Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WHY GO? WEDNESDAY spotlight: Ukraine team member Laura Robie

My trip with Visiting Orphans to Ukraine changed my life individually and my whole family's life.  Even before leaving, the amount of research I started doing to prepare myself for the trip about orphans and what issues these kids are dealing with on a day to day basis and how being in an orphanage affects their lives as they grow older greatly opened my eyes and heart to helping orphans and I also started considering adoption.  After coming back from the trip, my heart ached to leave the kids and I knew I could love these kids as my own.  My husband and I started praying about adoption, something he was opposed to at first.  During this year of prayer, as a family we decided we wanted to do more for orphans around the world and to help keep kids from becoming orphans.  We now sponsor a child through Compassion, decided to sponsor three children through House of James which my team visited while in Ukraine, helped at a Compassion table during a concert, and held two Compassion Sundays at our church where other kids were sponsored.  We also set up a special ministry savings account that we use to help vulnerable children locally and around the world.  


At the end of a year of praying, my husbands heart was changed and he was seriously considering adoption.  We went to Summit 9 held by Christian Alliance for Orphans and that really bought unity to our decision to want to adopt.  We are now in the process of adopting a child from China and we are so excited! Without God prompting me to look up on the internet different groups that visit orphans, and finding Visiting Orphans right away, I don't think my family or I would be doing any of the things we are now.  I'm so grateful for the trip I took with Visiting Orphans and I encourage anyone I talk to to go.  I have bought many VO t-shirts to wear to spark the conversation! :)  I think Visiting Orphans does a wonderful job helping and not hurting orphans and trains their leaders and staff so well that everything is run smoothly, efficiently, compassionately and ethically.  Thanks for all you do! 

Laura Robie

Monday, February 9, 2015

MEN WHO GO MONDAY spotlight: Ecuador team leader Aaron Hedges

Leading a team to Ecuador was truly an amazing experience! Seeing some results of the work that has been done one year ago was great to see. Though it is fun to see some of the same children we saw last year, it is encouraging that many of them had been adopted or placed with families. 

Denise and Oswaldo (the missionaries on the ground) have done an amazing job building relationships with the children and staff at 15 different locations. They have a new ministry called ‘Contigo’ which they hope to grow through the efforts of visiting teams and supporters. One of the ministries that Contigo is partnering with is Pisuli, a neighborhood mission. Pisuli is a neighborhood in Quito that is very poor. The goal of this ministry is to give kids and parents proper health training, food, clothing and the overall opportunity to sustain an improved life by showing the love of Jesus. The monthly rent to sustain the place where this mission resides is $200 per month. This is a small amount of money compared to the large impact that is being made here.

Jesus gave us a command to care for widows and love on the orphans. There is no greater blessing than to share God’s love with kids of all ages and to ensure them that they are indeed NOT fatherless.

- Aaron Hedges, Ecuador Team Leader

Join Visiting Orphans on an upcoming Ecuador team. See all the upcoming trips here.