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Project 2: Operation Silent Night

There are a few things that keep me up at night. One is Isaac Temesgen Young of course;-). The other is thinking about the reality for orphans, widows and the poor throughout the world. When I became a believer at age 18, the Lord quickly grabbed my heart for the poor—and I feel like He’s kept me up at night ever since. BUT–isn’t that the way it should be? And now that I’m a mother—every time I look into the eyes of my own children…I can’t help but think–of THEM.

A few weeks ago, I started thinking about the little girls Laney’s age—who should be going to sleep at night without worry…without fear. Watching my little girl–in her Ariel pjs, stack of books beside her waiting for me to read…and of course the request for her goodnight song…all part of her nightly routine. And then–I try to picture a nightly routine for one of the girls at Wiphan’s school. Sure they are well protected in Wiphan’s school walls—but what about after we send them home? I have walked the compound in Ndola, and if you were to tell me for just one night Laney would spend the night with the other children there–I have to confess something: I. Would. NOT. be. okay. with that. To put her in the middle of this…and just hope that she sleeps soundly…to hope that she can sleep on the dirty mud ground…that she’d be able to sleep…to hope that during the rainy season a malaria infested mosquito doesn’t bite my baby girl’s skin…or that the drunkard wandering the path skips the house she is in…I then begin to pray, “Oh Lord–please protect Wiphan’s children.”

As I reflected more and more on this—I began to get really distracted each night as I did my nightly routine…locking my doors…turning on my alarm in this safe community and area in which I live. Brushing my teeth–quite a luxury that most don’t have. And then–I begin to feel a litle guilty. And even sad. Why is it okay for me to lock my doors, sing a goodnight song and peacefully go to sleep and not do something about the safety of someone else’s little girl across the world? I mean–really, is she MY responsibility? If it isn’t mine–then whose is it? Because—the truth is…that many of these little girls and boys are orphans. Whose responibility are they anyway?

Many of Wiphan’s orphans are being housed by family friends and relatives…and many times–the widow or friend they are living with has to leave days on end to find work in the city. That’s just the way life goes. The older ones take care of the younger ones…and this is reality…

I sat here and tried to THINK of the biggest thing my little girl has to fear at night. Okay–so I came up with thunder. I makes me shutter to think about what the little ones across the world have to fear…as I am quite sure thunder is the least of their worries. Then…comes rainy season from November to April…and Zambia, as you may know, is effected by malaria more than most any country in the world. Because malaria mosquito only bite at night, this is another worry added to their night time. Things I just don’t think a little one should worry about…all of the things they have worry about are REAL–and they can all be life changing…ending in malaria, AIDS, pain, hunger, loneliness…the list goes on.

Wiphan Care Ministries serves 450 orphans and 150 widows. Currently, they get to come to school for free and receive a meal. For many, it is their ONLY meal. And then–we send them home. Then the dark comes…and I just hope and pray they are safe. Really—when I begin to REALLY think about them…all of the sudden, for me–it’s just not okay for me to NOT do something. Anything. I can’t explain it–but I feel like in a miraculously crazy way—these little ones are also part of our responsibility. And at Wiphan Care Ministries—we want to help protect them not just while they are in our care–but while they are away. And this is how…

Today, we want to introduce to you our next mission: Operation Silent Night. We say “operation” because it is a mission we want to take seriously…as if these children were our OWN. Because they ARE His…and I believe, as believers, in some ways they are ours too. Operation Silent Night’s goal is to provide our students a safe, silent night by giving them a lock & chain for their doors (intruders are going to be less likely to bother them if entering is too much trouble), a mosquito net, a foam mattress pad with sheeting and a reed mat which will keep the mattress clean from the dirt on the ground. We will be buying these in country in bulk–so each Silent Night kit will cost just $45. You can join our operation here:

Will you prayerfully consider joining us in helping protect our students? Will you consider sharing this project or slideshow on your blog or facebook? (PLEASE PAUSE MUSIC ON TOP OF PAGE BEFORE WATCHING)

Operation Silent Night – Wiphan Care Ministries from Wiphan Care Ministries on Vimeo.

Special thanks to Shannon Holden of Shannon Holden Photography for her photography–and for traveling across the world to invest in Wiphan Care Ministries.

P.S. Another thank you to the MANY readers who are joining in Project 1 for “It’s a Girl Thing”. As promised, I will have more details on my blog later this week. What an honor it is to do ministry with so many of you. Thank you for stepping out and up to the plate to be used for the glory of God. May He bless each of you as you work on this project…and also the many of you who join us in Operation Silent Night. As always, thank you for sharing with your friends, small groups, churches and family. If you are interested in becoming more involved in an orphan/widow ministry, please visit

Erica - September 2, 2010 - 5:39 pm

What a great idea and a wonderful opportunity to help! I will pass the word along.

april - September 2, 2010 - 5:58 pm

this sounds amazing, definitely something I want to do! thanks for letting us know about this and I will try my best and spread the word!

Elle J - September 2, 2010 - 7:00 pm

What a perfect idea. I love this!! Thankful this is a new focus that I can add to my gifting for my sweet girl, and her peers, at Wiphan.

Alison - September 2, 2010 - 7:04 pm

Wow!! Such a wonderful way to help these children! Going to donate right now, and I will definitely be blogging about it!!

Amy K - September 2, 2010 - 7:58 pm

Definitely getting involved in this one! Such a great idea!!!

Annie D - September 2, 2010 - 8:13 pm

Great idea. I think I have ordered it. I will check my card in the next day and see if it was charged. I got many error messages.
I have followed you for some time and am amazed at your “get it done” attitude. My children were adopted domestically, and it does not seem to be as large as a support network.

Sarah Hurst - September 2, 2010 - 8:23 pm

i am super excited to be a part of bringing safety and quieter nights to the children in zambia!…i just put a “silent night kit” in my shopping cart! 🙂

april - September 2, 2010 - 9:55 pm

I’ve sent a mass of messages out through facebook and just now wrote a post explaining the “its a girl thing” we are going to do at our church and linked back here incase people wanted to read the whole thing! :0)

Gini - September 2, 2010 - 11:12 pm

Love this! Will definitely post this on my blog! 🙂

SleepyMom - September 3, 2010 - 1:13 pm

Is there another way to donate to operation silent night? When I clicked on the link it took me to Wiphan site where I added one kit to my cart. When I went to checkout it asked me for my credit card info but that page is not a secure page, so I didn’t enter it. Will there be a paypal button available or some other option?
Thanks, great project!

Meredith - September 4, 2010 - 8:39 am

Thank you for your devotion to the widows and orphans of Africa. It is so inspiring to me! I just made my donation.