By Rodney & Trina Kirkpatrick
Psalm 127:3-5 NASB
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.  How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
When we got married, I inherited a ready made family with all three of our children, Anthony, Kayleigh & Bridget already present. I can honestly say that in our 19 years together, the kids were both a bigger challenge and a bigger blessing than was originally anticipated. While I learned something new everyday for years, Trina was my primary instructor and role model in parenting every step of the way. Simply put, she just gets kids and her remarkable ability to connect with young people of all ages is the envy of many.
Her gifts with children have naturally translated to the mission field in South Africa. Here is her description of some of the work we have engaged in near our home north of Durban:
Anyone who knows me will know that I have a passion for children and believe that they are our future. In our local area we have had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of quality time loving on the children in some of the many orphanages. We have been able over the years to donate clothes and food to these children and aid in making Christmas wishes come true. In the Drakensberg mountains we supply sunday school teachers with materials to teach English to the Zulu children using the Bible. In the Congolese communities we have been blessed to be called grandparents by many of them. Many of these children’s parents are refugees from a war torn country who came to South Africa with nothing and it has been awesome to see the children go from having every disadvantage imaginable to being top students in their schools.
It is difficult to appreciate Trina’s comments about “…every disadvantage imaginable…” without understanding a bit of context. HIV and related diseases, particularly Tuberculosis, are rife among children in South Africa. It is hard to count the number of impoverished, disease ridden children we have encountered over the years and Trina never hesitates to hold, pray for and love a child regardless of the risk. Our quiver is full and many children that would not have had a chance at a productive life are honestly thriving because of the care God has poured out through this remarkable lady.