Sunday, May 31, 2009

Holy Cow!

As we were walking into the Frankfurt airport I realized that it was only 18 months since our Young Life team started YL at BA. That night our team went to the BA campus opened up the book that has pics of every student and their name and we prayed for every name in that book. I don't say that to pat us on the back, I say it because that night we said, "Won't it be cool to actually know the people that own these names?" At the time we only knew Meg Jamison.

Now 18 months later we're in a foreign country with these people that we have come to love. It's amazing how God moves. This journey has brought it share of laughs and excitement. There's already been a scavenger hunt (to pass away the hours at the Frankfurt airport), including stewardesses in 20 questions (and getting animated life giving responses), and countless inside jokes. Can't wait to share them all.

Your prayers for respect, patience and flexibility are coveted!

Jerad Burkhart

Safe and Sound

After a full day of travel, we're finally getting ready to call it a night. We've survived customs, enjoyed a delicious meal from our host family, and organized our plans.
We can't wait to lay our eyes on the orphanage tomorrow for the first time. So many months of planning a preparation - we are thrilled to put it to good use.
Thank you for your prayers and support on this journey.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

And they're off!

It's official! Our Brentwood Academy Young Life Team is en route to Moldova! 
After some last minute drama with Marty's missing passport (that's the reason he's not in this photo) Marty barely made it to the airport, the team finally made it through security, they boarded their flight and have arrived safely in Chicago -- they're now preparing to board their flight to Frankfurt. Please pray for safe travels as the team heads to Moldova and check the blog for updates from the team when they arrive!

Here's the whole team safe and happy on their journey. :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

If for only one life...

Anybody who has ever sat and talked with me about our trips to orphanages knows that one of my favorite things about taking people to minister to forgotten children is seeing how God changes lives. And, of course I'm not just talking about the lives of those we go hoping to serve.

Over the last six years I've been blessed to see the joy on the faces of countless children, teachers, workers, translators, drivers and team members. Another thing I always say is that you can never know the impact you will make in the life of a child, or that a child will make in your life.

I want to share part of a letter I received this week from a child who lived in one of the orphanages Sweet Sleep has ministered in:

"I thought my life was a disaster all through my childhood, or let’s say all until 7th grade...I was in the orphanage from 1st to 9th grade it was a pretty bad life until I met this amazing woman called Jen. Since Moldova is a third world country we received help from foreign countries, and one of them was America. We had a lot of Americans coming to Moldova and helping with kids. They brought candy, clothes, activities and most important LOVE. Now let’s speak about love. What is love? In my opinion love is not just a word, it is a word that implies a lot of words. Some of the words are compassion, forgiveness, happiness, involvement, willingness to do something, and most important it is a relationship (well at least to me). I had a relationship with a lot of Americans that came to Moldova and I valued it. Every American meant so much to me..."

I don't know how else to share the importance of our work with you then to share about if from a child whose life was changed because of this ministry.

In a short time Sweet Sleep will take a group of YoungLife seniors to an orphange in Moldova to minister, again, to children there who long for love. I want you to join with me in praying for these young people and for their leaders and our staff who will travel May 30-June 7th. I encourage you to come back to our blog each day of their trip to see about what adventures God has given them. And, I want you to commit to pray for everyone you can think of who's life God desires to bring closer to Him.

One other thing. I want....I need, the children need, for you to sponsor a bed for a child. If you look up in the sky tonight, imagine you are seeing the Orphan Signal in the sky. We need funding for 77 more children to have beds to dream in.'s not that many children. Maybe you cannot purchase an entire bed, but can you send an email to a group of friends and together provide for a child? If so, we'll bring home a letter from one of the children you helped give a place of their very own. Feel free to use this blog as your own words. They are the children's words and wishes......let's do this together.

I'm praying for the team, the children, and for all who might read this or have the opportunity to be connected in God's unique and awesome way.

See you in the next blog,


Moldova in Presidential Deadlock

The Moldovan Parliament voted for President today, but the Communist party only mustered 60 votes for their candidate, just shy of the 61 needed to elect the President. New elections are slated for Thursday, May 28th. If the Parliament still fails to elect a President, the Parliament will be dissolved and new Parliamentary elections will be held. Please pray for Moldova and its leaders, as well as our ministry partners on the ground there. For updates as they happen, check back on this blog. Thank you for your support of Sweet Sleep and for your prayers for Moldova.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pray for Moldova: Presidental Elections May 20th

See the message below from one of our ministry partners on the ground in Moldova, Valeriu, Ghiletchi, Bishop of the Baptist Union of Moldova and recently elected member of the Moldovan Parliament, about the political situation in Moldova. Please join us in praying for Moldova.

From Valeriu Ghiletchi, Friday, May 15, 2009

Dear friends,

On May 20 the Parliament will elect the President of Moldova. The Communist Party has nominated Zinaida Greaceanii the former Prime Minister for this office. In order to elect the president, the communists need one more vote. The opposition parties have declared that because the elections on April 5 were fraudulent that they don’t recognize the results of these elections, and will not vote for any candidate for presidency, but will insist on new parliament elections.

The elections on April 5, and what happened afterwards, have divided our country like never before. The election of the President is a crucial decision both for the members of the Parliament and the society, and it will deeply mark the future of our nation.

Keeping in mind the tension created around these elections and the huge responsibility of these decision, I ask you to pray diligently for the elections that will take place on May 20. In spite of many arguments in favor of electing a communist president, I do believe that the only moral alternative is not to vote for the nominated candidate, thus making a step toward new elections.

Let us pray and ask God do show and do His perfect will!

Yours in Christ,
Valeriu Ghiletchi

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

YoungLife Team Preparing for Moldova Mission

In just 18 days, this group of graduating Seniors will not only have diplomas in their hands, but plane tickets to Moldova. These 9 students from Brentwood Academy, along with Moldova Mission Journey Pro and Brentwood High School Junior Kelsey Drennan, YoungLife Leaders Jerad and Lauren Burkhart and Rachel Frey and Sweet Sleep's own Stuart McAlister will be building beds and ministering to the orphaned children of Straeseni, Moldova May 30-June 7. To follow the team along their journey, check the blog often. The team will be blogging as they prepare to go and along their journey to Moldova.