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The Nursery Kids

The Nursery Kids

By on Apr 21, 2014 in Blog | 9 comments

Discipline is an issue when you’re raising 100 children. With a minimal staff, the ratio of kids to supervising adults is about ten to one, so the potential for anarchy and chaos is never far away. For this reason, when rules are broken, consequences are immediate and consistent. Time outs are a regular occurrence, along with the occasional “putt putt,” the Mission...

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Viral

Viral

By on Apr 15, 2014 in Blog | 3 comments

In the middle of the night, there was a knock on my door. Actually, I wasn’t sure it was my door. I’m staying in the Big Boys hostel and it has an open central courtyard in the middle of all the rooms—so sound does funny things. For weeks, I’ve thought the blaring Christian rock music that wakes me up each morning had to been coming from my neighbor’s room. Only to...

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Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

By on Apr 12, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

This past week, Clifton and Rick Shipway celebrated a huge milestone: their ten-year anniversary running the Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission. Clifton’s grandfather, Maxton Strong, started the Mission back in 1947. When he passed away in 2003, some of his staff members saw an opportunity. With no legal grounds to do so, they claimed the property as their own and...

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Aunti Violet

Aunti Violet

By on Apr 8, 2014 in Blog | 5 comments

It’s not just little kids here at the orphanage. To take care of 100 children, the Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission requires a diverse staff that come from all walks of life. During my stay here, I’ll be highlighting a few of these support people, beginning with one of my favorites: Aunti Violet. Violet is the oldest member of the GSAM family. Born in 1936, she...

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Orphan Update

Orphan Update

By on Apr 5, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Change is hard. It’s been a few days since Malika and Jyotika first arrived at the Mission and it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. A few people have asked for an update, so here’s where things stand of today. When it came time for the neighbors—who had been looking after them—to leave, Malika (the older one) decided she wanted to go as well. She cried,...

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8 Lessons From An Orphanage

8 Lessons From An Orphanage

By on Apr 1, 2014 in Blog | 12 comments

For the past month and a half, I’ve had the unique pleasure of living at the Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission with 100 orphaned and abandoned children. These kids have taught me so much in such a short time. So here are a few things I’ve learned by living at an orphanage: 1. Family is where you find it. Parents or no parents…blood relatives or...

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Malika and Jyotika

Malika and Jyotika

By on Mar 28, 2014 in Blog | 9 comments

Try to imagine the girls you are about to meet are not girls in a story. They are real, like girls you know. Their names are Malika and Jyotika. Malika is nine years old. Her younger sister is seven. They live in Rudrapur, India, an industrial center two hours west of the orphanage where I’m staying. I met them more than a week ago and I haven’t been able to stop...

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Giving and Receiving

Giving and Receiving

By on Mar 25, 2014 in Blog | 6 comments

“It’s better to give than to receive.” This bit of pithy wisdom was originally attributed to Jesus by Luke (or whoever wrote the book of Acts), and it’s most often used by adults to encourage kids not to be so greedy. As every parent knows, “Mine!” is the word of choice for most young humans while the concept of sharing takes many tear-filled years to develop. Some...

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In Shayne’s Memory

In Shayne’s Memory

By on Mar 19, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

In 1999, my best friend, Shayne Worcester, was murdered. He was just walking home one night with a friend through the Russian Hill area of San Francisco, a posh and statistically safe section of the city. It was his last night in town. But as he passed the intersection of Hyde and Vallejo streets, two men in black hooded sweatshirts stepped out of the shadows,...

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School Desks for Orphans

School Desks for Orphans

By on Mar 14, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

I believe that we all want to change the world. I know I do. Maybe not the whole world—although that would be amazing, wouldn’t it? But at least a small part of it. It’s like a little voice, a tiny hero in my heart that calls out to me from time to time. And I want to listen, to act. And sometimes I do. But sometimes I don’t. Sometimes, I don’t know what to do. The...

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