I am not even sure where to begin. The trip to Uganda last week and the grand opening of Tender Hearts Baby Home was overwhelming to say the least. First, I want to thank all the mission team members from Nightlight’s team and Grace Life Fellowship for working so hard to get the final touches complete before the event. Everyone worked so hard. Over 200 people attended the event. A few attendees were from the US, but many were from the local community. Those in attendance included probation officers, police officers, friends and family of the Ngandas, church members, grandparents of children adopted through Tender Hearts into the US, and families who had been reunited with their children. All in all, it was a great day and a great celebration! We all sat back in amazement observing what God has done since 2009, when I made that first trip to Uganda and met Ken and Cathy for the first time. We want to give God all the glory and honor. He is able!
The Entrance Gate to the Baby’s Home
Twenty-three team members from two teams
In Uganda, when you are excited about something, you dance!
Ken and Cathy honored all of the Tender Hearts staff.
A few of the children performed for us.
Ken and Cathy gave speeches and thanked everyone who had helped bring the Baby Home to this point.
One story that really touched my heart was of a father whose son had gone missing for 10 months. He had left his son in the care of relatives while he traveled. When he returned, the relatives told him they had abandoned the boy because they thought he would not be returning. He searched for him for 10 months. He went to radio stations and ran advertisements to no avail. That young boy is named Alex. He is 6 years old. Alex was found by local police and sent to Tender Hearts. He was old enough to tell his caretakers some things about his family. The social workers were able to locate his grandfather who called his father. Alex’s father spoke at the grand opening and said, “Can you believe that these people cared for my son for 10 months, and they did not ask me to pay anything?”
Alex and his Dad
Their story is one of many reunifications that have happened in Uganda through Tender Hearts. In 5 years, they have had 90 children come through their doors. Of those 90 children, 18 have been adopted into loving homes in the United States. Tender Hearts is currently carrying for 28 children. Thank you Ken and Cathy for your heart for children and for answering God’s call to care for orphans.
Click to zoom in
Most people rarely consider our very life as a work of God. In fact, we rarely think about life at all (we’re born, grow up and die). Many folks sadly believe an unborn baby isn’t a human life. Atheist Richard Dawkins tweeted back in 2013 that an unborn baby is less human than a pig! [March 13, 2013].
As Christians, we affirm what God’s Word reveals to us about when a baby becomes human life. Scripture tells us that God knows us before He forms us in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). In Psalm 139:13-16 says,
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed. [New Living Translation]
God clearly instructs us that unborn babies are human at the time of conception. Are some people really more human than others? Of course not! God’s Word is clear: everyone, even unborn babies, are made in the image of God. That’s the message our culture needs to hear as America this month ponders the devastating effects of the 1973 Roe v Wade U.S. Supreme Court Decision which legalized abortion: the loss of over 55,000,000 human lives to abortion. Today join us in prayer and action to create a more life-affirming nation, promoting alternatives to abortion, and changing the culture that sees abortion as necessary.
What do Nelson Mandela, Faith Hill, Steve Jobs and Nancy Reagan all have in common? Of course, they’re all famous and have left a mark on the world in one way or another. But there’s one thing that you may not know about them – they’re all adopted.
There’s another person you may have heard of, but you may not know that he was adopted – Bill Clinton. The 43rd President of the United States has been quoted as saying, “Adoption gives children who have been orphaned, abandoned, or abused a precious second chance at happiness; a chance to love and be loved and to reach their full potential in a secure, supportive environment.”
This video, created by CatholicVote shows people that have reached their full potential because of adoption. It’s one of our favorites.
We’ll never know for sure where each of these people would be had they not been adopted, but it’s safe to say that they might not be where they are now. These visionaries, revolutionaries, innovators leaders, communicators, achievers, and thinkers all ended up being the people they are, partially because of the people who adopted them. It makes you wonder, what the estimated 153 million orphans in the world will achieve in their lives. Just imagine.
Three months ago and on the other side of the globe, a 2-year-old African orphan named Vivian died of bacterial meningitis. While the news might not seem so out of the ordinary considering the continent’s state of affairs, Vivian’s death was a blow to two local residents who had met and come to love the Ugandan toddler.
Temecula residents Kellie Falk and Courtney Atnip had traveled to Uganda last October to visit the orphanage where Vivian lived and deliver supplies and comfort to the toddler and others staying at the facility. There, they fell in love with little Vivian, Falk said.
Because HIV infection is so serious, and children and adults alike are more prone to other infections, keeping a child strong and healthy is very important. And because children do not have the same reserves as adults, good nutrition is especially important for them. In poorer countries and in orphanages, where children oftentimes receive less than optimum nutrition, their bodies are further compromised and more prone to infection.
That is why in other countries, orphanages dedicated to the care of HIV positive children receive extra funding and attention so that the children can receive the extra medical and nutritional care that they need.
If you are considering adopting an HIV positive child, most likely you are adopting a child who is a true orphan and you will truly be giving a child the gift of life. We at Nightlight will be featuring children from Eastern Europe and Africa who are HIV positive. There are certainly considerations that need be taken before you and your family decide to adopt a child who is HIV positive and you will want to be well educated regarding HIV and AIDS in general and the issues you and a and HIV-positive child will face. Continue reading
Helping the Church Help the Orphan
If you are a pastor or a layperson in North or South Carolina starting or involved in an orphan ministry, we want to provide you with tools and resources to assist you. It takes more than a commitment to follow the mandate to care for the fatherless. Prayer, fellowship, awareness of the need and tools to meet the need are all essential. Let us encourage you in the work and give concrete steps to help you further your church’s ministry.
Date: Thursday, March 31, 2011
Time: 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
(arrive anytime after 11:30 a.m.)
Where: Brick Street Cafe
315 Augusta Street, Greenville
RSVP: Laura Beauvais-Godwin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Together for Adoption and author of Reclaiming Adoption
Dr. Rhonda Littleton
A Home for Me, Simpsonville First Baptist Church
We hope you will join us as our guest for this informational luncheon. Included at the luncheon will be many resources along with a copy of Dan Cruver’s new book Reclaiming Adoption.
Carolina Christian Alliance for Orphans Pastor’s Luncheon
As many of you know, we are planning to take a team of missionaries to Uganda October 22nd through November 1st. We currently have about 17 missionaries committed to the trip. In addition to raising their own funds to pay for their trip, we also need to raise funds to complete projects while we are in Uganda. Below is a list of projects that Kenneth (Tender Hearts Baby’s Home Director) has suggested the team could do while in Uganda. Naturally, we can not expect to do every project in 10 days. However, what we are able to do, will likely depend on the amount of support raised. If you or your church would like to contribute to any of these projects, please click the donate button below. Please feel free to pass this e-mail on to anyone you know who may be interested in helping.
- Children’s play area; Swings, One slide, climber, Merry go around & see-saw
$ 1400 USD
- Gazebo: Poles, bricks,Iron sheets,cement,sand & stones + labour costs
$ 2000 USD
- Painting;Paint, roller brushes,paraffin (Cost varies depending on area painted)
$ 900 USD
Click here to donate.
Your support is greatly appreciated!
Nightlight has a Speakers’ Bureau available to speak in Southern California, Colorado, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. We are available to travel to other states upon special request.
We are here to speak on the various topics:
• Share the plight of orphans and give your group creative ways to make a difference
• Discuss the fate of stored embryos and the difference embryo adoption can make for these unborn children
• Adoption Around the World: Making a difference in the lives of orphans through international adoption
• How to give hope to a girl or woman facing an unplanned pregnancy
Below are some special dates throughout the year in which you may want to have speaker on that day or close to that date as well as suggested topic. Continue reading
Yesterday I visited Mama Mary’s house. Mama Mary is a former Muslim. After accepting Christ, she felt called by the Lord to take care of orphans. She was a school master at the time and found that she could not turn away children who could not afford to pay their school tuition fees. She also began taking orphans into her home. However, the school eventually collapsed because there was not enough money.
At that point she had lost her job and had many orphans staying in her home. Her friends thought she had gone mad. The Lord has continued to provide for her and the children every day. She now has 38 children in her home. Some of these children have been with her their entire lives and are now old enough to help out. For the most part though, Mama Mary who is 52 years old, does all of the work. It is very obvious that she loves the children and that they love her immensely.
The ministry here that I am traveling with is called Equipping with Truth. They are currently paying for the rent at Mama Mary’s and also raising funds to provide food to her and the children monthly. I also brought many toys and coloring books for the children thanks to many generous donations. The children played and enjoyed a few moments of just being children.
From the Lisa Prather, Nightlight Christian Adoptions Assistant Director:
There are an estimated 2 Million orphans in Uganda. Many of these children are orphans due to losing a parent to AIDS. I will be traveling to Uganda next week as a representative of Nightlight Christian Adoptions. My goal is to make contact with adoption professionals and visit a few orphanages. In addition, I will be distributing clothes, food, formula, and other needs to the orphanages I come into contact with. Financial donations are welcome. It is our desire to begin an adoption program in Uganda. While I am in Uganda, I plan to update our staff as to how the trip is going. If you would like to follow my trip as well, please check back here for updates.
Lisa Prather, LMSW