IN 2006, WHILE DRIVING, I WAS
SINGING MY LITTLE HEART OUT
TO GOD WHILE LISTENING TO
CRYSTAL LEWIS ON THE RADIO.
Suddenly, in the middle of singing, I heard in my
spirit, “His name is Joseph.” I have many talents,
but singing while driving and then suddenly hearing
a boy’s name that I have never thought of before is
I knew it was the Holy Spirit. I turned off my radio
and asked, “Who is Joseph, God?” Then I heard
in my spirit, “His name is Joseph, and you will be
a catalyst for him as I have great plans for Joseph.
He comes from an unfortunate situation, but I am
going to use you to help him.
Even though God gave him a nickname. “He was
named Joseph at birth. I said to God, “OK, but
how can I be a catalyst for someone I don’t even
know? I am still a mom of two young daughters.
How is this going to happen?”
Then I heard in my spirit, “Stay close to Pastor
Deborah Kaplan. She will help you on this path.” I
immediately picked up my cell phone to call Pastor
Deborah, and I told her what the Lord said to me.
The next week we meet for coffee, and she started
mentoring me. She gave me the opportunity to
speak in front of the church. I started attending
seminary classes. My confidence started to
climb, and soon God opened doors to speak at
conferences and concerts and on the radio.
I ran downstairs
to the display tables and the search
for Joseph was on.
In 2014 I attended a Winter Jam concert in Tampa.
New Song’s Russ Lee gave an appeal to sponsor
a child with Holt International. My heart was
pounding with enthusiasm. I knew in my heart this
was a turning point and the start of finding Joseph.
I asked God, “Do you want me to sponsor a child,
Lord?” I felt that the answer was yes.
I ran downstairs to the display tables and the
search for Joseph was on. I had everyone looking
through all the picture cards for a Joseph but none
were found. So I inquired of the Lord again. “Do
you still want me to sponsor a child?” The answer
came, “Yes but for now I want you to sponsor a different
child.” I picked a picture card with the sweetest
little boy with the biggest eyes named Samuel
A few months later, I was asked to speak at a
conference; the discussion was to have a very
large attendance. I asked my friend Debbie Yoerg,
Founder of Crowns for Christ Ministries, about
how to have Holt sponsor a table at the event. In
Debbie’s encouraging fashion, she said, “Why
don’t you do the appeal for Holt?”
Of course, this scared my pants off. The plan was
the have thousands of people, not just a few hundred
like I had spoken in front of before. Plus, I
didn’t even know who to talk to about what God
had put on my heart, but I knew if God’s hand was
in it, I had His favor and that I would be victorious.
Later, I called Holt International and they referred
me to Kris Thompson. When we spoke, we became
instant friends. I told her everything the
Lord had said to me about Joseph. I was already
a little nervous, and then Kris asked a question
that stopped me in my tracks, “What is the largest
crowd of people you have spoken in front of?” With
a big gulp, I said with confidence, “Oh, around 500
She asked, “Well, do you have any videos of you
speaking that I can see?” Quickly I recalled that a
few months prior, Crowns for Christ had recorded
me speaking at a conference. I sent Kris the video
and I heard nothing back for months.
I was at a women’s prayer meeting, and my friend
Bonita said, “I have a word from the Lord for you.
I see children all around you, and God’s going to
use you for great things.” I said, “Well, I appreciate
the word, but I have tried that path and nothing has
Bonita looked at me sternly, “I don’t know about
that, but this is what I hear for you.” Pastor
Deborah chimed in, “Didn’t God say that you would
work with children one day?”
About an hour later, I got in my car to leave, but
first I checked my email. To my surprise, Kris
Thompson had reached out to me! “Ashley, we
have watched the video of you speaking and we love you! We have never done this before, but we
would like to sign an artist agreement with you to
represent Holt International at the conferences that
you are asked to speak at.”
My jaw probably hit the floor at that moment. God
was fulfilling His promise to me in a big way. Since
then, my speaking engagements increased, and I
went to Haiti in June of 2017 to spend time with the
Today, I sponsoring a boy named Joseph from the
Philippines. This may not be the exact Joseph that
God spoke to me about, but the Holt kids are all
my Josephs. Every time I speak on behalf of Holt, I
think of Joseph.
My jaw probably hit the floor at
that moment. God was fulfilling His
promise to me in a big way.
I am honored to have this opportunity to be used
by God to represent Holt children in need. I know
that I will find Joseph in God’s timing. It is interesting
that God prearranged Joseph to have a nickname
so I will know him when I meet him.
So my search for finding Joseph is still on. Until
then, I can’t wait to see what God has planned
next; my heart is full of God’s love for these children.
I encourage you to sponsor a child with Holt
International. When looking through the profile pictures,
ask God which one He wants to use you for
as a catalyst for change in a child’s life. God has
great plans for that child, but He needs you to accomplish
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you
did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters
of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40, NIV).