This article was originally published in the November 2021 edition of ITMI Monthly.
Zig Ziglar once said, “People were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.” Those that know of Zig Ziglar know that he was the epitome of being uplifting.
He encouraged himself and others to, as some would say, “reach for the sky.” Some say that he influenced an estimated quarter of a billion individuals through his 33 books, including the bestseller See You at the Top, which has sold almost two million copies.
See you at the Top was his first book. It was rejected 39 times before it was published. Zig was born the 10th of 12 children in Coffee County, Alabama, and lost his father to a stroke at age 6.
Zig knew that God had “designed”, “engineered” and “endowed” all of us for “…abundantly above than we could ask or think.”
After traveling to Africa for almost two decades, and to India and other Asian countries, I have seen and witnessed the damage that has been passed down into the psyche, lives and relationships, year after year and generation after generation.
My last trip to Zambia and South Africa allowed me to observe in a whole new way the difference between those humans that understand how and why we were designed, engineered, and endowed and those humans that have been broken and trashed enough times that they have lost the hope for anything better.
This trip provided me with haunting memories of faces, in all walks of life, locations and economic conditions, that were so empty and void of expression that one might think they were just programed, inanimate, lifeless robots.
Weeks and weeks later, I still visualize the emptiness they projected from dark, hollow eyes, and from faces that seem to be incapable of expression. This was seen in children as well as adults.
ITMI and our precious team of projects, staff and leadership has always been about helping those that are lost and hopeless come to know that they were “…fearfully and wonderfully made…”, and that our Lord has made a way to exit the destruction and devastation that has been sold to the unregenerate man.
In the feature story this month you’ll read about the Early Childhood Development Center in Stone Hill where Charl, Mark and Bradley have worked so very hard to share God’s love and truth.
Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to communicate in print what you would see and experience if you walked the garbage-strewn pathways of Stone Hill.
The garbage and sewage strewn pathways of Stone Hill.
Homes in Stone Hill.
Olga used to live and minister in Stone Hill. She wants to still live in Stone Hill, but after seeing a man beat to death because the locals accused him of being a thief, she could not sleep at night due to the visual pictures that haunted her when she closed her eyes.
Olga needed some space to deal with the intensity of suffering and pain that resides in Stone Hill. She hasn’t stopped coming to Stone Hill with Charl, Mark and Bradley, because she deeply cares for the women and children that are subjected to this visual, physical and emotional trauma almost daily.
Olga’s pay is meager by our standards. Yet Olga is deeply grateful for the ministry position that Charl is able to offer her with the help some of you have provided.
What you might not know about Olga is that on her limited budget, she personally pays for eleven children each month to attend their Stone Hill early development center. In a country where a few dollars is a lot of money, Olga sacrifices and commits, as the Lord provides, to cover $3700 USD per year, so that children are safe, fed and encouraged on a daily basis.
Olga and her team believe that there are at least 150+ pre-school age children in Stone Hill whose lives could be greatly impacted if they had some help. Maybe we could help her, Charl, Mark and Bradley, and the children of Stone Hill by providing $28.00 per month per child for a month of care.
Some could maybe help a child have a whole year of loving, nutritious, godly care for $336.
Olga, thank you for all you do to serve the Lord in difficult environments. Charl, Mark and Bradley, thank you for all you do the make God’s name, His love and His plan known to the forgotten of Stone Hill.
We have so much to be thankful for. We also have precious opportunities to help others see that they are divinely designed, engineered and endowed with the image of God. He is waiting for them to respond to His calling to fully experience all He has in store for them.
We get to be the stepping stones that lead the lost to Him. Blessings and thank you for all you do to help us.
In His Service,
About the Author
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.
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