by Kaci Calvaresi Posted on Tuesday, June 02, 2015
He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. 2 Corinthians 1:4 MSG When Joshua was only a year old, his birth Mom, unable to care for him, made the brave choice to place him in foster care with the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home. Jared and Valerie West, along with their two older sons, became Joshua’s foster family. And after a year of fostering, the Wests became his forever family.Teaching him to live out 2 Corinthians 1:4, Joshua’s parents have instilled in him an awareness and compassion for orphans and children in foster care. It takes some people many years to turn their life experiences into their life callings. Some are never able to do it all. At the ripe old age of nine, Joshua has done just that. This precious boy understands that we, as Christians, are called to help orphans. From the moment he came to live in the Wests’ home, his parents have prayed with him for the children he will someday help.In an effort to inspire entrepreneurship and teach business skills to Joshua: his parents encouraged him to start a lemonade stand in conjunction with National Lemonade Day. With his business partner, Nicole Smith of Briggs Freeman Sotheby's Realty, Joshua developed a business plan that would allow him to spend some of his profits, save some of his profits, and give most of his profits away.Joshua’s desire to care for orphans and help other children find forever families inspired him to designate Orphan Outreach as the recipient of his give-away money.In Joshua’s words…“I love my Mom, Dad, and brothers, and I know that God put us all together because He loves me too. I pray for my first Mommy every night and want her to be safe and happy.My lemonade stand is something I've done for 2 years. It teaches me how to operate a business and manage money. I take what I earn and spend some, save some, and give most of it away. I work so I can raise money for other kids that need to be adopted. I want every kid in foster care to find a forever family just like I did.”May 2, 2015 was National Lemonade Day. Located outside of a grocery store in Southlake, Texas, Joshua surpassed his goal of raising $1000 for orphan care and he has raised another $400 through an online fundraiser.Charles R. Swindoll said that life is 10% what you experience and 90% how you react to those experiences. When it comes to reacting well, we could all learn a thing or two from Joshua West.Orphan Outreach has so many ways you and your children can invest in the lives of orphans around the world. Check out our "Get Involved" section of the website for more information!