Hosting an orphan can be a life changing experience.  It is a very special opportunity to care for and love an orphan who has been forgotten and doesn’t know what it means to be a part of a family.   If you want to bless a child without a family in a life changing way, then hosting them in your family is a perfect way to do it.

Many people, including myself, go into hosting with that thought – to bless a child with God’s love in a very tangible way.  But somewhere between the time that you choose a child from a photolisting and the time you must return them to their home country on a plane… things can change.  You realize that you are the one who has become blessed.  You set out to bless an orphaned child, and come to find that you feel so much more blessed by the host child.

You invite a child into your home who has most likely been abandoned by their earthly family.  They cannot care for them.  They are put in an institution where they are one of the many, with very little that sets them apart as an individual.   By their preteens, they are devalued as troubled child within their own community.  They are forgotten, neglected, unwanted.  And in the scope of the global picture… who even considers the needs of orphans in Eastern Europe?  Many orphan charities focus on Asia and Africa.  Can’t industrialized European countries like Ukraine care for their own children? And who even knows where Latvia is?  These children come to the United States with very little self-worth.  What could they possibly have to offer a family who seems to have it all?

More than they could ever imagine.

Orphans have so much to give.  Their smiles, laughter, hugs, and presence can change a typical holiday into one that changes your family forever.  They renew the spirit of hope and joy that Christmas is all about.  Although they have so little to offer, they have the gift of bringing new life to a family during the holiday. And this is Christmas. 

This is what Christmas is all about. 

Jesus Christ was born to a young couple before they were married.  He was born in the midst of their travels and the only place for them to go was a manger.  The town in which he was born was of no significance in that day.  Those who were welcomed to celebrate his birth were not people of influence, merely shepherds.  Without the announcement of angels, there would have been very little that attracted people to the birth of Jesus.  He was born no where special, with very little to offer.  “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2b).  And yet he was the one who was sent to save mankind.   This is Christmas.   

Christmas is about God working in the way that he does best, the way that I love.  Using the unexpected, the unworthy, the lowly, the undeserving, & the insignificant.  He did not come with majesty, wealth, or force.  He sent Jesus with nothing, and it changed the course of humanity – 1 Corinthians 1:27-31.  This is Christmas. 

I love how this great paradox of Christianity is reflected in orphan hosting.  Fatherless children come to us with nothing to offer.  And through your time together they teach you things that you could have never learned otherwise and give you gifts that you never knew you could receive. 

Blessings to you, your family, and your special guests this Christmas! 

I would love to hear how you have been blessed by your host children!