After prophecying at the age of 17 that she would start an orphanage someday, Robin fullfilled that dream and named it in honor of her mother and father. Here is that story in her words.
I had just turned 17 and it was the first semester of senior year. A nun was driving 3 of us students from our all girls high school to our rival for a basketball game. Since she had our undivided attention, she decided to use the opportunity to ask us the pivotal question, “So, what are you going to do with your lives?” I piped up, “I'm going to have an orphanage.” “Why?” she asked curiously. “I have two wonderful parents, and while I realize our family is not perfect, I have one! My Mom & Dad love me and want the best for me, and there are orphans who do not have anyone. It is not fair. I want them to know they are loved, and that they matter.”
Thirty eight years passed and I never forgot those words I spoke. I had an on-going conversation with God about it. As I worked on the mission field, often with children, I would ask the Lord, “Is this it? Does this fulfill the goal/dream of an orphanage? I would hear Him say, “No, this is not it.” Then, one day I found out that the Lord had given direction to dear friends of mine, Gabe & Hannah Bahlhorn to build orphanages in India. I was so happy for them. It was so funny...it never dawned on me that this could eventually have something to do with me.
One morning, He woke me up and said: “THIS IS IT...and I had you prophecy to yourself when you were 17 years old.” I was flabbergasted! The Lord gave me specifics, He told me to honor my parents with the first one, naming it in their honor. I could not wait to tell my Mom! I thought I would take a picture of the actual orphanage, then mat and frame it, wrap it, then give it to my Mom on Christmas morning. I imagined her beautiful face as she would open her gift, but that is not how it happened. In September, four days before my Mother went home to be with Jesus, I told her the story as she was in the hospital. She was amazed and blessed and she kissed me and held me close. She will see this refuge for 50 girls in India from heaven.
Robin with her parents, Barbara and Ray Sullivan
Robin has had the opportunity to visit the orphanage twice and meet the wonderful girls and their host parents. Fifty Girls are housed there ranging from the ages of three to fifteen. Most of them were literally rescued from the streets of India or from other devastating circumstances. Now they are living in a beautiful clean home with a marble floor, a cozy dorm room, and a courtyard with a lovely garden. Their's is the only orphanage in India of it's kind that has a fortress around it and a secure gate. Here the girls find safety, comfort, and people who really care about them.
While there, they are being educated and taught how to cook and to clean. Robin made sure each of them had their first Bible with their name on it before she left. Amazingly, many of them have fallen in love with the Lord since then. Each year Auntie Robin sends special gifts at Christmas time to bless the girls and give them something special to celebrate Jesus.
The girls at the orphanage have had an amazing impact on their village. Their witness has been so strong that those who interact with them have been getting saved! So much so, they started coming to the orphanage to worship in the dorm room. They started to move the beds over to one side of the room so that on Sunday mornings they could honor the Lord, sing praises and hear the preaching of the Word of God.
When this was brought to Robin's attention she recognized the urgency to build a church there. She prayed about it and began raising money. Within six months, the finances came in and the church was built! With great joy, Robin attended the church dedication and preached the church's first sermon. This church is the first church in Bethapudi, India The girls greeted Robin with their Bibles in hand, excited to show her how they had been reading them and how they have gotten closer to Jesus.