As the distribution center for hope in the community, the local church is uniquely positioned to intervene on behalf of the orphan. In Saddleback’s Rwanda Orphan Sponsorship program, the local church in Rwanda determines which families will receive sponsorship and is responsible for providing families with volunteer social worker support. The partnership between Saddleback Sponsors and the local church is changing lives-getting children out of orphanages and into lifelong families! This month, check out a sponsorship update filmed by local Rwandan church volunteers highlighting the difference the program is making.
(The children) were very young when they first came, and they were 4 and 6 years old. They were very happy. They called me their mom and they were very comfortable. I made sure they went to school. One is in primary 5 and the other one in primary 6.
The Church and the Pastor started to come to visit the children. I didn’t even know the pastor, but I believe that it’s God who sent him to us. We were blessed by what God was doing through the support from the church.
When the support came from the church, I bought a cow so that it could help the children and built two more rooms in my home. I tell the children to always praise God and thank him because he’s the one who did this for us.
We thank God for the support and very grateful for the church. We thank God for the church, they visit us very often. And we always go to church to praise and thank God.
We no longer live a lonely life; we live a peaceful and happy life.
To learn more or become a Sponsor, visit www.saddleback.com/sponsorship.
There are so many exciting ways to get connect to serving in the
Orphan Care Initiative. Check out the events and teams below for ways that you
can take your next daring faith step to serve orphans and vulnerable children
locally or globally!
Daring Faith Expo - Serve at the Orphan Care Booth!
On the weekend of May 16/17, each Saddleback campus will have the
opportunity to learn how to join the Orphan Care Initiative during the Daring
Faith Expo at every service - and we need your smiling face to help people get
connected! If you are interested in serving at the Orphan Care booth for just
30 minutes after any service(s), let us know and we will get you all the
information you need!
Thinking About Adoption or Foster Care?
Have you considered adopting or fostering, but aren't sure how to get
started? Every first Wednesday of the
month from 6:30-8:30pm in MO2, families from our church who
have adopted and fostered share helpful overviews and answer your questions in
a no-pressure environment. If that time doesn't work for you, we'd still love
to talk to you. Free to call or meet with us for more information on fostering
Orangewood Play Group
You can brighten the day of a child living in Orangewood group home,
OC's temporary shelter for children who have been removed from their homes due
to abuse or neglect. The first group will be visiting the evening of May 22nd.
This is a great opportunity for those looking to care for vulnerable children
right here in Orange County. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Rwanda: Empty orphanages and strengthen churches on
a PEACE trip
Orphan Care PEACE trips train local churches in promoting adoption,
assisting newly adoptive families, and training lay social workers within
churches. We'll train you in everything you need to know, and help you or your
family make a difference in ways you've always dreamed! Let us know when you
would like to go, and we will get you connected to a trip leader. To join an
upcoming trip email email@example.com.
Mentor a child in the foster care system
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) mentor children in the
foster system and act as their voice in the legal system. With a commitment of
2 hours twice a month, you can help represent the best interests of a child and
support them on their journey to a lasting family of their own. If you would
like to learn more about becoming a CASA in Orange County, please visit their
website http://www.casaoc.org/advocate/ to RSVP to the next info session, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Join a local or global action team!
You can serve in ways too numerous to name, but here's a sample: Serve
orphans and vulnerable children in our neighborhoods, help teach local churches
in orphan care, or come alongside adoptive or foster families. Serve in
sponsorship, social media, website development, writing, hospitality/event
hosts, or advocacy. There's a place for you!
Adoptive and Foster Family Support Group
This season's Adoptive and Foster Family Support Group meets on
Tuesdays from 11am to 1pm in room 409/411 on the Lake Forest Saddleback Church
campus. The support group will be studying from the DVD curriculum The Connection written by Dr. Karyn
Purvis and Elizabeth Styffe. Unfortunately, no childcare is available. Please
RSVP by email to email@example.com.
Interested? Just let us know and we will find the exact spot for you,
your family or your small group. We'll help get you connected and provide any
Have questions? Need more information? Connect with us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (949-609-8555)! We can't wait to serve
with you soon!
Did you know that for $38 a month, you can change a child’s
program provides hope for children in orphanages by
sponsoring families who need a bit of financial support to bring a child into
their home. When orphans gain a family they become permanent sons and
Listen here to Kay Warren’s message on how you can get
Hi I’m Kay Warren. I’d
like to tell you about a new kind of child sponsorship. Children need the love
of a family, which is why we’re working in Rwanda to help them empty all their
orphanages and place those children into permanent caring families.
Of the 3000 children
in orphanages, 1200 now have families to call their own. There’s still more to
be done. You can help empty orphanages by sponsoring a family in Rwanda,
helping a child reunite with or regain a family.
Sponsorship helps a
family provide school feels, food, clothes, and health insurance for the child.
You can learn more at saddleback.com/sponsorship. When you sponsor you are
helping an orphan become a son or a daughter again.
To begin sponsoring a
family in Rwanda visit
Your presence will make a difference this Saturday night. 6:00pm at
the Lake Forest Campus. The Orphan Care Initiative community gathers at
PEACE night where your voice matters- you’ll also hear what God has been doing
what He has in store for you. You are making an impact for his precious
children locally and globally!
Here's a few great places to get connected to the Orphan Care
community, starting THIS SATURDAY:
PEACE NIGHT THIS Saturday,
February 28th – 6:00pm in Tent 3
Meet friends and get exciting updates from the Orphan Care
Initiative this weekend! We will start at 6pm in Tent 3 on the Saddleback
Church Lake Forest Campus, head to regional breakouts and come together for the
Orphan Care Initiative breakout at 7:30 in room 303. PEACE Night is also a
great time to learn how to go on an Orphan Care PEACE trip. Learn how to
take your next step and get involved!
THINKING ABOUT ADOPTION OR
FOSTER CARE? March 4th - Wednesday - 6:30pm-8:30pm
Have you considered adopting or fostering, but aren’t sure how to get
started? Every first Wednesday of the month from 6:30-8:30pm in MO2, families
from our church who have adopted and fostered share helpful overviews and
answer your questions in a no-pressure environment. If that time doesn't work
for you, we’d still love to talk to you. Free to call or meet with us for more
information on fostering and adopting!
JOIN OUR LOCAL AND GLOBAL ACTION TEAMS You can serve in
ways too numerous to name, but here’s a sample: Serve orphans and
vulnerable children in our neighborhoods. Play with children temporarily
housed for their protection in Orange County, serve an individual foster
children by being their volunteer/mentor in the court system, help teach local
churches in orphan care, come alongside adoptive or foster families.
Serve in sponsorship, social media, website development, writing, hospitality/event
hosts, or advocacy. There’s a place for you!
RWANDA: EMPTY ORPHANAGES STRENGTHEN CHURCHES
There’s room for you! Join an upcoming trip. Learn more
this Saturday or email email@example.com.
Interested? Just let us know and we will find the exact spot for you,
your family or your small group. We’ll help get you connected and
provide any necessary training.
Have questions? Need more information? Connect with us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or phone (949-609-8555)! We can't wait to serve with you soon!
When the sun sets in Gishita, Rwanda the sky turns to dark blue velvet. Stars twinkle timidly and lights from little homes dotting the hillside turn on one by one. The hills—bright green during the day—roll on in succession, with only the moon to light their division.
At night Bellia and her 6 year old adopted daughter Marie sleep in the same room. The quiet of home comforts them and Bible verses on the white walls whisper love and peace over them. Two cows low in the next room.
For years in the orphanage, Marie went to sleep in a dormitory with more than twenty other girls, praying for a mother to tell her goodnight. She woke up without a mother to dress her in clean clothes. She breakfasted in a room with a hundred other children, and no one to make sure she got enough food to eat. She trekked home from school to a concrete building with no one to welcome her. She closed her eyes without anyone to tuck her in and kiss her forehead.
Now, for the first time, timid Marie knows what it is to have someone who cares just for her as she falls asleep under Rwanda’s velvet night sky. In her husky child’s voice she babbles stories about her day, wonders aloud about everything she sees. She asks her mother serious and silly questions about what it means to be a girl navigating life at 6 years old.
Her mother, Bellia, is a Community PEACE Trainer – a volunteer who trains families from her church about healthcare. As a mother to four grown children, Bellia’s heart has always been for children. When she heard teaching from the PEACE Plan about God’s heart for the orphan, she decided to adopt Marie. She now also assists other families who have reunited and adopted by doing home visits and providing parenting support.
“I decided God has done well for me, so I will do well for God’s kids,” she says.
Little Marie has been part of her new family for several months. It’s her custom when she meets new people to proudly introduce them to her mama. The blossoming love they share is evident to anyone who visits their home. Because of the local church and Rwanda Orphan Care Sponsors, Marie and Bellia’s unfolding story is made possible. Sponsorship allows Bellia to provide Marie with all the necessities, as well as her school fees and medical insurance.
Bellia (left) with Marie (center) and Bellia’s grandson. All photos taken and used with permission.
“GETTING TO ZERO” UPDATES
We are excited to announce that Esperance, an orphanage in Western Rwanda that was using children to grow and harvest pineapples, is down to just two children left waiting for families!
When we began working with the local churches in that area in 2013, there were 130 children living and working in Esperance. Now 128 of those children have left the orphanage forever and each has been embraced by care of a loving family in the community – with your support and the diligent efforts of the local church in Rwanda!