I am excited to introduce to you a special guest blogger & missionary, Sharon Liebowitz!
Sharon Liebowitz has been a Christian since she was a child and has always been actively involved in her local church. As an adult she pursued a professional career & obtained a Master’s degree in Human Resources with over 14 years of HR experience; however, the Lord began calling her to the mission field in 1999. In 2002 she moved to Belo Horizonte, Brazil and began a ministry called Majestic Destiny that currently supports over 400 underprivileged children. In addition, they have started a missionary church that now has over 200 members. The church has started three other small churches, and supports over 20 missionaries worldwide. Now Majestic Destiny has expanded to Chile! Where they have trained approximately 40 couples to begin a foster parenting program. Praise God for His faithfulness! He does continuously fulfill His purpose in our lives. Jer. 29:11.
Approximately eleven years ago, the Lord began transforming my life. I say transforming because He really began to shake the roots of my concept of being a Christian. I received Christ as a child and always thought – “Yes, I am saved. Yes, I believe that Christ died on the cross for my sins.” BUT – was He really Lord over my life? Was He really in the driver’s seat?
Through a Bible study by Henry Blackaby called “Experiencing God”, I was forced to re-evaluate my relationship with Christ. I came face to face with the reality that I was not the Christian I thought I was. I had not been allowing Christ to drive the car. I was actively involved in the church, had what I thought to be a good prayer life, and respected God’s “OPINIONS” on what I should do and not do. HOWEVER, I wasNOTthe obedient SERVANT He calls all of us to be.
Once I realized that God did not exist to serve me, but rather that I existed to serve Him, I was forced to either change my lifestyle or stop professing to be a Christian! So when He started calling me to open a ministry in Brazil, He had already laid the groundwork. He had already brought me to the place of saying – Yes, Lord. I am your servant. So I could not sayNO!
It was terrifying! Anyone who tells you differently – they are point blank lying to you! But, God desires us to grow in our faith and to do so He stretches us. He pushes us to the edge and sees if we really do have enough faith to let go. Well, I let go and let God take over, and I quit my job, sold my house, and moved to Brazil.
In Brazil, I learned that children who are removed from their families due to abuse or neglect are placed in “foster homes”. I say “” foster homes because they are really what American’s would call orphanages. The home, once registered, is required to take in 10-15 children at a time. They must then care for these children without any government support for two years before being placed on a waiting list to receive government support. They may spend upwards of five years on that waiting list before actually receiving any support. Obviously, this is an impossible task for most orphan leaders. Such was the case in most Christian orphanages that I visited in Brazil.
Christian couples, out of the goodness of their heart, and a desire to do what is Biblically asked of them, would open their homes to care for these orphans. However, they financially could not afford it. Many of the children were suffering more in these homes than they would be if they were living out on the street.
So I established a non-profit Christian organization called Majestic Destiny to help support these homes. Our objective is to teach children that although the world has failed them, the Lord does have a plan for their lives and it is one of good and not of evil. It is a plan to give them hope and a future (Jer. 29:11) and that future is MAJESTIC. It is a future ofETERNAL LIFEand it can be their DESTINY if they believe.
Our first step is to train couples on how to care for orphans and how to raise them based upon Biblical principles. Then we evaluate the needs of each orphanage and determine how we can help sustain them. For the past nine years of our existence, the Lord has made certain that we have never fallen short on any of our commitments.
We currently support 12 homes, three day care centers, and Bible study groups in numerous slum areas. The support may be in the form of food, clothing, toys, cleaning supplies, hygiene items, school supplies, construction/renovation material and labor, medical/dental/psychological treatment, etc. We also sponsor five major events each year – (1) School supply distribution, (2) Easter Theatrical Production, (3) Vacation Bible School, (4) Kid Day (October 12th), and (5) Christmas Crusades. You can read more about each event on our website – www.majesticdestiny.org.
In addition, we started a missionary church five years ago on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte in a city named Neves. The church now has over 200 members (97% of whom received Christ in that church). This church has now assisted in the planting of three other missionary churches, and they support over 20 missionaries around the world on a monthly basis.
Twice a year we take short term missions teams with us to bring supplies, do renovation projects, and simply to play with and show the love of Christ to the children.
Recently the Lord has opened the door for us to begin the same ministry in Chile. In the beginning of May we trained 40 couples in Chile some of whom have already begun to receive orphans. We are thrilled to announce that we have been asked to come back and train the rest of the country in November of this year!
However, our current monthly budget, which supports over 400 children in Brazil, is $1,500.00. Unfortunately, with the depreciation of the dollar and the economic situation in the US, we have not been able to meet our budget each month. We have been forced to draw from our reserves which are quickly depleting. Now with the additional commitments that we have made to families in Chile, we are in urgent need of resources.
I pray that you and the other sisters in our SISTERHOOD can speak with your Pastors and with your Women’s groups and allow me an opportunity to come share what the Lord is doing in Brazil, Chile and other South American countries He is calling us to. We need faithful prayer partners, supporters, and people who would be interested in coming along on one of our short term mission’s trips. Other teams can help us gather supplies to take, raise funds for construction/renovation material, and/or simply spread the word about these children in need.
We are not looking to become famous, and most certainly not become wealthy. Our ministry is simply seeking to obey the Lord’s mandate in James 1:27 – “Care for the orphans and widows.” I pray you will help us do what the Lord has called us to do!