Our February Newsletter
Each February, our theme for the month is “God’s Amazing Love.” This year we planned age-specific activities: Our teens listened to a great series on dating, marriage, and God’s Word; our younger children explored ways that God shows His love for us in nature, through meeting our needs, and through other people; and our staff focused on loving and understanding one another, and they played a “Secret Valentine” game that lasted all month.
February also marks the anniversary of the opening of Sparrow’s Nest in Latvia. We celebrated 17 years of God’s loving care and faithful provision for the children and staff. This picture was taken at our monthly staff meeting, and some of our preschool-age children joined in the fun.
Vaccinations don’t usually bring smiles, but Samantha and her brothers were proud that they didn’t cry, and they wanted to show off their matching Band-Aids. This winter, there have been new strains of viruses and the flu. Because we are a large family, if one member gets sick, the illness spreads quickly. With your help, we are keeping more children well, and making sure that everyone is current with their checkups.
In my last newsletter, I mentioned some of the needs of the orphanage that are not a part of our regular monthly budget. I am glad to report that every one of those needs has been met, including the better used vehicles for transporting children. It is a relief to know that we are driving in road-worthy vehicles, especially when the cargo is so precious! Thank you for your prayers and gifts that made these needed purchases possible.
With the help of one of our partners, a new website has been launched for Sparrow’s Nest! The site is designed to introduce Sparrow’s Nest to new people and also has a blog section where newsletters and other updates are posted. We have also created a Facebook page for the same purpose. We welcome you to visit us at www.TheSparrowsNest.org.
During this month of focusing on God’s love, I had a very special lesson given to me by a ten-year-old boy. Stealing is one of the temptations that crops up from time to time at the Nest, and we handle each situation on an individual basis. Every child receives pocket money for the month, but it is a small amount and is usually spent in one day! One of our boys was tempted and stole the household money that is used for school lunches and small daily needs that come up in each of our homes.
When we sat down to talk, we approached him by noting his age (he had just turned ten) and asked him if he wanted to be a father one day—his answer was an immediate, “Yes!” Then we asked him what he would do if his son was tempted and stole money. His answer came without hesitation: “I would give him more money so he doesn’t have to steal.”
Without guile, this answer spoke of the cry of this child’s heart. He was longing for a family where, when he ran out of pocket money, Mom or Dad would still be there to buy him a treat or something he needed or wanted.
This young boy’s answer reflects the cry of all our hearts for a place of belonging, a place without fear of lack because the One who sees even a sparrow that falls to the ground is caring for us, a place where forgiveness flows freely and we eat at the table, whether it was a day of victory or a day of falling to temptation.
God’s love is great, and it never, ever fails. He meets us where we are and, without hesitation, cradles us in His arms and calls us His sons and daughters. This is the need of every orphaned heart, whether it is one of our children at the orphanage or a busy executive or parent who has lost his or her way.
Our prayer for you is that, being rooted and established in love, you may have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:17). We bless you and thank you for partnering with Sparrow’s Nest to make our work possible.
With love in Christ,