Friday, September 24, 2010


Well, being home has been a mixture of emotions. Oh, I was so happy to see Karl at the airport! Running on adrenaline, I went and picked up Will and Audrey from school, receiving the tightest hugs ever!!! Then drove about 50 minutes to see Dalton play football, squeezing in a call to Hunter for his birthday.

Showing Karl the pictures of the children was hard, knowing I couldn't just go over there today to spend time with them. Oh, I miss them terribly!! But now is the time to start the work - helping them in any way the Lord so directs.

First, knowing it will take time to purchase the land (which I need to make some corrections on the info I put out), I need to start raising money for their existing conditions where they are. Then, or at the same time, focus on raising funds for the new facility!

So I ask for prayer, for guidance. That I allow the Lord's leading and not lean lean on my own understanding!!!

The land was calculated wrong. They were speaking Hectares not Acres. So it is 10 Hectares which is 24.7 Acres for $200,000 not $400,000.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coming Home

Last night, I went with Sarah to visit her daughter who got very sick. She was in the hospital by their house. Oh, it was hard to see the conditions of this hospital!!

Today, I went shopping with Sarah in the market, and in the bigger city. She introduced me to a fashion designer that has been doing very well here in Côte d'Ivoire. He was excited to meet me, as well, seeing that that was my vocation. In the middle of depressing surroundings, there sat his place, decorated with beautiful doors and glass windows.

I was able to buy the orphans a new soccer ball because the one we were playing with popped.
So tonight I sat with the children as they ate their dinner, holding a baby the whole time to let the fifteen-year-old mommy to eat. Sadly, she is one of the orphans, and now she has a baby. I gave the children the new ball and they went crazy!!!!

After trying to communicate with them (It is so hard! My French is still terrible! UGH!!), it was time that I say goodbye. I never thought saying goodbye could be so painful!!! Marya translated for me as I said goodbye, telling them how much I love them, and that I will be back. When I told them maybe next time I will bring my daughter, they went crazy again; Audrey, you are already famous here!!!

Another great opportunity is also coming out of this trip. It turns out that Sarah has a personal artist who creates prints on material for her. She has her own line of clothing for men, women and children. IMAGINE THAT. I got to meet the artist and see where he does his work. I will share more later, bt it looks like there may be a company forming out of this!!! I have been so WOWED, it is starting to be overwhelmingly GREAT!

God, you are amazing. Who would have ever thought I would connect with someone all the way across the world FOR HIS GLORY!!!! I can't stop crying as I type this!!!

Okay, love to you all who are reading this. Pray for my travels. Starting tomorrow, I have a LONG journey ahead.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yippee - Internet Service!!

Hi everyone! I am sitting in the waiting room of the church office while they are having Monday night meetings and prayer - WOW. Powerful praying going on around me!!!

Okay, the last few days --

We drove out into the country, about thirty minutes from the church building where the orphans are (the fifty of them. The rest, I found out, are four hours away. Sarah or an assistant goes out there every two weeks to bring food.). We were able to see the land that Sarah and her husband, Bishop Ade, would like to purchase for the new facilities. There, we would first build the orphanage, including rooms for widows to live in as well, and a school. Then, we would add on for a skills training center and classrooms for high school level education. We would also like some rooms for those who come to help. Leslie and I were able to video Sarah and Bishop Ade with their story and hopes. The property looks like a little piece of paradise, and it is next to water!!! Love it! The piece is across the water on the other side!!

One night, we went just as it was dark enough and handed out glow-in-the-dark bracelets!
WOW!! It took a long time placing them on fifty children's wrists, one at a time, but they were so patient, and, afterward, we had so much fun dancing, singing, and raising our hands in the air. I shouted "Praise the Lord!", and they responded "Hallelujah!". It was so precious!! This is what they hear in church!!

To all you readers, I am SO thankful for you, and I love everyone so much!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Quick Update

A quick update for all you followers:

Sandra has not had internet for three days. She's now staying in Sarah's home. She's attended two different church services, one where Sarah is the head teacher. She says that the last few days have been amazing, and that she will share as soon as she can.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Here It Is! My Vision from the Lord!

Praise be to God!!! Wow, what a day!!!
There I was today, once again, walking surrounded by the children.
They are so hungry for love, attention, touch!!!
They were trying to be so patient, waiting for the gifts I brought.
They first recited scripture for me, then sang some songs.
Then we past out paper, pencils, and crayons, and they all sat for a long time drawing a picture that at the end they all gave to me!!! The drawings are amazing!!!

I then passed out toothbrushes. They all have their own cups. Marya then reviewed with them how to brush their teeth! It was so precious to watch them.

After passing out the gifts and toys, I just spent time with them. Taught them how to play "Hot Potatoes," sang more songs, and danced!!!

They need so much!!! I have such a hard time not falling apart in tears. You can see in each one of them such a strong desire to learn.

I am so amazed at the strong woman Sarah is!!! She has always had a heart for the poor, and has a great vision - wanting to see an orphanage and school built which later will grow into a place for training men and women with a trade, and help them to live a healthy life. All along, worshipping and serving God in all they do. She is already reaching young women through her ministry "Sarah's Daughters," and has helped so many men and women off the streets. She just needs a better facility to carry on this work (you will see pictures of where they are later - it will break your heart)!!!

I will be able to share more when I get back - thanks to Leslie Ringger who worked so hard today capturing every minute!!!

Tomorrow we will get to see the 10 acres that Sarah is trying to buy - THIS IS THE FIRST NEED!!!!!
This will be the focus of my first fundraiser!! We need $400, 000 to purchase it.

For now, I am exhausted - maybe not very clear. I 'm so tired, sorry!

Love to you all who are following and praying!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Children!!!

Oh, I am shedding tears as I try and write this down. Marya, Leslie, and I walked on the grounds of the church and we saw two of the children running around. She whispered to them, "Go tell the others that Mama Sandra is here." I could here the children behind this big wall cheering. We went into the church building at the end of Wednesday night service and, suddenly, there were several children at the door peering in at me. I waved.
Marya was worried they would all come, and told them to run back and wait.

Sarah, Marya's mom (an amazing woman! I will tell you more about her), walked us to the back end of the church property and yelled out something in French. Before I knew it, there I was surrounded by beautiful children hugging me, hanging on me, laughing, reaching out to touch me. It was dark, but, oh, how I could make out those beautiful smiles. Leslie was also embraced and hugged. They didn't want to let go of us; they loved having us there. We briefly saw the sleeping room, and met the two brand-new babies.

We will go back tomorrow and be able to film them, get pictures, and videotape Sarah and her vision for the orphanage. I will have a hard time sleeping tonight. I am SO happy and can't wait to see them again!!

I walked in the vision the Lord gave me twenty-five years ago - tonight, September 15, 2010!!!!!!! Praise be to God!!!

Travel and Arrival

The Lord watched over me the whole way here!!
As I sat in the Brussels airport, in the terminal for those traveling to Africa, I met a woman from Abidjan. Her name is Denise.
She has been living in the UK for 9 years, and spoke beautiful English. She was going to her home village for a funeral. I shared with her about the orphans, and she was so moved that I would come, and that I cared. She was inspired, and asked if I would keep her informed; she wanted to help.

Well!!! Denise was like a little angel sent to watch over me. She stayed with me as we got on the plane, and when we arrived in Africa, the guards just waved me on; didn't even look at my passport. Then when her husband met us at the luggage, his sister "just so happened" to be there, and was a guard on duty. She took my passport and just passed me through. They had another friend with them, and he helped me with my luggage, and a guard stood with us and stayed with me to be sure my luggage just passed through!! It turned out Denise's husband knew of my friend Marya -- for Marya is known to many as a famous Christian singer. So he was very happy to meet her.

Marya took me straight to her home where I was able to meet two (out of four) of her sisters, her mother, Sarah, and their new adopted baby brother, Gabriel. Two women, pastors, from Nigeria were staying at their home, and they came to greet me as well.

So today I will be meeting the children that are at the church building and picking up Leslie Ringger, the daughter of Gary Ringger (founder of Lifesong for Orphans). She will be with me for two days to videotape as much as possible.

The hotel situation has been okay; the people here are treating me very well. And Marya is staying by my side all the way!!!

Love to you all,

Continue to pray...


Monday, September 13, 2010

Dear Family and Friends

Dear Family and Friends,

Twenty-five years ago, I asked the Lord to use me in a special way to bring glory to His kingdom. At the time, I was studying fashion design, and I wondered how God could use such a vocation for His glory. That day, He gave me a picture of me surrounded by very dark-skinned children in Africa. I thought, perhaps, I would someday have a clothing company that made clothes for orphans. That picture never left my mind, and I kept seeking His will for my life.

Today, I work as a wardrobe stylist for a Christian music video show, and one of the hosts of the show is from Côte d'Ivoire, Africa. One day, I asked her about the orphan situation there and, with surprise in her eyes, she told me that her mother had just taken two hundred orphans into their church (where her father, Mr. Adebayo, is the pastor). There is no building to house these children so, for now, fifty of them stay in the church, and the rest stay scattered around the village. I have been in contact with Pastor Adebayo, praying that I could find a way to help them.

This past week, God has answered that prayer. With the help of an orphan ministry called Lifesong for Orphans, I will be raising funds to build an orphanage in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. I plan to visit with Pastor Adebayo face-to-face to learn the exact needs for the orphanage. A cameraman will also be accompanying me to take pictures of the children and their needs. With these pictures and videos, I will be able to successfully share the information and raise awareness of the needs.

I covet your prayers for the direction of this orphanage, for its building, for a future school, and for the children's lives to be ever changed!

I am also asking you to prayerfuly consider giving to this cause to cover our travel expenses ($6,000.00). If the Lord lays this on your heart, you may make your checks out to the orphan ministry, Lifesong for Orphans. Or, if you would like to start giving toward the building of the orphanage, just make a note of that on the check.

Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744

In the memo section of your check, please write: "Côte d'Ivoire orphans"

Lifesong for Orphans is a 501C3 charity, and your donation is tax deductible. You can read about Lifesong by going to

Thank you for prayerfully considering my request. God is Sovereign!

Love to you all -- For His glory,


Christmas '08 and Traveling

These are pictures from Christmas 2008 in Abidjan. Money had been donated so that the orphans could celebrate. Sandra is traveling to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire today at 2:00. Please be praying for her safety, and that she will be a light to those precious children. She will try and post pictures while she is there.