|Volunteer from church in Belarus brings ice cream to orphan|
A few days later, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer aired a touching tribute to Reece's Rainbow and a family in Utah who have adopted a Down syndrome child from Ukraine.
You can read more about Reece's Rainbow and how this charity/ministry got started through the birth of Reece. Yes, Reece is real! The son of Andrea Roberts, founder of Reece's Rainbow.
Learn more about Reece's Rainbow.
|Big Family Mission helps older disabled orphans in Belarus|
|Thank you, volunteers, for visiting the children who have not yet been "selected"|
Katya's story about her father's death, her mother's "hard drinking", and her almost being adopted was shared with us by Igor Klishchenko, a minister to Russian orphans.
Igor Klishchenko and his family are the only family that many orphans in the Kaluga region of Russia will ever know. God has called Igor and his family to be the Light and Love of Jesus for some very special children. You can see a lot of Igor's photos and listen to at least one of his songs (in video) on Facebook.
Last year, Igor and his family were having a very difficult time financially. Then, a very generous gift from a family in America provided support for several months of living expenses. Big Family Mission is seeking those who wish to sow into Igor's ministry on a regular basis. We have a few partners for this ministry, but we need many more to continue this important work. Please take a few minutes and read more about Igor's calling, his family, and how you can contribute to Igor's ministry through Big Family Mission. 100% of funds donated to Big Family Mission for Igor's ministry go to Igor and his family.
|Igor Klishchenko with his family|
|Katya, on right, with Vika at summer orphan camp|
The Washington Post recently published the amazing journey of the Clark family and their heart for adoption. The article points out that the Clarks see adoption as a "divine calling" and briefly mentions the growing movement of churches in America to focus on caring for an ministering to orphans.
It is wonderful to read some "good news" in the Washington Post!
|Katerina, orphan from Latvia with visual impairment, was adopted by another large family in America.|
Our thanks to Larry and Jennifer Orndorff, missionaries from America, who helped distribute the gifts and made the video!
Video: Christmas at the orphanage.
|Joy to the world in a Russian orphanage|
My human nature immediately thought of all that $88 million could do for the orphans of Russia, and for orphans around the world. But then, I remembered the words of Jesus. Where is my treasure? What is the future of all mankind? What is the future of an $88 million apartment at Central Park in New York? According to 2 Peter 2:10, the future of the apartment as well as all earthly "treasures": cinders, nothingness.
2 Peter 2:10: But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
I had to remind myself: where is my treasure?
|Real "treasure": ministering to the kids at a Russian orphanage|
Is ignoring the plight of orphans afflicting them? I don't think we want to find out.
|Big Family Mission volunteers play games with children at orphanage.|
Our suggestion is that families interested in adoption should be aware of costs, but not include the cost as a factor in making decisions about how, when, where, and why to adopt. Let God lead you in the direction He has planned for you and your family, and the finances will follow.
For state adoption and foster care information, check out this website.
|Russian orphans can be adopted in Russia with very little cost. Big Family Mission |
helps this family with some of their expenses.
There are about 7 billion people living on our planet. It's estimated that a little over 2 billion of us profess to be Christians.
So how many orphans are there? Almost 5 billion.
As we approach this time of celebration of the birth of Christ, let us pray that millions and billions more of our fellow citizens on earth will recognize the amazing Gift that God gave to the world when He came to us as a little baby destined to be the savior of the world!
|These older orphans in Belarus have disabilities from the world's perspective, but from God's perspective, they are adopted into His dear family and are no longer orphans!|
This is CURRENTLY not the case. We emphasize currently simply because things can change so quickly within Russia.
Christian World Adoption reports on their website: "We are very excited about the current situation with our Russia program!! have recently been receiving referrals of infants within a very short period of time (days or weeks) after a family is registered in a region! Therefore we are recruiting additional families as referrals are becoming available at a steady pace!"
We continue to encourage adoption of Russian orphans both in Russia and outside of Russia.
Thank you, Lord, for opening more doors for these children to find forever families!
|Girls enjoy craft items donated by American family. Pray for more Russian orphans to be adopted.|
Pastor George Fernandes, leader of the orphanage and Helping Hands India, welcomes Christian volunteers who wish to help. Some have helped for short periods of time (two weeks or so). Others, like Hannah, have stayed for longer periods.
What's it like? Thanks to a video that Hannah put together, you can get a definite impression of what it is like to serve in an orphanage in India. You can view Hannah's video here.
If you cannot go to India and would like to help with this ministry to orphans, you can find more information here.
|Big smiles from two of the children at New Hope for Children Orphanage|
What can we do about it? Some of these girls are rescued and brought into a loving Christian environment at the New Hope for Children Home in Bangalore, India.
Consider donating to help New Hope for Children or sponsoring one of the children there. Learn more about New Hope for Children and meet some of the children, including many girls, who have been rescued.
|Children at New Hope for Children orphanage praying|
Wow! When she asked for our viewpoint on "reasons", I suddenly realized that I don't really know why.
Some of my guesses:
- The problem is too big. I think some people convince themselves that there is no reason to get involved because nothing they do is going to change anything.
- Indifference. This may be the biggest reason. I think many people have a built-in "switch" that they turn off when they start hearing about the problems of other people and the need for funds to help them. I've noticed that people like to hear more about Russia and even the work we are doing, but the minute that we point out how they can help, they turn their "switch" and that's the end of the conversation.
- Mistrust of charities in general. Unfortunately, there are many horror stories of how ministries and charities have misused funds.
|Donations pay for field trips for orphans|
In the words of Abba Fund: "We believe that the best environment for the raising and training of children is in a godly home with a father and mother. ABBA Fund provides interest-free covenant loans to Christian couples who are called by God to expand their families through adoption and who need help with the “cash flow crunch” posed by adoption expenses."
To learn more, visit Abba's website.
Some orphans will never be adopted into families.
To learn how you can help these orphans, click here.
|Church volunteer with children at Russian orphanage|
Tragic. Tragic to surrounded by God's love and to reject becoming his son or daughter.
Read God's plan in Ephesians 1:5: "For He planned in love for us to be adopted as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will."
We pray that every orphan (and we are all orphans without God) will come into His family!
Help a Russian orphan living in a government-run orphanage learn about God.
|These children in Russian orphanage are part of God's Big Family|
- Pray for them. (If you would like to pray for an individual orphan in Russia or India and don't have the financial resources to sponsor a child, contact me, and we will send you information about a child you can pray for.)
- Adopt a child. There are thousands of children in the United States who need forever families, and the cost of adopting an older child in the U.S. is usually negligible.
- Help a family who is adopting a child: prayer, finances, baby-sitting, etc.
- Sponsor a child in Russia who lives in a government-run orphanage and has no prospects for ever being adopted;
- Sponsor an orphan in a Christian orphanage in India;
- Start an orphan ministry in your church (information on resources);
- Host an orphan from Eastern Europe for a 4-week vacation in the USA at Christmas or during the summer.
- Partner with a ministry that is helping orphans and/or supporting adoptions.
- Visit orphans where they are. (Information about mission trips to Russia.)
- Volunteer to work in an orphanage in India.
|Orphans in Russia write letters to sponsors|
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your gloom will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you continually;
he will satisfy your needs in scorched places,
and will strengthen your bones.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
and like a spring whose waters never fail.
Does your church have an orphan ministry? If not, consider starting one. It's a way of "giving yourself" to satisfy the needs of the oppressed children of the world.
Find a guide to resources on starting an orphan ministry in your church here.
|Russian orphans enjoy craft items sent from America|
So... we encourage you to focus on helping one child. Help one child get into a family. If you cannot adopt a child, you can help someone else adopt. You can help encourage and support ministries who work with orphans who will never get adopted but who can be a part of God's eternal family!
One child at a time. You will be blessed and a child will be blessed.
|Russian orphan who may never get adopted still needs hugs and love!|
He points out some of the tragic realities of the care system for orphans and children at risk in Russia:
- 100,000 new orphans every year despite a steady and sharp decrease in the number of school-age children in Russia;
- top-level government develops initiatives to make the system better for children but nothing happens at the local level;
- it is far too easy for parents to deal with drug and alcohol addiction and poverty by bringing their unwanted children to the "orphan factory";
- thousands of bright and healthy children labeled as "mentally handicapped" and forced into special schools that are not really schools at all... their lives buried in the system forever.
- The Russian government has been trying to solve the "orphan factory" problem for many years, and it seems that little or no progress is made.
|Celebrating Christmas in a Russian orphanage|
If you work with Russian orphans, have adopted a Russian orphan, or are thinking about visiting Russian orphanages, it may be helpful to you.
You will find the listing here: http://www.adoptionknowhow.com/russia/orphanages/ . Also some helpful information about Russian adoptions.
Svetlana Smetanina writes about this problem on "Russia beyond the headlines".
She reports: "The Russian government has said that the number of children in orphanages must be reduced; five years ago then-President Vladimir Putin published a decree on the subject. But in reality nothing has changed."
Is the problem that there is not enough money to support foster families for Russian orphans? Svetlana concludes that there is enough money, but regional governments do not support orphans going into families because of their concern for losing funds designated for orphanages and care of orphans.
Read Svetlana's article on Russia beyond the headlines.
|Children enjoy Christmas celebration at a Russian orphanage. Thanks, Big Family Mission!|
Consider helping Russian orphans come into families. To learn how, visit this page about the Russia with No Orphans project.
Most of the children either speak English or are learning English. The $29 sponsorship fee covers the cost of food, clothing, shelter, education, and a loving family environment.
To learn more about sponsoring a child at New Hope for Children Home in India, please visit this information page about child sponsorship in India.
- How many Russian orphans are there? Learn about Russian
orphans and what can be done to help Russian orphans.
- Get monthly updates about Russian orphans and ministry to
- Learn about mission trips to minister to Russian orphans.
- The story of "last bell" for one Russian orphan.
- Russia with no orphans? Is it possible? Read about a project
to place all Russian orphans into families.
- Bring a Russian orphan into your family this Christmas.
Adoption not the goal, but possible.
The new standards emphasize that placing children in institutions should be "a last resort", after UNICEF said earlier this year that three quarters of the 12,000 children in Cambodia’s orphanages had at least one living parent.
"At all times, efforts should be made to keep children in families or community-based care, with residential care as a last resort and a temporary arrangement," the newly adopted Standards and Guidelines document states.
Cambodian Social Affairs Minister Ith Sam Heng said the guidelines, drafted with the help of UNICEF and other children’s rights groups, were "very important" in helping to keep families together.
"We hope that these standards will improve the situation of our at-risk children," he said.
Read more about these guidelines here.
Go here to learn more about adopting an older orphan from Latvia or Ukraine.
Russell D. Moore does not shy away from this call in Adopted for Life, a popular-level, practical manifesto for Christians to adopt children and to help equip other Christian families to do the same. He shows that adoption is not just about couples who want children— or who want more children. It is about an entire culture within the church, a culture that sees adoption as part of the Great Commission mandate and as a sign of the gospel itself.
Moore, who adopted two boys from Russia and has spoken widely on the subject, writes for couples considering adoption, families who have adopted children, and pastors who wish to encourage adoption. There are millions of orphans in Russia who have little or no chance for adoption. Pray for that situation to change!
Check out Christianity Today's top five books on adoption.
Thinking of adopting an older orphan? Learn about opportunity to host a Latvian or Ukrainian orphan this Christmas... and perhaps adopt the child.
The next programs are scheduled around Christmas 2011, beginning in mid-December.
For more information visit the hosting information page of Big Family Mission.
Learn how you can help orphans in their home country of Russia.
For more information on how you can help orphans, visit: http://www.bigfamilyministry.org/ .
Passionate about helping others achieve their adoption dream, author Julie Gumm shares how to find extra money in your household budget, apply for grants, and fundraise in order to build your family without saddling it with debt. With over $65,000 worth of creative fundraising ideas from more than 25 adoptive families, Adopt Without Debt shows you how to fulfill your adoption dream without signing away your financial freedom. Read more here.
Ken and Dianne Dockery
Volunteers & International Coordinators
BIG FAMILY MISSION
83 Boy Scout Road
Kutztown, PA 19530
Telephone: 610 285 8542
On the web: www.BigFamilyMinistry.org
"For with GOD nothing is ever impossible, and no word from GOD shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment!" Luke 1:37
When Russian orphans are adopted outside their homeland, they often lose touch with their heritage.
This recent article tells the story of two Russian girls who were adopted at a very young age and recently had the opportunity to return to their homeland.
Learn more about helping Russian orphans: http://www.bigfamilyministry.org/ .
information on the National Council for Adoption's website.
Learn how to help Russian orphans!
Learn how to help Russian orphans!