"What I had experienced kept revolving over and over in my mind. It was on my heart and while praying God gave me an idea."
Upon my return to the United States after a decade of living in Africa, I had a deep burden for street children, Galatians 6:2. I saw with my own eyes many children sleeping on the street in cardboard boxes of which they had found in the dump. Their daily diet was dried up grains of rice or a piece of hard bread. People passing by would throw their garbage to them and they would catch it with a big smile. A dirty rag or plastic bag was used for a cover. What I had experienced kept revolving over and over in my mind. It was on my heart and while praying God gave me an idea. I shared with my husband about the burden God had given me for these children and together we decided maybe we could do something.
At that time
I was working for a large international firm. I asked my supervisor if I could
let it be known to my co-workers about this vision. I got the go ahead, so one
morning I put a flyer on everyone’s chair. There were 102 people in my department.
People started coming to me during the day asking questions and donating money.
In the weeks to come some of them gave little trinkets for me to bring on my
next mission trip. It became real, people were pledging money on a regular
basis and we decided to incorporate and make this an actual organization. We became
a 501c corporation called Children of Grace.
-- Linda Scibelli, Founder
We started with buying land, two major pieces of property. One was in Mityana where we have three acres of land and the other one was in Nansana where we bought seven acres of land very reasonably. Both of these properties are in the country of Uganda. The seven acre parcel was on top of a hill. No one was really interested in this parcel because it was formerly home to many witch doctor shrines. Everyone was afraid to buy it, however, if God be for us who can be against us! We purchased the property and Pastor Sam with his team destroyed the shrines. There now is a giant cross with an orphanage on top of the hill. Praise be unto the Lord Jesus Christ.
We have over one hundred children in this place. An additional ten acres was bought to develop a farm. The farm is actually funded by the Walpole Federal Penitentiary inmates in Massachusetts. They provide the money for seeds, fertilizer, tools, watering provision and harvesting. Animals are also being raised by the orphans under the direction of the orphanage leaders.
In Mityana which is sort of out in the bush area, Pastor Daniel has an orphanage, two dormitories, and a huge classroom. The entire plot is really well done. There is a farm which produces fruits and vegetables for the orphans. We have four teachers who are approved by the government of Uganda running the day school.
We acquired a third piece of property in another part of Uganda, approximately 20 miles to the east of Nansana where Pastor Aaron has been given charge of forty orphans. This compound has an orphanage, a school and a church and Bible school.
"We purchased the property and Pastor Sam with his team destroyed the shrines. There now is a giant cross with an orphanage on top of the hill."
"The land has the foundation in, and we are slowly but surely putting the structure up so we can have an orphan’s home."
Another piece of property we are developing is in Monrovia, Liberia. We are in the process of building an orphanage. This orphanage is in West Africa where the people are being tried and tested by disease that has broken out. We are blessed to have been completely covered by God and without any trace of the disease amongst our people. The land has the foundation in, and we are slowly but surely putting the structure up so we can have an orphan’s home.
These countries are all in the developing stage. Ten or so children are being cared for in each of these countries. Pray for supporters for these countries.
Children of Grace has a vision to raise up children in the way they should go. We first like to make sure there is a good strong Bible teaching church for them to be a part of. The church should have a Pastor and a Christian elementary and secondary school with a Bible College for them to attend as well. This is the pathway to build good strong believers who will go on to serve the Lord Jesus Christ for the rest of their lives.
We try to avoid targeting individual orphans for support. It is the entire orphanage that is supported. If you're going to give a donation it will be used to help everyone in the home. We want the focus to be on the entire operation. It is doable to see a photo and choose to support an individual child, but we really try to use the money to help all.
Connections can be made through email and phone calls. It is encouraged to travel and visit the actual orphanages. Short term mission trips can be arranged. Individuals or small groups can travel and teach, play sports or even have health clinics.
Should you prefer sending support the old fashioned way?
Children of Grace
PO Box 70372
Baltimore, MD 21237
The best way to give is to help monetarily on a monthly basis or one time gift. We don't have the resources to store clothing, etc., and pay for shipping. Money goes a long way in Africa. For example, $100 would take care of two children for a month. This includes housing, food, and school fees.
Building facilities, acquiring properties, and purchasing uniforms are the main project items related to the orphanages. In Liberia, Burkina Faso, and Togo, we have properties that need buildings like dormitories and classrooms. Uniforms are always a great need. Clothing wears out quickly when items are scrubbed by hand and dried in the direct sun.
A child must be a legitimate orphan. We do have an interview process for each individual. Every situation is different and we take in those with real needs.
There is an orphanage director, someone in charge of the orphanage, an overseeing pastor and then there are the teachers and the orphanage helpers. People must have a specific call to work with orphans, like husband-and-wife teams and certified teachers.
We have a number of orphans who have grown up in our care and have since graduated from Bible school and went on to the mission field.
Children of Grace - PO Box 70372 - Baltimore, MD 21237