Sheila Arnold: Serving Families in Crisis and Orphans Around the World

Sheila with children

In addition to working long hours as Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services Child and Family Program Supervisor, Sheila Arnold travels overseas every two years to help orphans in poverty-stricken areas of the world. So far, she’s participated in church-sponsored mission trips to Taiyuan, China, Cochin, India and Talsi, Latvia.

Read here about Sheila’s recent trip to China:

As a representative of her church, Fellowship Bible Church in Longview, Sheila spent two weeks working in a summer camp for orphans run by an organization called Bring Me Hope. Sheila’s heart went out to the orphans, many of whom were handicapped. They had missing fingers, missing limbs or other devastating conditions, such as Down syndrome.

Eighteen months before her trip to Taiyuan, both of Sheila’s parents died; and the term “orphan” took on an entirely different meaning. Losing her parents was devastating; and she wondered if she had the energy or the stamina she would need to care for the orphans and interact with them. “I didn’t feel that I had enough emotionally to give to children,” Sheila said. “They needed so much love. But God said, ‘you go, and I will provide the rest’—and He did.”

Sheila and kids with panda earsWith the help of translators, Sheila and her team provided instruction in swimming, arts and crafts, singing and dancing. They also played lots of games with the children. She says she especially connected with two six-year-old girls who developed a passion for a card game called Uno.

“The girls absolutely loved Uno. They wanted to play every chance they got! Each night, I got the girls showered and ready for bed, and with the help of a Chinese translator, I read them books about Jesus’ life,” said Sheila. “My relationship with these two little girls was one of my most profound and treasured experiences. Spending time with them was priceless, and was the very best part of the time I spent in China.”

Sheila just returned from another mission trip and she’ll share a blog post about that experience. Stay tuned.

Learn more about the Child and Family program.

By Rachel Short