12 Mar The Good that Occurs When We Work in Unity
There are many moving parts in the ever evolving landscape of global orphan care. They cannot be siloed and must work in harmony with one another in order to achieve the best outcomes for the child. However, those working on behalf of orphaned children must do so within the cultural context, available resources and laws of their own countries and local communities. Help comes in all forms, varying from community, institutional, and individual support.
Community level support may include help from local volunteers, advocacy groups, businesses and churches. This could also include local governments working to form policies to protect orphaned and other vulnerable children.
From an institutional standpoint, some organizations have chosen to focus their mission on facilitating adoptions and family reunification. Some focus on special campaigns to build housing, clean water wells and fund agricultural projects. Some are called to advocate for equal access to healthcare and education. While Serving Orphans Worldwide has provided a delivery system for many of these things, our primary focus is to provide dependable monthly operational support for children’s homes.
On an individual level, some people are called to work directly with the children on a daily basis. Some are called to adopt and bring them into a loving home. Some are called to give of their resources in order to provide the funds necessary to care for these children.
We are all called to pray and work in unity.
OPEN SPRING CHILDREN’S HOME- DR CONGO
In 2019, the growing number of orphaned children and widows seeking assistance from the war zone became too much to bear for Pastor Kibi and his church. They were already stretched thin just trying to provide clothing and food assistance. They did their best to place orphaned children with church families willing to open their own homes. However, because of the ongoing civil war and the lack of resources in the area, the vast number of widows and orphans seeking help continued to grow exponentially.
Several churches in the US heard their cry. They came together to purchase land and build a permanent building to house the children in Goma. Local church members continued to care for children in their own homes in an effort to reserve the new building for those in the critical condition. Local businesses and organizations made donations of food, clothing, school supplies and backpacks. Volunteers came in to help develop programs for the children. With the help of our generous supporters, SOW committed to providing dependable monthly funding for operational needs. As a result of this unified effort, Open Spring Children’s Home was born. Over 40 orphaned children who were in critical condition are now thriving in their residential program. The foster care network that was started out of an abundance of compassion by the church is also thriving. Widows are continuing to receive support through their food program. These are the outcomes that occur when we work in unity.
Patrick, (below) was part of the first 17 children rescued from the Congolese jungle and brought to Open Spring in Goma. He was in critical condition when he first arrived in 2019. However, with a team of people caring for him, he is now thriving at the children’s home today.
CASA SHALOM, GUATEMALA
In Guatemala, a more established project exists. Casa Shalom has been providing care for orphans since 1986. One of their most joyful moments is when eligible children in their care are matched with a loving forever family. In Guatemala, international adoptions have been banned. Therefore, staff at Casa Shalom depend on local families to step in and open up their hearts and homes to these children.
Casa Shalom has been caring for a sibling group for quite some time now. The hope of finding an adoptive family began to dwindle. The staff knew that finding a family to take in five children, including two teenagers would be a challenge. However, keeping them together was an utmost priority for the staff.
This month, they were matched with a local family and left Casa Shalom to start their new life in their new home, together. Staff at Casa Shalom have called it a true miracle!
We have never been more certain of this truth. There’s not one organization or individual who can tackle the orphan crisis alone. That’s not how God has equipped us. He has equipped us with the church, one unified body with a variety of functions, capabilities and resources. The measure of goodness that can occur is insurmountable when we work in unity, especially when we are trying to tackle a problem as big as the global orphan crisis.