Off to Visit Our Children in Myanmar!
We generally try to focus on what is encouraging in our monthly correspondence, because we know that most of us hear enough discouraging news. But I’m afraid that sometimes we mislead our friends into thinking that Orphan’s Tear never suffers any setbacks, or that everything is always glorious. The reality is that, just like you, we face disappointments.
For example, it always hurts when we lose sponsors. Sometimes they face financial challenges that force them to end their child’s sponsorship. We can certainly sympathize with them. But we don’t look forward to notifying the orphanage directors that they will be receiving less monthly support. A few months ago we had our largest sponsor drop all forty of his children, a huge setback for us. That meant several orphanages faced cuts of hundreds of dollars each month. Worse than that, not too long ago another sponsor wrote to tell us that he had read The Da Vinci Code and no longer believed in Jesus! So he dumped his two orphans!
In Pakistan, we had 42 children sponsored, but recently lost the sponsorship of 17 of them. It was a big disappointment, because the orphanage directors there were already trying to take care of 115 orphans with the money we sent to help 42 children. (66 of those children lost their parents in the Pakistan earthquake, and the directors could not turn them away.) So they lost one-third of the already-insufficient support that we were sending each month. They were no longer able to rent a building that served as their orphanage. So they sought Christian families who would take a child under their care with the promise of a little financial help. Generally speaking, Christians are the poorest people in Pakistan, so taking on an extra child to feed is a big sacrifice. Praise God, enough families were willing to make the sacrifice. So almost all of the 115 children are in Christian homes, at least for now.
In the meantime, a new orphanage building is under construction that will accommodate all the children. I’ve visited the construction site and looked over the architectural drawings when I was last in Pakistan, and it promises to be a very nice orphanage by Pakistani standards. I asked the orphanage directors (a husband and wife) how they got the money for what they’ve already built. I learned that they sold their only car, a piece of land they owned, and her gold wedding jewelry. About $40,000 is needed to finish it, and as I was writing this newsletter, someone whom I’ve never met contacted me offering to fund it all! The "Father of the fatherless" has proven His love over and over again through such miracles.
Blessings in Tanzania
Mission to Homeless Children in Tanzania is comprised of twenty-eight children whose parents all died of AIDS and who were at one time living on the streets of Morogoro. Full of Christ’s compassion, Director Robert Simba started taking homeless orphans into his home. But it hasn’t been easy. Having outgrown Robert’s small house a few years ago, the children now live in a very inadequate rented building. Thankfully, we’ve found wonderful sponsors for all 28 children and we’ve even been able to send extra help at times. And I am so happy to report that this month we were able to purchase ten acres of land for just $5,000. That land will provide a place to build a new orphanage and have room to grow life-sustaining crops. This was made possible by contributions last month to the Special Gifts Fund. Next month I hope to have some photos to show you.
By the time you receive this e-mail, I’ll be in northeast India. Then on the 27th I’ll be flying to Myanmar (Burma) where I’ll be joined by eleven other Heaven’s Family team members for two weeks of ministry. While I’m conducting pastors’ conferences, the team will be visiting our twenty-six adopted orphanages, in which there are a total of 679 children. Our goal will be to take photos of every child and send those photos to every sponsor by the end of January. If you sponsor a child in Myanmar, expect to see how much your child has grown!
Don’t Forget the Christmas Gift Cards!
Christmas is now just about a month away! Don’t forget that we have the perfect gift for you to give your loved ones—a gift card by which you can make a contribution to Orphan’s Tear in their honor. Everything is set up at OrphansTear.org under "Make a Difference>Gift Cards." Give an Orphan’s Tear Gift Card today.
We can mail your gift card to you or to the recipient of your gift. All the money that Orphan’s Tear receives from the gift cards will be divided among our thirty-six orphanages so that every one of our 982 children, sponsored and unsponsored, will receive something this year for Christmas, which will no doubt be their only gift. Generally the orphanage directors buy the children clothes, shoes or blankets with the special Christmas money that we send them.
When Thanksgiving is Every Day
Every time your sponsored child sits down to eat a meal, he or she has reason to be thankful for you, because your sponsorship provides the food. We are all so privileged to be able to show our love for Jesus by loving some of His little followers. May God bless every sponsor, every contributor to the Orphan’s Tear Special Gifts Fund, and every investor in the Heaven’s Family Mutual Fund.
For the children,