Christmas Orphan Hosting–And a Blast from the Past

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One little storyline from a tv show I watched during my junior high years planted seeds of the orphan hosting concept in my heart 15 years ago.  Can you just imagine how much this old Boy Meets World episode means to me now when I look back at it?  It’s amazing how the littlest things from your past add up to big things in your future.



–Eric, nobody expects you to take care of all the needy children.
–Then why were they sent to me?


Do you think I can have parents for Christmas?


Why would you send me that little boy?
Why doesn’t that nice little boy have parents?
Why doesn’t that nice little boy have parents? 
Why did you send me that little kid?


I will take care of this.
I can be responsible for the happiness of one little boy.


You see, Tommy here doesn’t have a family,
so I thought it would be nice if he could spend Christmas with us.


Eric said we can hang out on weekends.
–Yeah it will be like he’s got a big brother… I figured it was something I could do.


It’s not too late for you to make the difference in the life of a needy child this Christmas!  New Horizons for Children is still looking for Christmas host families.  Deadlines to host Eastern European children begin just 1 week from now!  You can sign up here to take a peek at some of the awesome “Tommys”  out there who just want a family for Christmas.


NHFC - Christmas is Coming


Destination Ukraine–What will you be doing?–video

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“What will you be doing there?” is the question I answer almost every time I tell someone I’m going on a mission trip to Ukraine.  The short answer – we will be working with New Hope Center, a Christian ministry to graduated orphans in the region where Sasha is from.  We will be doing construction on one of the group homes where their Trade School students live.  The realistic answer – none of us will know until we get there. Winking smile

I’m so excited to be partnering with this ministry that I started praying for… before I even knew it existed.  It’s so awesome to have learned about this ministry that God has been developing for years before I even knew about this region. 

New Hope Center’s trade school just finished it’s very first year of educating and training orphans for a practical career in dairy farming.  One thing that I don’t think we have emphasized enough when sharing about our trip is that this is the very first trade school of its kind in Ukraine.  It is the only accredited non-government trade school in the whole country.  This is huge.  It’s a huge miracle that they have received all the approvals and favor from government officials which makes everything possible… because there are innumerable barriers – foreseen and unforeseen – that could have prevented this from happening.

I think this video is the best way to get a glimpse at what we will be doing.  It’s awesome to see the land we will be exploring, the buildings we will be visiting, the people we will be working with, and the orphans who will be touched by our work! 

Thank you so much for your prayers and support! My dad and I leave TODAY and will arrive in Ukraine tomorrow afternoon! Stay tuned for more updates! 

Host an Orphan–Fight Human Trafficking

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“The cold, hard reality is that a child that lacks a provider and protector is the ideal target for traffickers. The vulnerability and need of an orphan makes them the perfect victim, from forced prostitution to slave labor.” – Jedd Medefind, Christian Alliance for Orphans

The global crime of human trafficking is a huge one for any individual to tackle.  What could one person possibly do to make a difference in this politically charged, corruptly hidden, dangerously protected assault on humanity?

I know of one extremely powerful, safe, and relatively affordable way to prevent it – by hosting an orphan.

One child at a time, NHFC host families can change the future of orphans.  Without hosting, orphans feel worthless, hopeless, vulnerable, and often feel as if no one would care if they are alive or what happens to them… which is exactly what makes them prime targets for traffickers.

Once they are hosted, just for 1 month, so much can change for an orphan.  They know there is someone in the world who cares about them.  Host families value them and love them and they begin to see that value in themselves.  They have families who will look out for them, check up on them, connect them with people in their lives who can educate and protect them.  They are inspired with hopes and dreams for their futures!

All it takes is 1 family to host 1 orphan and the cycle of human trafficking is potentially prevented in the future of that child!

This is how the lost get found…

“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow…”
Deuteronomy 10:18 (NIV)

Russian Adoptions–“The Law of Infamy” Video

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You have heard by now that Russia has banned Americans from adopting anymore children from their orphanages. Not everyone in Russia sees this as a unified good decision. This short video made by a Russian person, shows that the few in their Duma have lost sight of the problem and how it’s now a political pawn game with the children being the pawns. Please pray for these children as Our Lord has NOT forgotten them.

Shared by Le Ann Dakake, director of Orphan Hosting at NHFC

It is encouraging to know there are still people in Russia who disagree with this decision.  Please pray for these children and the government over them!  They truly need God in a very big way!

116–Each One Matters

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One hundred sixteen.

Just think about that number for a minute.  Think about ‘Hundreds Day’ when elementary school students need to collect 100 of one item to bring to school that day.  To celebrate the 100th day of school… and to teach them how big 100 really is.  To us, it kind of sounds like a little, but when you have to sit and count out that many items, it starts to seem like a lot, like you will never reach that point when you finally get to say “…98, 99, 100!!!”

When I say 116, I’m not thinking of counting buttons, Legos, or Teddy Grahams… I’m thinking about souls.  One hundred sixteen souls, children, orphans.  116 children without parents.  Each with their own stories, hardships, losses.  116 names, faces, and special spirits that need love.

116 is the number of host families NHFC still needs for this Christmas.  We have 116 awesome kids who are still waiting to be chosen by a family who will love them, bless them, build them up this Christmas. 

On the other side of that 116 is another number 88.  88 families who have joined our cause.  Together they have committed to love and cherish a total of 118 orphans.  They have said they are going to give what they have been given and share it with these children this Christmas. 

Would you consider joining our cause, the cause to fight for these orphans? Will you do it for just 1 out of the 116 who are still waiting? 

I wish I had enough time and space to tell you about all the awesome children who are still waiting to be chosen. 

Each One MattersAndrey who is nearly too old for the orphanage, but he is committed to his education.
Beautiful Anastasija who deals with a poor self-image because of scars from her past.
Sasha who is not afraid to stand up for the younger orphans who are bullied.
Nikolajs who speaks with a strong stutter, but it disappears when he shares his incredible singing voice.
Deniss and Lena, brother & sister, who are talented ballroom dancers.
Markuss, who is a kind and gentle boy who gets bullied often.
Viktor who would love a new Bible after his old one was stolen.
Sweet Irina who dreams of a good family with a mom and a dad.

…and that is only 8 of them. There are 108 more out there who are just as loveable and in need of someone to love them!

What can you do to help?

116 waiting children.  Each one with a name, a face, arms to be hugged, a heart to be loved, a soul to be fed. Each one matters.

God places the lonely in families
Psalm 68:6a (NLT)

Still needing host families for Christmas 2012!


Update Day

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This weekend I am away at a retreat for NHFC volunteers. It’s been a great time of refreshing, fellowship, and preparing for another great hosting program.  I can’t wait until more great developments in our ministry are announced, God is doing great things!!!

This week, I have focused on updating some of my previous posts:

September 1, 2012 “The Cost of Unconditional Love”
In this post, I talked about the challenges and blessing of loving our Sasha unconditionally. I have added some photos since we have in touch with him. Be sure to follow some of the links to read the latest in our story!

September 8, 2012 “What is Orphan Hosting?”
After this post, I worked on a new video that is focused on just that, showing what orphan hosting is all about.  It’s already had over 1,000 views and has been shared over 100 times on Facebook alone.  You will be touched by it! Feel free to share!

Summer 2012–Orphan Hosting Update

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This has been a great summer for New Horizons for Children’s 20th orphan hosting program! Here are a few numbers to help you get an idea:

  • 140 host families coast-to-coast
  • 183 orphans hosted
  • 103 from Latvia
  • 80 from Ukraine
  • 106 are single children
  • 26 groups of 2 siblings
  • 7 groups of 3 siblings
  • 1 group of 4 siblings!

Each number represents one soul that will be touched this summer! We praise God for all he has done so far.

I wish I could share all the great stories and testimonies from our host families. For a few of them, you can see our July newsletter here.

July 2012 Newsletter

We compiled some photos of the host children from their original photolisting picture and after their time with their host family.  The previous pictures were sad, a forced smile, or empty eyes. So many of the after pictures show children glowing with joy, peace, and freedom to be a child loved by a family. Behind each of these photos is a child with a story of abandonment and a host family who has been transformed by loving their host child. Be blessed by the photos!

One of the boys I prayed for all spring! Click to see more!

We also challenged host families to find a promise from scripture that speaks strongly to them about their host child and take a photo of the host child holding on to that promise written on cardboard. In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to pray these promises of God over these children of God! May they be forever changed by the love of their host families and the truth of God’s Word!

We have learned we are not orphans… We are children of God!

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