by Beth Perez, Latin America Program Director
This past December, we were able to partner with Colombia to host 21 children in the USA for 2 weeks. It was an amazing time getting to know these precious souls. Each child is so special, filled with hopes and dreams, desiring to be part of a family. We are currently praying the Lord will bring forth missional, Christian families who will commit to each child or sibling group so that they will know what is means to be part of an earthly family but more importantly what it means to be part of God’s family. I personally have spent much quality time getting to know each child, along with our Latin America team, and we have all fallen in love with each child.
The Colombia hosting program has been a unique way to spend quality time with the children, getting to know them better, and advocating for their forever families. These hosting programs have shown to be a great success. Over the last 2 years, as we have seen 57 children participate in this program (most of which have forever families now). These children are in need of an extra layer of advocacy since they tend to be older, in larger sibling groups, or have bigger medical needs.
Each program, the Lord has faithfully brought incredible host families and church communities who partner with Lifeline to give them an unforgettable experience. Many host families chose to proceed in adopting their host children, while others host to help us advocate for the children. We have truly been so grateful to see the body of Christ welcome these children with open hearts to their homes and, in turn, partner with Lifeline to pray for the children, show them Christ’s love, and to help find their forever families. While some families have hosted, others have served in other ways when they have not been able to do so. We have seen the body of Christ rallying together in some amazing ways to pray for each child and their future families. They have also joined us in sharing posts and getting the word out about who each of these children are. A simple share on Facebook, sharing advocacy cards with your local church, or talking to your friends and family about these children has an eternal impact in ways we will never totally know on this side of heaven.
David Platt once said, “orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.” I think this perfectly summarizes the hosting program. Many of these children have been invisible in the system here in Colombia due to their ages or needs. Many have said no to meeting them or advocating for them simply due to their age or needs. However, the hosting program sheds light on who these children are and that they are in need of an earthly and heavenly family. Living in Colombia, I get to know the children more, which only fuels the passion to see them known by others and to understand they are known by the Lord. They have value. They have worth. They deserve the opportunity to experience unconditional love.
Will you pray for these children and trust the Lord to do a mighty work in each of their lives? Will you play a part of their life’s story and help us share the word? Will you even consider being a forever family yourself?