Gentle Hands

Everyone has a part to play in orphan care. Each role may look different, but all of our roles are equally important. Some of us are called to intercede and pray on the behalf of these children. Others, to fund missions like Serving Orphans Worldwide and help provide children with the love and care they need to not only survive, but thrive. Yet there are some of us who are called to become boots on the ground when we are needed. Occupational therapists Victoria and Janet answered this call last year by visiting one of our homes in the Philippines called Gentle Hands.

Gentle Hands orphanage is a very special home that we help to support at SOW. This home is a child welfare agency on the front lines dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of at-risk children in the Philippines. Run by Charity and Evan Graff, along with a paid and volunteer staff of over 30, it houses more than 50 babies and children all in various stages of rehabilitation, legal paperwork, adoption, and reunification. This children’s home acts as a life changing sanctuary for many abused and abandoned children in the metropolitan area of Manila.

When Victoria and Janet asked us which home we thought could benefit from their help the most at the time, we immediately pointed them to Gentle Hands.

“We [Janet and I] were both very impressed by Charity and her mission. These children are getting a second (or third) chance at life. The kids appeared truly happy!”, Victoria shared with us in a recent interview of her time spent at the home.

After visiting Haiti last year, they both decided that they felt the Lord calling them to another medical missions trip. That’s when they did some research and found Serving Orphans Worldwide.

“I already knew there is much to do here in the U.S. and beyond. Janet and I would like to do another trip — but we felt that before we went to Manila. Everyone has callings in different ways, and for us it’s throwing one star fish back into the sea at a time. Occupational therapy is needed world-wide, but is not a medical necessity in terms of emergency life support of vision and hearing. Therefore, we can only do so much. But, if we can educate caregivers that can pass on skills to others than we can be useful to so many.”

If you have special skills that you believe could be used to join the rescue of orphaned children all over the world, please contact us at info@soworldwide.org!

Story by Bri Bentley

Thanks Mary Esther Church of God!

Over the summer, Mary Esther Church of God held their annual vacation bible school featuring Sails of Hope orphanage in the Ukraine as their missions project throughout the week. Each night, they held a penny contest between boys and girls as the children and adults put their money in either side of a scale with two hanging buckets.

sails-of-hope-crusade-puppet-boothThe first three nights of the contest, they raised a total of $1,481.81. Then, during their Sunday morning service they took up an offering that totaled to $1,169.31. All in all, the church raised a grand total of $2,701.17! The proceeds will go toward helping the children of Sails of Hope to buy important items such as winter clothes for the upcoming cold season, boots, uniforms, etc. Thank you Mary Esther Church of God for your generous gift!

 

Leavin’ on a jet plane

Adios amigos!

While you were all sound asleep in your beds this morning, I was rolling out the door at 5 a.m. and desperately chugging coffee to wake up. But it won’t take much to wake me up today, I’m too excited for my trip!

By the time you all read this, I will already be well on my way to my first stop: Bless the Children Home in Guyana! But be sure to stay tuned into Facebook,Instagram, and Snapchat @servingorphans to follow my daily adventures! It’s going to be epic.

map-go-the-distance

FYI, I thought it would be cool to include a brief overview of my itinerary for you folks who are traveling on this journey with me. So just in case you’re ever wondering, “Where in the world is Bri Bentley?”, you may wonder no more.

June 10–14 : Georgetown, Guyana

June 14–18 : Bogota, Colombia

June 18–22 : Santa Cruze, Bolivia

June 22–26 : Asuncion, Paraguay

June 27 : I’m coming home, sweet home! 🙂

-Bri

Upside Down

Our days are made up of a series of moments and each one passes, whether we like it or not. Some moments pass us by without a second thought, and other’s can change the course of our lives forever. For Robert Machogu, the moment he arrived home to receive the shocking news of his father’s devistating HIV diagnosis turned his life upside down forever.

Shortly after his diagnosis, Robert’s father passed away leaving he, his older brother and his mother behind. But unfortunately, their troubles had only just begun. Because Robert’s brother was his mother’s son from a previous marriage, she was not accepted as his father’s wife. As a result, Robert’s family didn’t inherit anything from his father except for the house in which they already lived. In spite of their circumstances, his mother continued to work hard to provide for their family as a strong, single mother.

That’s when tragedy struck Robert and his family once more.

One morning, after taking a shower, Robert’s mother slipped and fell. She hit her head hard on the floor and began to go into a stroke. Later that day, she passed away due to brain damage, and once again Robert’s world was turned upside down.

Robert and his brother were devestated. Together, they struggled to get by, attempting to complete their educations and working to survive all on their own. Finally, one of their mother’s close friends saw just how much they were struggling and introcuced Robert and his brother to the directors of Agape Hope Children’s Center in Kenya, where they now currently reside. It was this moment, Robert believes, that changed his life for the better forever.

“Before coming to Agape Hope Children Centre I was a frail, and demotivated with low self esteem. I believed that there were those in life who had been created to remain and lead privileged lives, and guessed I was simply not among them. I can now proudly say that meeting and interacting with other children with similar or possibly worse situations compared to mine has taught me to be thankful to God. Now I am able to motivate other children and to encourage them,” Robert said.

“Children in orphanages have needs that go just beyond material needs but also spiritual, emotional and psychological needs. I am thankful that I received all those in the orphanage. The directors of Agape Hope Children Centre, pastor Oliver Chiraba and his wife Margaret Chigunzi even saw to it that I attended a university. They paid my tuition fees, as well as taking care of my basic needs. I now consider them my mum and dad. Not a day goes by without me counting how lucky I am, and I am inspired everyday by them to help children in need. I do not neccesarily need to be rich in order to do so, just the grace of God is sufficient.”

Written by Brianna Bentley

It’s Bristol Baby!

Hey to all of you NASCAR fans out there who can’t get enough of that racing rush! This month, we’re kicking off a new fundraiser by selling the die-hard-fan package of your dreams…

Plan your next trip this spring to The Last Great Colosseum in style with our Sprint Cup Series Getaway! Experience the excitement and roar of the crowd at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in April while relaxing in the ultimate luxury of an exclusive Skybox. You and your lucky guest won’t miss out on a second of the action from these premium seats! And just in case you work up an appetite while cheering on your favorite driver, this incredible package also includes complimentary catered lunches and snacks for both race days.

In addition to the best seats in the house, this package also includes lodging at the stunning Lakeview campsite in Bluff City, TN just miles from Bristol Motor Speedway. You and your guest can retreat to the ultimate comfort and style of a Holiday Rambler Endeavor Motorcoach amidst the peaceful outdoors, and enjoy the captivating beauty of the surrounding mountains.

But the best part about this special getaway package is that 100% of its purchase price goes straight to our partner homes to support orphans all around the world! Visit our listing on eBay today to find out more details about our Sprint Cup Series Getaway.

By Brianna Bentley

(Featured image courtesy of google images)