One day I got an email from a friend, telling us the exciting news that they were hosting an orphan from Eastern Europe this summer. I remember hearing something about this organization a few weeks before. So I went back to the website to look again, New Horizons for Children, and I called my friend. After that phone call, I texted Mr. M about it, and said, "What do you think about hosting an orphan this summer from EE?" His response was, "Through what program?". And that was the beginning of our journey.
Initially, I signed up to just see pictures of the kids. But once you see their faces, there is no going back. Any excuse we thought of, just sounded like that…an excuse. Each face that we saw, represented a child and a life. A life that was hard, without the love of a family. Each picture has a little paragraph written about them. Not about their life, but just a little get to know you and something about their likes and dislikes and their hopes about coming to America.
I scanned through the faces on the page and came to one in particular, "I". Her paragraph was sweet and she sounded a lot like our Princess. As we looked through others and read their stories…we just prayed. Lord, is this what you have for us? I remembered that just a few days before, our church posted this on their Facebook page - Others-Focused - We will seek to follow the biblical definition for "pure and undefiled religion" and direct our focus beyond ourselves to those generations in need around us, especially the "orphans and widows." (James 1:27; Matthew 25:34-40; Luke 14:21-23)
We felt like we were right in the center of God's will.
A lot comes with this decision. We have to raise quite a bit of money, through our fundraising site. We have to go through background checks, training, piles of paperwork, home safety checks, etc. Many have asked why host a teenager, why bring them here when you have to send them back, isn't the language barrier going to be difficult? We put together a missions letter to explain. I did have to take out some info that is in our original letter, due to rules about what can be posted on the internet. No pictures, no names, no ages, no exact country that she's from, etc.
This summer for five weeks our family will be hosting an orphan from Eastern Europe through a program called New Horizons For Children (www.newhorizonsforchildren.org). For 12 years New Horizons has worked with orphanages in Latvia, Ukraine, and Asia to bring thus far 3,500 older orphans to stay with Christian host families across America. This can be a life-changing experience for the orphans who have never been a part of a loving, functional family. It is on our hearts to be a part of this work!
We have chosen to host "I". Here is a little bit of what her paragraph said. She likes school, especially art and music. Her dream is to be a music therapy teacher. She is currently learning to play the piano, and dances the national dance of her country.
The statistics for orphans like "I" are heartbreaking. Most end up on the streets and almost 15% of them commit suicide within two years of aging out of the system. Over 60% end up in crime, prostitution, or human trafficking. Astonishingly only 1 in 10 live to see their 21st birthday.
But being hosted with New Horizons gives children like "I" hope. Her five weeks here, being immersed in English, will be like five semesters of English classes and will give her more opportunities to make a living as she enters adulthood. Also, we have the opportunity to share the love of Christ with her while she is here. She is no longer adoptable due to her age, but we can show her the love of a family and the love of Jesus that will stay with her for all her life and give her a better future!
We want to be the hands and feet of Jesus! Our family has already committed to prayer and finances on behalf of "I". Will you partner with us through prayer support and giving as well? Please pray for our girl, that her heart will be open to the things of the Lord and that she will enjoy her time here with our family. By God’s grace this young woman will embrace the Savior and return to her homeland with the hope we have as believers.
The expenses for all travel-related costs will be $2,700. Donations for her travel can be made directly to New Horizons For Children and will be tax deductable. In addition we need to raise at least $1,000 for special expenses while she is here. We will of course supply the daily items – meals, local transportation, outings and so forth. She cannot travel here with any luggage so we need to provide all clothing, shoes, and personal care items for her, things a teen-age girl would enjoy. We also need to take her to an eye doctor and a dentist. Your generosity will be a blessing toward these special costs.
For travel expenses, please donate at http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/b0445-may-family-fundraiser-new-horizons-for-children-/150399. (If you would like to donate to her special expenses, please contact me through my blog and I will give you the info!)
In closing, please send me a picture of your family so I can show "I" the many American families who gave of their own treasure to bless her here in America. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:14
Thank you so much for any consideration and do keep us in prayer!
We are so excited for our journey to begin!