Monday, February 28, 2011

Where is the HOPE?

One of the things we often communicate in our meetings is the fact that America is NOT the hope for orphaned children around the world. We say this, because unfortunately, so many believe it is. They think if we can somehow get these precious children to the USA their lives will be so much better.. when in fact, this may NOT be the case!

The hard cold fact is that America is suffering from a rapid increase in moral decay and dysfunctional relationships. Can you believe that the US now leads the nations around the world in marital breakup.. with 50% of our marriages ending in divorce? Our national leaders cannot even decide what defines a “family” as we are flooded with more diverse relationships and lifestyles. America has all but turned a blind eye to the termination of pregnancy through abortion with numbers now approaching 50 million innocent babies.

Flipping through the tv channels last night I could not pause on anything for more than a moment without overt invitations appealing to greed, power, and sex. Christianity is viewed as a hypocritical joke and the History channel is doing a full on attack to undermine it.
Violent crime has risen almost 500% since my children were born.. The US is now the leading industrialized nation around the globe in murder and rape. Drugs, alcohol, and violence are common place in our schools, our families, and our communities.

Suicide is now the leading cause of death in the US among those in their teens and 20’s.. is there not something incredibly sad about that? Our schools have to be trained in lock down procedures because violence has become so common place. When I was a kid the big disciple issues at school were talking too loud and chewing gum. Drop out rates in our high schools are now over 60% in major cities and national SAT scores continue a two decade decline.

Two weeks ago I was in China and it stuck out to me how modern and beautiful their cities look.. they are investing our dollars well. The infrastructure in America is in decline.. our roads, rails, and airports look third world by comparison. Our cities are less safe than almost every international country we work in.

No, America is NOT the hope for the orphaned!

So please tell me that there is good news.. There’s Tremendous News!!
..Christ in you is the hope of glory and the hope for the orphaned!! As the world grows darker there has been an exciting and unmistakable paradigm shift among Christians. Never have so many, who claim to be followers of Christ, taken their role as “light” in a dark world so seriously. No where is this more clearly seen than in relationship to orphans. The number of Christians engaged in adoption and orphan care is dramatically on the rise. Churches are taking their role seriously and launching orphan care and adoption ministries at an astounding rate. Mission trips have become less about painting a church building oversees and more about caring for precious orphans in distress.

Something HUGE is happening! Something that just now people are waking up to.. and its taking place in communities all over our nation. Christians are becoming more purposeful with their lives. They aren’t buying the “bigger is better” philosophy any longer. So many Christians are engaging in a passion that is nearest to the heart of God.. caring for the “least of these”, the fatherless, the defenseless, the orphan. I see it everywhere I go. Christians are adopting children into their own families and they are also facilitating for orphan adoptions and foster care for children in their country of origin. The Lord is smiling!


Dave Wood
International Director

Friday, February 18, 2011

Once in a Lifetime

I vividly remember standing on the steps of the Great Wall two summers ago, gazing at God's creation and taking in all the beauty in the hills of China. It was breathtaking and will be forever a memory impressed on my heart. It was my first time to go outside of the United States, and a trip that broadened my perspective and view of the Lord's greatness. To me, that trip seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity. This past week I was reminded that just as that summer felt like an opportunity and moment that may only happen once in my life, our lives here on earth are exactly the same. The Lord has given us one lifetime to use, and to use for Him. We have on shot to make a lasting impression in this world. At the most, I have about 70 more years to do all that He has intended for me. Will I let that go to waste? As believers, we are called to follow Jesus with everything we have. And the wonderful thing about that is that our God is worthy of our constant praise. He is worthy of living a life that points directly at Him and that strives to make an eternal difference in the lives of others we interact with.

Paul states in Ephesians 1:6 (NIV), "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received." The Message translation states, "While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere." What a challenge and charge! To not possess idle hands or be distracted by paths that may seem fulfilling, but lead to an end of emptiness. I want to strive to RUN for Christ throughout this life He has given me.

Briana Gray
Administrative Assistant

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I feel like a prevalent sentiment in any adoption process is the feeling that you are fighting… whether you are an adoptive family or someone working in the field of adoption. Fighting for children, fighting for your family, fighting to complete your family, fighting on behalf of the orphan, fighting against governments, fighting against regulations, fighting against bureaucracy, fighting to lessen time frames, fighting to meet a deadline, and/or fighting for the promise you feel God has in store for you. I feel that one area of fighting that is often overlooked (by me at least) among all the other areas we find ourselves fighting in is fighting to know Him more intimately. Above all of these other things we are fighting for or against, we must remember that is the ultimate goal. Knowing Christ and bringing Him glory. Moment by moment, day by day. When things go well and when they do not. A lot easier said than done. He must be our focus and He must be our finish line. Our eyes must remain on Him as we trust that His eyes will remain on our battles, no matter how big or small. He cares about them even more than we do and He can handle them much better than we can! I hope the following passage encourages you today.

2 Chronicles 20:3-9, 12, 15, 17
Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? And they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you – for your name is in this house – and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’… O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you… Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s… You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”

Allison Fuqua
International Social Worker

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Meet Sasha

My name is Sasha. My birthday is June 23, 1998. I am twelve years old and I have lived in an orphanage in Ukraine since I was six months old. I am HIV positive and have been HIV positive since birth. I enjoy school and I love to learn, but have not had a lot of schooling. I can pick up things very quickly. I enjoy drawing, love to play sports, and I am healthy. It is easy for me to talk to others and I have a great personality. I would love to be in a forever family who would love and take care of me.

If you want to learn more about this little boy from Ukraine, please contact Jana Lombardo at to see how you can be part of finding him a family or being the family who brings him home. Please pray for Sasha as he waits.