Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sophie and Natasha

My Junior year at Hope College I helped lead a bible study of girls. Pulled from dorms all over campus, these Freshmen girls would gather in Marissa's room in the SIB cottage once a week and together we would read through scripture, talk about life, and pray. To be honest, I felt inadequate to lead these girls most of the time but was thankful for the opportunity to be with a group of people that are following after the heart of God.

Sophie was one of those girls and it felt like she was always teaching me so much more about living by faith and choosing love than I ever taught her. Sophie is one of those people that shines the light of Christ. I vividly remember her bouncing around at Dance Marathon her Senior year, refusing to sit or rest because if these Miracle kids could withstand their treatments and diseases then she could handle dancing for 24 hours. Sophie had written, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13" down her arms and kept saying it out loud to herself over and over.

Sophie is still living out of the truth of that verse today. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13"

After her time at Hope, Sophie felt called to go live and work in Zambia. Through her blog Crowns of Beauty I have been able to stay current with Sophie's story. I was floored a few months ago when I found out that she had adopted this little, precious girl Natasha. This wasn't what Sophie was planning on when she moved to Zambia but she knows with her heart that this had been part of God's plan for her and Natasha all along.

Last night I read her most recent post and found out that Sophie won't be able to come back to the U.S. anytime soon as she had hoped. She needs help financially and can't come back to fundraise here. I asked Sophie to write a note for Overlap to expand on her story.

Hi Everyone! My name is Sophie and I am on the mission field in Zambia. Currently, I am serving under an organization called GEMS, which works with vulnerable women and girls here. 

Where my heart really is though, is in orphan care--demonstrating Christ's promise "I will not leave you as orphans, but I will come to you." Though my position with GEMS allows for some outreach with orphans, I plan to spend the next few years here in Zambia, just asking the Lord what he wants from me in terms of taking care of orphans. As many of you may already know, I am in the process of adopting my precious daughter, Natasha, and am open to whatever the Lord wants to do next--with her, and with other children.

With that being said, my financial needs are very high right now. I had planned to come back to the States for a period of time with Natasha, to fundraise, etc...however, we have been denied a visa for Natasha to come home. Two of the biggest expenses that I need funds for are a car (around $8000) and then for Natasha's school ($3000/year). 

If you are interested in giving or even if you'd just like to get in touch with me my email is: hartman.sophie@gmail.com. 

Send checks made out to: "GEMS Girls’ Clubs" with "Sophie-Zambia" in the memo to:
Standing on the Rock,


GEMS Girls’ Clubs
Attn: Jan Boone
PO BOX 7259
Grand Rapids MI 49510

In the midst of this season of giving and helping and loving, I think Sophie and Natasha would be two perfect people to help. Anything we can give, whether it's $20 or $200, would be a blessing to them and to what God is actively doing in Zambia. So often it seems like there is nothing we can really do to make a difference--here's your opportunity.

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