Project 61


If you are a regular reader you know that my sister and brother-in-law sold their house in the suburbs of Nashville to go live in a major city in Africa The community that they are working in is beyond poor. It is situated right beside the city landfill so most of the people survive by scavenging food and other things from the dump.

They along with people in their church, have started Project 61 ministries (the name comes from Isaiah 61). One of the ways that they are making a difference is by getting sponsors to send children to boarding school. Our Vacation Bible School offering this year was enough to send a kid to school and also help with the summer food program. So we we given a boy named Takley as our sponsored child.

Yesterday my sister posted something on her facebook account that just broke my heart. Takley says that he likes summer camp (a sort of pre-school program they are doing), but he is hungry. At the camp he only gets 1 meal a day, but, he says, “In the dump I can eat all day.”

Here is a guy who has no concept of clean and healthy food. He just knows that he is hungry and so he is willing to root through a trash dump to eat. I see so much of myself in this boy. Sure I have never missed a meal, but I have more times than I want to admit gone after the easy rather than the good. I have looked at the need in my heart for love, acceptance, purpose, etc and instead of going to God and getting something good I have turned back to the same old ways that always made the need feel like it was gone for a while. Like Takley I have turned down one good moment, one true thing, one thing to place my trust and faith in, for what I was used to, for a smörgåsbord of stuff that I know is wrong, stuff that will make me sick, but at least for the moment the deep need was gone.

If you would like to learn more stories like this check out Project 61 on Facebook. If you would like to donate to help children like Takley go to and follow the donate link.

2 thoughts on “Project 61

  • July 20, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    Just googled Project 61 and came to your site. Just read a blog post about this ministry and just was so interested. We have a heart for Africa ever since we brought our son home from there last year. I read that Sumer moved her family and 3 children there. I would love to be able to talk to her but I am sure she is swamped. Just wondering what she does with the children during the day while she runs a ministry there. We too, have 3 children. We actually live just outside of Nashville. Curious what church they were from. So inspired by their sacrifice and feel like God may be calling us in the same direction one day.

  • July 20, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    They were a part of Thompson Station Baptist Church. The children will be a part of their work, but they are still in a time of adjusting figuring out what is best for them. Right now their dad spends lots of time at home with them. If you like, you can send an email to the Average Youth Minister email link you see above and I will forward it to them.


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