Music is therapeutic and brings healing to the trauma once experienced in an orphanage.
Music is therapeutic and brings healing to the trauma once experienced in an orphanage.
These two brothers were able to stay together throughout the adoption process. The twinkle in their eyes reflect the joy of being loved in their HopeHouse International family.
Every orphan wants to have a family and a home. We thank our HopeHouse International parents who have adopted many and poured themselves into all of their children.
#Love #Family #Home
No Longer Orphans
These three sisters are no longer targets of human trafficking. They are now DAUGHTERS, safely home with their new HopeHouse International family.
No Longer An Orphan
He is NO LONGER AN ORPHAN. He is NOW A SON! He now has a new beginning through the loving kindness of his HopeHouse International family.
In the first season of The Flash, Barry is remembering a conversation he had as a little boy about the dark. Barry asked his mom if she was ever afraid of the dark. Barry’s mom replied with a question. She asked, “If I turn this light off now, would you be scared?” Barry replied, “No.” Then Barry’s mom exclaimed, “That’s because I’m here with you. See you’re not afraid of the dark, Barry. You’re afraid of being alone in the dark. That goes away when you realize something…you’re never really alone.”
We are often afraid of the “unknown.” Our unknowns could be:
No matter what our unknowns are, we can definitely be sure of one thing that Jesus is, and will always be, with us. Jesus is omnipresent. That means He is present in all places. Jesus already knows what we have been, and will be, going through. Jesus knows what we are going through right now.
I imagine Jesus wonders, “Are you scared of the unknowns that prevent you from all I created you to be?” Even though we might be scared, we can always know that He is with us as our lives tell the world of who He is and how great He is.
I want to invite you to listen and reflect on this song called, “I Am Not Alone” by Kari Jobe.
Hi, this is Adam, on the Orphanage Mission Team writing for the blog for the first time.
This week has encountered a lot of firsts for me: first time across the Atlantic, first international mission trip, first time visiting an orphanage. The list could go on. I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of this group that is so passionate about what we are doing here. It’s also been amazing to have my wife Keysha by my side for the trip.
At this point in the trip, we have seen orphans from all over this beautiful country and have fallen in love with all of them. One of the standout points for me so far was visiting the handicapped orphanage in Kherson. We were warned by those in our group that had been before that this would be an emotional day. I tried to prepare myself so that I could be a smiling face for the kids no matter how their condition may affect me emotionally. The amazing thing was that once the children entered the room, most of them in wheelchairs, I never felt the need to remind myself to smile. Their joy was contagious as we sang and danced and played with them. I was humbly reminded that no matter their circumstances, they are still children of God.
However, their circumstances still remain. The orphanages all do the best they can with the funds they are allotted and we were blessed to be able to deliver gifts of soap, diapers, and other necessities, but the sheer number of children in need means that some things have to be sacrificed. Children may only be able to bathe once a week. Some need medical care that cannot be afforded. They may share a toothbrush or have only a few outfits of clothing. The orphanage was never meant to be a permanent solution for these children. They need faithful men and women of God to step up and be fathers to the fatherless and mothers to the motherless.
Tonight, we got to meet one such couple and their story was inspiring and humbling. Vadim and Anstastia are a young couple roughly the same age as my wife and I. With them tonight were their two beautiful adopted daughters Karina (8) and Masha (5). The girls are biological siblings and have been blessed to be able find a forever family with Vadim and Anastasia. Many would consider it enough for this young couple to have provided a loving home for these two girls, but Vadim and Anastasia are also in the process of adopting their older sister and their two younger brothers. This is all in addition to having their own biological son, a toddler. For those of you keeping score at home that’s potentially six children in the near future for this young family! HopeHouse is currently helping this growing family renovate a house to provide room for all the children so these adoptions can become possible.
It was such an amazing contrast to see the hope that these girls have with their new family as opposed to those still waiting in the orphanage to be adopted. It was a wonderful picture of the work God can do through a family that is willing to follow His call. Please join us in praying that God will raise up more families to adopt the many who are still waiting.
Not a single member of our group was unaffected by this family’s visit, my wife and I included. I feel like many of our eyes have been opened to God’s calling for Christians to take up the cause of the orphan. Maybe it means more trips like this. Maybe it’s a donation to HopeHouse International. Maybe it’s becoming adoptive parents.
God is moving in the hearts of those of us here and our hope is that He is using our stories to teach you as well. We thank you all for your many prayers and support.
Brandon here, again, with a quick update for you.
We drove to Eagle Village on the outskirts of Sevastopol to participate in a church service where several HopeHouse Families are members. As an added bonus, we got to climb a “hill” (looked more like a mountain to me!), as the service was being held outdoors. We met several of the families and then settled down on blankets.
Volodya, a HopeHouse father and the church’s pastor, opened the service with a prayer in which he thanked God for the privilege of meeting outside. We sang several songs and then Brian Rogers from our group gave a short message that Ira, the HopeHouse interpreter/Ukrainian mission trip coordinator, translated for the church. At the end of the service, they stretched out their arms and prayed a blessing on our ministry in Ukraine, and then asked that we do the same for them. It was a very special time and a tangible reminder that God’s love is not bound by languages or nations or oceans.
We then spent time with the church’s children, including about 20 who have been adopted into HopeHouse Families. The difference between children in the orphanage and children who are now part of a loving Christian family is like night and day. The HopeHouse Children were clean, nicely dressed, and obviously healthy and well taken care of. On top of it all, they were happy, and not just because we came to visit. They were truly glowing. They didn’t have the scars of abandonment, abuse, neglect, disappointment, or grief etched on their faces like the orphanage children do. In fact, they didn’t look like they had a care in the world– secure, loved, and accepted.
After our time with the church, we had lunch and then toured Balaklava, which was a super-secret Soviet base for nuclear submarines built underneath a mountain during the Cold War. As we walked through the dark, underground halls of this former Communist military installation, the thought struck me that when Pastor Volodya thanked God that we were meeting outside, it wasn’t just a prayer about the weather. Evangelical churches like his were forbidden for many years. Christians couldn’t meet outside, or anywhere, that wasn’t in secret, and constantly lived in fear of being discovered and exiled to a gulag in SIberia or martyred outright. It was a stark reminder of the darkness of the not-so-distant past in this country, and a time to stop and thank God not only for the religious liberties I enjoy in the U.S., but also that God’s people in Ukraine no longer live constantly under this fear.
We returned to the ship and had a team meeting where we discussed our upcoming visit to the orphanage for handicapped children in Kherson, where the ship will dock at 2:30pm tomorrow. This is always a very tough visit, and your prayers would be greatly appreciated. Please pray that God would give us the strength that we would be emotionally present, without being emotionally drained, at least until we get back on the bus. Ira told us in the meeting tonight that most of these children do not live past the age of 35, simply because of systemic neglect. We want more than anything else to communicate to these children the love and hope that is found in Christ. One member of our team, Andy Whisenant, said during the meeting, “If I believe that the gospel is true, I can’t stand by and do nothing while there are children who don’t know that they are loved.” That’s the reason we are here.
Thank you for your continued support and prayer. We miss you all!
With Father’s Day close behind in the rear-view, we focus on a holiday meant as a time when we reflect on the Dads in our lives. Many of us had amazing Dads. Many of us had horrible Dads. And millions of us have no Dad at all.
What we all have in common, however, is a Father who made us, sustains us, and cares about us deeply. We share a common bond in that one Father who loves us all.
And being the good Father that he is, he holds a special place in his heart for those who have no physical Dad in their life. His heart breaks for the orphan. Here’s a quick reminder of how he feels (and these are just a few examples):
You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. Exodus 22:22
He executes justice for the fatherless. Deuteronomy 10:18
Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the fatherless. Deuteronomy 27:19
I delivered the fatherless who had none to help him. Job 29:12
You have been a helper to the fatherless. Psalm 10:14
Do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed. Pslam 10:18
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. Psalm 68:5
Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. Isaiah 1:17
Do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor. Zechariah 7:10
In you the orphan finds mercy. Hosea 14:3
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18
There are hundreds of thousands of orphans in Ukraine, Moldova, & Belarus alone—and he cares for each and every one of them. In fact, he formed every single one in their mother’s womb. He knows each child by name. He knows the number of hairs on their heads and the number of days in their lives.
He longs for Ruslan
and every last one
to know the warmth of a Father’s embrace,
the comfort of a Father’s kindness,
and the confidence in a Father’s strength.
And that, friends, is at the heart of HopeHouse.
So thank you, to all of our amazing volunteers, incredibly generous donors, our HopeHouse families and Fathers, for being a part of our work which allows fatherless children to feel the love of a Father, and in turn, to experience a taste of the love that our Father lavishes on us all.
P.O. Box 1097
Franklin, TN 37065