During a mission trip to Beautiful Gate Orphanage Care Center in Lesotho, Africa, Carol Bosma saw a group of children huddled together looking at books. The image she took home soon turned into an idea.
Bosma, a member of Orland Park (Ill.) Christian Reformed Church, is passionate about living the words of Jesus in James 1:27b: “Look after the orphans and widows in their distress.” Remembering what she saw on her trip to visit the orphanage, Bosma decided she wanted to not only look after the children’s immediate needs but their future needs as well.
“When [the children] are adopted, they quite often go to English-speaking families,” Bosma explained. “Why not help build their library [with] books so they can better learn English and prepare themselves for their future?”
Once Bosma returned home, she contacted Beautiful Gate and asked how she could help with their future. Together, they planned a book drive. Beautiful Gate recently opened a small library on campus, and a family volunteered to paint the room and buy a rug and a new cozy chair for reading. All that was needed were books. “Lesotho is a country where books and other resources are hard to find and can be quite expensive,” said Bosma.
While it hadn’t done a book drive before, Orland Park CRC does yearly backpack drives for school supplies for children. “We received overwhelming responses to these yearly drives from our members in the past, so I knew that this would also touch Orland Park Church members’ hearts to contribute to the book drive for the children of Africa.”
The church ran the drive for four weeks and collected over 100 books, including Bible storybooks, Dr. Seuss, and many other favorite titles. “I hope sometime to return and volunteer again in Lesotho,” Bosma said. “I want to love and hug these children who need to feel and know that their heavenly Father sees their needs for now and the future, and helps fill these needs through so many people around the world who haven’t forgotten them.”