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“God 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.

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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. 


If you are interested in becoming a sponsor and helping children leave the orphanage in Rwanda, visit

If you would like more information on how you can go on a Rwanda Orphan Care PEACE Trip, email 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

If you would like information on how to begin your adoption or foster care journey, email us at 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. 


  • This summer’s Orphan Care PEACE Team trained seven churches in Kigali in how to start orphan care ministries. Those churches have begun gathering their members and casting the vision to care for orphans!
  • Orphan Care PEACE Teams helped raise up adoptive families and train lay social workers in Rwanda all summer! You and your family can go to Rwanda to be apart of the amazing transformation God is doing - email for more information.

If you would like to begin sponsoring a family in Rwanda to adopt a child from the orphanage, visit Questions? Email


Fall has arrived, kids are back in school, and it's a great time to get connected, learn, and gain the tools to help your family and other families! Whether you are new to orphan care, or have been around a long time - there is a spot for you to grow and learn! Gain some new insight to help your kiddos, or to serve vulnerable children locally and globally.

We hope to see you at one of these great opportunities:

Orphan Care Skills Training – Oct. 24 from 9am-1pm in the upstairs Refinery classroom

Learn how to end the orphan care crisis by helping children remain in families, reunite with families or regain a family through adoption can only be done through healthy churches helping launch healthy families. You’ll learn an overview of the practical advanced skills that you can use in your own family and give away to a church. Learn the skills churches need in parenting children from hard places using Trust Based Relational Interventions, Adult Attachment and Trauma Informed Care.


Adoption/Foster Care Support Group – Meets Tuesdays 11am-1pm, starts Oct. 27

Join other parents as we listen, learn, and grow together. This season's Adoptive and Foster Family Support Group meets on Tuesdays from 11am to 1pm in the upstairs Refinery classroom on the Lake Forest Saddleback Church campus, starting October 27. The support group will be studying from the DVD curriculum The Connection: Where Hearts Meet written by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Elizabeth Styffe. Unfortunately, no childcare is available.

Questions? Email or call the orphan care line at 949-609-8555!


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.”

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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 or email