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Love to Serve, Serve to Love
by Kaylei Ward
Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Ten years ago, a group of women and their daughters were changed forever by a mission trip to Guatemala. When they returned to the United States, the middle-schoolers asked one question: “What are we going to do now for the children we met?”

That question was the catalyst for the creation of WOW—Women for Orphans Worldwide, a volunteer-led auxiliary for Orphan Outreach.

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Each year WOW honors the same spirit that started the organization by recognizing students who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of the ministries served by Orphan Outreach. The honor is aptly called Love to Serve, Serve to Love.

Tiffany Taylor Wines is one of the founders of both Orphan Outreach and WOW. “I love that each year students are inspired to make a difference,” she shares. “The 2018 honorees and projects were a great example of the cross section of youth that have made a difference. From a boy adopted internationally to a Girl Scout getting her Gold Award and a church youth group that came together to make a difference, it is clear that each of the honorees not only made an impact but walked away from being changed themselves.”

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When Angelina Syler returned from her trip to a home for teenage mothers called Hope and Future, she felt inspired by the girls she had met and the happiness they had despite their backstories of neglect and abuse.  She asked herself the very question that started WOW: “What can I do now?” Her response was to fundraise through garage sales and donations to create a sensory room for the babies. “I care about the health and development of these babies. These mothers have been through so much and they will need a break at some point.  Being a mother is very fast paced. This safe environment for the children gives their mothers a break to sit down and relax with their children as they play and develop.” Angelina was able to travel back to Hope and Future to help develop the room herself and see the help that the room brought. “It may seem like you didn’t really do anything at all other than build a few shelves, paint, or decorate the walls, but I promise that you are helping so much more than you realize.” Angelina hopes that this is only the beginning and that this project will inspire others to carry on what she started.

wooden puzzles

Luke Deatherage had a different inspiration that led him to want to help. He has never met the children that he impacted but he shares their unique needs. Luke was adopted from a Ukraine orphanage and has special needs. His dad shares that the children of Guatemala are his community because of their common connection. Luke was encouraged to do something that would benefit children of the world. Inspired by his family’s encouragement, Luke was able to build wooden puzzles and alphabet blocks for a children’s home to help their fine motor skills. Through WOW these puzzles and blocks were delivered to Down Guatemala in July of 2018, and through pictures Luke was able to see the impact he had. “As a parent, I learned about the joy that Luke received from helping other children. Such a small amount of time (or money) can make a difference in the life of a child.” Both Luke and his dad look forward to traveling with Orphan Outreach in the future.

Special room

The final Love to Serve, Serve to Love Award was given to students who rallied together to find numerous ways to serve and provide for multiple ministries. The New St Peter’s Presbyterian High School youth group spent months fundraising through garage sales, t-shirt sales, shop nights, and a silent auction to not only ensure that every kid on the team had financial support but to bring much-needed supplies and gifts to various ministries in Guatemala. From providing stoves to families, to doing an extreme room makeover for two young girls at Love the Child and visiting families they had given stoves to in the past, this team stepped in and stepped up. Through the process they found blessings in not only seeing what they could provide but in witnessing those they served be filled with Christ’s hope and joy despite their circumstances. Jennifer Kassing, the leader of the group, says the students love to serve if given the right outlet with direction and purpose. “Some of these kids had have never left the country, let alone gone to a third world country—and yet none felt overwhelmed or fearful. They never said ‘no’ and they knew what to do. Each of them had a joyful heart.” For her it was exciting to see the seeds that were sown on the trip, and she is excited to see how God will grow the faith of each of the students in unique and personal ways.

Women for Orphans Worldwide was founded on the belief that everyone can have an impact. The honorees of the 2018 Love to Serve, Serve to Love are wonderful examples by not only making a significant impact in Guatemala, but also by being inspirations for other teens to get involved. When asked what advice could be given to those who want to serve and make a difference, they all had a similar answer. Whether it’s putting up bookshelves, painting a room, or creating a puzzle, nothing is too small to make a difference. The joy that serving gives and the hearts that God change in that process will include not just those you serve, but also your own.


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