By Andy Baker
Transformation has become a foundational word for my life. The word itself speaks to change. That is the hallmark of what Remember the Children does as a ministry. RtC seeks to bring change to people who find themselves in places longing for something more. Love is the key element to where transformation begins to take place. The knowledge of knowing that they are loved and valued seems to change the course of their lives and pushes them forward into the greater purpose that God has designed them to live out. Transformation comes when a person understands the love of God through Jesus Christ and allows that knowledge to mold them into the person God created them to be through an ongoing pursuit of truly knowing him.
Since 1999, Remember the Children has delivered Christmas gifts to orphaned children in Romania. As that project developed over the years, the ministry was able to touch the lives of more and more children each Christmas. Each day of the Christmas gift delivery would be a time to engage the children with an extra touch of love and place within their hearts the value of hope. Hope for them was a dream that there would be something more than the lonely institutionalized life in which they existed.
That was Loredana’s hope. She hoped for something more in her life, and through the contact we made in the orphanage to love her through the years, especially at Christmas, the hope of Jesus Christ began to develop in her heart. When my life intersected with hers some years later, she recognized me first, and said her memory of me was being Santa Claus. She told me a story of how I had opened a gift with her one Christmas, and how much that had meant to her. I wish Remember the Children could take total credit for the beautiful person she has grown to be, but we did play a sizable role in the foundation of her transformation to becoming a follower of Jesus Christ.
Loredana called me last fall and asked me if I could help her. We met on a Sunday evening in a grocery store parking lot in Oradea, Romania. There Remember the Children was able to give her a monetary gift that would help send her to Namibia to serve as a missionary.
Loredana is in Namibia today, and hers is a story of transformation. As a child living in an institution, growing and pursuing Jesus Christ because of the love she experienced, and the knowledge that Jesus was the only place she could place her hope, her life was literally transformed. Ministry to orphans does matter. Personally, my memories of Loredana as a child are vague, but the impact we had through our programs in the orphanage laid the groundwork for something greater within God’s redemptive plan. Today, the one who had been longing for love, has found it, is sharing it, and is passing the gift along to the next generation. For a life truly touched by Jesus Christ is a life that is on a transformational journey, and it is a life that honors our Savior by allowing the transformed self to lead others through that same journey.
More About Andy
Andy Baker founded Remember the Children in 1996 after visiting Romania for the first time with his wife, Gerri. He has spent the last 21 years pouring into the people of Romania and Tanzania. He lives in Indiana with his wife and 2 daughters, is a Baltimore Orioles Fan, and loves a good game of bingo.