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Astrida and the Burnells…

Today–I wanted to let a sweet sponsor share her story–and journey with Wiphan Care Ministries…and how God has blessed her family and their hearts through sponsorship RIGHT NOW–her daughter is in Zambia serving the precious widows and orphans. Even being a teenager–she said, “YES”. AND she also had the amazing opportunity this week to meet the child that her family sponsors!!!

Ingrid’s daughter, Lindsay, is pictured above with Astrida Musongo, their sponsored child and her relatives. Astrida is 11 years old and in the 4th grade at Mapalo. She lives with her grandmother, aunt, one sister and two brothers in the compound. Astrida loves to play netball. Favorite colors are green, red, orange and purple.

Last year, Lindsay’s mom–Ingrid Burnell–also went over to serve with Wiphan and meet Astrida…here is her story:

For many years I had been praying to God to prepare my heart and send me on a mission trip to be His hands and feet but it needed to be on His terms. It was in the fall of 2008 that Amy introduced me to Addie, Scott and Wiphan Care Ministry. At that time I committed to be on the July 2009 trip, and I was so excited to finally be able to go somewhere unknown and make a difference in some small way. It was during the Wiphan fundraiser that it really hit me about the plan God had laid before me and the journey he wanted me to be part of. I saw that evening how passionate Kevin, Richard, Andrea, Addie & Scott were telling others about this incredible lady named Kunda who lived so many thousands of miles away and the work she was doing by herself (and with Kevin’s help at the time) unknown to him.

I remember a stir in my heart that evening as I listened, watched video and saw the pictures and interviews on the screen. God was telling me at that moment that I needed to surround myself with this group of believers; their hearts were in the right place. I loved the fact that Wiphan care ministries was a few years old, that it was small but doing big things, 100% of the donations went to support the widows and orphans through skills training, school and food programs. Being involved I could form relationships with others involved and form a bonding relationship with widows and orphans in Ndola , Zambia . I didn’t want to just send money each month but my hearts desire was to form these bonding relationships forever. It was a no brainer, I had committed to go on a mission trip and next I wanted to sponsor a child.

I went over to the Brightpoint table (Brightpoint facilitates the monthly sponsorships for Wiphan Care Ministries) that evening and starring back at me were 60 precious smiling faces—I thought, “How the heck am I going to pick one child”? It was heart breaking because I wanted to sponsor ALL 60 children but knew financially, I couldn’t. I also remember thinking if I did sponsor all this kiddos there would not be any left for others to chose from and that would be selfish on my part- (who was I kidding; there were many more in Ndola at the schools but their pictures and stories were not up on the board yet) I guess I used this thinking to control my urge of not sponsoring ALL.

It was Astrida’s big smile and the playful innocence from her photo that drew me to pick her. Since that evening we have been blessed in so many ways–we have been able to correspond with Astrida three times through the letter writing program. I have personally visited with her and her caretakers last summer in their home, and yesterday my daughter Lindsay sat in her home sharing smiles, laughter and learning about her life. Today, Lindsay and the team will be teaching Astrida and her classmates how to make friendship bracelets along with demonstrating science experiments and taking the time to show them that they are loved by others and their Heavenly Father. Sponsoring a Wiphan child is a blessing to them because it helps fund the school and feeding program. Through sponsorship each month and the relationships my family has built with Wiphan, we consider ourselves to be the ones blessed. It is Wiphan’s widows and orphans who remind us that even though life throws us curveballs, they are small in comparison to what the widows and orphans deal with on a daily basis and it is their constant faithfulness that remind us to look to the Lord and rejoice for what we have and what we can do for others. I leave you with this thought, “What if He blessed us, so we could bless them”? There are still many more Wiphan Children in the program that would love to receive a letter, pictures, and be sponsored by someone like yourself. There is still much to be done in Ndola–so will you help?

As one of my favorite artists, Chris Tomlin sings…

“You’re the God of this City, You’re the King of these people, You’re the Lord of this nation, You are, You’re the Light in this darkness, You’re the Hope to the hopeless, You’re the Peace to the restless, You are, There is no one like our God There is no one like our God, For greater things have yet to come, And greater things are still to be done in this City, Greater thing have yet to come, And greater things are still to be done in this City”

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress …” James 1:27

–Ingrid Burnell

It amazed me how God blesses OUR hearts as we follow him! Thank you Ingrid for your heart for the orphans and widows of Wiphan Care–and for sharing how God is changing you through your obedience to follow Him in this way. ANOTHER precious friend of mine JUST returned last week from yet another Wiphan trip. Shannon is a photographer, and truly–I have no words for the beauty she captured. Shannon ALSO got to meet her sponsored child on her trip. What a blessing! Here is her experience put to music and pictures…may I introduce to you the beautiful children and women of Wiphan if you have yet to meet them…

To learn more about sponsoring a child through Wiphan please visit For information about getting involved please fill out the contact form on the Wiphan website.

Elle J - July 28, 2010 - 8:42 pm

BEAUTIFUL!!! Loved the words shared and video. So lovely. I started sponsoring in May and this trip was my first time to share a letter with my girl. I continue to pray that it reaches her and that she is well.

Kim - July 28, 2010 - 9:42 pm

OH WOW! The photos … the words … the music. All heartstiring!

Shannon Holden - July 28, 2010 - 10:41 pm

Andrea, thank you so much for sharing Ingrid’s story. I think I might have met Astrida when I was there. Her sweet face looks very familiar. Like Ingrid said, I feel hugely blessed to be involved with Wiphan. Thank you for sharing the slideshow on your blog. Love you, precious friend! See you next week!!