Friday, March 30, 2007

Touch A Life Ministries-What the Eyes See

What the Eyes See

On a trip to New York in October 2006, Pam Cope saw a full page story in the New York Times showing the face of six-year-old Mark Kwadwo, enslaved to fishermen.

Before five each morning the child was awakened to work a 14 hour day, bailing water from a fishing canoe, paddled by an 11 year old, another indentured child. Each year over one and half million children are sold into slavery and brothels. Some parents are promised their children will be treated well, but the opposite is the norm because ruthless people use child labor to line their pockets.

The photo of Mark's face uploaded into Ms. Cope's heart. When she arrived back in her home state of Missouri, she made many phone calls to find the exact location of Mark Kwadwo. She longed to purchase his freedom.

Several years ago, Randy and Pam Cope's athletic son Jantsen died due to an undetected heart defect. With his memorial fund, they set up a foundation, Touch a Life Ministries. James 1:27 became their guide: Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.

TV empress Oprah saw the same New York Times story and Mark's picture haunted her, too. She ordered a search. By the time her many resources found the fishing village in Ghana, Pam Cope had already rescued Mark and six other children, who by then thrived in The Village of Hope orphanage.

Pam Cope was invited to tell her story on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah and her audience gave Ms. Cope a standing ovation, because a mom with few resources chose not to turn her eyes away from exploited children.

Through Touch A Life Ministries, the Copes were already rescuing children in Vietnam and Cambodia, and had adopted two Vietnamese orphans. Their eyes saw needs.

Jesus set the example of eyes-that-really-see. Every day, his eyes looked beyond his current condition to the despair of others. Because of his example, many people, both rich and poor, had heart changes.

Poor fishermen helped the lame. Rich Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus after his cruel death. Joanna, Susanna, and other women financially supported the ministry of Christ. They had eyes for service rather than eyes for their riches.

The season of Easter shouts renewal. "Refuse to let the world corrupt you." When we remove our eyes from temporal treasures, they can focus on the real jewels of this earth-little children. Like the Copes, we can hand out passports to a better life.

(As you read this the Copes are now in Ghana rescuing 14 more child slaves. To keep up with their campaign to free these children, visit

You may contact Cathy at

1 comment:

  1. As I sit here and read this famiy's amazing story and how they are saving children, I am amazed at how God can use each of us to reach others.

    Thanks, Cathy, for the needed reminder of how we are called to action in our faith.


    Trish Berg