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An Unexpected year... 2019 Year-end Letter

In Ecclesiastes, we hear about there being a time for everything. In my life, I have found this to be true, but it is a truth that comes only with hindsight. The seemingly random events of tragedy or blessings, the seasons of trial and the seasons of peace - all of these seem to find a place in a larger plan that we cannot fully see or understand in those moments. The events that we weren’t expecting had a purpose; the trials and hardships were part of preparation. We find the pieces falling into place into something that God has been working towards all along. This realization of God’s plans occur much more clearly when our lives are marked by an attitude of surrender. His plans become our plans and His desires become our desires.

The last few years at Ekisa have contained events, circumstances, connections, and realizations that have led us to where we are today. We can see clearly that God is writing a beautiful story, one that we never could have dreamed up on our own, and we have a clear vision for our place in that story.

This year we did some rebranding and got a new logo, we launched a new campaign to fund our work for the next three years. These things are not meant to be catchy or cool. We’re not looking for the most clicks or to sell the most t-shirts. They are a means of accomplishing where we are called to go. The true hope of all of this is that more and more people will understand the reality and severity of the problems faced by the children and families we serve. That more people will be able to empathize with the life of a child with disabilities and the life of their parents. The trials and hardships they face each day from being isolated and not being able to access what their child needs. We also hope that more and more people will feel the joy of what we get to do here at Ekisa; the indescribable joy that comes from a child being reunited with their family; the gospel come to life when a child is adopted into a family; the life-changing impact that happens when a parent reaches the true understanding of their child’s worth, throwing out deep-rooted, cultural opinions that these children are worthless and a burden, and fully embrace the inherent, God-given value of their child.

As I reflect on this year, I find myself focusing not as much on what has happened with the families and children we work with, but what is to come. This year has brought clarity on where we are to go as Ekisa. It has brought passion and a plan to reach thousands of more children with disabilities. What I see from this year are the moments where we realized what we’re doing can be done in other places - places that so desperately need help. I remember seeing a child leave our residential home to move back with their family, and in that moment knowing that same joy is what is owed to the millions of children with disabilities living in orphanages worldwide. I remember watching our school Christmas play thinking that more children, and parents, and communities need to experience the joy that we experience every day at Ekisa.

As the pieces of this new vision have come together, it has also brought the reality of how it will happen. We are confident that God will provide for where He has called us to go. We are confident that we are not the only ones who wish to rewrite the story of disability, a story that often tells of stigma, isolation, and rejection. So this Christmas, we sincerely ask for your prayers as we begin this new journey of replication. We ask that you would use your voice to share about the work and the mission of Ekisa with others. We ask for you to join with us financially so that the thousands and even millions that are waiting will find the help they need, the family they deserve, and the value that God has already given them.


Jared Scheppmann

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