At the start of the new year, we want to take this opportnity to thank God for all he has done this year in helping orphaned children in Rwanda find forever families. Across Rwanda, orphanages have closed through the partnership of the Orphan Care Initiative, the local church in Rwanda, and the generosity of Sponsorship donors! Children who prayed each night for a family are now wrapped in the embrace of a mama and papa!
The transformation happening in Rwanda would not be possible without the diligent work of volunteers in local churches across Rwanda who have given of their time, resources and talent to help families adopt. We want to take this opportunity to highlight these servant-hearted leaders whose love has led many of them to adopt.
The lay social workers come from all walks of life – grandmothers whose children are grown, wise church leaders, passionate young adults, and mothers with full homes. Their hearts for the children waiting in orphanages compels them to fearlessly track down long lost family members, to walk miles of rough terrain to counsel hurting families, and often to open their own homes to welcome in an additional child. They work out of a deep love for God, their churches, and their community. As one volutneer told us, they consider it their reward when they “see the dignity return to the childrens’ eyes.”
All volunteer social workers receive training in how to best assist adoptive families, often taught by Saddleback Church volunteers on PEACE trips. Last month, a large group of lay social workers were honored for their hard work and the accomplishment of helping families. They rejoiced together by praising God – and you can watch some of the celebration here!
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FOOTAGE FROM RWANDA
To become a sponsor or learn more, visit saddleback.com/sponsorship.
showed up. In a hug. In a smile. In a handshake. In the presence and lives of
some of the most gracious people I had ever encountered.”
Feel what it’s like to go on an Orphan Care PEACE Trip in this amazing mini documentary from one of this summer’s Saddleback PEACE teams created by Chris Hartwell. Get a taste of what it’s like to help train families and lay social workers in local churches in Rwanda, and sit in the home of Rwandan families who have adopted with the support of sponsorship.
You will see the families that Saddleback Orphan Sponsorship helped. Sponsorship helped the Rwanda church do what the church is called to do. In this video you will see the faces of families with children rescued from the orphanage who now have a home. We are grateful to those who have given to Rwanda Orphan Sponsorship for making a difference in the Rwanda church, the Rwanda family and the life of a child forever.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor and helping children leave the orphanage in Rwanda, visit www.saddleback.com/sponsorship.
If you would like more information on how you can go on a Rwanda Orphan Care PEACE Trip, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 949-609-8555.
Charlotte is a 28-year-old Rwandan mother of three. When you walk into her home, the first thing you notice is how tidy she keeps her house.
The second is the barely restrained joy that seems to radiate from her three children, Shadrack, Ivan, and Chantel, as they bounce around the room. Looking at them, you would never guess that Shadrack and Ivan were recently rescued from lives of isolation in the orphanage when Charlotte adopted them a year ago.
Charlotte knows exactly what that sort of deprivation feels like - she and her two younger sisters grew up in an orphanage. She still chokes up when she shares how difficult life was for them after losing their parents in the genocide. Charlotte became caretaker of her sisters, eventually marrying young because she saw it as her only option to continue providing for her siblings.
Charlotte’s pastor praises her courage and her heart as an adoptive mom. “She’s a great mama. Whenever she sees a child who has a problem, she is quick to help because she knows what that is like.”
Shadrack, her 16-year-old son, sums up simply what it means to him to have a mama, papa, and a home to call his own. “The difference between here and the orphanage,” he says, “is I have freedom here.”
Sponsorship has allowed Charlotte’s family to purchase a cow, the milk from which she uses to feed her family and sell at market. As Shadrack and Ivan proudly display the cow to visitors, it’s easy to see the pride they have in their new forever family.
If you would like to begin sponsoring a family in Rwanda to adopt a child from the orphanage, visit saddleback.com/sponsorship. Questions? Email email@example.com.
Claver’s life changed dramatically at the age of 13. An orphan who spent most of his life living in an orphanage, newly adopted Claver was transitioning into a traditional family structure for the first time. And this transition, his new parents realized, was going to be a process.
Developmentally, Claver had been delayed from years of being institutionalized in the orphanage. Issues in school arose because he had never learned how to interact with authority figures or other children. He also had trouble trusting his new parents.
But Claver’s new family wasn’t about to give up on him. Claver’s new father, Bernard, knew with constant care, attention, and support Claver could flourish, it would just take a little time.
Volunteers from the local church paid regular visits to Bernard, to encourage and train his large and loving adoptive family. They connected the family to sponsorship to help cover new expenses and school fees. Claver is now 15 years old and thriving thanks to the strong relationships he developed with his parents and siblings. He is also doing much better in school. Bernard proudly passes around Claver’s latest report card - boasting that he is now fourth in his class!
Sitting next to his son, Claver, and his younger son on the couch, Bernard explains his reasons for adopting, “You have to start with a wanting heart, not because others have done it. God has given me so much and I wanted to give back in a way. Now, I won’t sit down without a child in my home.”
Claver's healing will be an on going process. The relational pain he experienced while living in the orphanage will require care and attention from a family who knows and loves him. His rescue from the orphanage made possible thanks to the support of the local church and the generosity of Saddleback sponsors, who give Bernard and his family the support they needed to bring Claver home.
If you would like to begin sponsoring a family in Rwanda to help a child leave the orphanage and gain a forever family, please visit saddleback.com/sponsorship or email firstname.lastname@example.org
When Amerita learned from her local church that there were children in her community who needed loving families, she took a step of faith and made the courageous decision to adopt 13-year-old Felix from the orphanage. One year later, Felix now enjoys life as a much-loved son and spends his days playing with his three siblings - Claude (also age 13), Diane (10), and Fifi (8).
Amerita is excited to share via video all she has been able to do to care for her growing family through the generosity of her local church and Orphan Care Sponsorship.
WATCH THIS VIDEO to hear how sponsorship has impacted her family and her ability to care for her new son.
“GETTING TO ZERO” UPDATES
To begin sponsoring a family like Amerita's, visit Saddleback.com/Sponsorship.