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"There's no such thing as unwanted children, just unfound families,” says Leigh Anne Tuohy, the real life mom from "The Blind Side" movie, who has a new TV series that shines a light on adoption by helping foster children become adopted into their forever families.

“Family Addition” is a new reality show featuring foster families who are moving to adopt, revealing the real practical, physical, and emotional struggles and joys of adoption.  Host Leigh Anne Tuohy will be working alongside these families to support them as they prepare to add another child to their family, as well as providing “make over” home improvement projects for the family.  You can tune in Fridays at 9pm on UPtv to check it out - and don’t miss Saddleback Orphan Care featured on their resources page! http://www.uptv.com/resources4

Are you thinking about adoption, know someone who is, or are just interested in learning more? Hear from ordinary people from our own church who have adopted at our monthly “Thinking About Adoption” event on July 3 from 6:30-8:30pm in the MO2 Gathering Room http://saddleback.com/events/eventdetails.aspx?id=58125.

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Did you know that this summer and fall, Saddleback will be sending teams from our church on short-term trips to assist local churches in Rwanda as they help the country reach its goal of emptying all their orphanages? No training is required to participate – we will train you in all you need to know.

To learn more about how YOU can go on an orphan care PEACE trip to Rwanda, come to the Rwanda tent at our monthly PEACE Global Night gathering, this Saturday June 22nd at 7pm in Tent 1, or attend Orphan Care Skills Training this Saturday at noon in the MO2 Gathering Room.

Wondering if this opportunity is for you? We asked three of our trip members to explain why they chose to get involved…

Why did you decide to go on an Orphan Care PEACE Trip to Rwanda?

Deana, August trip member

God changed the way I thought 2013 would look for our family. Back in February my daughter Madelyn was tasked with a Christian biography book report. My sweet girl has always had such a heart for missions, so I gave her the book “Kisses from Katie.” She devoured it! When she put it down, I snuck into her room and I, too, devoured it! It wasn’t the fact that a beautiful young homecoming queen, gave up her so-called “American Dream” life to move to Uganda to work with, and eventually adopt, children that moved us. It was her unfathomable love and faith in God! You couldn’t help but see Jesus in the way that she treated people.

I was changed. I had to go out and make a difference and I had to do it NOW! God was working on my heart, and I knew deep down that He wanted me to do something bigger. I found out that Rwanda, Africa has a crazy goal to empty all of their orphanages by 2014!  And, our church, Saddleback, is partnering with them, through the PEACE plan, to help them meet this goal!

I have joined a sweet little (but strong and mighty) task force whose efforts are to mobilize our church to ensure that every child in every Rwandan orphanage is placed into a loving family by 2014. So along with volunteering beside this beautiful team I am also planning to GO to Rwanda with a few them this summer! We will get to use some of the wonderful resources available at our church and train some of the local church members, visit the families that have taken these beautiful children in as family members, and most importantly meet whatever needs the local church has for us! I am beyond excited and thrilled that God is using me at 40!

Gary, August trip leader

As a team leader, I told my team, “Whether you know it or not, you will be involved in a historic undertaking.” Never before has a government of any country had a program to empty orphanages while using the local churches to support the effort. Can you imagine all dominations of churches in the US getting behind ANY government program? No way! But in Rwanda that is exactly what’s behind this program. The Rwandan government specifically asked Saddleback church to help lead the way and develop the plans and philosophy to make this program successful, and we will be a part of that!

Some people may say, "But don’t we need orphanages, aren’t they good for the children?" Well our team knows that orphanages actually restrict growth in children and it can be detrimental to their physical and mental health. I think everyone would agree that every child deserves a family – that’s our goal and that’s how you empty the orphanages.

Matt, July trip member

Personally, I have always had a heart for child development. I have worked with underprivileged children at UCLA and taught elementary school in South Korea. My future career will involve child development. So when I learned about this Rwandan orphan care initiative, I was surprised that fits my skills and interests perfectly.

Saddleback Church has been working in Rwanda for almost 10 years, training hundreds of local churches in the PEACE Plan. Recently, Rwanda set a BIG GOAL for their nation: to have all 3,000 of the country’s orphans adopted into families by the end of 2014. Every child not only deserves a family, but requires one for healthy development. I want to see all of the Rwandan orphanages completely empty.

 

To learn more about how YOU can go on an orphan care PEACE trip to Rwanda, come to the Rwanda tent at our monthly PEACE Global Night gathering, this Saturday June 22nd at 7pm in Tent 1, or attend Orphan Care Skills Training this Saturday at noon in the MO2 Gathering Room.

You can also email orphans@saddleback.com or call the orphan care line at 949-609-8555.

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"We’re better together!” said Elizabeth Styffe, Director Global HIV and Orphan Care Initiatives, and Moses Ndihiro, Director of Field Operations in Rwanda, who are part of a group of servant leaders working together in Kigali and other parts of Rwanda this week.

Saddleback teams are frequently in Rwanda, serving alongside the local church, but this week there are intensive planning efforts underway centering around how to continue to mobilize every believer in every church, and how to have healthy Purpose Driven Churches transform an entire nation. 

“You can go, you can serve, you can lead – God wants to use the local church with ordinary believers like you to change the world!” – these were some of the conversations as Saddleback teams are once again serving alongside the leaders of the PEACE Plan in Rwanda.

Please pray for Saddleback orphan care PEACE teams that are preparing to leave in July and August. For more information on how you can go on a trip to Rwanda, email orphans@saddleback.com.

Thank you to the over 700 families who have contributed to emptying orphanages in Rwanda.  Your gifts are making a difference helping 3000 children leave the orphanages!  5 of Rwanda's 35 orphanages have already been emptied and 800 children now have a permanent loving family in Rwanda to call their own. With your help, the PEACE plan is training and equipping local churches to empower and support Rwandan families for life-long, self-sustaining adoption.  Children now have a family of their own! Let’s get to zero children in orphanages!

Here are two opportunties to be a part of this exciting time in Rwanda:

GO

You and your family can make a lasting difference by traveling to Rwanda! Teams are going year round, and we’ll provide all the training you need.

Come hear from all the Rwanda teams – including orphan care – and learn how you can get involved at our monthly Global PEACE Night on Saturday May 25th at 6:30pm in Tent 1.

For more information on Orphan Care Rwanda trips, email orphans@saddleback.com.

GIVE

For $38 a month, you can have a major impact in the life of an orphan as Rwanda continues to empty their remaining orphanages by the end of 2014!

Your sponsorship helps provide: A FAMILY, school fees, medical insurance, sustainable income-generating skills, church-based lay social worker support, and family training through the local church

Unlike other sponsorship programs, your sponsorship goes to the family through the local church. Working through our long-standing network of PEACE Plan local churches allows for high accountability and integrity.

The PEACE Plan is the only effort that is not just caring for orphans, but ENDING the orphan crisis by reuniting children with parents in the community or raising up and training adoptive families in Rwanda

Visit http://saddleback.com/giving/opportunities/emptyorphanages/ to sign up.

 

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Thank you to the over 700 families who have contributed to emptying orphanages in Rwanda.  Your gifts are making a difference helping 3000 children leave the orphanages!  5 of Rwanda's 35 orphanages have already been emptied and 800 children now have a permanent loving family in Rwanda to call their own. With your help, the PEACE plan is training and equipping local churches to empower and support Rwandan families for life-long, self-sustaining adoption.  Children now have a family of their own! Let’s get to zero children in orphanages!

If you haven't gotten involved yet, you still can! Here are two options:

GO

You and your family can make a lasting difference by traveling to Rwanda! Teams are going year round, and we’ll provide all the training you need.

To learn more about going on Rwanda PEACE trip, email orphans@saddleback.com or attend one of our trip info meetings:

  • May 15, 6:30-9pm in the MO2 gathering room
  • May 22, 6:30-9pm in the MO2 gathering room

 

GIVE

For $38 a month, you can have a major impact in the life of an orphan as Rwanda continues to empty their remaining orphanages by the end of 2014!

Your sponsorship helps provide: A FAMILY, school fees, medical insurance, sustainable income-generating skills, church-based lay social worker support, and family training through the local church

Unlike other sponsorship programs, your sponsorship goes to the family through the local church. Working through our long-standing network of PEACE Plan local churches allows for high accountability and integrity.

The PEACE Plan is the only effort that is not just caring for orphans, but ENDING the orphan crisis by reuniting children with parents in the community or raising up and training adoptive families in Rwanda

Visit http://saddleback.com/giving/opportunities/emptyorphanages/ to sign up.

 

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