter A Child site were taken by my sweet friend Kristin from CamelsandChocolates.

This is not only going to be an orphanage but a church orphanage that will allow people to congregate for church on the bottom floor and house 50+ orphans on the second floor. The children will be taken care of not only physically but spiritually as well. They will receive food, shelter, education and medical attention. These children are the result of the 1994 genocides that destroyed the country of Rwanda. 4 out of 10 children in Rwanda are stunted due to malnutrition and 1 out 10 dies before their 5th birthday. A recent Unicef report estimates that 700,000 children – 18% of Rwanda’s 4.2 million children – still live in impoverished conditions.

All of these children have potential – potential to flourish, to be happy, to be educated, and to live full lives.  I want to be able to show these kids through “Shelter A Child” that they deserve a home and they deserve to be loved. I have created a website dedicated to “Shelter A Child”, where you can find out more information on the charity, see pictures, and donate to the cause. Will you join me? Will you donate to “Shelter A Child” and be a part of holding a child’s hand and welcoming them into a home?

Click here to Visit “Shelter A Child” and if you can’t donate monetarily help me by donating your time and SPREAD THE WORD!

P.S. I did the site by myself and I am no web designer so it is a work in progress to say the least!

Proverbs 24:12 “Once our eyes are opened, we can’t pretend we don’t know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know and holds us responsible to act.”


  1. Jill

    You are amazing!! Your post brought tears to my eyes. I always feel that I have not yet discovered what God has planned for me, I am off to Shelter a child website:) The world needs more people like you!! Kudos

    04 . Apr . 2011
  2. Joanne

    Oh this is so wonderful! I am so amazed that you are doing this…I will definitely be off to check out the site and donate!

    04 . Apr . 2011
  3. val

    You are incredible and I feel so inspired!

    04 . Apr . 2011
  4. flip flops & pearls

    Awesome Girl! I love your heart and I think you did a pretty darn good job! Looks awesome.

    I am so thankful to have you in my life……
    Happy Monday Love!


    04 . Apr . 2011
  5. Lindsay

    you are amazing! what a wonderful thing that you are doing jess- you are such an inspiration and these children will be so blessed by your love and support.

    04 . Apr . 2011
  6. Farmchick

    What an inspiration you are. Such a wonderful organization.

    04 . Apr . 2011
  7. Kelly

    You are truly an amazing person. It is people like you who really make a difference. I am so proud of you and cannot wait to check out this site!

    04 . Apr . 2011
  8. Carey

    Sooooo proud of you! and Soooo proud to call you my friend! This is amazing what the Lord has led you to and I know He will see it through! We LOVE YOU!!!

    04 . Apr . 2011
  9. Kelli

    This is a wonderful thing and I think the Lord has led u in the right direction. 2 years ago at Women of Faith they had cards in everyone seats and if we wanted too we could sponsor a child, the little boy I sponsored was precious he will send pics and letters. This is an amazing thing to take part of and Im very interested in helping and so proud of what the Lord is doing in your life! What an amazing sister n Christ I have!!!! Love ya

    04 . Apr . 2011
  10. Candace

    How wonderful! This post has blessed my heart so much. I’m going to be praying for you and for this venture and for how the Lord would like for me to get involved. Thank you for being obedient to what you felt you were being called to do! Blessings!

    04 . Apr . 2011
  11. Rachel

    Amazing. Cannot wait to share this with my husband when he gets home… thank you for doing this.

    04 . Apr . 2011
  12. cool gal

    This is the most wonderful idea. In fact, as I was reading, I got chills. I would love to help. 🙂

    04 . Apr . 2011
  13. Shellie

    Precious child of mine, my heart is so full reading your words that is may just burst. 🙂 I will be blogging about your great vision soon and, of course, you know your Dad and I will be supporting you in this every way we can. Proud to be your mom…

    04 . Apr . 2011
  14. Patrick

    Jessica..I am so proud of you for following your heart and putting your vision into action! I know you will touch more lives than you can ever imagine through Shelter A Child. You inspire me everyday with your comapssion and determination. I love you and am proud to support you! Patrick

    04 . Apr . 2011
  15. Maria @ Scandifoodie

    That is so fantastic. I wish we had more people like you with such a good heart! Well done!

    05 . Apr . 2011
  16. Jolina Petersheim

    Lovely post, Jessica, and you CAN do this! There was a woman from Wisconsin who visited Bogota, Colombia in the ’90s and never left! She saw a need and fulfilled it, and now she has an orphanage that rescues street children. It’s an amazing place (my husband and I actually fell in love during a missions trip there!)Here is the link: http://www.childrensvision.org/
    Once again, thanks for sharing!

    05 . Apr . 2011
  17. Frank

    This is a wonderful undertaking and I have no doubt you’ll be successful. The strong spiritual foundation given you by your parents can now be passed to those with no parents of their own, and how amazing is that! To God give the Glory but you deserve some praise yourself for making this happen.

    05 . Apr . 2011
  18. Jihane @Sinful Sundays

    You are simply marvelous. I hope you know that.

    05 . Apr . 2011
  19. Mike

    Jessica, I am honored and humbled to be working with you on this church/orphanage. As I share what God is doing around the world through ICM, HE continually puts people in my life that God wants to use for HIS Kingdom. HE is doing this great work through you and making this same opportunity available to our brothers and sisters who follow your blog, to “Go and make disciples of all nations”. The lives that will change now and for eternity is amazing to me. Consider this, the work that you and your friends on this blog and beyond are doing will help to change the lives of those boys and girls. The lives in those communities and inevitably the nation of Rwanda…All for Christ! God Bless you and this SHelter a Child project.

    05 . Apr . 2011
  20. Bonnie

    When there is so much going on in the world that is not good, it is wonderful to find you and what you are doing. Thank you!


    05 . Apr . 2011
  21. Torrie @ a place to share...

    Wow, Jessica. I have chills reading this. I am so proud of you, and equally inspired by your courage to take ACTION, and live the life that you are being called to live. Your mom’s and Patrick’s comments were so true, and touching!!! I will follow and will soon donate (very soon)!!

    05 . Apr . 2011
  22. Torrie @ a place to share...


    Your logo looks fantastic!!!!!!!!!!

    05 . Apr . 2011
  23. Alli

    wow … wow … wow! Amazing. Off to the site to see how I can help.

    05 . Apr . 2011
  24. ModernMom

    Tears in my eyes….how wonderful!

    05 . Apr . 2011
  25. C.E. Hart

    Thank you for your compassionate and genuine heart. This is touching – (and beautifully displayed!)

    06 . Apr . 2011
  26. Mini Asian Meatloaves

    […] about feeling the Lord calling me to build an orphanage. If you would like to read it just click HERE! Well, I can say with a humble and joyful heart that the church orphanage is completed and at this […]

    15 . Sep . 2013

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