In January of this year Caitlin Morris approached or organization about an internship opportunity with Not Forgotten. Caitlin actually introduced the idea while serving with us in Peru this past Christmas, and we immediately accepted and encouraged the proposal. It was apparent to us during that trip that Caitlin was very capable and hardworking; but most importantly, that her passion for missions aligned with ours.
Technically Caitlin is still a senior at Samford University pursuing a major in Language and World Trade and a minor in Nutrition. But after this coming Saturday she will be one of Samford’s most recent Alumni! Before the completion of her internship we asked Caitlin to reflect on her trip with us this past Christmas and her involvement with our organization. The following sections of this post we written by Caitlin and they belong her.
Thank you again Caitlin for all your time and work, and for the love and passion you have and share with the boys in Peru! We are very grateful to have you as part of the Not Forgotten family!
“As of a year ago, I had not heard of Not Forgotten. However, after I heard it once, the name “Not Forgotten” continuously came at me from all directions, thus living up to its name. What was here that the Lord kept putting before me? I could not ignore it any longer. So I dug a little further… What began as pure curiosity turned into my current involvement with this incredible ministry.
In October, I gave into the Lord’s calling when He blessed me with the opportunity to go on the Christmas trip with Not Forgotten. At this point I had no real knowledge of the organization aside from the fact that Samford graduates had started this non-profit for abandoned boys in Peru. After much research and reassurance from several people who had experienced it, I committed to the trip.
Initially, I was reluctant because I knew no one on the team. However, as I boarded the first plane I had no idea what the Lord would teach me despite my hesitancy. Nine days later, my idea of ministry was revolutionized. I met incredible people who truly illustrated the idea of walking by faith and following the Lords calling no matter how daunting the task.
Now I’m sure you may have some idea of what Not Forgotten Inc. does, such as taking teams to spend time with the boys, cleaning up the facilities in which they live, and working on the new land. However, this is only the surface of the Lord’s work through Not Forgotten. What I was able to experience on this trip was a much deeper work the Lord has set in motion. With each team coming down to Peru and each board that is being repainted, these boys are being changed through the Love of Christ in this ministry.
I said earlier I write to you as the intern. Yet I am really writing to you as a fresh and new perspective into the effectiveness of this organization. From my recent experience, I have learned that Not Forgotten is founded on a principle of commitment; commitment to the community of Peru, the boys in the home, and most importantly the Lord’s work in their lives.
After seeing first hand the environment in which these boys normally grow up, I now know the only way out of their situation is the gospel and the reality that they can strive for more. I was shocked to realize the love from my family that I know so naturally is virtually unfathomable to these boys. In our communities, we receive constant affirmation that we are loved from every angle, be it friends or family. Yet what voice is expressing love and encouragement to these boys? How does one know love if one has never received it?
THIS is the ministry of Not Forgotten. These people come back year after year to show these boys what this word “Love” means. And they do it through the gospel. It takes time to combat the years of harsh realities in which these boys were born. However, Not Forgotten is committed to this long-term goal of introducing love, grace and mercy into their lives. An effective ministry is a committed one. To improve a community or situation in general, you must start with the leaders and build them up in the Lord.
These homes for the boys are doing just this! They are rearing boys in the gospel and turning them into men doing the Lords work and improving their community. I could list several firsthand experiences with specific boys that illustrate the effectiveness of the gospel in their lives. From hymns to favorite verses, I saw evidence that these boys KNOW the gospel and see it in these people that continually visit them year after year.
After visiting not just the boys but also the 100 acres of beautiful new land Not Forgotten has purchased, I now grasp the future of this ministry. The trips are just the surface at this point in the process. The reality is the future. What can we do to help? We must spread the word and increase support, both spiritually and financially, to bolster the passion of Not Forgotten, its mission, and its community.”