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Posts Tagged ‘Haiti Orphan Relief Team’

As I write this I am on an plane approaching Port-au-Prince, Haiti. As you may already know, Hope for Orphans is locking arms with a group of other organizations to come alongside Haitian churches as they seek to love and care for children who were orphaned by the earthquake. The HORT initiative (Haiti Orphan Relief Team) sent its first team last month to connect with Haitian churches with a heart for caring for orphans in their communities (you can read David Leventhal’s blog posts from that first HORT trip by clicking HERE). On our current trip, we will take the next step with 10 of these churches and will continue to meet with others as well. On Wednesday, we will be meeting with the pastors of these 10 Haitian churches for the day to discuss more of the details of what it will look like to partner together. During part of that time I will be team teaching with Dan Cruver (Together for Adoption) on a biblical framework for adoption.

I am really excited about this particular initiative and the potential impact it can have. Each church’s program will identify up to 20 children to place into homes within the church. Each church will identify a team to oversee the program and will help to ensure that each of these children gets food, medical care, education, and is developed spiritually. With 10 churches starting the program initially, that means 200 kids are getting care right out of the gate –- and in Christian families.

As you know, it’s important to always be asking the question, “what can we do better together than we could ever do alone?” The HORT initiative is another encouraging example of organizations coming together and putting their collective shoulder behind something that will really help kids.

I would like to ask you to pray with us for this time and for the program. Here are few things you can pray for:

  1. That we would make good connections with more strong churches
  2. That we would be active learners and great listeners
  3. That we would be able to truly identify ways to help Haitian Christians care for
    Haitian orphans.
  4. That churches would see many changed lives in the children they help.
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David Leventhal is still in Haiti.  He wrote the following after addressing 100 Haitian pastors:

“This morning Paul Myhill (President of World Orphans) & I had the opportunity to speak before 100 Haitian pastors at a Campus Crusade for Christ training conference in Port Au Prince.  The training was being led by Esperandieu Pierre.

Esperandieu asked us to cast vision & encourage these pastors in their love & service for the orphans in their community.  We didn’t have much time & because Esperandieu had to translate for us the time we had was cut in half.

When I woke up this morning I began asking the Lord what He wanted me to communicate to these men.  It had to be short, easy to remember & useful.  As I worked through my thoughts & reflected on a couple of passages I realize the best place to start & finish was at the very cornerstone of all we believe.  I distilled it down into two main points:

  • The gospel is the basis for WHY we care for orphans
    • The gospel frees us to love others – we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
    • The gospel frees us to look outside ourselves towards the needs of others – we look at Christ who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped (Philippians 2:5ff).
    • The gospel provides the power by which we can love sacrificially when it doesn’t make sense for us to (Romans 6:11ff).
  • The gospel is the model for HOW we care for orphans.
    • The gospel is offered free of charge – we are to care for orphans without expectation of receiving anything from them (John 3:16).
    • The gospel is not dependent upon our abilities – we are to care for orphans irrespective of their physical, mental or emotional capacity (Ephesians 2:8-9).
    • The gospel addresses the whole person – we are to care for the spiritual, physical & emotional needs of vulnerable children.  This is more than just basic food, clothing & shelter (James 1:27, 2 Corinthians 4:16ff).
    • The gospel cost Christ his life – we are to spend ourselves for the cause of the orphan, the vulnerable & the defenseless (Romans 8:32, Romans 5:8)

At the end of the day orphan care should tie back to the grace of God made fully known in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.”

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David Leventhal sent this update from Haiti:

Today was a good laying the groundwork day.  Our team met with CMBH (Southern Baptist Group in Haiti) & World Relief.  The net result of our time is that we will be able to meet with 46 churches in the coming week.  Definitely a great start to the church to church partnerships we are hoping to create to care for Haiti’s orphans.

Our time with World Relief was especially sweet as we got to hear about all the great things they are doing to care for orphans & vulnerable children.  Their headquarters in Port Au Prince was destroyed so they are working out of one of their hospital / orphanage facilities called King’s Hospital.  After our meeting we were able to spend some time with the children in their orphanage.  There is nothing, absolutely nothing like getting eyeball to eyeball with a child that has lost everything.  It brings a renewed perspective that you simply cannot get from a book, a sermon or a meeting over coffee. It will wreck you in the best possible way.

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Hope for Orphans is proud to be a part of the Haiti Orphan Relief Team (HORT).  HORT is a cooperative effort of disaster response experts and U.S. based ministries that have joined together to respond to the orphan crisis in Haiti.

The first deployment, which I will be a part of, departs on February 14th with the specific mission of supporting the churches of Haiti to care for the orphaned children in their communities. HORT will collaborate with and train Haitian ministries to sustain this effort beyond the deployment period.

The primary goal of this first initiative is to better enable Haitian churches to reunite children with their families or to keep children within extended family structures. For children that have no other options, HORT will help Haitian churches to provide direct care in home environments, as opposed to institutional orphanages.  The focus is on long-term, sustainable orphan care through the local church.

U.S. churches are also part of the solution and are being recruited by HORT to come alongside these Haitian churches in church-to-church partnerships to initiate, strengthen and grow their outreach to orphans in their immediate communities. These partnerships will also work towards the self-sustainability of the orphan rescue and care efforts in Haiti.

A couple of things you can do:

  • Pray like crazy that this team would:
    • Exalt Christ as we look for long-term orphan relief strategies
    • Remain unified & focused on the goal – we want to set aside logos & egos for the purpose of glorifying God as we care for the least of these
    • Be protected physically & spiritually while in Haiti.  We deploy on 2/14.  Some will be returning on 2/24 & others on 2/28.
    • Be able to identify churches on the ground in Haiti & in the U.S. that will be able to partner with us and one another.
  • Advocate: Spread the word via
  • Support the HORT effort financially through the website below
  • Educate: Learn more at www.haitiorphanrelief.com

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