HEART -- JOY
My heart is full of joy watching my children this Christmas morning. This year due to the next adoption, we "cut back" actually way back- our children however, had such JOY- they are very happy with what they received. I am praying each day that the Lord helps Juan and I teach our kids the joy of living, being content with what you have. Joy is not the next "gift" "thing" "toy" that we want. Joy is inside- and Once we accept Christ as our Savior, JOY is a choice.
My heart is breaking over the facts of this world. You know we all can do something. Maybe it is not for you to adopt, maybe you are past the stage in your life that that is what you can do. However you would be surprised how the older you are- the more calm, you are, with the kids- But it is true, not everyone can or should adopt. There are however so many other things that each one of us can pitch in and do. Just off the top of my head- I know of several orphanages that need supplies, babies are dying. There is a project in Haiti digging wells to bring clean drinking water to towns. There is a project that helps widows to be trained in a "job" so that they can support their children. (This is the project that I plan to work very hard on this next year- I so believe in helping others help themselves.) While I was in Ethiopia 2 years ago, I went and visited this project and plan to go again with our next trip. Hopefully SOON!!
IF anyone wants more information on any of the projects that I have just mentioned- or want to talk about other projects, please just email me. I can get addresses and more information to you, so that maybe you can start your "grass roots" project. EVERY single person that helps, even a little bit- Helps! It only takes one person to start the chain of events that can help the world. I CAN HELP.
My heart is breaking over the following facts.
What is the need?
Over 143 million children have lost one or both parents. 1
At least 16.2 million children worldwide have lost both parents. 2
Every 14 seconds a child loses a parent due to AIDS. 3
Conflict has orphaned or separated 1 million children from their families in the 1990s. 4
Where are they?
43.4 million orphans live in sub-Saharan Africa, 87.6 million orphans live in Asia, and 12.4 million orphans live in Latin America and the Caribbean. 5
1.5 million children live in public care in Central and Eastern Europe alone. 6
At any given point there are over 500,000 children in the U.S. Foster Care system. 7
In some countries, children are abandoned at alarming rates, due to poverty, restrictive population control policies, disabilities or perceived disabilities, and cultural traditions that value boys more than girls. 8
What about AIDS?
More than 14 million children under the age of 15 have lost one or both parents to AIDS, the vast majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa. 9
By 2010, the number of children orphaned by AIDS globally is expected to exceed 25 million. 10
AIDS is more likely than other cause of death to result in children losing both parents. 11
As the infection spreads, the number of children who have lost parents to AIDS is beginning to grow in other regions as well, including Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. 12
What happens to the children?
Children are profoundly affected as their parents fall sick and die, setting them on a long trail of painful experiences often characterized by: economic hardship, lack of love, attention and affection, withdrawal from school, psychological distress, loss of inheritance, increased physical and sexual abuse and risk of HIV infection, malnutrition and illness, stigma, discrimination, exploitation, trafficking, and isolation. 13
Orphaned children are much more likely than non-orphans to be working in commercial agriculture, as street vendors, in domestic service and in the sex trade. 14
Unaccompanied boys are at high risk of forced or 'voluntary' participation in violence and armed conflict. 15
Orphanages, children's villages, or other group residential facilities generally fail to meet young people's emotional and psychological needs. 16
What about foster care?
On average, children stay in foster care for 30 months, or 2.5 years. 17
118,000 children were waiting to be adopted on September 30, 2004. 18
On average, those children waiting for adoption have been in foster care for 43.8 months, almost 4 years. 19
Each year, an estimated 20,000 young people “age out” of the U.S. foster care system. Many are only 18 years old and still need support and services. Of those who aged out of foster care: 20 Outcome 21 Earned a high school diploma: 54% Obtained a Bachelor's degree or higher: 2% Were unemployed: 51% Had no health insurance: 30% Had been homeless: 25% 22 Were receiving public assistance: 30%
Is there any hope?
Yes. There is One who infinitely loves each orphan and calls His people to join Him in caring for the fatherless. Each one of us can Show Hope to an orphan.
If only 7% of the 2 billion Christians in the world would show hope to a single orphan, looking after the child in their distress, there would effectively be no more orphans. We can each do something.