There are approximately 153 million orphaned and vulnerable children in the world. That’s an unfathomable number. Yet even this number does not begin to cover the depth of the orphan crisis. This number excludes institutionalized children, children on the streets, or children who are at risk, neglected or abused. Of these children, only .5% will have the opportunity for international adoption. This means that our care for the orphan has to extend beyond adoption.
But what does this look like?
(un)adopted® exists to equip the Body of Christ to manifest the gospel to vulnerable children. This is carried out by sharing with international churches the biblical mandate to care for the fatherless. (un)adopted provides churches with necessary resources and trainings to minister to the spiritual and physical needs of vulnerable children in their community. By empowering the local church and community to care for the vulnerable, (un)adopted seeks to holistically care for children in their physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs. Through this work, stories are redeemed, lives are transformed, and the gospel is made known.
(un)adopted has two separate partnerships in Liberia but each serve their own unique roles in fulfilling the mission of (un)adopted. (un)adopted's partners teach Life Skills to orphaned and vulnerable children while also managing the Orphanage Director Network — a group representing 35 orphanages that meets quarterly — and hosting countrywide Caregiver Conferences twice a year. In addition to teaching Life Skills, the partners run a sewing center where students can learn tailoring skills to use in the workforce.
(un)adopted’s partner in Togo saw a particular need to help equip older orphaned children who would soon be aging out of the system with desperately needed life skills. In response to this, the partner formed a program that specializes in training these children/young adults in three specific areas: Agriculture (corn), Farming (animal breeding), and Trades. This program also incorporates evangelism and discipleship courses as well. In the past it has been conducted 2 times a year, with each training being 10 days. There are three orphanages that have been involved with this program in the past, impacting over 200 children.
More than a decade ago, while Lifeline was meeting with officials regarding international adoption, leadership was introduced to a local Ugandan pastor. The pastor had planted a new church in Busega (a small community outside of Entebbe), called King Jesus Church. Church members began to see a real need for care for the orphaned and vulnerable children in the area (specifically deaf and blind children). In the Muslim community, if a child is deaf or blind or physically disabled, he or she is literally treated as a “curse.” The church felt called to minister to these children but didn’t know how. (un)adopted was started in 2009 and through this newly formed partnership between (un)adopted and King Jesus Church, Busega Community School for the Deaf and Blind was opened in 2011. The school now has more than 30 students. (un)adopted partners by financially supporting the school and ministry at the church, advocating for the needs of the ministry, and walking alongside the pastor, church leadership, and school staff.
(un)adopted partners with a boys’ home in the Dominican Republic that ministers to boys who have no one to care for them. Often these boys are coming from lives on the street and have no form of identification — for the government, it’s as if these boys don’t exist. (un)adopted partners with this boys’ home by advocating for the ministry, leading an annual construction team, and leading yearly Caregiver Education trainings to further equip the staff that work at the home.
(un)adopted partners with a family-style care home in Guatemala that focuses on HIV+ children and teen moms (along with their babies) who have experienced sexual abuse. Throughout the year, (un)adopted takes two or three trips to Guatemala in order to provide Caregiver Education training, being instructed by Lifeline’s social workers. While social workers conduct the training sessions, teams care for the children, minister to the mothers, and assist in any ongoing projects happening at the home.
There are at least 20 million orphaned and vulnerable children in India, the second-most populous country in the world. Located in South Asia, India’s population is about 82% Hindu, 14% Islamic, 2% Christian and 2% Sikh. (un)adopted partners with two ministries in India — STEPS Home in Chennai and Hannah Krupa Child Care Center in Bangalore.
Through a local U.S. contact, (un)adopted was introduced to a girls’ home in Pakistan and began a partnership shortly thereafter. The home is run by a native Pakistani couple — with the husband leading a local church and directing a small community of churches in the area. The home currently cares for 38 orphaned or vulnerable girls and serves much like a hostel, where the girls live at the home during the school year, but return to their villages during summer or winter breaks. The overall ministry is doing amazing things in this South Asian country, including setting brick slaves free, sharing the hope of the gospel with hundreds of people each day through Bible studies, offering hope to girls who are at high risk because of their home situations, and trusting God to move mountains in a country that is extremely hostile toward Christians.
(un)adopted partners with a ministry in Peru that seeks to introduce vulnerable boys to the hope of Jesus Christ by providing holistic, individualized care in a healthy family-style care environment. The ministry just recently purchased land in a nearby city and hope to expand to have an older boys' home in the city, while the younger boys remain at the current location.
(un)adopted partners with a children’s home in Costa Rica where staff offer Caregiver Education trainings to the home’s staff. (un)adopted is prayerful that the recently formed partnership will grow into more connections with the local church and communities through Costa Rica so that more children can be impacted by the gospel and the hope found within it.
One (un)adopted staff member lives in Colombia and works alongside a church that has connected with the local government authority, FANA (the Foundation for the Assistance of Abandoned Children), located in Bogota. As this partnership continues to grow, the hope is to provide orphaned and vulnerable children with discipleship, education, and care through a local church relationship.
(Un)adopted is honored to work with two amazing partners in the Odessa region of Ukraine. Madison and Yuriy Perekotiy work alongside Heritage Ukraine to bring the gospel to orphans and vulnerable children with special needs. Since 2007 Heritage has been working with volunteers to care for children in many orphanages throughout the region. Now serving an average of 600 children in camps from eighteen orphanages, Heritage seeks to impact these lives in an eternal way. Madison and Yuriy work in tandem with Heritage in their efforts, especially those children who are deaf.
REGEN foundation is a (un)adopted partner that seeks to show the love of God to vulnerable children in Romania. This team of brothers and sisters in Christ operates a transition center for young men aging out of orphanages to equip them to enter adulthood in a stable manner emotionally, spiritually, and with practical job skills. They also run homework clubs, discipleship groups for children, a clothing distribution center, and a wood workshop to teach carpentry skills.
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