Thursday, June 10, 2010

Father's Day OR Just Another Day Without a Father?

Father's Day is fast approaching and my kids are busily making cards and talking about what to do for their daddy.  I can't help but contrast this with the lives my two sons were living just 18 months ago. 

Neither of my sons had ever known a daddy - and for Jayden (9) specifically, he had his heart set on a dad. 

The moment my husband and I walked through that gate at the orphanage in Ethiopia, Jayden took Jay's hand and never let go.  When his birth mother arrived to say good-bye one last time (she had relinquished him to an orphanage because she could not provide for him and they were literally starving), I expected tears and a heart-wrenching scene.  Of course I was putting my daughters in his shoes and imagining the heartbreak for me and for them.  Instead, Jayden sat on Jay's lap and wrapped his little arms around his neck, and there he sat while he conversed with his mother and said good-bye.  Never taking his arms from around my husband's neck.  He had found his daddy - and he wasn't letting go!

Jayden knew that his birth mother loved him, but he also knew that she could not protect him and could not provide for him.  He was living on the streets during the day while she worked to keep a tin shack roof over their heads - and he has the scars and the street stories to show for it.

I also can't help but think about the kids at "Kind Hearts" and "Trees of Glory" care-points in Ethiopia.  The majority of these kids don't have a daddy.  They don't have a father.  Many of them don't have a mother either. 

It's sad to think that orphans are actually classified as a single-orphan (meaning they have lost one parent) or a double-orphan (meaning they have lost both parents).  In Africa, when a child loses their father, they have lost the possibility for protection and provision.  Women oftentimes don't have the education or skills to work, and many times the deceased husband's family takes possession of land and the home, leaving the family homeless, and without provision or an inheritance.  With the death of a father ... comes the death of hope, opportunity, education, and a future.

As Father's Day approaches and all four of my kids are excitedly planning a fun day for their dad, the kids at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory will have just another day without a dad.  Another day without the protection and provision of a father. 

Every child at Kind Hearts is sponsored - and for the first time in a long time, they have been able to rely on provision and love and prayer from their sponsor family.  Nothing can replace the love of a mother, and the provision and protection of a father, but sponsorship goes a long way for these kids.  What a burden they were shouldering - no hope for the future, and not knowing when the ache in their tummies would go away.  I look at recent pictures of the kids at Kind Hearts, and their faces have filled out and confident joy radiates in their eyes as they attend school every day with their friends.

There are 84 orphaned children at "Trees of Glory" care-point.  31 of the kids have been matched with a sponsor family, but 53 kids are still waiting ... and hoping.  As Father's Day approaches - would you consider sponsoring a child?  Would you consider being the provider and protector these children so desperately need?


Daniel (7) and his sister Abebech (7) are single orphans.  Their father has died and they live with their widowed mother with a total of 6 children in the home. 
UPDATE:  Daniel has just been matched with a sponsor family!

This is Abebech (7), Daniel's sister.
UPDATE:  Abebech now has a sponsor family!


Abenet (8) and his brother, Abey (7) are double orphans.  Both of their parents have died
and they are living with an uncle who is not able to provide for them.
UPDATE:  Abenet now has a sponsor family!


This is Abey (7), Abenet's brother.
UPDATE:  Abey has just been matched with a sponsor family!

Please email me at kjwistrom@yahoo.com to start your sponsorship.  Sponsorship is $34 per month and provides food, clothing, medical care, education and Christian discipleship.  Your letters provide HOPE, demonstrating love and concern and teaching them their value and worth!  For these kids, $34 per month makes all the difference in the world!  For you and me - if we truly put it in perspective, $34 can be spent at Target in about 5 minutes flat!

Don't wait for another day or another time.  For these kids, NOW is the perfect time.

No comments: