A Call to Greater Things
by Joe Brandi
May 17, 2018
Unity 4 Orphans is growing. We just welcomed our newest volunteer, Hayley Monzon, as our Donor Relations assistant. How did she find her path to us? God created it. There’s certain pre-work that God has put in people’s hearts so they can use their talents for helping justice, helping the poor, and helping orphans. As it says in Ephesians 2:10, “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
In Hayley’s case, she works as a nanny for one of Unity 4 Orphans’ board members, Laura Fellows. I told Laura I was looking to add someone to our team who had a sales background to work on fundraising, and she picked up the phone right then and called Hayley.
Four months ago, Hayley was working at a business that hired her to lead a sales team. She left that job after feeling God was telling her it was time to go. “The night before Laura called, I was on Indeed.com looking for jobs, but I knew those jobs were not what God had planned for me. The next morning, I prayed that God would bring me something that would have a kingdom impact, something I could be passionate about, where I could use the talents He had given me for good. Just a few hours later, Laura called me. It turns out, the job that had taken a lot out of me actually prepared me and taught me skills that can be used for this position at U4O.” That’s God at work.
Hayley remembers as a little girl visiting an orphanage with her church, and it impacted her greatly. “I have always had a heart for orphans. God calls us to love the widows and orphans; to be the hands and feet of Jesus and pour our love into them. We can never play the role of someone’s parents, but being there to build relationships and share our Father’s love can ultimately change the course of these children’s lives.”
She also recalls a story about her husband, Josue, who grew up in Guatemala and never saw his father after five years old. “There was a retired Navy Seal who was strong in his faith who took time to pour into my husband. He shared with him about Jesus, how to parent, how to be a husband, as well as many other life lessons. When someone genuinely pours love into your life with no expectations, it gives you confidence. Josue and I have always wanted to work with orphans as a way to give back and invest in those who don’t have a parent to encourage them. Plus, Josue understands the Latino culture and can relate to these young children in a way I cannot.”
Another U4O volunteer, Jeanne Rawdin, walked up to me after a church meeting and introduced herself. I found out she’s a writer and video producer, and for several months now, she has been helping me in these areas. It’s just fascinating and intriguing how God does that in his creativity and provenance of preparing people. And he’s slowly been creating our team.
Jeanne remembers, “I heard Joe talking in church about his nonprofit, Unity 4 Orphans, and it was fascinating to me. As a former TV news reporter, I touched on a lot of social issues like poverty, homelessness, and child abuse during my career. Many of these orphans have been abused before ending up at the orphanage, and dealt with extreme poverty. I’ve always been drawn to issues about women and children especially, and I could feel the pull of wanting to tell the stories of these innocent kids and make others more aware of their plight.”
God builds teams, just as Jesus did. Jesus grabbed his team of disciples who walked around with him. They had different personalities and different gifts. You’ve got a fisherman, a tax collector, a doctor. God unifies these people who are diverse and when they’re called to a team, it makes that team more powerful and more expandable than doing it all by yourself. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (John 18)
We all need to continue to be volunteers in this world, to keep networking and expanding to find out who God is preparing to do good works. As you read this, God is penetrating your sphere of influence and your connections in the community. Think about it. Answer His call. What can you do to help carve out the next piece of the path for Unity 4 Orphans?