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.
Why adoption? One adoptive father
from our ministry shares what adoption has meant to him, his family, and his
little girl (originally posted by Karl
This shot of my daughter is worth a
million to me, but not because it’s a nice photo. Certainly people relate to
it, and they’ve given me kind words about her gleeful expression, or how it
takes them back to when Daddy pushing you on a swing was one of life’s greatest
joys. Her delight’s genuine, and you can see it. But, while it’s great to
create a good image, there are many things that are more important.
What makes this image special is
that in it we see changed lives – my daughter’s, my wife’s and mine. We adopted
my daughter. I can’t imagine what it’s like for anyone to grow up without
loving parents, but it makes me wonder whether she would have had moments like
these. On the other hand, I now know what my wife and I would have missed;
thinking what might not have been makes me weep.
Too many children grow up without
families. There are about 163million orphans in the world who have lost one or
both parents (and one is too many). Consider, on the other hand, that there are
about 1.4 billion families (households) if only about 1 in 9 [families] adopted
one child – we could close every orphanage! Not every household can do so, but
others would (and do) adopt two or more. And, of the 163 million orphans, many
still have a parent and a viable family if we worked to help them remain in
family and reunite with family. My point is that this should be a solvable
To be direct, what about you? If
you’re thinking about enlarging your family, give it some serious thought. I
wasn’t sure I wanted to adopt. If I’m honest, I was basically dragged into it.
But my fears, concerns, worries and hesitation vanished the instant I held my
little girl for the first time. Now I thank God that He didn’t let me off the
hook on this one. When you become an adoptive parent you give a lot, but you
get a lot more than you give. For every smile we’ve put on our little girl’s
face, she’s put a hundred on ours. I think it’s one of God’s ways of teaching
us what’s really important.
Are you considering adoption? Come
check out our monthly “Thinking About Adoption or Foster Care” seminar this
Wednesday, January 6th from 6:30-8:30pm in the MO2 Gathering Room of
the Lake Forest Saddleback Church campus, or call 949-609-8555 for more
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 email@example.com or call 949-609-8555.
Perhaps, like me,
you’ve been tempted to worry for your children that adoption will affect them,
especially in the long run. When I am tempted to fear this is my prayer:
If something in them is ruined, may it be
apathy. If they are disrupted, may it be for the plight of the orphan and the
widow, the sick and the lonely, the refugee and the homeless. If this does, in
fact, create baggage down the road, may they experience the peace that comes in
unloading their burdens on the only One who can fully bear the weight. If they
are uncomfortable, may they embrace the presence of the Spirit, our Comforter.
If they are ever questioned or teased for the differences in their family, may
the Spirit strengthen them in every way, and may the experience increase their
compassion and empathy. In this Land of Opportunity, may they take every
opportunity to show the mercy that they have been shown. I’m not advocating for
a life riddled with uncertainty and inconsistency for our children. They need
safe rhythms and security, and one of our primary roles is to protect them. But
as we do, may we protect them from a life anesthetized by comforts that blind
them to the needs of others. We are called to love and to live sacrificially.
May we help them see there is a story bigger than their own. As we teach our
children that Christ has done the monumental work of saving the world, may we
never forget to show them how He invites us to join in the incremental work of
loving our neighbor, even when it means disruption. Obedience leads ultimately
to joy and freedom. He turns disruption into a gift.
Originally posted as The Gift of Disruption by Katy Rose Oct 20, 2015 on
Kristen Welch’s blog wearethatfamily.com
If you would like information on how to begin your adoption or foster care journey, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Orphan Care Initiative at 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.