by Sherri McClurg, CEO, New Horizons for Children
It’s been a rough morning. For the third time this hosting season I have worked with our in country team to talk to a morgue about paying for “extra days” to hold a body there. Sadly, it’s the third death this season back home for our host kids. I’m trying to delay things until these host children can get home to attend the funerals.
Sometimes people wonder why we host children from a foster home or from a guardian’s home who will never be clear for adoption and is already in a safer place. This is an excellent example to help us all understand the why.
We have a teen girl from a good foster home with a foster mom who cares about fostering. On New Year’s Day, the child’s biological mom died in an alcohol related death. Two weeks later her biological sister died. Her foster mom was thankful she was in the USA because she would be distracted from the hardship. I, on the other hand, was glad she was here because she was surrounded by people who love her and care for her, who also love Jesus and will walk through this hardship with her. There are very limited counseling resources in country, and even sadder, there are few, if any, who will point her to God for comfort and healing. But, she is here with New Horizons, with a family who is sharing the love of God with her and helping her through her grief.
We also have a teen boy whose grandma, his caregiver since he was three, passed away last week. He, as well, might not have looked like a “true orphan” who needed hosting but I’m so glad he is here with a family who will love him through this week. They will walk through the days ahead with him as he returns to a transitional home without his grandma. He is not alone.
Yes, these kids are living with people who care for them – but their lives were still marked by trauma and they have deep wounds that just got tore apart yet again. But, right now, they are with wonderful Christian families loving on them, sharing Jesus with them, and helping them begin to grieve in the healthiest way possible. They will go home later this week to face a difficult, complicated time of grieving. Thankfully, they will not do it alone. They will go home knowing there is a family that loves them, is grieving alongside them, and most of all that they are being prayed for daily to our Father in Heaven, who cares tremendously for them and is with them through this pain.
God chose NHFC and these families to walk alongside these kids through hosting and to be His hands, His feet, and His heart as they go through this painful time. These children are going home to hardship and loss, but by the grace of God – hosting has given them family – someone to love them, pray for them, and walk forward with them. Please keep these children and their host families in your prayers.
There is a child out there who needs you to be their person. They need you to show them the love of family, and the love of God. This is why we do what we do. Please answer the call to care for an orphan and host a vulnerable or orphaned child this summer. Matching families with children will start the beginning of February. Learn more at www.nhfc.org
Thank you for all that you do! There will be hard times and times of doubt but what you’re doing is invaluable. Keep going! The love and experiences you are offering these kids will last a lifetime. Have no doubt; you are transforming the world one child at a time. Thank you.