The children of New Heritage Orphanage enjoying a rare treat.

Eating SNAKES?? Yuck! OK, I confess, this month has been slow when it comes to news from the orphanages that Orphan’s Tear serves, so I thought I’d spice it up a little, just in time for Thanksgiving! Actually, the children pictured above from New Heritage Orphanage in Yangon, Myanmar, are eating raw sugar cane, which is always a special treat.

The children help to plant a garden every year, and this year one of the fruits of their labors was sugar cane. The children were so excited to finally harvest it and enjoy a little reward for their hard work! I just hope they brush their teeth thoroughly afterwards (I’m a mom now, so I can’t help it!).

Flying High at the Airport

For most of us, a trip to the airport conjures up thoughts of dreaded security lines, delayed flights, hours of cramped, sardine-style seating and jet lag. Even many of our children have become jaded, preferring to stare at their smart phones or video games than watch planes or look out from their window seats.

Not so for children growing up in developing countries, however, many of whom have never been to an airport, and don’t own phones or video games. For the children of Grace Orphanage in Yangon, Myanmar, a field trip to the international airport is almost like going to Disney World, since they have little spare time or finances to make such trips as a group.

Field trip to the airport!

But as all good parents know, there are times when you need to treat your children to something special, and that’s what the directors of Grace decided to do. And they turned it into an opportunity to challenge them to work hard in school so that they can get good jobs and perhaps one day travel themselves. Here’s what they wrote to me:

We praise the Lord for his grace for us. As you know most of our kids are from where there is no car, phone, TV, etc.. At all orphanages, the care takers do not or cannot afford to send or bring kids outside of the campus, like going to the zoo, park, or for sightseeing. It is very expensive for us. They really love to go out of the campus!

We brought some of our older kids to the airport and they just love it!!! They are sooo happy! They look around and see people going here and there with luggage. They get to see the planes. They took pictures. We the leaders took an advantage of it to explain them if they study hard in school they can be one of these people traveling or may be the owner or be police officer or pilot! They listen to us very carefully. It seems to see their face seeing something new and should be achieved of.

So the next time you have to fly somewhere, maybe you can remember the children of Grace, and gain a fresh appreciation for the opportunities so many of us take for granted.

On behalf of the children,

Elisabeth Walter
Director of Orphan’s Tear

Parting Shot

Zion Children’s Home in Kalaymyo, Myanmar, has a few piglets that will soon graduate to being pigs!

Pastor Thang Leo is so proud to have his son, Samuel, back with his family.

Pastor Thang Leo was failing to provide for his family. Living in the remote mountains of Chin State, Myanmar, it’s not uncommon for fathers to struggle at providing the basic necessities of clothing, food and education for their children, and Pastor Thang’s salary just wasn’t enough.

So when a friend who runs an orphanage hundreds miles away in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, offered to take one of his children, he felt he had no choice but to send his son Samuel away.

Several years passed. Then one day Pastor Thang heard some good news that might mean that his son could return home to his family. That’s the day, last October, when I met Pastor Thang and offered him a loan of $300 USD to start a small agricultural business so that he could earn more income so that he could provide for his family—and bring his son back home from the orphanage. He heartily agreed!

Now Pastor Thang not only has his son back, but he also has a 10-acre cabbage field!

Because of Pastor Thang’s good reputation in Chin State, he was appointed to be an overseer of 10 other families who took loans from Orphan’s Tear in order to bring their children back home.

Thank you for making a difference and standing with us as we reunite children in orphanages with their families!

Elisabeth Walter
Director of Orphan’s Tear

Pastor Thang standing in front of part of his 5,500-pound harvest!

Filed under: Myanmar

A letter from Alina, of New Hope Orphanage in Nepal, to her sponsor!

Keeping sponsors well-informed about their sponsored children has always been my desire. We’ve been limited on how well we could do that in the past, but I’m excited to share a new program that will start soon: Personal mail from your sponsored child!

This year, beginning with orphanages in Moldova, Nepal and Myanmar, we are asking sponsored children to write one letter a year to their sponsor. Sponsors won’t be able to write back to their sponsored child—yet—but this is a small step to keep you better informed!

Such a program will, of course, add administrative expenses for Orphan’s Tear, but we feel that, for you sponsors, improving the connection you have with your child is worth it. We hope you do too. And we’ll do our best to keep those costs at a minimum.

As one of our first steps, we’ve hired long-term friend and orphanage director, BT John, to gather and translate the letters from Myanmar, where most of the orphans we support live. This income will also help BT support his orphanage through his hard work.

We’ve stepped out on faith by starting a program like this because our General Fund (from which admin expenses come) doesn’t currently have the funds to cover the cost of administrating this program. We believe, however, that the encouragement our sponsors will receive—and the greater connection the children will have with them—is worth it. Our donors have already given sacrificially to sponsor these kids, so we’re not raising the cost of sponsorship. We’re just trusting that the Lord will bless our efforts to bless our donors.

If you are interested in donating to the Orphan’s Tear General Fund to help pay for our administration of programs like this one, please click here.

Sponsors have made a difference in the lives of many orphans, so I’m glad we can return some of that blessing to our sponsors in this new way!

For our donors,

Elisabeth Walter
Director of Orphan’s Tear

Happy Family: Sai Te sitting on her front steps with her four grandchildren.

Sai Te became a mother to her four grandchildren when her own offspring became drunkards and abandoned them at her doorstep. She couldn’t turn them away.

After her husband died, though, she didn’t have the income to provide for them. She hated to see her grandchildren hungry and without an education, so she did what many desperate families in Myanmar do in such difficult circumstances—she sent them to an orphanage hundreds of miles away.

God heard the prayers of her unhappy grandchildren, however, and answered them through you! After listening to Sai Te tell me her story last October, I knew Orphan’s Tear had to help.

Sai Te accepted a small loan to grow cabbage and raise a few pigs. Because of that loan, her grandchildren are now happily back with their loving grandmother.

Thank you so much for supporting Orphan’s Tear and the Kinship Care Fund!

Elisabeth Walter
Director of Orphan’s Tear

This year’s harvest amounted to over 3,300 pounds of cabbage!

Sai Te with her five pigs, which are now almost big enough to sell!

Filed under: Kinship Care, Myanmar

Dawtku, a young worshiper in Kalaymyo, Myanmar.

I have an important favor to ask: Would you take a few minutes to pray for the ministry of Orphan’s Tear? We are expanding our reach, adding new staff, and exploring new ways to help orphans. But we know that we can only do this with the Lord’s help.

Here are some things you can pray for:

• 30 orphans in Mexico whose care we’re taking on this month through one of our partners

• The successful expansion of our Kinship Care outreach in Myanmar

• Creative ways to help the children who are growing too old to stay in the orphanages they’ve called home

• Abundant success for the orphanages who have taken loans from us to start small businesses in order to become more self-sufficient (some are struggling)

• Smooth transitions for our new staff member, Philip, and new volunteer, Tenney

Three of the thirty beautiful children from Mexico that will soon be available for sponsorship

Thank you for standing with us as we seek to follow the Lord’s command to care for orphans!

For the children,

Elisabeth Walter
Director of Orphan’s Tear

Filed under: Myanmar

These children are now on their own, and they’re happy about it (or are they learning how to hail a taxi?).

It’s finally happened! I’m thrilled to report to you that Life Concern is the first Orphan’s Tear orphanage to become totally self-sufficient! It’s been a long road, but through director Joney Thawng Hup’s hard work and entrepreneurial drive, together with micro-loans from Orphan’s Tear, his orphanage no longer relies on outside support.

Joney had already been earning income from several businesses, made possible through micro-loans from Orphan’s Tear, but they could not provide for all of their monthly needs.

Then one day Joney asked me for a loan to buy a taxi. The income from operating a taxi, he assured me, would finally allow Life Concern to become self-sufficient.

Orphan’s Tear has loaned thousands of dollars to dozens of orphanages over the last few years as we strive to help each provide for 100% of their own needs, but we’ve never made individual loans the size that Joney was asking for, and I told him so.

Seeing that he was determined, however, and knowing of his excellent track record repaying previous loans, I made him an offer: Orphan’s Tear would loan him the money in lieu of the sponsorship support he’d normally receive for his children over the next 3 years. After he’d receive the loan, I told him, his orphanage would be on its own and would no longer receive monthly support. Confident that the taxi would succeed, he accepted my offer.

So far, the taxi business is doing great and it’s providing enough profit to support the children and slowly pay back his loan! I’m so happy that Life Concern Orphanage is now self-sufficient and doesn’t need to rely on our monthly support, and look forward to many more orphanage directors following Joney’s good example.

Elisabeth Walter
Director of Orphan’s Tear

At least in this photo, you can see the taxi sign!

Orphan power: Don’t worry, the car is working fine, it’s just a few of the Life Concern boys showing off their strength by pushing it!

Happy to still be at home.

“Please don’t leave me, Mom!”

I can only imagine how brave Lian Khan Cin had to be as his mother talked to him about her decision to bring him to Love in Action Orphanage. After the death of Lian’s father, the $4-a-day she earned running a tiny road-side shop just couldn’t adequately provide for Lian’s needs.

And she wasn’t the only parent/guardian bringing his or her child to Love in Action that month—11 others did too. All told similar hardship stories, and how they wanted their children to receive the education they were too poor to provide.

Mawi-a, the director of Love in Action Orphanage, refused to accept Lian—or any other children—however, much to their parents’ dismay. Mawi-a’s heart broke to hear their stories, but he knew that his orphanage was not the solution to their problem…and that Lian, like the others, needed the love and attention of his mother.

But Mawi-a wanted to help, so he invited all the parents, or other guardians like uncles, aunts, and grandparents, to a mini-conference at his orphanage.

Giving hope and family-friendly options to families at the mini-conference

At that conference Mawi-a explained that their children would be much better off emotionally and physically living with them, their families, than at an orphanage. They were quick to remind Mawi-a, however, how important it was for their children to receive a good education—a blessing they could only get, they repeated, living at his orphanage.

Mawi-a then countered their complaints with an offer. He could teach them the basics of how to run a small business and, with the help of Orphan’s Tear, he could loan each family $300 to start their own. That way they could earn enough income to provide for their children and send them to school. Gloom quickly turned to joy; worried faces melted into smiles.

Would you consider joining me in providing loans to each of those 12 families so their children can stay with them?

You can check out all the children available on our Special Projects page.

I’m so happy that we can offer family-friendly alternatives for orphans and other children, such as kinship care.

Elisabeth Walter
Director of Orphan’s Tear

Filed under: Myanmar

A mother who traded her sorrows for joy.

If you followed my blog posts while I was in Myanmar last year, you’ll remember the lady above from Sai Kua Village. She had sent her children far away to live in an orphanage so that they could receive a free education—the best thing for them, she thought.

When I met with her, however, she shared these emotional words: “Knowing that my children are alive and missing them is worse than missing someone who is dead”. Almost as soon as they had left she regretted her decision, and she couldn’t eat for a week because of her grief. Only through prayer and the encouragement of others was she finally able to eat again.

I’m happy to report that her sorrow has ended and she is now rejoicing! Because of a micro-loan she and her husband received from Orphan’s Tear that they’re using to grow crops they can sell to earn money, she can now afford to keep her children at home and send them to a local school.

I can’t help the tears that come to my eyes as I look at this photo of this mom grinning ear to ear at her children

This is one of 6 other families in Sai Kua Village that received their children back, thanks to a loan from Orphan’s Tear

For the children,

Elisabeth Walter
Director of Orphan’s Tear

Living Hope Orphanage’s director sent me a photo of a few of the children enjoying their “see-saw”

The months of March, April and May are the hottest time of year in Myanmar (often over 100 degrees), so that’s when children there enjoy their “summer” break from school. It’s also the time when many of the orphanages we support have a spiritual retreat for the children.

After one such retreat, I received this message from New Heritage Orphanage in Yangon.

THANK YOU so very much for your faithful, prayers and Supported this faithful and fruitful effort to ” weekend camp Spiritual rethreat” at New Heritage Home. All children [have] accepted [Jesus] as Personal Savior Lord [and] commitment to Jesus their life. So, we are thankful to all of you. May God bless to you.

In Other News….

The cute little boy pictured above isn’t an orphan, but my son Jonathan David who was born on March 25, 2014. He was born 5 weeks early and has had to be in NICU on two occasions now. He is so precious and I’m such a proud parent that I had to share his picture with you.

Thank you so much for your continual support for the orphans!

Elisabeth Walter
Director of Orphan’s Tear

The children of Life Concern Orphanage praying during their daily devotions

Dear Friends,

I love to hear encouraging news about how, together with you, we’re bearing fruit for the Lord in the lives of orphans around the world. Thanks to the blessing of email technology I get to read reports every month from orphanages that Orphan’s Tear supports. This month, I want to share with you a letter I recently received from the director of Life Concern Orphanage in Yangon, Myanmar. I hope you are encouraged by it like I was!

We the Life Concern family would like express our heartfelt and gratitude to all the donors of the kids who are under our care. Your love, care, prayer and your financial aids really be a very meaningful for the kids and now, they are growing in status as well as their education performance. The elder kids also love the Lord and accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Last year five of the elder kids baptized. Your supports really help their physical needs as well as their soul and spirit.

May the Lord bless you all abundantly. Amen.

-Joney Thawng Hup

Thank you all so much for your ongoing partnership to better the lives of orphans in Jesus’ name. May the Lord bless you!

Elisabeth Walter
Director of Orphan’s Tear

Orphan's Tear uses none of the contributions received for fundraising or administrative purposes. 100% of everything we receive from you directly benefits orphans. General gifts to our parent ministry, Heaven's Family, provide the administrative costs of Orphan's Tear.