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In Loving Memory - Paula Hayes
by Ronne Rock
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2015
“Have you ever heart of a GERUND? I know you’ve used one, and more than likely just didn’t know it! The definition of a gerund is a verb form ending in ‘ING’ and used as a noun.”

If you’ve gone on an Orphan Outreach mission trip, you’ve likely read her encouraging words in the mission devotionals provided to every team member. Paula Hayes, the Director of Administrative Services who passed away suddenly on Saturday, June 6th, did so much more than manage the office of Orphan Outreach’s worldwide ministry efforts. She lived out a calling she felt on her life from the time she was a child. She shares her personal passion for service when she writes,

“Isn’t that what God calls us to be – HIS GERUNDS! He calls us to ING our way through this life – sharing helping giving serving – not just once, but over and over again. And it takes each of us, using our God-given gifts, to accomplish all that needs to be done for the glory of our Lord.”

Paula was part of the founding team of Orphan Outreach in 2007, after leaving the corporate world to work in full-time ministry in 1999. She traveled the world with groups large and small, offering her wisdom and an ever-available hug to both first-time participants and those who had journeyed many times before. Her commitment to orphans and vulnerable children was inspiring, and her photo albums were filled with not only the smiles of her children and grandchildren, but also the children she had fallen in love with on mission trips.

In January, Paula shared her own story of how orphan care became such a significant part of her life. We hope you enjoy reading it again as much as we do.


It was just a simple thing at church — let’s collect shoes for orphans in Russia. That simple project taken on by our small inter-city church was just the beginning of something God was going to do that would completely change my life, and the life of my family.

I could have never imagined that within a few short months, God would call me to go with the mission team taking the shoes to Russia. Or that within a year He would call me away from a 26 year business career to embark on a journey that would eventually lead me to be a part of the team starting the ministry of Orphan Outreach.

Or that my new journey would take me and my family to places we had only dreamed of…..Russia, Kenya, Guatemala, India!

Or that I would see and know first-hand the horrendous hurt and pain of children around the world. Or that I would see the beautiful restoration from the Lord in so many little lives.

Or that I would fall completely and totally head over heels in love with children around the world who needed desperately to know they are beautiful, valuable and loved deeply by their heavenly Father.

Why Orphan Care? It started with a pair of shoes and my life was never the same.

Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Psalm 82:3

To celebrate Paula’s life, we can find no better words than her own reminder of our purpose in going and serving, and how hard it is to say "goodbye" – also from the Orphan Outreach missions devotional:

“When you turn to leave an orphanage, school, or community, don’t be discouraged that you are leaving the children in the same condition you found them. Rejoice in the fact that God brought you here to be the hands and feet of Christ. The prints you leave behind cannot be erased by soap or water. The prints you leave behind are on the hearts, souls, and minds of the children.”

Paula has left beautiful footprints all over the world. And here in our hearts. We pray for the Hayes family, the worldwide Orphan Outreach staff, and all those who have been impacted by her love.

In lieu of flowers, the Hayes family has requested that memorial gifts be given in Paula’s name to Orphan Outreach’s general ministry fund. 

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