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The Role of Parent Education and Support in Strengthening Families and Improving Child Well-Being

We all know that parents and other individuals responsible for the daily care of children (usually referred to as “caregivers”) need good parenting and caregiving skills to support their children’s healthy development and well-being. Most parents and caregivers do fairly well raising their children without receiving any parenting education or external support. However, some do need it. This is particularly important for parents and caregivers with little education, who don’t have access to health and social services, and who are dealing with different stressful situations in their family, such as poverty, disability, substance abuse, domestic violence, illness and death, and [...]

The Role of Parent Education and Support in Strengthening Families and Improving Child Well-Being2019-05-15T17:57:58-05:00

One Step at a Time Toward a World Without Orphans

A World Without Orphans—it’s a huge dream that lives in the hearts of thousands of people who believe that every orphan should live in a loving family and work toward this great goal daily. I sincerely believe in it too. And I know that the church is capable of solving this problem through welcoming the fatherless and motherless into their homes and working with crisis families. Although the idea of a church caring for every orphan (we like to call it one church, one child) is simple and clear, it’s not so easy to make it a reality. Behind each [...]

One Step at a Time Toward a World Without Orphans2019-05-15T18:02:45-05:00

Lectio Divina: Listening to God’s Heart for Children

The Faith to Action Initiative works to educate and mobilize Christians to respond to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children, upholding the vital importance of family and community. In doing so, we engage with a variety of different Christian traditions with the goal of working together to care for children and families in collaboration and unity. Evidence-based research, case studies, and learning from fellow orphan care practitioners are vital to growth in this field. As Christians, we have the additional dimension of being guided by a faith that leads us to action. We believe that it is of the [...]

Lectio Divina: Listening to God’s Heart for Children2019-05-15T18:06:09-05:00

La Providencia: A Lifelong Commitment to Care

Anthony’s* feet swung from the chair, hardly touching the floor. He was eager to talk and happily answered the government-appointed psychiatrist’s questions, unmindful that he was being evaluated. She asked him to draw a picture of where he lived and who lived with him. He drew a picture of his house with a mom and a dad and himself along with six children. The fact that the government considered him an “orphan” wasn’t apparent to him. In his mind, he had a family that loved him and his picture expressed that. This young boy was describing his home at La [...]

La Providencia: A Lifelong Commitment to Care2019-05-15T18:13:06-05:00

Finding Life After Institution

In Kenya, a movement of remarkable new leaders is working to assist young adults who have aged out of institutions and are trying to find their way in life. This network of people is the Kenya Society of Careleavers (KESCA) organization, “by and for adults (18+ years), who spent all or part of their childhood in children homes, orphanages, and/or rehabilitation centers.” The systems that “raised” them often provide no mechanisms for navigating life after they leave the institution, and with no familial support network, life can be devastatingly bleak. Magnifying this is a culture in which family and community [...]

Finding Life After Institution2019-05-15T18:20:44-05:00

Strengthening Children and Families Through Agricultural Development

Roots. They dig deep into the soil, drawing up water and nutrients so the rest of the plant can flourish and bear fruit. If roots are infected, or too shallow, or lacking essential nutrients for survival, the entire plant will become susceptible to disease and fail to thrive. Similarly, children rooted in chronic poverty are far more susceptible to exploitation and abuse. When we talk about the root causes that create vulnerable conditions for children and orphans, we often have to dig deep into the brokenness lying beneath the soil’s surface. While digging into the soil of my neighborhood in [...]

Strengthening Children and Families Through Agricultural Development2019-05-15T18:27:18-05:00

Protecting Children in Post-Earthquake Nepal

It’s hard to visit Nepal and not be awe-struck by God’s handiwork: the soaring mountains, the fields of golden mustard, the laughter and artistry of Nepali people. Yet this same beauty has at times made Nepal particularly vulnerable to poverty and natural disaster. The mountainous topography makes infrastructure a constant challenge, and for decades scientists have been predicting a major earthquake. These vulnerabilities then breed exploitation and conflict. My first visit to Nepal in 2003 coincided with a lull in the midst of the nation’s decade-long civil war. I was immediately captivated. And I was unaware at the time [...]

Protecting Children in Post-Earthquake Nepal2019-05-15T18:45:22-05:00

The Power Of A Single Story: Why Orphan Prevention

My name is Deborah. I am 23 years old. Less than a year ago, I was standing at the gates of an orphanage about 15 minutes away from Abide. I had my two daughters with me, Lydia and Martha. My husband died in a traffic accident when Martha was only 18 months old. After he died, I looked everywhere for a job. My landlord had finally kicked us out because I was six months behind on rent. He was generous to let us stay that long. That day, I decided to take my girls to an orphanage. I stood [...]

The Power Of A Single Story: Why Orphan Prevention2019-05-15T18:49:25-05:00

Learning from Jesus to Serve Children

I spent ten years serving the world's most vulnerable children as a humanitarian professional, but it took having my own children for God to teach me some important lessons about the humility and sacrifice required in serving children, and appreciation for the adults who love and care for vulnerable children up-close. I loved my career as a champion for children's rights and protection with World Vision International. I felt privileged to be paid to put my faith and vocational calling into action through serving staff around the globe as they empowered children with skills and opportunities to speak their [...]

Learning from Jesus to Serve Children2019-05-15T19:00:52-05:00

My Most Important Lesson as an Adoptive Mother

Mother’s Day is a fun celebration in my home. We go to church in the morning and then spend the afternoon taking a local hike as a family. If we have any energy left, we end the day with a trip to our local garden center, where I pick one last tomato plant to put in the garden before summer arrives. It’s a fun day, but for my family it’s also underscored by pain. As an adoptive family, we never forget that the creation of our family is predicated on loss. Before I met my daughters, I learned about [...]

My Most Important Lesson as an Adoptive Mother2019-05-15T19:14:05-05:00

Out of Isolation and Into Families

In Armenia there are around 4,500 children living in residential institutions, a situation caused by the weak social protection system, an insufficient number of community-based services and lack of gate-keeping mechanisms due to overall weakness and inefficiency of the system, leftover from the Soviet Union. In the last decade, the Government of Armenia (GoA) initiated the process of reorganization of residential institutions for children and began making significant investments in the development of social services and program alternatives to residential care. However, Armenia faces multiple difficulties in sustaining various initiatives and programs, and the NGO sector and UN agencies remain [...]

Out of Isolation and Into Families2019-05-16T00:12:24-05:00

God’s Word: The Heartbeat of Love for the Orphan

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 Where in the world today is the church responding to the orphan crisis? Ethiopia, home to one of the largest orphan populations in the world, has over five million orphaned and vulnerable children. Bethany Christian Services (BCS) is answering that call by using the power of God’s Word to support local Ethiopian Christians to provide loving homes for children in [...]

God’s Word: The Heartbeat of Love for the Orphan2019-05-16T00:24:33-05:00

The Invitation and Hope of Advent

The season of Advent is upon us. Advent, which means coming in Latin, invites us to slow down and actively wait with great anticipation for the birth of Christ. The rhythm of Advent draws us closer to God in hope, preparation, joy, love, and through the presence of Christ Himself. In the midst of the holiday season, we are also reminded – through daily headlines and through our care for and connection to others – that we live in a world of profound brokenness. With more than 153 million children that have lost one parent and 18 million that have lost [...]

The Invitation and Hope of Advent2019-05-16T00:36:27-05:00

The Concentric Circles of Strengthening Families

Millions of children around the world are orphaned. I feel helpless to take action in terms of these staggering facts. What can I possibly do to help with throblem? I feel so overwhelmed by the issue. But, understanding the importance of strengthening families is something I can wrap my mind around. In fact, it is something I am already doing in my everyday life. I spend a lot of time with children. During the week, I am with my own three preschool-age children all day (they are 5, 4 and 2 years old). I clean up crayons and get water [...]

The Concentric Circles of Strengthening Families2019-05-16T00:43:01-05:00

Gotcha Day: Local Churches Support Adoptions and Families

In our family we have “Gotcha Day” celebrations for our two adopted children. It’s a special day each year when we celebrate and relive the story of bringing home a baby from Russia to become a part of our family. We have fun with cake and a special meal then sit together and go through the photo album. We remember all the special events surrounding the adoption and becoming a new family. I believe our Gotcha Day celebrations are a chance for our children to begin to frame their adoption stories in the light of [...]

Gotcha Day: Local Churches Support Adoptions and Families2019-05-16T00:44:35-05:00

Considering Poverty in Orphan Care

For many orphans, poverty is a common denominator. Some children become orphans because the lack of adequate food, clean water, or health care resulted in the death of one or both of their parents. Other children have been placed in the care of orphanages by living parents who cannot supply for their children’s needs because of poverty. Because poverty is a factor in so many children becoming orphans, understanding orphan care requires an understanding of poverty. In fact, the Bible beseeches us not merely to fight poverty, but to understand poverty. Psalm 41:1 reads, “Blessed is he who considers [...]

Considering Poverty in Orphan Care2019-05-16T00:47:06-05:00

The Importance of Caring for Adolescents

When supporting orphans and other vulnerable children our attention and resources often focus on the youngest children. And rightly so — they are developmentally vulnerable and depend on adults for their survival and well-being. But what about adolescents? These young people are also at a vulnerable stage in their lives. This period of rapid physical, cognitive and socio-emotional changes can lead to needs and behaviors that place them at risk, such as: Impulsiveness and risk-taking Intense sexual urges that can be difficult to control A need to “fit in,” to be accepted by peers Exploration of new roles and experimentation [...]

The Importance of Caring for Adolescents2019-05-16T00:49:11-05:00

Lessons Learned from Peter and Paul – Not the Ones You Imagine!

Peter and Paul were the first two children I remember meeting in Kenya 10 years ago while there on a social work trip with students from Baylor University. Having my photo taken with them felt truly apostolic, I must say. Their names had a profound enough of an impact, but the tenderness of their smiles and affection was nothing if not spirit-filled. At the same time, there was an emptiness I saw in these children. It may be the result of living with an HIV+ status in an impoverished country. It may be the fact that this disease resulted in [...]

Lessons Learned from Peter and Paul – Not the Ones You Imagine!2019-05-16T00:51:28-05:00

Journeys of Faith: Changing the Way Churches Do Ministry

Hundreds of other pastors, laypersons, ministry and mission team leaders, faculty and students have found participation in a Journeys of Faith study group to be a great way to engage and learn together. Susie Reeder, Minister of Missions at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, shared her personal, positive experience leading a Journeys of Faith study at her church. Read her blog here. You can organize a study group through your church, school, mission team, or with friends and family. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at info@faithtoaction.org. You can also click here [...]

Journeys of Faith: Changing the Way Churches Do Ministry2019-05-16T00:52:05-05:00

The Call of a Missions Pastor- Pastoral or Prophetic Responses to Orphan Care

In the three years I’ve worked as a missions director in the church, I have heard hundreds of people describe the experiences they’ve had visiting orphanages on various mission trips. And in spite of differences in location and culture, their stories are all similar. These stories usually go something like this: someone on a mission trip visits an orphanage for a day or two to ‘minister to the kids’ and do some work projects. While there, this person bonds closely with one particular child who wants to be held the whole time, and now he or she can’t forget [...]

The Call of a Missions Pastor- Pastoral or Prophetic Responses to Orphan Care2019-05-16T00:52:40-05:00
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