Worthy is the Lamb
The Shepherdess of Rolleboise by Daniel Ridgeway Knight “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Lk. 12.32)
I struggled over this title. To Christians these four words conjure up a scene, a song, a promise so deep that there can be only one meaning. Yet I learned about something new last week that brings another beautiful color to its significance.
A Sunrise Sheep
Many times over the past years I have written about Orphan's Tree, a cadre of folks, (led by my friend George Steiner), who have given their lives to attend to the needs of older Russian orphans.
Sheep by Betsy Mclellan
It’s kind of a thankless task. Few there are who give a hoot about these kids, abandoned, fatherless, institutionalized and often living in tough, bleak Russian cities. Their education has been marginal. They are often found to be physically smaller due to inadequate nourishment. It is not rare upon aging-out of the orphanages for many orphans to turn to crime – and at best even the most secure of these beautiful kids have a very difficult time moving forward.
Who is there to parent these children? Who will tell them about how to get a job, how to be healthy, how to build a lasting relationship? Who will tell them about Jesus? Who gives a hoot?
Sheep and Cottage in Ireland by Donald Curran
George does. God called him as a shepherd for these children some twenty years ago. And by some miracle George and his compact staff have inspired small teams and churches to care – and to go see and to contribute. Orphan's Tree has amassed a significant team of Russian folks who staff ministry centers where these older teens can go for what they need.
Sheep by Rebecca Kinked
We have also built two dachas, (summer houses), where the kids can gather and learn simple farming, gardening, cooking and woodworking skills, all the while being mentored by surrogate parents, mature Russian believers.
Mary Gibbs Art
A letter just arrived from George telling us that OT has partnered with Shepherd's Cross, a ministry that establishes small sheep farms around the world. As a result our dacha near Vladimir now has a small barn and a pen built by Shepherd’s Cross with the help of an American church group and a team of orphans! The staff and older orphans have begun their training in sheep raising and fiber arts.
Nuzzling by Jeannie Vodden
And now we have sheep which will be grass fed and will provide milk, meat and wool. The ramifications for our kids to learn to care for and to use the gifts of the sheep are manifold.
by Iain Stewart
It’s been a July project for Orphan's Tree and surely much remains to be done. One probably doesn’t learn to be a shepherd in a weekend. Relationships have to be formed, names given. The sheep will undoubtedly have to learn to recognize the voice of the shepherd – and just how far it can wander and still be in the fold.
Clearly shearing a sheep is no easy job. And spinning the wool into yarn – and then knitting or weaving or felting – very fun, but not easy. It’s seem reasonable to divide these tasks by gender, the physical piece for the young men and the creative piece for the young women. However I found that in Russia the boys were very drawn to artistic needlework, especially beading!
These sheep are known for ‘tremendous milk productivity.” I don’t know much about sheep milk, but I love sheep cheeses – like feta, Roquefort, Manchego, Pecorino Romano and ricotta. I can see a beautiful little cottage industry starting in Vladimir!
Herding in Ireland
And as for harvesting the lamb chops, I’m guessing that some heartbreak might be in store.
Sheep Sheep by Quint Buchholz
It is no small thing, this little team of people creating in a July week this tiny sheep farm. What it will become has yet to be seen. What it is now is fresh lain hope in the hearts of a handful of workers and a few Russian kids.
Road Home by Denise Laurent
Worthy is the lamb.
‘Amen, I say to you, as much as you have done to one of these my little brothers, you have done that to me.’ Matt. 25:40