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Journey117 Director Rants About Orphan Care and Orphanages

19 Oct

Are orphanages a good thing or a bad thing? Aren’t there great orphanages out there that are a good option for children? Should churches and organizations invest in orphanages around the world….or is there a better way to care for the fatherless? Lori Resmer, Journey117 director, recently blogged about orphan care and how she believes the Church is doing it all wrong. Check out her thoughts here.

Taking a Stand Against Child Soldiering

9 May

Blog post by Katrina F., Team Iraq 2012

I chose to research the topic of child soldiers.  I honestly did not know a thing about what was going on until I started researching… and I am sick to my stomach as I sit here reading quotes from actual child soldiers and the things they are made to do.  They are made to do some sick things, so sick.  They have to kill their best friends to prove their loyalty, they are beaten to death sometimes for no reason at all, the girl soldiers are raped repeatedly at night by the other youth soldiers and adult men… at ages of 11 years old… and if they cry, they will beat them.  It is seriously one of the worst things I have ever heard.

As I research, most of my quotes from the children came from this website.  You too will be sick after reading a lot of these “voices” of these child soldiers.  Continue reading

2000 Verses About the Poor, Orphaned and Widowed

28 Feb

Blog post by Krysta S., Team Haiti 2012

Deuteronomy 15:7 says: “If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them.” In regards to this command from the Lord, why then does almost half the world – over three billion people – live on less than $2.50 a day? Why do 22,000 children die each day due to poverty? Why are thousands of children orphaned because their parents perish because they cannot afford to eat? Whose responsibility is it to tend to this issue of poverty?

According to Deuteronomy, and the over 300 other Bible verses on the poor, it the church’s responsibility. We are called by God to stop the oppression of the poor. The economic aspects of poverty focus on material needs, typically including the necessities of daily living, such as food, clothing, shelter, or safe drinking water. Poverty in this sense may be understood as a condition in which a person or community is lacking in the basic needs for a minimum standard of well-being and life, particularly as a result of a persistent lack of income. Analysis of social aspects of poverty recognizes that poverty may be a function of the diminished “capability” of people to live the kinds of lives they value. This may include lack of access to information, education, health care, or political power. Poverty may also be understood as an aspect of unequal social status and inequitable social relationships. This inequality often explains the lack of relationship care to those experiencing poverty. In third world countries, the poor are excluded and powerless in society. They must do everything that they can to simply survive. This environment often results in the poor becoming enslaved as indentured servants or entering into prostitution in order to provide for their family. Poverty causes the poor to have lower life expectancy due to malnutrition, AIDS, violence and disease. As a result of their parent’s disease and death, the children of the poor become orphaned and abandoned. In order for the children to survive, they will do as their parents did (servitude or prostitution), resulting in a vicious cycle of poverty.

This vicious cycle needs to be stopped. This cycle is the leading causes of orphans worldwide. If we are commanded by God to help the poor, why don’t we help them? Why don’t we extend our reach to help the widows and orphans that need someone’s help? There are over 2000 verses that demonstrate God’s love and mercy toward the poor, the orphan, and the widow. What can you do to help?

Krysta will be serving on the Haiti Journey 117 Team leaving in March 2012 along with and others from her church in Evanston, IL.

Ethiopia Journey Inspires Teacher to Do More

9 Jan

Nathan Livesay, a teacher at Sumter High School and former basketball coach, spent nearly two weeks of his Winter Break in Ethiopia with Journey 117, a ministry of World Orphans.

BY JADE ANDERSON janderson@theitem.com  The Item

A trip out of the country can change a person.
“I wouldn’t trade those two weeks for a state championship,” said Nathan Livesay, a former Sumter High School basketball coach.
Last month, the English and credit recovery teacher traveled to Ethiopia with World Orphans, an organization that brings churches in Third World countries together with American churches to help supply basic needs of the children being cared for by the indigenous churches. He learned about the organization through the Willow Creek Global Leadership Development Summit simulcast held at Alice Drive Baptist Church in the fall.
“I was reading the statistics about HIV and AIDS, about people dying in extreme poverty, and the numbers really bothered me,” Livesay said. “I was compelled to go on this trip to put a name and face with the statistics. … Even with basketball, I’ve always had a heart for kids that don’t always have everything they need.” Continue reading

How Diseases are Affecting Orphaned Children

4 May

Blog post by Heidi G., Team Haiti 2011

There are many diseases that take the lives of parents living in poverty around the world. This causes their children to become orphans, and then these same diseases also plague the children. The most common of these are HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and diarrhea-related illnesses. Continue reading

A Call to Action

4 Mar

America is one of the richest countries in the world….and one of the most obese. Seems as though excess isn’t necessarily a good thing. But not only is our country consumed with material goods, food, wealth and assets, we are wrapped up in our love of SELF. Unfortunately, the Church has allowed itself to reflect the American culture of our day and has forsaken the perspectives that God has called us to maintain as believers. We have taken Christianity and turned it into a self-improvement program instead of living as we were instructed: to take up our cross and follow Christ. That to me doesn’t sound like self-help; it sounds more like self-denial. Continue reading