Angel Book of the Month
Jansten's Gift: A True Story of Grief, Rescue, and Grace— by Pam Cope with Aimee Molloy
Nine years ago, Pam Cope owned a cozy hair salon in the tiny town of Neosho, Missouri, and her life revolved around her son's baseball games, her daughter's dance lessons, and family trips to places like Disney World. She had never been out of the country, nor had she any desire to travel far from home.
Then, on June 16th, 1999, her life changed forever with the death of her 15-year-old son from an undiagnosed heart ailment.
Needing to get as far away as possible from everything that reminded her of her loss, she accepted a friend's invitation to travel to Vietnam, and, from the moment she stepped off the plane, everything she had been feeling since her son's death began to shift. By the time she returned home, she had a new mission: to use her pain to change the world, one small step at a time, one child at a time. Today, she is the mother of two children adopted from Vietnam. More than that, she and her husband have created a foundation called "Touch A Life," dedicated to helping desperate children in countries as far-flung as Vietnam, Cambodia and Ghana.
Pam Cope's story is on one level a moving, personal account of loss and recovery, but on a deeper level, it offers inspiration to anyone who has ever suffered great personal tragedy or those of us who dream about making a difference in the world.
Touch a Life Foundation
Touch A Life operates a number of shelters and various projects in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Ghana. All of our projects are aimed at reaching our ultimate goal of improving the lives of children in these countries where so many of them are mistreated, neglected, or living in poverty. The organization can be found at http://www.touchalifekids.org. Examples of the foundation's work in across the globe is listed below:
Touch a Life in Vietnam
Touch A Life has worked with street children for the last seven years in Vietnam.We have rescued children from living in very dangerous environments, many of whom were likely at risk of being trafficked. We currently support 176 children in Saigon and surrounding rural villages, providing them with food, shelter, education and medical care.
Our homes consist of 15 children living in a family setting with a husband and wife team serving as house parents. Our dream is to raise up these children and instill them with the desire to help other orphans and disadvantaged youths.
We would like to one day be able to purchase a large extended van and create a soupkitchen on wheels to feed street children. We would teach our Touch A Life kids to cook the food and then they would take turns distributing food throughout the city of Saigon. It would be a great example of how they need to give back and serve the less fortunate and share their resources with others.
Touch a Life in Cambodia
Touch A Life is blessed to help support The Place of Rescue where Good News is shared to offer hope to those who have no hope.
Marie Ens is director and owner of the Rescue Center. Marie grew up on the Canadian prairies. With her husband Norman and their four children, the Ensí missionary career took them to Cambodia, Thailand, back to Cambodia, back to Thailand, home to Canada, then to France. After Normanís sudden death in 1994, Marie returned once more to Cambodia. She has made her home at The Place of Rescue Aids Center and Orphanage.
The Place of Rescue is a safe haven for families who have been stricken with the AIDS virus. When parents pass away the children can remain at the Rescue Center orphanage where they will receive physical, spiritual, and emotional nourishment.
On the grounds of the Place of Rescue there is a school, an agricultural center, a fish pond, a play ground, an activity center, 14 thatch homes, and several buildings including the home for orphaned children and orphaned grandmaís.
Touch A Life in Ghana
Our program in Ghana is very different from the model we use in Vietnam. Touch A Life has partnered with Village of Hope in caring for the children that have been rescued out of slavery. Village of Hope currently is caring for twenty-one Touch A Life children and our foundation financially supports them. We have been blessed to network with such an amazing childrenís home that shares our passion for orphaned and exploited children.
Touch A Life recently was faced with having to commit to a building project. The availability of housing in Ghana is a problem, which means that it is not possible to simply rent a facility for the children. So with the help of our Ghanian staff we were able to acquire 18 acres of land and build a childrenís home in Kete Krachi that will be home to twenty-four children and houseparents. We are excited about this new adventure and look forward to teaching the children how to garden and raise bees for honey. We have named the new home Village of Life. After enduring hopeless years of working as a slave on Lake Volta the name is all too fitting.
We feel very fortunate to be working with this team of men who are committed to abolish modern day slavery and fight human trafficking.
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