The House that Faith Built...

...Field of Dreams Redux


We turned off the still very bumpy road that wound its way through the Tissemahara area into the Agape House compound. The children were running around excited to see if the promised visitors had finally arrived. As we opened the door to the van we were immediately surrounded by eager smiling children. “Hello” “How are you?” “What is your name?” which was the extent of English they had learned to say without too much shyness exhibited.

The Pastor and “father” to these thirty-eight children warmly greeted us. “Please, let me show you around.” Our first stop was the main house where we were served the traditional welcome of tea and cookies. The Pastor began to share how he had come to this place at this time:

“When I first began my ministry, I did not even really like children. I had a small church and a faithful congregation. One day a woman came to me and asked me to take in her son. The stepfather was beating him and she felt she could no longer care for him safely. I told her I had three children of my own and was not really set up to care for anyone else’s children. I felt bad about not being able to help her – but after all what could I do? Several days later I was visiting one of our members at the hospital. I saw a woman with a baby and a four-year-old girl. I told her this was not a good place for the girl, as she could get sick. Then the woman told me that her new husband had already molested her twice when he was drunk. I left the hospital and saw someone who knew of the woman who had asked me to take her boy. I was heartbroken to hear that the boy had committed suicide! Later that day, I broke down and just wept for the children. I asked God to give me another chance to help. It wasn’t long before He did. Returning to the hospital I saw the woman again – she asked if I would be willing to take the girl. This time I said “yes” – and I have been saying yes to God ever since.”

He continued by telling us how the houses were built by faith alone. After he and his wife had taken in three children - they were sleeping on the floor and the orphans and their three children were sleeping in the beds. A variety of people offered to help, which gave him hope to begin a more suitable living arrangement. One woman promised money if he had plans drawn up - which he did - only to disappear and never be heard from again. One Colombo businessman made a similar offer of cash - only to again fall through.

The Pastor explained that each one of these situations taught him his faith needed to be firmly rooted in God, not in man. Each scenario had taken him further along in the process of building God's vision for helping these children. If he hadn't thought one of these individuals was going to come through with the money - he would not have gone through with developing the plans and setting up a budget for the cost.

We looked out over the land, watched the children playing, toured the houses built and saw the ones under construction to take in more children from the tsunami.

And yet, each day of operation is still lived out in faith - a modern day "Field of Dreams . if you build it they will come."

"If you have the faith of a grain of mustard seed you can say to this mountains move.."

Or build an orphanage!

Popular Posts