Prayer list for Tanzania Orphanage

The inside walls of the Orphan's Heart Compassion Home

The inside walls of the Orphan’s Heart Compassion Home

Joy floods my heart as I envision the little faces of the children who will walk these halls. They no longer have to worry about finding someone to care for them. Warm beds will envelope little bodies, in contrast to nights spent sleeping under bushes in the dirt. The scent of hot meals cooking in the kitchen will  awaken hungry bellies as food is served . Laughter will echo through these hallways. Cries for help are silenced by the provisions in this home.

Strong love grows in my heart for these children who have been rescued and reached by our efforts on the other side of the world. Never will they fully understand how much the Lord has interceded on their behalf to raise up support through our family, a family almost disabled with grief.

Our joy seemed lost with the death of my 10 year old nephew, Phil and mother, Joyce.  Bedtime seemed to untuck emotions as hot tears melted from red eyes . Hearts were blistered with sadness. Painful memories echoed through empty hearts, instead of laughter. We desperately needed  new ways to find joy. I would pray the words of the Psalmist:

Restore to me the joy of my salvation….

Restore to my children the joy of their salvation…

Restore to us the joy of our salvation….

Have you ever hurt so badly, for so long, that your heart cried these same words?

Grief ‘s painful emotion does not  fade quickly. It oozes out slowly from the heart that has been broken with loss. If you have loved deeply, you will grieve even longer. Death can not hide love, it only exposes it’s power even greater. Love stays present in your heart even when the person you love passes away. Love tries to find a way to express it’s self even louder. This is grief at it’s finest.  Strong expressions of love beat hard against the walls of mortality as we pound our fists:

Restore to me the joy of my salvation…

Our God will not turn away from the heart that cries to be recycled from pain. He will listen. He will hear. He will heal.

Psalm 39:12 says “Hear my prayer, lord, listen to my cry for help. Do not be deaf to my weeping.”

God would answer our prayer in a most unusual way. After several years of healing, our hearts were open to live repurposed for others. Through my friend, Shannin Pickle, I was made aware of a need at the property she had purchased in Tanzania. She desired to build a home for orphaned children but was unable to find the funding. Inside, I felt a strange feeling when she mentioned this need. Was there something I could do to help?

Girls who will live at the home when it is completed!

Girls who will live at the home when it is completed!

In my husband’s heart, a dream was stirring too.


He came to me one day and proclaimed, “You are not going to believe this but I think God is going to use water sports in my life to save children!” His desire did not surprise me but confirmed my little nudging that God may indeed be at work in our lives to help build this orphanage. I cringed when he mentioned we should do a family kite surfing event…. I inwardly groaned and then blurted out, “Why can’t we do a walk-a-thon like everyone else?”

A kite surfing fundraiser was born that day in the Russell home and laughter began to ring out again. We had a new purpose, a goal to obtain far greater than anything we could pull off without God’s divine intervention. I could not have imagined on that day what joy God would restore to me through generosity to his kingdom. My purpose was no longer to resurrect the past but to give life to others who desperately needed to live. I was going to live repurposed to help others rejoice again.

My son training for kite surfing

My son training for kite surfing

A kite surfing fundraiser. A broken family from grief healing. A God sized dream. A reality!

Little did I  know all those times I wanted to quit fundraising that God already knew that this home would become a reality. I remember every time people would look at me funny and proclaim, “You’ll never raise any money with a kite surfing fundraiser!”God was going to send a divine wind to blow into the hearts of generous people everywhere to care about the importance of these walls that would protect orphans.

Home being constructed !

Home being constructed !

Can you say with me today:

Restore to me the joy of my salvation!


Printable Prayer List For Tanzania

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