God is at work in Rwanda - mobilizing ordinary church members to care for the orphan in radical ways! At the close of a God’s Heart for the Orphan vision seminar in Eastern Rwanda, an Orphan Care PEACE team asked the pastors attending to name 1 or 2 volunteers they could send the following day from their churches to receive the lay social worker training. As the team wrote in their journal that evening they noted:
“We asked the pastors to think of 1 or 2 people to send to our training tomorrow and we got 50 names! 1 could show up or all 50. We aren't sure but we are praying for all of them to come!”
The next day, 50 ordinary Rwandan believers came from various churches to receive the training! It was incredible that 50 individuals from different churches would drop their daily work to come receive training on how to support adoptive families in their communities. This answered prayer only illuminates the bigger miracle God has been stirring across Rwanda. Orphans are being taken into families with immediacy, churches are being mobilized to support families, and local church members are the ministers!
If you would like to be part of a miracle by sponsoring a Rwandan family to help them adopt, visit Saddleback.com/Sponsorship, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Families end the orphan crisis.
“God places the lonely in families...” Psalm 68:6 NLT
“Focus on the child and the family – not just the child – help with the whole family physically and spiritually” -Rwandan Lay Social Workers
Senators Amy Klobuchar and Roy Blunt recently introduced the Vulnerable
Children and Families Act, which will ensure that intercountry
adoption to the United States becomes a viable option for providing safe, stable,
nurturing, and permanent families for orphans. If this bill is passed, data on children living
without families would be included in the Department of State’s annual human
rights report, which would deem the denial of family life through adoption and
their unnecessary institutionalization a human rights violation. If you
want more information on the bill click here: About the Vulnerable
Children and Family Act
can be a voice for the voiceless and we have been granted the freedom to do so.
We can be advocates for children being adopted into permanent and loving
families! How can you be an advocate for adoption? Write your
are a few guidelines to point you in the write (get it? It’s to motivate you to
for the format of the letter:
is a link to a template for you to follow. If you write a letter, make sure to
find your congressperson’s information and to personalize the body of the
letter. Your opinions matter to our government and these letters will make a
difference. If you could take half an hour out of your day to send a letter,
you could be impacting the lives of millions of children. You can be an
advocate for adoption, a voice for the voiceless, and a defender for the
you would like more information on how the Orphan Care Initiative works to help
children remain in family, reunite with family, or regain family through
adoption, email email@example.com
or call the Orphan Care line at 949-609-8555.
In Gicumbi Byumba, Rwanda, 29 church leaders gathered to hear God’s Heart for the Orphan and consider the implementation of PEACE within their churches. Following breakout sessions, the leaders were prompted to identify the number one problem in caring for orphans and how their churches could solve it. Baptist leaders congregated on one side of the room while Anglicans gathered along the other. As they mulled over these questions, they realized their solution was to do physically for the orphan what God has done for believers spiritually. Their churches would adopt orphans, and as soon as possible!
Yet there was one last problem to solve. The Baptist leaders piped up, “We don’t have an orphanage; we don’t have a place to go get kids…” Then speaking to the Anglican leaders they asked, “Can we go to your orphanage, the Anglican orphanage, and adopt the children there?” After a tense pause seeming to last an eternity the Anglicans agreed, “Yes, yes you can!” The Baptists leaders announced they were sending members that same day to bring children home as their sons and daughters. In the family of God, mercy triumphs over judgment, and unity triumphs over division. Caring for the orphan is bringing together the family of God both here and in Rwanda as we serve the Kingdom together!
As a result of the unity of these Rwandan churches, orphans have been united with families. The Rwanda Orphan Sponsorship Program equips these families who are responding with daring faith to answer God’s call to care for the orphan. You can be a part of the transformation taking place - start giving today online.
If you would like to go on an Orphan Care PEACE trip to Rwanda, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Orphan Care line at 949-609-8555.
This article originally appeared in the Boston Globe:
Republican Representative Tom Marino of Pennsylvania and
Democratic co-sponsors David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jim McDermott of
Washington, and Brian Higgins of New York introduced a bill last week that
would put the United States in the position of supporting — rather than
undermining — the human rights of children worldwide. It is a simple bill,
consisting of only a few lines of text and requiring no new resources. But it
would have a profound effect on one of the most significant human rights crises
of our time.
The bill would essentially tell the State Department to stop
discriminating against children through its refusal to consider the violations
of human rights inherent in their unnecessary institutionalization.
Many millions of children worldwide are now locked into
institutions for no fault of their own, simply because they have been
abandoned, or removed from their parents because of maltreatment. There are
good homes waiting for many of these children if only nations would free them
up for adoption. Currently, most of these homes are available only across
national borders, since institutionalized children generally live in the
poorest and most devastated countries of the world, where few families can
afford to take in additional children to parent. Few of these countries have
any culture of domestic adoption.
But countries regularly shut down international adoption, or
create barriers that restrict it to only a lucky few. Unfortunately, the State
Department has in recent years joined with other forces to limit international
adoption as a meaningful option for unparented children. The result has been
the precipitous decline by 75 percent in the number of adoptions into the
United States since 2004, and by more than 50 percent in the number
international adoptions worldwide. This represents the deliberate and
unnecessary denial to well over 20,000 children per year of their most
fundamental human right other than life itself — the right to grow up with
This bill would put the United States in the position of
standing up for the human rights of unparented children. It would put us in the
position of calling out the human rights violations involved in condemning
children to the destruction inherent in growing up in institutions.
Gold standard social and medical science demonstrates how
institutions destroy children mentally, physically, and emotionally. It
demonstrates that there is a sensitive period in early life after which, even
if children are removed from institutions, it is much harder to undo the damage
done. The evidence also demonstrates that placement in adoption, whether in the
country of origin or abroad, works wonderfully well to help children make the
most of their lives.
This bill is supported by a coalition representing academic
experts in human rights and child welfare together with core organizations
committed to the rights of unparented children — the National Council for
Adoption, the Harvard Law School Child Advocacy Program, the Center for
Adoption Policy, Saddleback Church Orphan Care Initiative, the American Academy
of Adoption Attorneys, and Both Ends Burning.
This bill is simple but would represent a profound,
paradigm-shattering change. It would put the United States in an important
position of international human rights leadership. And Congress should be able
to agree on the position that children have the basic human right to grow up in
Elizabeth Bartholet is
professor of law and faculty director of the Child Advocacy Program at Harvard
Law School. Paulo Barrozo is associate professor of law and jurisprudence and
director of the Clough Center for Constitutional Democracy at Boston College
Paying it forward has taken on new meaning in Rwanda. Saddleback members on a recent PEACE trip heard the story of how the gift of generosity is impacting multiple generations.
Years ago when Moses was adopted, he found a home in his mother’s heart. His mother was an early recipient of sponsorship, one of a few families chosen to pilot the program as it began, and so Moses knew what it was to have his needs met because of the sacrifice of others.
Moses is now a successful young man of 20. When the PEACE team met him and his mother, they proudly shared how in grand display of reciprocal love, Moses had bought his mom a home - right next door to his own! It was clear how deeply Moses cares for his mother and how deeply he had been affected by this gift of belonging.
Yet the story doesn’t end here. Moses’s mother, overwhelmed with the generosity shown her, has once again decided to open her home to a child in need of a family. She’s adopted a little girl - courageously, joyfully choosing to pour herself out for the benefit of one more child.
What amazing love! Your sponsorship enables families just like theirs to provide lifelong and life-changing love for one another. Your sponsorship equips families, and family is the gift that keeps on giving!
Want to become a sponsor? Connect with us by email via email@example.com or call 949.609.8555 to become a sponsor today!