With a heavy heart, we come to that time again.  It’s time for the NHFC host children to return to their home countries.   They are leaving a very special family they have come to love to return to their lives in orphanages or foster homes.  Families across the US will share hugs and tears with their host children before sending them off on a 24+ hour journey with a chaperone.

The sun is about to set on Christmas 2011 hosting.

Sunset over a sunflower field in Ukraine

Sunsets can be beautiful.  Ordinary things shine in a different way.  How could saying ‘so long’ to a child you love be beautiful? 

It’s a beautiful thing to see how God has worked throughout the hosting time together.  How far they have come and what a gift they have been to their host family and friends.  For some, it is beautiful to see how much they have grown.  They may have come completely unemotional and guarded, but when they leave the airport they have taken the risk to open their hearts and be loved.  It’s a beautiful thing to see that transformation. 

When the sun is gone, things get darker.  The brightness and life that host children can bring to a family are suddenly whisked away.  A void is left in their departure.

When the sun is gone from our view, it is shining somewhere else.  Remember that your host children may be gone from your presence, but they may still be shining in the presence of others.  Host families make an immeasurable impact on their host child’s life.  They are taking that with them wherever they go.  Pray that they keep shining.  Pray that the seeds that have been planted in your time with them are nourished and continue to grow. 

No matter how your host program may have gone – not the way you expected or better than you every imagined – you have served the Lord by being obedient.  You have done just what He asked you to do. 

The success of love is in the loving – it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done.
-Mother Theresa

You have played a very special role in His plan for an orphaned child’s life.  You have loved the way God asked of you.  Regardless of the outcomes of hosting, I can’t help but praise Him.  He is good all the time, what an honor it is to be HIS.


Praise the LORD.

   Praise the LORD, you his servants;
   praise the name of the LORD.

Let the name of the LORD be praised,
   both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
   the name of the LORD is to be praised.

The LORD is exalted over all the nations,
   his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the LORD our God,
   the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
   on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust
   and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
   with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home
   as a happy mother of children.

   Praise the LORD.

Psalm 113 (NIV)