MISSIONARY OF THE MONTH
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Lee Trueblood was born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska, a middle child out of 6 children. She became a Christian in 1971 during the “Jesus Movement” at the age of 17. After he five children were grown and had families of their own, Lee began to seek the Lord for direction and open her heart to her long time leading to missions. In July of 2000 she was called to Africa. Two years later she sold everything she had and was sent by her church to minister to the orphans in Mozambique with Iris Ministries.
Lee had never been out of her country even on a short term mission. The Lord said, “Go… and I will be with you to the ends of the earth.” So she went and found that His promise is true. This was truly a walk in faith and she has discovered a faithful God waiting to aid and support her in the mission field.
After 6 months with Iris Ministries, Lee began to work with Social Services in Mozambique to establish her own orphanage. She signed a contract with them to establish a home for 12 orphans. The need was, and remains, so overwhelming that within 4 years her ministry had grown to 40 children and she was forced to limit her facility to that number to maintain quality.
Lee’s greatest joy in mothering these orphans is watching their great Creator transform them from broken, sickly and sometimes wild animals into His delight and pleasure. Her call to the orphans gives Him the opportunity to mend, heal and restore these little ones and she gets the privilege of watching.
Many of the older children under her care are preparing to be involved in missions when they grow up. Several of the girls go each week to visit other orphanages that are in need of caretakers. They bless babies at the UNICEF orphanage that cares for over 100 babies. They play, feed, bathe and put them to bed. They come home with the same joy Lee experiences as she cares for them.
Some of the boys visit the local widows to help them where they can.
The first 3 years she reached out to orphans she lived in rented homes in the city of Beira. Though it was expensive renting homes big enough to house this many children, the rent was always paid, and the children have never missed a meal. Sometimes it was very close but never have they been without the things they needed. In December of 2006 they were able to purchase a large piece of land with some buildings that were in desperate need of repair. The boys moved into those buildings, and some gracious neighbors gave up their home for Lee to rent for the girls. There is enough land to build a dorm for the girls, but first the boy’s home needed to be renovated. In six months she obtained a building permit and six months later she had electricity.
The children are very creative in music and the arts. They sometimes go into a studio and record the music they have written. The boys make beautiful jewelry and the girls are amazing with knitting needles and crochet hooks. The future for these children is in the hands of the Lord. Some of them want to be pilots, government workers, directors of organizations that help people, and some just want to fix the potholes in the roads or work in a restaurant. Others want to do what Lee has found joy in doing, becoming missionaries in their own nation caring for the orphans and widows in need.
It has not been easy for Lee. It has been 6 ½ years since stepping on foreign soil and the past 2 years have been unbelievably painful. In January of 2007 she lost her youngest son. Later that year she suffered from several bouts with malaria and had to return to the States for treatment and rest. Spirit, soul and body are taxed in this work.
Lee believes that raising orphans is the closest one can get to the heart of God. Devoting herself to the care and discipline of these children has been an incredible blessing to her even though it is difficult at times. She loves to inspire women who think they are too old or otherwise discarded to work in the field. She knows how weak and incapable all of us are but knows the strength of the Lord covers it all when we allow it.
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