America.  The land of the free and the home of the brave.  I’ll admit, that in some ways, my work with orphans from many countries has somewhat tainted my American patriotism.  From different sides of the globe, I have heard how Americans are known for their greed and selfishness, stealing or selling babies, and polluting kids’ minds with the great American values of MTV.  Who would want to be known as an American if the name is synonymous with those qualities? 

The experience of hosting an orphan greatly changed my perception of the meaning of America.  As ministers of the love and hope of Christ, New Horizons for Children is able to change those negative misperceptions.  America may not be perfect, but to so many orphans it represents the freedom, hope, and love they are dreaming to find in a family. 

Eastern European orphans are not only abandoned by their families, but also stigmatized and ostracized by their respective societies as a whole.  Especially school-aged children and teens are seen as damaged goods, worthless, or deserving of their fated life in institutionalization. 

I’m so honored to be involved with an organization that offers American life to these children who need it the most.  Just a taste of American life for 5 weeks can change their lives.  They no longer just hear about the great land of opportunity in the United States, a place where everyone is given a chance, freedom is treasured and protected, and hope for dreams and aspirations cannot be extinguished.  These orphans get to live it.  Our host families show them in word and deed that hope, freedom, dreams, and love are real.  And this is not because we are citizens of the United States of America, but redeemed sons and daughters of the Living God.

For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18

 

I’m one to argue that we’re more of a “mixed salad” 😉 …but still a great clip!
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