I wanted to send in this quick testimony about my wife Jessica and what she has recently accomplished.
I met her on the mission field over Christmas break 2009 in Mexico, and it was established very early in our speedy courtship that we would be in the mission field often, as this was something we were already accustomed to. Jessica had been on a trip every year since she was 14, and would have at 13 if her parents had let her. Her drive and her passion to see the word of God planted in the hearts of the nations is like none I have ever met.
Jessica heard from the Lord on New Year’s Eve 2011 and that the Lord said she would be going on an all-girls trip to Africa in the summer. Once March rolled around, she had made multiple connections with individuals. “One thing to another” and she was signed up for a 2 week trip to Kenya and Uganda. The Lord, for the umpteenth time, had come through on the finances for this semi-expensive trip, and she was overseas on a group tour visiting 10 orphanages.
As many group missions trips go, team time is important, and the leader encouraged one evening, ”Think about what you are going to do about the things you see when you get home, because with the knowledge comes a responsibility.” This statement didn’t leave Jessica, and she knew exactly what she wanted to help with.
One night, Jessica got the privilege to tuck the 210 members of the Fiwagoh Orphanage in Kenya into bed with her team members. As most would probably picture these orphans being tucked into their beds, saying a goodnight prayer to God and sleeping soundly, it was all but that. Like an animal, these children would mostly have to plop themselves on the dirt ground and curl up into a ball for comfort. Jessica had a difficult time forgetting this as she has a bit of an obsession with blankets. We may live in a small apartment, but there is storage for her blankets! With this in mind, it obviously did not sit right with her that these kids had nothing to sleep with.
Upon returning home and recovering from the trip, Jessica came to me saying that she wanted to get blankets, pillows and mattresses for these children, but she didn’t know how to do it. After contacting some friends, contacts and figuring out some logistics, Jessica raised enough money to buy 210 blankets, 210 pillows and 140 new mattresses with a set of fresh sheets on them! Not only was she able to provide the goods, but she was able to help multiple Kenyan vendors who surely needed the income. It was a difficult faith walk as the money slowly came in and was finished off just in time with a large donation! On top of that, she had to hear negative reactions to her idea such as, “you have to know when helping hurts” or “there has to be a line drawn with how much you give, or they will become dependent on the help.” These discouraging comments from people’s opinions didn’t waver the faith that Jessica had anchored in the understanding that these are God’s children just as much as she is a child, and He has their very best interests in mind.
This April (on my birthday), we were able to watch via Skype the delivery of the blankets and pillows before bedtime. It was the best birthday present ever to see trucks full of supplies in a country thousands of miles away from home being delivered to this orphanage because of the decision my wife made to just do something and the fact that she had the faith to persevere to the end.
After watching these kids receive their treasures, we became slightly addictive to helping these kids. It was worth it all in the end to see the smiles as they wrapped themselves up knowing they’d be warm that night. We immediately received a testimony from a 13 year old girl saying that she never dreamed of having a blanket or a pillow.
This project: Project Hazina (which means Treasure in Swahili) will continue as long as the Lord continues it. We believe the next orphanage will be in Peru, and are so excited to see it transpire. I love my wife very much, and I am so proud of her.
Keep up with Project Hazina on facebook. The Project Hazina brand new official website launch is just a couple days away. They will be featuring beautiful items for sale where every item purchased provides a job for a mom here in the US while also providing and orphan with a pillow and a blanket.
Chris Gunn is the husband to Jessica Gunn, owner of Project Hazina: an organization developed to provide blankets and pillows to orphans throughout the earth. They love to travel in their free time and plan on living in 12 countries for 12 months in 2014. You can visit their blog and find them on Facebook or Twitter.