UPDATE: THE VALENTINE CARD CHALLENGE goal for 2018 has officially been reached! We ended up with 233 cards total.
If you volunteered to make cards, please send them in by February 16th. Thank you, everyone! You’re the best!
Three years ago, my heart ached for a Valentine’s Day that was different.
I was eighteen, wondering if gifts of chocolate and a rose from my dad could finally come from a guy. The loneliness was overwhelming.
Jesus created a project of surprising beauty from my longing. Months before, I had walked the concrete prison floors, surveyed the dilapidated walls, and gazed into the faces of African orphans. Some were much younger than myself, mere toddlers experiencing a brutal jolt to the innocence of childhood; others were older teens on the threshold of adulthood. Yet, these orphans each needed one thing: hope of Jesus’ love to comfort their hearts right in the valley of desolation and prison.
Those prison flashbacks flooded my heart during my loneliness in the Valentine’s season of 2015. Jesus ignited determined passion inside to spread His love to across oceans to the orphans I knew by face.
Cards for imprisoned orphans
I organized a Valentine Card project so that young people could exchange their loneliness for something real—something lasting—by making 1,400 cards by Valentine’s Day for the kids in Uganda. The resounding impact was incredible! It became an international effort. A youth group from Hong Kong participated as well as other countries overseas, Canada, and several states in the U.S. Cards kept flooding in until we had over 4,000. I was able to deliver the cards in person that summer and share the fact that hundreds of young people in America and around the globe cared about them. I told them through a translator that God had a hope and future for their lives!
In 2016, the challenge was repeated. I deeply regret letting it slip in 2017.
Now, in 2018, Valentine’s Day lingers weeks away. Although much harder to face that I am in my twenties and single, Jesus’ solution to satisfy that longing with this special project is the same! It is far better to spread His eternal love to orphans than to focus on the fleeting romantic stigma of this holiday.
Those simple acts of making cards with a proclamation of the love of Jesus for the souls of these orphans are still lingering and resounding with hope in those prison walls!
After I contacted the ministry Sixty Feet to organize this card challenge again recently, one of the staff told me that a social worker’s child came up to her so that she could read one of the cards from my original challenge three years ago.
Three Simple Steps to Become Involved
Sign up for the number of cards you want to make. This year, Sixty Feet is asking for 200 cards total. I will post a comment once we have reached our goal!
What to include
Use a variety of colors, because the guys in the prison never go for the ones with pink or glitter.
John 3:16 written out
“Jesus Loves You” (in their language of Luganda: “Jesu Okwagala”)
Sign your name.
Although the cards will be made around or on Valentine’s Day, they will not actually be delivered in time for this holiday. A team will be going on mission trips with Sixty Feet to the take cards during the summer.
Pray over the card(s) & mail them to me at this address with “Valentine Card Challenge” written on your box or envelope:
P.O. Box 3227
Greenville, NC 27836
I will be sending ONE box of all the cards to Sixty Feet in order to keep it as easy as possible for them.
It will be so beautiful to see the reach of this project. It is a joy to know we can use our Valentine season to spread the hope and love of Jesus that crosses oceans and warms orphans hearts!
All it takes is ordinary people willing to do what God asks of them to make an extraordinary difference in the lives around them and across the globe.
This is a great idea, Moriah, I think I’m going to try and get my Bright Lights group involved in it. Is there a deadline? (sorry if you already said that and I missed it 🙂 )
Hey Sara! No, there isn’t a particular deadline! The goal is just to keep going until we have 200 cards. That is incredible you want to do it with your Bright Lights group! I would love to see pictures. 💗☺️
That is so cool! I love hearing stories of how God turns what we feel is our greatest weakness into our greatest strength. I’ll definitely be sharing this with my family!
Wonderful! So glad to hear, Cricket!
Love this challenge! I will be making several.
Awesome!! Thank you, Hailey!
Wow, I am so excited for this challenge, Moriah! A few years ago I went to Uganda with Sixty Feet and got to visit these kiddos. Ever since then, I have had a passion for Sixty Feet and their ministry (I actually talk about my trip a bit in this blog post: http://www.notebooksandnovels.com/2017/03/remembering-stories.html). Thank you for putting this together! I’m definitely going to send quite a few cards. =)
Oh that’s beautiful you were able to go on a trip with Sixty Feet! Thanks for your sweet willingness to make cards for our little friends who claimed corners of our hearts forever. ❤️❤️❤️
I’m very excited for this simple opportunity to minister to the children in Uganda. I will challenge my youth group to make 50 cards!
Yes!! Wonderful. Thank you, Starr! 😀
So excited to see you’re still doing the challenge. I had a question for you – my students here in Taiwan wrote Christmas cards and although it’s past the holiday, would you all be interested in them?
That’s very kind of you to offer! It would be awesome if we could stick to the card guidelines above (John 3:16 verse written out and Jesu Okwagala or Jesus Loves You) since we only have a small number (200) to work with.
I’ve also seen how much the kids enjoy being able to recognize their language! Thanks again. 🙂
No problem, thanks for the reply!
How exciting! I’ll tell my folks!
Sweet! Thanks, Paige!!
Moriah, what a beautiful idea! My family is excited to participate. We’ve been looking for some ways to care for others during the difficult time when we’re going through.
Question: what happens if over 200 cards are sent?
So kind of your family to participate, Bethany! Thank y’all so much!
I’m hoping to keep track of the number of cards by asking people to sign up for how many they are making ahead of time (link above. 🙂 ). Once we reach our goal of 200, I will let everyone know.
If we have extras beyond that, I will save them for next year, Lord willing!
That sounds awesome! I signed us up for five. 🤗
Perfect!! Thank you! ❤️
THE VALENTINE CARD CHALLENGE goal for 2018 has officially been reached!!! 🎉🎉🎉 We ended up with 233 cards total.
Thank you, everyone!! Y’all are the best! Think of the sweet faces and hearts and hands that will hold the gift of these cards in Uganda! ❤️❤️❤️
Beautiful challenge Moriah – thank you for sharing this with us all! 🙂
Absolutely! It’s such an honor to do this challenge with all of you! I’m grateful for everyone making it possible! ☺️
I just received the first envelope of cards today! ❤️❤️ If you want to share your cards on social media, feel free to tag me on Instagram @moriahsauthor and use the hashtag #valentinecardchallenge2018 — or you can DM them to me and I’ll feature them all in one post!! Thanks! 🙂
Just wanted to leave a comment here letting everyone know that another Valentine Card Challenge is taking place this year! Submissions are open until February 28th, 2022. 🧡🌍✨