Friday, July 26, 2013

Partnering with Visiting Orphans


     Some of you may know that Ryan and I are team leaders for an organization called Visiting Orphans (VO).  This is an amazing group of people that we are proud to be a part of.  VO works to send teams into orphanages in all corners of the world with the intent to simply love on children.
     This is especially near to our hearts because we have survived 4 years post adoption with two beautiful boys that started their lives not knowing love.  Eye contact, touch and even direct conversation with my sons sent them into survival mode.  Etienne would snuggle up to any stranger on the street; oblivious to whom it may have been.  Zeke sobbed every time I looked into his eyes.  That is what a lack of love looked like.
     Visiting Orphans does not install wells.  They don't build medical clinics.  They love the least of these.  And that is messy, complicated work.  You may read or hear conversations about whether this is harmful or not: to give kids touch and attention and then to leave again.  Here's the deal.  We are at this point pretty knowledgeable on the subject of vulnerable children.  And we ask you this: what is the alternative?  To turn away?  To do nothing?
     Ryan and I will partner with VO for as long as they will take us.  We love their hearts, their mission and the direction that they allow God to lead them.  Our team from June has launched a foundation, Imana Kids, as fruit from their trip to Kimisagara.  Lives are changed.  People are moved.  God is at work.
     So read the blogs if you want.  But please know that VO trips are with leaders that are trained and knowledgeable on vulnerable children, on the culture and the people of the countries they serve and most especially on the children that often have deep wounds and attachment issues.  It is not easy work.  But it is advancing His kingdom; it's messy and beautiful and meaningful and lasting.
     Our goal for Imana Kids is that as families and individuals sponsor children, they may partner with VO to visit their sponsored child; investing long term in the life of a child.  We are open to questions, to information and even to skeptics.  In the meantime, check out this video.

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