Tag Archives: Adoption

The Fatherless: Discovering Our Role

1 Feb

Blog post by Keren C., Team Haiti 2012

This is My Journey

My husband and I aren’t strangers to third world countries.  We have each seen poverty and despair but we believe that God is calling us to Haiti to show us something new and to soften our hearts once again to His call to care for the fatherless and those in need.  My journey began earlier this year with the birth of our son.   Through my son’s birth I have learned how great the Father’s love is for us.  If I can love my own child this much, how much more does our heavenly Father love us?!  As I look at my son daily I can’t stop but think that there are so many children in the world who have yet to experience this kind of love.  I am going to Haiti to discover what my role is in caring for the fatherless.

My husband and I hope to adopt in the future.  I believe this trip will remind us of the real urgency that exists.  As the days get closer I am learning to trust God more and more.  I am learning to trust Him as I will have to leave my son behind and I am also learning to trust that through the pain and suffering that we will witness that He has a far greater and precious plan.  Lord, soften our hearts and show us what our role is. Amen!

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

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God’s Plan for Orphans Here and There

30 Jan

Blog post by Melissa L., Team Haiti 2012

My vision for orphans started in March 2009.  I must say, I wish it would have started sooner. My husband and I had a very small bible study at our house on Sunday nights.  Jason (my husband) and our friend Janet were talking about the reality and horror of sex trafficking.  The Holy Spirit had big plans that night.  Long story short, Jason and Janet said, “We are done just sending money or praying…lets do something else.”  God called us that night to adoption, and Janet supported us financially. We now have a daughter from Ethiopia, Mary, who is now 21 months old.  Then in December, we took in our first foster child, Dereon; he is 7 months old.  My vision right now is to be open to God’s plan for orphans everywhere.  I want my heart to be sensitive and in tune with the Holy Spirit.  I don’t want to view caring for orphans as something I can “check off my list.”  I have no idea what this will mean!

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

12-Year-Old Prepares for Journey to Haiti

30 Jan

Blog post by Karis L. (12 yrs old), Team Haiti 2012

This is my journey for a vision.  I have a vision but I have fuzzy one.  Orphans and adoptions are topics very close to my heart considering I have a baby sister from Ethiopia, and that my dad is a pastor and encourages these ideas to the hearts of his children. I want to be a missionary/nurse in Congo when I grow up because I have heard stories and have seen pictures of desperate children and people.  I believe that this journey to Haiti will show me if I  want this to be part of my everyday life and if I will be willing to make the sacrifices. I believe that God will move my heart to do things when I am older and even when I am 12.

Karis L. will be serving on the Haiti Journey 117 Team leaving in March 2012 along with others from her church in Evanston, IL. Karis is 12 and already has a heart for the fatherless!

Update #3 from Team Ethiopia

18 Dec
I wanted to send a quick update letting you know what we have been up to the past couple of days.  Yesterday, we traveled to Kore, the largest slum area in Addis.  Approx 150,000 live there, daily searching for scraps of food and ways to pay their rent.  We did a couple home visits, including meeting an elderly couple that is struggling to pay their $2/month rent!  After that, we visited A Hope, an orphanage that houses 36 HIV/AIDS children.  From there, we traveled to an inner city drop-in center and ministered to 17 children rescued from the streets.  Just wait till you hear their stories!
Today, we traveled into Kore again and served at Embracing Hope Ethiopia.  EHE is a daycare for impoverished mothers, providing free daycare service to mothers trying to find jobs.  We were able to play with the 32 children… doing crafts and participating in their music time.  During their nap time, the girls on our team gave the staff manicures.
Tonight we went to Yod Abyssinia Cultural Restaurant, a traditional Ethiopian dinner with live traditional music and dancing.  It was a great experience that everyone enjoyed.
Tomorrow we leave Addis for Woliso, a small town 2 hours outside the city.  While there, we will be visiting one of our World Orphans church partnerships who operates an orphanage on church property.
Thanks again for your prayers.  Everyone is still feeling great and God has bonded our team in ways that few teams have experienced.  We are starting to get tired (both physically and emotionally) so please pray that God empowers us for the next few days to continue our fight to defend the orphan.  We miss you all!
by Kevin S., Team Leader

Seeing Changes Everything…

19 Nov

Blog post by Carly C., Team Ethiopia 2011

“We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes…” – David Platt, “Radical”

This quote is so true. We have all heard the statistics about orphans and poverty around the world but when you actually see the little faces and have personal connections with the orphans, it sparks something inside you that makes you want to do something about it.  About a year and a half ago I was able to spend a week in Peru and while there, worked and ministered to some orphans. It is the best feeling in the world to spend time with these special kids — to see them laugh, play and just be kids despite the fact they may be hungry, abandoned and poor. It is great to be able to bring a smile to their faces and show them the love of Christ.

My aunt and uncle adopted a little boy from Russia about a year and a half ago. He is the sweetest and most precious child I know. It pains me to begin to even think about where he would be if he was still in the cold and dreary orphanage my aunt and uncle adopted him from.  He could be on his way to becoming part of the 70% of orphaned boys in Russia who become hardened criminals or part of the 10-15% of orphans in Russia and the Ukraine who commit suicide before the age of 18. I can now look at him and know that he will always know what it’s like to be loved and wanted  — not only by two parents here on earth but he will also know of love from his heavenly Father.

Most orphaned children go through things the average person cannot even begin to imagine.  Things such as  starvation, forced prostitution, HIV or AIDS, neglect, and many others. God calls Christians to do something about this. I don’t understand why more is not being done. We need to inform people and churches about this worldwide need. If more people could see the faces and spend time with these children, I feel they would be more inclined to do something about it – help in some way.

It can get discouraging looking at the number of orphans worldwide — between 143 and 210 million. It is hard to think that one person can actually make a difference when the problem is so huge. But when I think about changing just one child’s life and showing at least one child God’s love, there is no question about whether or not I should help. I know that with God, I can do that and so much more! We need to come together as the body of Christ and let God use us! If God can create the entire universe I know that he can use me, and others who are truly willing, to further his kingdom and to show orphaned children his true, unfailing love.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Carly C. will be serving on the Ethiopia Journey 117 Team leaving in December 2011.

Overwhelming Task of Providing Care for Orphans in Moldova

22 May

Blog post by Penny S., Team Moldova 2011

In America most parents who struggle to provide for the needs of their children will, as a last resort and often only by court order, give up their children into the foster care system. In Moldova parents readily send their children to live in children’s institutions, i.e., orphanages, when they cannot care for them. Continue reading

Team Haiti – Finishing Strong

21 May

This will be the last update from Team Haiti. We will be heading out in just over 24 hours, so I wanted to update you on the last couple of days in country to tell you about our eventful week.

Since our last email, we have been blessed to experience many good things and have been able to walk alongside so many people in a tangible way to meet needs throughout the city. It has been such a pleasure working with this team. Everyone here has a heart of gold and has been working feverishly to extend God’s grace in its various forms.

We spent two days working with a couple of creches, homes that prepare children for adoption. Our team fell in love with those kiddos. It was all I could do to not let them pack a few in their suitcases to bring them home. : ) The great thing, though, is that both of the homes were very nice and are sending a lot of children to forever homes from their facilities. We got to hear many stories of how they rescued these children from dumpsters, from hospitals where mothers had abandoned them, etc. Such stories of compassion for the least of these, including many of the orphans who are living with physical or mental disabilities!  We have been so encouraged by their stories of faith this week as they have been trusting God for years to help them care for hundreds of orphans along the way.  Continue reading