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. Isn’t God good? For this little boy to be placed in the perfect home while he waits for Rafiki…God IS good. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  2. I’m so glad you shared this, Jennifer. What a little miracle he is! Will keep him and your in -laws in prayer. 🙂

  3. Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for sharing the story and I love his name! He’s so gorgeous. And yes, God is good.
    Debra from Australia

  4. Jennifer

    What a great blessing for “Surprise” and a blessing for Ken’s sister and family. This childs mother is looking over him.

    Thanks for sharing this sweet story.

    Sandi N.

  5. What a lovely story and what a lucky little boy to have found a loving family.I can only imagine how difficult it will be for your inlaws to hand him over when the time comes. they are in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. That is one precious little fellow – love his name too! Beautiful new Mom holding him too. Thanks so much for sharing this story – my heart is full, so are my eyes with tears – but joyful ones! Nelda in TN

  7. Oh what a sweetheart and thanks for sharing the story. My prayers for him and his new family ! I only hope they just might keep him forever ! It will be so horrible for him to lose them after so much love was given to him by them. God’s Blessings !!

  8. I am glad you shared this Jennifer, what an inspirational story.I’m such a sap I have tears in my eyes. I often wish I could be able to open my own home to children that need a loving home but my husband has too many reservations not to mention we still live in an apartment in LA. Maybe someday when our own children leave to start their lives I can change his mind. Every child deserves a loving home.

  9. My thoughts and prayers will be with your “extra family” and the special work that God sent their way.What a wonderful little one and a beautiful smile on Surprise.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing! They are all in m y thoughts and prayers! Can’t wait to see and here more about Surprise!

  11. Jennifer,

    Wow, that is such a good story! God Bless your in-laws for taking him in. I will pray for his good health. I hope they end up adopting him though. How difficult it would be to love and lose him, they must be such special people.

    Lisa A.

  12. Surprise is very fortunate to have your sister and brother-in-law in his life. blessings and love from NV.

  13. Oh! Surprise is SUCH a sweetie!! I just want to hug and squeeze him! Thanks for sharing such a heartwarming story. God is really just amazing, isn’t He? Where’s the father now?

    I was also wondering if Feed My Starving Children services that area (www.fmsc.org)? They do provide food to Liberia, I don’t know if it’s in the same area as your SIL. They’re an organization that packs dried, nutritious food to starving children worldwide. We’ve done food-packing events with them, and they’re awesome. I’m sure Kristin and family are quite busy with the clinic and ministry, but if there’s need, perhaps someone else can look into FMSC…

    I’ll pray for them tonight, thanks for sharing!

  14. thanks for sharing jennifer. what a heart warming story. i will pray for surprise, and yes, he is a cutie!

  15. Wow! That is just a feel good story. What an amazing family your sil and bil have. That sweet baby will be loved. What an amazing thing they do.

    God Bless them all.

  16. I want him too. That beautiful face. He is in good hands and the Lord works in mysterious ways. Changing a few lives along the ways for various reason we don’t know. So prayers are with you guys and please keep us posted on his progress.

  17. What a precious, precious little one! God is so good…all the time! I wonder what amazing things He has in store for this sweet baby??

  18. Thank you for sharing with us. What an amazing GOD we serve! It blesses my heart to see all the good work your family is doing in His name. Bless you all………………..Love,scrappyleigh

  19. They are such an amazing couple! I just want to hug and care for that little boy – I hate he isn’t getting the food and things he needs – totally breaks my heart!!! He is lucky to have Kristen and Keith – he will be well taken care of. What a blessing! 🙂

  20. Thanks so much for sharingthis with us. Surprise is so cute!! God has really good plans for him and thanks to your family who is taking care of him.

    God bless

  21. What an ADORABLE baby boy! Just the most darling cheeks!
    Praise God for this caring family, and for all the good work He’s doing through so many in that country. I’ll certainly be praying for them!

  22. My daughter spent a summer working with Rafiki in Malawi in 2007. She loved it there. What a great mission they have there among the african people.

    Bless your SIL & BIL for their care of Surprise!

  23. What a blessing for Surprise that a loving family is waiting for him, and what a blessing for them that Surprise can join them. My thoughts and prayers are with them. 🙂

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