Living life fully with God brings unique challenges, growth and joy. 2013 has been a year of challenges, growth and joy for Orphan Care Alliance and for me personally.
Historically, Orphan Care Alliance has seen steady growth. In 2013 several new initiatives were launched. The two most important was the startup of Safe Families and the first annual Help, Hope, Heal Conference (H3). While the seeds for these two initiatives had been planted in 2012, they began to grow, and produce an abundance of blooms in 2013
The H3 conference was attended by 168. They learned more about the causes of behavioral issues in troubled youth, were taught various coping techniques to help youth overcome the trauma in their lives, and were encouraged to stay the course for which they were called in serving the fatherless.
Safe Families recruited and trained 6 couples to open their home to provide respite to families in need of a break, so they can cope with and resolve serious issues in their homes. Six children were provided a Safe place, while their parent(s) got a break, to get back on track. There were also 24 additional supports to the Safe Families program recruited and trained. In addition, we have 5 prospective Safe Families in the consideration and preparation phases.
With the success that Orphan Care Alliance has had in mobilizing the church to be involved in caring for the fatherless, requests began to pour in from churches and cities in our region to expand beyond the greater Louisville and Southern Indiana area. God has been connecting volunteers in Lexington and Bardstown, Kentucky, as well as Scottsburg, Indiana to Orphan Care Alliance with a heart to provide seminars, care closets, life coaching and Safe Families. The church is empowered and God is glorified best when Christians rise up to serve those in the most need. In 2014, Orphan Care Alliance has set in place plans to expand to areas where God’s people are most active.
While most of the ministry that Orphan Care Alliance is involved in is carried out by volunteers, not everyone is in a position to serve without compensation. And because Orphan Care Alliance does not charge for any of the services they provide, there are costs to be covered in the promotion and execution of seminars, conferences and training.
Personally, a number of Orphan Care Alliance leaders have struggled (some are still in the midst of their trials), with health issues or parenting challenges in their service to the fatherless. One of the biggest challenges is that Orphan Care Alliance lost the services of Jeff Stumph as he was diagnosed with cancer in February and was unable to devote time to meeting with donors to inform them of the growth of the ministry. Thus, Orphan Care Alliance has used up most of the cash reserves in expanding the ministry and continuing to provide income to Jeff while he transitioned through his journey.
As we wrap up 2013, we covet your prayers that God directs the path of Orphan Care Alliance. We ask prayers especially for the 60 volunteers needed to expand the ministry. We also request prayers for the funding of the ministry of Orphan Care Alliance.
Examples of the known cost for some of the ministry initiatives are:
- $250.00 to train a Safe Family
- $2000 to sponsor an Adoption Seminar
- $50 to provide training for a Life Coach
- $500 to sponsor a training class for post adoption and foster care
- $25 to provide a Care Pack for a foster child
- $2500 to provide a matching grant for someone adopting
- $65 to purchase a shelving unit to be used in a Care Closet.
For Orphan Care Alliance to continue to expand our service to the fatherless, we need to raise $200,000 a year.
For 2013 we are at 60% of our budget. If you have been blessed by the ministry, and are able to make an end-of-year special donation, it would be greatly appreciated. If you are called to serve God in other ministries, we pray that you do so with all your heart, mind, body and soul.
But we assure you that every volunteer and every gift really makes a difference. If you would like to learn more of how you can serve in the ministry or details about the ministry Orphan Care Alliance provides, let us know. We would be glad to send you information or meet with you personally.
In His faithful service,
Darren Washausen, Executive Director