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From shy to confident.

When I first met Su Su over two years ago, she was very distant, did not smile, and had very little self-confidence. Just getting her to interact with one of us was a challenge. Yet, underneath this persona, she seemed to have a richness and passion about her.

Su Su is a 13-year-old girl who lives in the orphanage and has shown tremendous growth. You may recall me sharing some of her story before!

When I first met Su Su over two years ago, she was very distant, did not smile, and had very little self-confidence. Just getting her to interact with one of us was a challenge. Yet, underneath this persona, she seemed to have a richness and passion about her.

The first glimpse of this I received was when she shared her favorite scripture verse with me. She shared Psalm 1:1-3:

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

At the time she shared this verse she was 11– a deeper passage of scripture than I was expecting from an 11-year-old orphan from Burma.

This passage became the cornerstone verse for the orphanage. This is the truth these children are growing up in today. It summarizes the heart of the home and the outcome we expect in the lives of the kids that leave this place. God used Su Su to show me this verse.

I remember telling her story at the opening weekend, one year ago this month, when I spoke at the church who we have empowered to run this orphanage.

As I preached from Psalm 1:1-3, I took the opportunity to acknowledged Su Su in front of everyone. I could see her ducking in the crowd to avoid the attention, but I felt led to take a moment and encourage her publicly to build her up.

In just one year, I have personally witnessed the truth of this verse bring transformation in Su Su’s life.

Every morning we arrived at the property this past visit, she was out front ready to greet us with a smile on her face. She was confident as she looked me in the eye, shook my hand, and practiced the English she is learning. She would smile and say, “Hello, good morning.”

Her confidence is the fruit of the teaching and Godly counsel she is receiving.

From distant to affectionate.

Throughout the week, I noticed Su Su helping care for some of the younger siblings living in the orphanage. Samuel, a 8-year-old young boy and one of Su Su’s house brothers, severely twisted his ankle causing his leg to swell. Every time I would go check on Samuel, Su Su was around helping the house dad fix him up and consul him. She is no longer closed off – she is happy, confident, and growing in Christ.

As we were closing out the last Living Sound event and preparing to leave for the night, Su Su came out by the front gate of the property, gave me a hug, and said, “I will always remember you.”

As I fought back tears to keep my poise in front of the team and focus on getting us taxis back to the hotel, I was overwhelmed with a sense of fulfillment seeing this young girl growing and maturing before our eyes.

As we start the New Year, I challenge you to ask yourself – This time next year, what impact will I have made in someone else’s life? I believe your giving towards this orphanage will make this a year of significance for you, because you will change a child’s life forever. We witnessed it firsthand in children like Su Su throughout 2014!

What a great way to start the year by putting God first and give to something that is right at the center of His heart – orphans.

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