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Posted by Ashley Eure

When the Rwandan government first announced its goal to empty all the orphanages by placing the children into families, the idea was met by some with resistance.

One orphanage owner said closing the orphanage was impossible. He argued some children were “unadoptable,” and he pointed to three children from his orphanage as examples: Laurence, a 17-year-old girl living with HIV; Joel, a 10-year-old living with HIV; and Jean Pierre, a 4-year-old with cerebral palsy. No family, he said, would be willing to take in these sick or handicapped children, and therefore they would always need to be in the orphanage.

The local church knew, however, that God cared about each child, that He saw them and had a plan for their lives. They knew that God designed the local church as the hope of the world. Volunteers began raising up and training adoptive families with the support of the Orphan Care Initiative and Rwanda Orphan Sponsorship.

Joel, the 10-year-old living with HIV, was quickly adopted into a family from a local church who loves him and provides him with the care he needs. Laurence, who herself had no hope of ever leaving the orphanage, was adopted by Kabibi, a healthy woman living with HIV in Kigali (we shared their story here).

For a time it seemed that Jean Pierre would be one of the last children in the orphanage, as his cerebral palsy made his care more challenging. However, as the last few children left in the orphanage went home to family, the miraculous happened: Darlene, a woman who had helped to care for Jean Pierre at the orphanage, had grown to love him as a son. She couldn’t see him left alone and abandoned once again as the orphanage closed, and she decided to adopt him herself.

Darlene wasn’t sure she had the resources to care for him on her own, so she reached out to the local church who, through the Orphan Care Initiative, got them connected to a special needs school that will provide specialized care for Jean Pierre and training for Darlene. Darlene is so passionate about providing Jean Pierre the best care possible she is relocating in order to be closer to the school. Jean Pierre, once an “unadoptable” in the orphanage, is now a much-loved son.

Rwanda Orphan Care

Jean Pierre’s former orphanage is now completely closed. Every one of the over 100 children who were living there is now in a family of his or her own, thanks to the local church, the Orphan Care Initiative, and the support of generous Orphan Care Sponsors. The orphanage’s closing is just one testament to what God can do when His Church ignores the voice of those who say, “It can’t be done.”




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