A Season to Stop, Reflect and be Thankful

As we dive into this busy season of decorating, shopping, travel planning and more, we are reminded that this is the season to stop, reflect and be thankful.

Last month, we had the privilege of having four incredible young men join us for five weeks to share their stories of hope at various churches across the US. Their stories are a great reminder to be thankful for all the people who make it possible to care for those closest to God’s heart.

At Serving Orphans Worldwide, we can only support our partner projects because of the incredible generosity of our donors, our fervent prayer warriors and the most dedicated staff who work directly with the children in the field, often with much sacrifice and limited resources. Many even face persecution from their own communities for what they do.

Pramod was raised at El Shaddai Rescue home in India. Edwin grew up at Casa Shalom in Guatemala. Archadius was raised at Victorious Children’s home in Kenya, and Andrei grew up at Pilgrim Republic Children’s Rehab and Rescue center in Ukraine. Each of these homes are supported by Serving Orphans Worldwide.

Although they have different stories, they have one thing in common. They were orphaned at a young age. Yet through our partner homes, they were given the kinds of opportunities that made it possible for them to be where they are today.  

 “My mother was just 14 years old when she became pregnant with me,” Archadius recently shared at a church. “Our village gave her two options. Kill me or leave the village forever.”

Archadius’ mother made the difficult decision to leave him in the care of his grandmother. She fled the village and never returned. When Archadius was just three years old, his grandmother passed away, leaving him to fend for himself on the streets of Kakamega, Kenya.

“There was a mad man who lived on the streets who would take care of me, but many times I was hungry and scared,” Archadius continued. “One day, a Christian lady found me and brought me to Victorious Children’s Home where I grew up and learned about the love of Jesus. I was fed, clothed and had the chance to go to school.”

On the day of his rescue, he was given a new name, Archadius Treasure Odundo. This name was given to him by founder and director, Vicki Odundo.

 “We were treated with such cruelty by people outside of the orphanage,” remembers Archadius. “When I grew up and got the opportunity to play rugby, I never wanted to go back. I didn’t want to remember my past. I wanted to look to the future, get a job and become successful.”

Archadius became dedicated to studying and trying his best to achieve the desires of his heart. His talent and competitive nature also landed him the title of captain of the National Kenyan Rugby team where he played for four years. Doors of opportunity began opening up for Archadius. He went on to college, graduating with the degree in Statistics and Economics from the University of Nairobi.

Despite his success and a clear path forward, Archadius felt a strong calling to return and serve the community that rejected him.

Archadius decided to listen to this calling and returned home. He recently became an Administrator at Victorious Children’s Home, where he invests in the lives of more than 150 children like him. “When the children at the orphanage see me, I think they see hope. That’s why I returned.”

Victorious Children’s Home gave Archadius identity, a sense of belonging, a family, acceptance, dignity, and spiritual direction for his life.

Today, Pramod is a talented field photographer with Serving Orphans Worldwide and Edwin owns a thriving business and hires many of the young men from Casa Shalom.  Andrei went on to write the winning song for The Voice, Ukraine and now has a family of his own.

We are extremely proud of these young men. These stories would not exist without the support of our SOW family. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.