IN THE MIDST OF COVID-19
What care is being provided to the children served by Orphan Outreach?
Ministry to orphaned and vulnerable children doesn’t end, especially in troubling times. In fact, the words of James 1:27 become more powerful than ever:
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this:
to visit orphans and widows in their affliction,
and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
That’s exactly what’s happening in the countries we serve around the world.
Here are just a few of our many reports from the field:
- In Guatemala, families served by the CCC have been provided food and cleaning products, as well as instruction on the importance of hand-washing. Teachers are offering remote and virtual instruction to students who need assistance with school work. Food and COVID safety packets have been delivered to families served by CadaNiño, and at Down Guatemala, instructors are providing remote instruction to students, and families are receiving food bags (thanks to a generous donation from our friends at the Tim Tebow Foundation). At Good Shepherd in Santiago, teachers are providing educational support through WhatsApp and by phone, and a garage has been transformed into a tutoring center. Currently, citizens are required to stay within their own municipality. Facemasks are required in public.
- In Honduras, the NiCo team is staying connected to students and their families via phone calls since the country has issued shelter in place requirements, and teachers have created and distributed learning kits so that the children may continue to study at home. The staff has been given special permission to provide food and cleaning products for the families as well, and families say that, with no work available, the help they are receiving is their lifeline and hope.
- In Russia, technology is keeping our team connected daily to orphanage directors in the midst of quarantine, and classes are being taught via Zoom to children eager to attend. Regular phone calls and WhatsApp messages are also keeping our team connected to each young adult in our aging out initiative as they navigate life so that their essential needs may be met. Grocery bags are being delivered to homes, and one young adult even received much-needed furniture for her apartment. Essentials are also being delivered to orphanages. Families in the municipality program are receiving ongoing mentorship and guidance to navigate job loss, support services, and legal services.
- In Ukraine, large group meetings aren't currently possible, but our team continues to connect with each young adult in our aging out initiative to ensure their needs are being met. Face masks and hand sanitizers have been delivered to every young adult, as well as basic groceries and medical supplies, and group meetings are taking place online.
- In Latvia, food and baby care essentials are being delivered to young moms and their little ones, and technology is assisting the team in being able to provide care for young adults in our aging out initiative. Hot meals are also being delivered to families served by the Day Centre in Karosta. Moms and their little ones who attend the Family Support Centre have received at-home educational resource kits to help them continue their classes even in isolation.
- In Kenya, water is provided to families three times a week, and soap and food are provided weekly. Our social workers are continuing to educate families on the importance of keeping the basic hygiene the students have learned in school. Those living in Nairobi are under partial lockdown.
- In India, At Gan Sabra, food and medicines are being delivered to families in the Gan Sabra community program as part of a special task force formed by the local government. Children at the home are committed to praying daily for healing and restoration. At House of Grace, provisions were gathered to ensure the children and young adults home from college would have plenty of food, soap, and personal effects. There is study time each day, and everyone is also learning new hobbies like baking and music. Most of the country remains on lockdown through mid-May.
We update this report on a regular basis, so please check back for new information!
How are SPONSORSHIP funds being utilized?
Kids are our priority at Orphan Outreach, and we know they’re your priority too! As a sponsor, you’ve seen firsthand the impact made on orphaned and vulnerable children when they’re provided the essentials of care they need to thrive.
Even now, your sponsor child is receiving care.
Our global team has never worked more diligently to find creative ways to serve the children in the midst of such tumultuous times. We are so very thankful for our staff and our ministry partners in Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa! Orphan Outreach ministry partners providing residential care are continuing to ensure each child receives what they need. And at our schools, after-school, aging out, and community-based programs, the goal is to do our best to provide the children and young adults with the support they need.
PHYSICAL CARE Soap, meals, food staples, and water are among the items being delivered to homes wherever possible.
EMOTIONAL CARE Teachers and social workers are checking in on children, young adults, and families via phone, providing tutoring, encouragement, prayer, and most of all—connection.
EDUCATIONAL CARE For some of our children, educational resources were provided prior to “shelter in place” directives, and for others, where possible, teachers are offering tutoring sessions by phone to help keep kids engaged. Additionally, in all our programs, special attention was given to ensuring each child or young adult understood the necessity of hand washing and good personal hygiene.
SPIRITUAL CARE We continue to pray as a global family for every child we serve and to provide tangible hope in whatever ways we can to reflect Christ’s love and compassion. We trust in the Lord’s goodness and redemptive promises as Father to the fatherless and Defender of the defenseless. We invite you to join us in praying daily for the orphaned and vulnerable, for caregivers, for healthcare workers, and for the governments in each country served by Orphan Outreach.
What about MISSION TRIPS?
Currently, mission trips to Guatemala have been postponed through August, and all other trips with departure dates through mid-July have been rescheduled. Fall mission trips are being evaluated as an opportunity to serve, as we carefully monitor international travel and communicate directly with those trip participants. We’ll provide regular updates if trips are rescheduled or canceled.
In light of health and travel concerns at this time, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Trip Leader Training previously scheduled for May 4, 2020. Our goal is to still provide our leaders with the best training possible, so we can all serve orphaned and vulnerable children well, and alternative dates and/or methods for training are being planned.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, we are estimating a $1.6 million loss in total funding in 2020. Even in the midst of such tumultuous times, one thing has not changed: our promise to serve orphaned and vulnerable children and their families. Because of our ongoing commitment to be faithful stewards of the resources God provides, we have already made adjustments in spending of $1.25 million, trimming as much as we can without making major changes to ministry programs or compromising the care we provide.
Now, we need your help in bridging the $350,000 gap to maintain our ministry work this year.
We are able to do what we do because of the gifted, compassionate, and committed ministry staffs in every country we serve. And our global team is able to do what they do because of your support.