Friday, October 19, 2012

Orphan Hosting Through New Horizons for Children

I'm a regular follower of Kelly's Korner, a popular blog written by a girl here in NWA.  I don't know her, but we have several friends in common, and her blog is always such an encouragement to me as a mom, wife, a follower of Christ.

Today on her blog, Kelly is hosting a link-up to talk about your favorite charity.  I thought it could be a great opportunity to share a little about New Horizons for Children, the organization we hosted our sweet girls through this past summer, with all of her readers.

Until about 2 years ago, Matt and I had never heard of orphan hosting.  We had no idea it was possible.  I hear that so often from people when I tell them about our experience, too.  So hopefully, this will help get the word out there for more people to share their home and their family with an orphan (or two, or three!)

New Horizons for Children is an orphan hosting ministry based out of Atlanta that brings orphans from Eastern Europe to spend 4-5 weeks in American homes during their summer or Christmas breaks from school.  (There is also a pilot program launching for China in 2013!)

NHFC is a non-profit that works with Eastern European orphanages to give hope to the forgotten kids in their countries - mostly children over the age of 8 or sibling groups - the "hard to place" children.  A team of individuals tied to NHFC travels to the orphanages twice a year to interview perspective children for hosting.  They look for children who, despite the hard times and tough things they have had to face in their short lives, possess a quality of resiliency that helps them move beyond their circumstances to still enjoy life.  They look for children who still thrive academically, still have a sense of humor and laugh at themselves, still look out and care for others in light of everything they have experienced...children who would merge into a family well.

Many of the children who participate in the program end up adopted, either by their host family or a family they meet while in America.  To be clear, though, NHFC is not an adoption agency.  Adoption, or the potential for adoption, is never discussed with the children, either.  The children look at the program as a chance to see America, work on their English, and take a break from life at the orphanage.  It's a chance for them to see how a real family operates and loves one another - something most of them have never seen before.  And it's a chance for them to learn about their hope and worth in Christ.  These lessons are essential because as older children, they are on the brink of being on their own.  At age 16, the children "age out" of their orphanage and are forced out on the streets.  As you can imagine, the statics are very bleak from there.  With little life skills and very little hope of technical or educational training, 80% of the kids turn to crime, drugs, and prostitution to survive, and 15% will commit suicide within the first two years.  The idea is that participation in this hosting program will, at least, give them hope for a better life once they leave the orphanage.

My husband, Matt, and I participated as a host family this past summer and were blessed beyond our wildest dreams to share our lives with three amazing sisters.  The rest of the posts on this blog are all about our hosting experience and our current journey to bring our girls home forever.  Please feel free to scroll through all the posts if you are interested to learn more.

My hope is that by sharing this information out, someone else will learn about the program and feel the heart tug that Matt and I have felt.  There are children who are currently available to be hosted for Christmas, and let me just tell you, there are some AMAZING kids available (some of my favorites are the kids featured in this post)!  If this is something you want to learn more about, check out the NHFC website (, or feel free to ask me questions.  You can sign up through the website to actually view the photolisting and bios of eligible children for Christmas hosting.  What better time of the year is there to share God's love and hope with a child than at Christmas?!

I realize that hosting will not be for everyone, but maybe you have the ability to donate a scholarship for someone else who wants to host.  Or maybe neither of those are an option for you, but you can join me in praying for these children.  Whatever the case, that's why I'm sharing what's on my heart.  God is able to do IMMEASURABLY BIG things beyond my imagination, and I trust Him with that!

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.  James 1:27

1 comment:

  1. What beautiful children! Thanks for sharing this great charity!