TOUCHED BY LOVE INTERNATIONAL
Touched by Love International is a non-profit humanitarian aid organization which seeks to provide assistance for orphans, widows, and the forgotten poor across the globe. TBLI comes alongside local agencies, ministries, and individuals within vulnerable communities in order to partner with them in the name of Jesus to work toward establishing self-sustaining access to food, education, healthcare, and other necessary resources.
Why This Ministry?
Our God is passionate about orphans. His Passion and Love for the fatherless and those who are neglected is central to our understanding of God's character. In Psalm 68:5-6, our LORD speaks of Himself as "Father of the fatherless and Protector of widows." Throughout Scripture, God calls believers to take on His character, to be like Him in caring for those He holds closest to His heart.
The Bible is full of commands to care for the "fatherless." Orphans, vulnerable children, and kids living within the foster care system all fall within this definition. Even if their fathers are alive in this world, they are functional orphans in need of love and care.
The women and children TBLI serves all carry within their hearts a deep father-wound. Many of these fragile individuals have been robbed of knowing the heart of our Heavenly Father, our "Abba," as Jesus calls Him. Their wounded hearts will not heal on their own. Simply telling them that Jesus loves them often is not enough to bring hope and healing -- they need to be shown what real love is.
What Is Our Goal?
TBLI's goal is to serve as a bridge of hope and healing to suffering, destitute and devalued women, orphans and vulnerable children in the name of Jesus wherever God calls us to serve. We partner with existing NGOs and ministries who have a proven track record demonstrating compassion and commitment to those in their care, but do not have enough resources to affect the change they so desperately want to see happen. Our partners must prove to be transparent, reliable, and accountable. They have endeavored (and continue to endeavor) to find and use resources available to their own communities before reaching out to westerners for assistance. They are hard-working, tireless lovers of Jesus, faithful to teach His Word and to reach the suffering with the love of God. By partnering with these faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, our goal and vision is to improve the lives of women and children physically as well as spiritually, bring healing and hope to hearts, create opportunities for self-sustenance in families and communities, and one day to help in some small way to break the cycle of poverty, HIV/AIDS, and fatherlessness among these impoverished peoples.
How Do We Work?
With so many needs and so many possible ways to help, how does TBLI determine what our focus will be in any given situation? We firmly believe that our partners know best the people they serve and what is needed most, so we strive to follow their lead. We look to our partners and seek to care for the children and women they serve holistically. Their needs are physical, developmental, emotional, and spiritual. They need education and training, but in order to learn, they first need proper nutrition so their brains and bodies can grow and develop. In most African countries, students need uniforms in order to attend school. They also need school supplies, registration fees and books. They need good food, clean water, and a warm, dry, safe place to sleep. They need a roof over their heads and a loving family to care for them who will understand their unique needs as children who have experienced severe trauma.
Women and caretakers need the tools and training to take care of these children and to prevent further abuse, as well as vocational training to support these children and themselves. TBLI has changed our original broad focus of building schools and homes to empowering those uniquely gifted women and pastors who can care for orphans and vulnerable children in family settings, working toward offering them trauma-care training and vocational training to ease financial burdens. We help our partners find ways to bring self-sufficiency to families who care for orphans in addition to their own children. We support partners by assisting with nutritional food for children at home or at school. We help provide seeds for growing food and distribute clothing through the help of other organizations (see Connected Ministries Page). We bring basic school supplies to our poorest children and provide clean water filters for use within the children's homes or schools or to distribute among immune-compromised families affected by HIV/AIDS. We support growing ventures that foster community togetherness and unity and seek to empower those we work with.
There are always urgent needs that need to be tended to along the way as we work to help our partners succeed in creating self-sustainability. We do our best to assist with the needs that fit into our mission statement. Our giving, however, always carries with it the long-range goal of creating sustainability for the people and their communities. There is always the understanding that we are not here to offer endless handouts. Those who receive, as much as they are able, are invested in some way. It is important to TBLI to witness and seek to instill a sense of ownership. Sometimes the best way we show the love of the Father to our friends is by showing them their God-given abilities and developing their sense of self-worth and good stewardship and by giving them the tools they need to improve their lives. We do not do this work alone, but alongside local partners. Our partners know that this is our vision from the onset of our partnership and they too share in this vision for those they serve. This is our mutual goal and passion. If those who know the Lord begin to love the gift more than the Giver, we fail in our endeavor to bring the Love of Christ to them.
We are blessed by wonderful partnerships with faithful men and women of God who selflessly love those in their care. We are constantly learning from them ways we can become better equipped for this ministry. TBLI looks forward to many more years of ministry, many more partnerships made, and many more opportunities to learn how to grow.