What a sweet surprise…

I am going to do a non-stamping/cardmaking/scrapping post tonight.  I normally don't do this, but I really wanted to share this story.

Many of you know of Kristin (Ken's sister) and Keith (her husband who sings the songs in some of my videos) and their three kids (Taylor, Lauren and Samuel).  They are living in Africa running a dental clinic.

Well, we got this message from Kristin recently.  It is worth a read…

A tiny little Surprise. . .

His mother died in childbirth.  His father, with no means to buy formula, did his best with sugar water and coconut milk to keep him alive.  At about one month of age, his father, believing he would die, brought him to an orphanage in Buchanan.  The orphanage, also believing he would die, would not accept the child until a police report had been filed stating his condition.  Amazingly, the child did not die. And, for that reason, they named him Surprise.
Surprise is now about 9 months old.  He was discovered by a social worker investigating another case at the same orphanage.  He is malnourished and small for his age.  The orphanage cannot afford formula, so he eats what the other children (all of whom are much older) in the orphanage eat—rice. 
Last week we received a phone call asking if we would foster Surprise.  Surprise is not old enough to be received by Rafiki Village .  Rafiki is an international organization that has orphanages in many different African countries.  Their aim is "to take helpless children and turn them into godly contributors in their countries".  (www.rafiki-foundation.org) The Rafiki orphanage in Liberia is about 20 minutes from our house.  Rafiki has a wonderful educational and vocational training program and has an excellent reputation here in the country.  Unfortunately, they only take in children between the ages of 18 months and 5 years.  They were notified about Surprise, but he was too young to enter their facility.  So, they asked if we would be willing to foster Surprise until he is old enough to enter Rafiki.  This past weekend I went to Buchanan (about a 2 ½ hour drive from Monrovia ) and met Surprise.  He’s a cutie and really captured my heart.  We called Rafiki early in the week and told them we would foster Surprise.  Today I met with the Minister of Health, and after having three social workers visit our house tomorrow we should be ready to receive Surprise when he comes to Monrovia hopefully this weekend.
Here’s a photo that was taken during my visit to Buchanan.  I’m sure there will be many more soon to come!  


Isn't he sweet?  Please include him in your thoughts and prayers.  They were hoping to get him last week, but (as often happens there) there have been delays.  Surprise will get so much love in their home.

More cardmaking tomorrow. :) 

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64 thoughts on “What a sweet surprise…”

  1. Thank you for sharing this story….my heart lives in the third world and with its children! I love to craft, but these children are my *passion*. My DH and I are in the process of international adoption. I can’t wait for the day we welcome our own little ‘Surprise’ home. Bless your extended family as they look after this precious little life! I will be praying for all of them.

  2. How encouraging to see servant love in action- the opening of homes and hearts to those who do not ‘deserve’ it b/c God has done the same for us in Christ. Thanks for sharing this Jennifer.

  3. What a little miracle baby! Sweet, sweet! Thank you for sharing this story! This is one of the reasons I come back to your blog over & over! So wonderful to have Christian blessings in our media infested country! Bless you and your family. 🙂

  4. What a wonderfully rewarding story. Surprise should carry the middle name of Blessing. What a sweet little guy.

    My sister is a missionary in South Africa working in a tiny little village called Tugela Ferry. In the 4 years that she has served there, she has had the most amazing and the most heart-breaking experiences imaginable. She once even rescued a kidnapped child and returned him to his village. Amazing stories!!!

    The world needs more people like our sisters (I know she is your SIL – but that still counts).

  5. Wow, what an incredible story! He’s so tiny for 9 months — I understand why, of course. What a joy for Surprise, and for Keith and Kristin and family, too. I hope you’ll post more pictures of all of them over time. Amazing how God brings the right people together at the perfect time, isn’t it? 🙂

  6. Thanks for sharing. He is so adorable and his middle name should be Lucky, because he is so lucky to have found this family to foster him.

  7. Jennifer, thank you for sharing that story. I have tears in my eyes thinking of sweet Surprise. What a wonderful gift God has given him in this situation. God is so good, and truly does care for the smallest in our midst. Please tell the family we will be praying for them, and please keep us posted.

  8. This is such a wonderful story. I cannot thank you enough for sharing it. I cannot help shed a tear while reading the story and upon seeing his picture. I will continue to pray for him and GOD BLESS your sister and her family for doing the kindest deed. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help Surprise.

  9. Oh MY! What a will to live! Surprise’s story is amazing – I just sent a link to my girlfriends who have teamed up to support an orphanage in Malawi. I love reading updates and will definitely be praying that Surprise gets all the nutrition he needs to grow strong.

  10. Jennifer,
    I am familiar with Rafiki thorough BSF. What a wonderful story. I just heard a new singing group in Branson, Missouri this week. They call themselves “”Twice Adopted”…10 children from the same family…and they sing like angels. Reminded me of Surprise.

  11. God bless this little sweet soul. I know well how things are in many countries in Africa (we lived in Cameroon for almost 2 years). My prayers are with them. Thanks for sharing this story.

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