Often times, people ask us why we are called Project Orphans - seeing that often times we also serve hundreds of people and children who aren't technically or statistically labeled 'orphaned'. In 2012, we started with the idea that we would simply build homes and provide family style orphan care for children who were completely orphaned. However, along the way we met children, women, teenagers and so many others from different walks of life and circumstances who all had this feeling of abandonment and a feeling of being 'orphaned'.
Many children may have parents, but come from an abusive home or have been abandoned to live with nearby relatives or neighbors who are also struggling. Others may have lost one parent and never knew their other parent. Women may have been abandoned by their husbands, left with several children to care for with no resources to survive. Adults would share with us how they felt alone and had no one to go to or lean on in times of despair. Whatever case it was or story they had - each person had one thing in common... they felt alone and orphaned. We call this the orphan spirit and how could we turn our hearts from them?
When we realized that we could and would continue to serve orphaned children but also not turn our backs to the 'need' of so many knocking on our door it was a bit overwhelming. However, our organization felt a weight lifted from our shoulders. Although it seemed as if we were tackling a bigger problem - it felt much better to trust that God would provide the resources needed to care for His children and that He would guide those to Project Orphans who needed us most.
A burden was lifted because we no longer carried the gravity of determining which child we would open our hearts to and which we would turn away. We realized that we would give that burden to God and open our doors to help as many children as possible - abandoned and helpless on the streets and out casted and abused by family – whether orphaned or not. We would continue to humbly help feed widows or clothe the poor because they couldn't afford the basic necessitates to live. Our organization would work to help children who needed a life-saving surgery and not let them be turned away just because his mother and father cared for him; but lacked the ability to provide the finances to cover the medical bills for their child to live. We allowed the mission of our organization to care for God's children: the widows and orphans, sick and poor, and the fatherless and broken hearted. We wanted to bring the Father's love, introduce people to the real Jesus, and provide hope to His children - all of them!
Our organization has a statement on the side of our vehicle in Uganda and it truly describes the heartbeat of our organization.
"BELIEVING THAT NO CHILD IS EVER LOST. EVERY PERSON IS VALUABLE. ALL PEOPLE ARE WORTHY OF LOVE."
The only way to break this orphan spirit is for all of us to be filled with a sense of the Father’s love and understand who we are in Christ. The feeling of loneliness and abandonment may be one of the greatest curses on the earth today. Too often, we see teens, young adults and others from all walks of life taking their life because they never felt accepted or wanted.
It will take a community of people 'adopting' children, families, widows, orphans, broken families and others hurting and feeling abandoned - to break this curse and introduce a love that does not judge and cares unconditionally, no matter what the circumstance. Only when a person is healed of fatherlessness through the love of God will the feeling of being orphaned be broken. This is when a person can begin the process of entering into an identity of being God's child.
What can you do to help advance our mission in Uganda?
Consider sponsoring a child this holiday season. Yes, this is a huge commitment and will last longer than the holidays; but with a sponsorship of $25 or $50 per month you can 'adopt' a child who needs introduced to the Father's love and who needs a family or person to consistently encourage and love them - no matter what background they have. You can provide them with food, education, medical care, and other necessities that show them they are worthy and have a purpose.
What can you do to help care for those who feel abandoned, lonely or orphaned in your own community?
During the holidays, feelings of loneliness and abandonment seem to creep up the most. If you know someone in your community who lacks support of a family, comes from a broken home, may be in foster care, doesn't have a place to spend the holidays, or is simply placed on your heart - we encourage you to show them the Father's love. Invite them to holiday traditions and share with them how they are valued - no matter what their background or circumstance may be. Allow this passion to care for the orphaned long after the holidays and see how your own family will grow in strength and love.