"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future." -
Jeremiah 29:11 
I Remember
I remember stepping off a plane at nineteen years old as a young, probably naive college student, who just wanted to serve Jesus and love babies for a summer. That desire led me to Manila, to Gentle Hands, a place forever etched in my heart. Little did I know then how that summer would change my life. Little did I know then how many hands I would hold, the people I would meet, and the challenges I would face.  

Little did I know that three years later, I would step off a plane again, this time making Gentle Hands and the Philippines my home. I made the journey with an idea of how I thought I would serve and God would use me, but it's funny how He takes those ideas and expands them into so much more.  

When I think about the last six years I have spent here, I do not remember events. Instead, I remember people. I remember sitting in a circle on hot Saturday mornings in Malabon and meeting these precious children who became my friends, and I have watched them grow up. I remember holding a newly admitted little boy as he screamed and screamed, this same little boy who now runs to hug me every chance he can. I remember the pain in her eyes as she met mine briefly and then looked away. Those eyes now shine every time she laughs, which is often. I remember the hugs given to new moms and dads who finally receive their children. I remember tears and desperate hands folded in prayer with coworkers during the hardest of days. I remember the little body breathing her last as I held her hand. I remember the babies I had the opportunity to love, the ones who called me "Mom", the ones I was able to give to their new mommies and daddies.  

I remember those eyes, those faces, because, at the end of the day, they are what mattered. I wish I could recount all of the things I accomplished and ways I raised money or changed Gentle Hands or the Philippines for the better. Instead, I simply recount the people who changed me.  

Gentle Hands has given me so much... a deeper appreciation for rice or Korean music, a different outlook on traffic, a few gray hairs, and a heart that is more grateful, joyful, and blessed because these people and these children have become my family.  

I am forever indebted to Gentle Hands for the life it has given me, and I am so grateful God led me here. I wish I could tell you all of the times I have whispered to Him, "I am so grateful this is my life", but there are simply too many.  

I am not the same girl I was at nineteen. I am stronger, braver, kinder, and more full of hope because I have seen God bring life and miracles. I have seen victories won in the darkest of battles. I have seen light brought in the darkness. And I have seen the hope in love.  

And I am forever changed. 

- Jordan Belser
Adoption Story
When God called us to adopt a second time, we wanted to adopt from the Philippines and were matched with a boy from Gentle Hands. Our fist adoption was through China and had been informed at that time that the Philippines was not possible for us but had been provided incorrect information. Knowing that Gentle Hands shares the Gospel with each child in their care was comforting to us.  We also had a strong comfort level with Gentle Hands as my husband knew the Heppner family from growing up as a missionary kid in the Philippines.

Our son knew that he was loved, and that Jesus loved him.   He was taught to do daily devotions, and to pray.   He continues these spiritual disciplines today.  Because of the investment that Gentle Hands made, we had the opportunity to bring home a son, who loves life and God. We fully support the mission and ministry of Gentle Hands.  

I encourage each person to prayerfully and financially support the work they do. The Word of God is being shared through loving on those who have been hurt and abandoned.  What a true blessing they are to my family.  I pray you will give them the opportunity to bless yours. 

- Evans Family
Desires of your heart
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

God has a beautiful way of placing desires in your heart and then offering the grace to match that desire. 

I learned about Gentle Hands while serving on the staff at Koza Baptist Church in Okinawa, Japan.  My friend was going through the process of adoption through Gentle Hands. But God had even bigger plans as He called her family to adopt 5 siblings from a background of heartbreak and family survival. It was a gorgeous example of someone going to the "tough places," where God leads, as He provides the grace to do what He has called us to do. I wanted to be available for God to use me, as well. I longed to be involved with the ministry trips to Gentle Hands but I had two little babies at home and was pregnant with my third. My husband and I gave all that our budget could afford then. But my heart desired to do so much more. I believe that God placed that desire in my heart.

At about the same time, I learned about Lemongrass Spa and their natural skincare products that are clean and made fresh for the whole family. A year ago, I used my birthday money to purchase a Consultant Success Kit from Lemongrass Spa with one plan: give away everything that I earned. As a Lemongrass Spa consultant, I donate all of the consultant sales profits to Gentle Hands. 

Over the first year, we have donated over $2000. It is still a growing business with a growing team. Everyone who I introduce to Lemongrass Spa, also learns about Gentle Hands and their mission of showing God's love. That is the desire that God placed in my heart in my heart, as well. 

Please join me in prayer that God will guide my team and I to flourish in His perfect timing.