Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Desperation Band


"LIVE with Desperation Band" Simulcast

This year's Orphan Sunday includes a huge opportunity to reach youth! High school and college students' hearts have been touched for the orphan, and our young people are eager to act. We want to stir these students to action.

Orphan Sunday has partnered with Desperation Band to bring student groups a one-hour LIVE simulcast on Friday, November 5, 2010, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm MDT.

The Desperation Band and friends will challenge American youth to a vibrant, Gospel-centered faith that includes real sacrifice for the “least of these.” In addition to a fantastic worship concert, look forward to special appearances via Skype by orphans from around the world. They will also be presenting the first ever "Big Hearted Award" to a youth group that has shown extraordinary passion and committment to the orphan. Finally, they will highlight ways for student groups to engage, both large and small.

You don't want your youth group to miss this night! Please forward this flyer to your youth pastor. The simulcast is FREE and will only be available on Friday, November 5th. Once you've planned your simulcast showing event, don’t forget to post it on the Orphan Sunday site!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Adoption Season for Evangelicals: A biblical mandate to help children, especially those in foster care.

The following article is from the Wall Street Journal.

September 24, 2010

Last Saturday at Grace Chapel in Denver, Focus on the Family (in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Human Services) hosted an information session for parents interested in adopting children out of the foster-care system. More than 150 families were represented and 55 of those have already begun the process. It was a successful and fitting end for the summer of 2010, which turned into a season of adoption for evangelicals.

In May, megachurch pastor Rick Warren held a "civil forum" on the subject. An audience of 800 attended and thousands more watched the webcast from their homes. "Orphans and vulnerable children are not a cause," said Warren. "They are a biblical and social mandate we can't ignore. A country half the size of the U.S—that's how many orphans there are in the world. We're not talking about a small problem."

Adoption was the cover story of Christianity Today in July. It included a feature by Russell Moore, dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in which he described in heart-wrenching terms the circumstances of his own adoption of two brothers from a Russian orphanage.

Mr. Moore, the author of a book called "Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches," has become a sort of go-to person for evangelicals on the issue of adoption. In trying to explain why Christians have a particular duty to adopt, he told me that "every one of us who follows Christ was adopted into an already existing family."

Which is to say that unlike Judaism or Islam, faiths that one is born into, Christianity requires each member to have an individual relationship with Christ. And so, in that sense, it is as if each Christian is adopted.

Yet it is the efforts of Focus on the Family, a group which has previously been most known for its political involvement on issues like abortion and gay marriage, that have produced the most striking results so far. The group announced two years ago that it would be devoting a considerable amount of its resources to a new initiative called "Wait No More." Focus is partnering with different state governments—six so far—to reduce the number of children on foster-care roles.

In Colorado alone, Focus has moved about 500 of the 800 kids in foster care into permanent homes over the course of less than two years. The group has had success helping infertile couples desperate for families, but also in placing children with couples who are older, some of whose children have already grown up and left home.

The Focus efforts are particularly interesting because foster kids are typically not young, and often have emotional or even physical problems as a result of a lack of prenatal care, or neglectful birth or foster parents. Sometimes they can only be adopted with siblings, and so a family must take on two or more children at the same time.

Foster children are also likely to be of a different race from their new adoptive parents. As more and more evangelical churches take up the cause of adoption on a large scale, their congregations have begun to look like the multiracial sea of faces that Christian leaders often talk about wanting. But it does involve parents giving up on having children who look like them.

All of this makes the growing evangelical interest in adoption seem particularly countercultural. With the widespread availability of artificial reproductive technologies such as in-vitro fertilization, many couples who previously would have chosen adoption can now use surrogates, donor sperm or donor eggs to have a baby who shares their DNA (or whose DNA they have carefully chosen), and whose prenatal care they can closely monitor. Taking a child as he or she comes to you may be a difficult choice for some parents to make these days.

The contemporary cultural message that we can have complete control over our children goes beyond making sure our babies are healthy and our children are given good moral direction. We take yoga classes with our infants, we attach GPS devices to children's backpacks and we call our kids in college on a daily, if not hourly, basis. There is no doubt that the world can seem a more dangerous place, with too many other influences, particularly new media, trying to exert control over our children. Now that Americans are having fewer children, we fret more over each one, too.

But how much control can we have? A Christianity Today cover story earlier this year on "The Myth of the Perfect Parent" discussed the sense many religious parents have that they've failed if their child strays from the church. Given this backdrop and the wider cultural messages about parenting, one wonders how these evangelical adoptive parents overcome their own desire for control, bring a stranger into their home, and then take responsibility for raising him.

The most persuasive explanation comes from the author of that article, Leslie Leyland Fields, who exhorts her readers: "We are not sovereign over our children—only God is. Children are not tomatoes to stake out or mules to train, nor are they numbers to plug into an equation. They are full human beings wondrously and fearfully made. Parenting, like all tasks under the sun, is intended as an endeavor of love, risk, perseverance, and, above all, faith."

Ms. Riley is an affiliate scholar at the Institute for American Values.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Christian Alliance for Orphans Webinar Series

Alliance Webinar Series

The Christian Alliance for Orphans Webinar Series is designed to help individuals like you create and grow effective adoption, foster care and global orphan ministry in local churches.

You're Invited...

Partnering with the Local Church to Care for Orphans in Haiti and beyond.

Practical advice, principles and practices for how your church can wisely partner with indigenous churches to care for orphans in Haiti and beyond.
Host Church: Northridge Church

Presenters: Michael Miller, Northridge Church, Michigan
Nick Adams, NorthPointe Community Church
Alan Hunt, World Orphans
Scott Vair, World Orphans

Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Time: 2:00 PM Eastern

For more information or to register for the webinar, visit

Each 60-minute webinar in this series will give local advocates access to the knowledge and experience of top Alliance member churches and organizations nationwide, covering key topics on adoption, foster care and/or global orphan care. Every webinar will be hosted by a local church orphan ministry and co-presented by one or more national experts on the subject matter. This pairing will deliver a combination of specialist information and resources alongside a “here’s how it works in a real church” perspective.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Psalm 14:31

He who oppresses the poor shows

contempt for their Maker,

but whoever is kind to the needy

honors God.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Orphan Sunday Weekend Simulcast

Looking for an event for Orphan Sunday? The Christian Alliance for Orphans will be hosting an event that can be streamed live to your church at no cost. You can also view it at home via the web. The event is geared toward youth groups, but can be enjoyed by people of all ages. For more information, visit

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shop Jockey and Support the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Shop Jockey and support the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of adoptive families.

Click here to find a Jockey outlet store near you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

LifeSong for Orphans - Liberia Opportunity

Let's be the Hands and Feet of Jesus!

2010 Liberia Video from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.

This week we are inviting our faithful readers and supporters to step up and help us in a time of need for Lifesong Liberia.

Lifesong has partnered with The Master’s Home of Champions orphanage and is providing a loving and safe home to many destitute and abandoned children, some of whom are deaf. We seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and are focused on the goal of raising up champions for the good of Liberia and glory of God!

This summer, another orphanage was in dire need, and thanks to an unexpected donation Lifesong was there. Praise the Lord we can help more children! But now, we need help too! We need your help to make sure these children are fed every day! We need your help to care for the fatherless! Will you join us?

70 sponsors in one week is a tall order. We know this. We also know that we serve a big God who has told us that caring for the poor and vulnerable is at the very heart of who He is! We believe we can make this happen! We pray that God will call hearts this week and we trust that you will answer!

Contact us at to commit!

Hear personal stories & follow the progress on our blog all this week!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jiangxi (China) Orphans Need Help With Schooling

The following, is from Peggy Gurrad from the Altrusa Foundation ( which serves orphans in Jiangxi, China. My heart is naturally drawn to this foundation because my first daughter was born in Jiangxi Province. Please prayerfully consider making a financial donation to allow these precious girls to continue attending school which will give them a chance at a successful future. If you are not able to contribute at this time, please use the list of children to pray for their needs.
My Jiangxi Girl (with Mr. Cuddles)

Like the kids here in the U.S., our sponsored children from several of the Jiangxi orphanages are returning to school and they need your help. We need to pay the schooling costs for our sponsored foster children that attend the school near their foster home instead of the one near their orphanage. The cost is $155 for the year. I hope you can help!

I'm sure you can all appreciate the benefits to these children to be in a loving, attentive foster home instead of in the orphanage. And once they're in school they benefit from having a foster family that will encourage them and help them with their homework, giving them a chance to compete with all the other kids at school that have parents and grandparents focusing their attention on their only child. A child in the orphanage is at a significant disadvantage. The child in
foster care also benefits by being in the community and seeing the value of an education and growing up with the expectation that she will someday be an independent adult that can get a job and care for themselves. And hopefully in a school away from the orphanage, surrounded by their foster family and local community that accepts them, they will not have the stigma associated with being an orphan and can really live a normal life without bullying at school.

But to achieve all this we must pay for their schooling in addition to their foster family stipend and need some new sponsors for this. Here is a list of some children of the children that need a sponsor ($155):


Girl born May 2005, in kindergarten
Girl born June 2002 who has congenital heart disease, in kindergarten
Girl born March 2005 who has congenital heart disease, in kindergarten
Girl born March 2004 who has cleft palate, in kindergarten


girl - 5 y.o. - healthy - kindergarten
girl - 6 y.o. - HepB - primary school
girl - 15 y.o. - left leg deformity - middle school
boy - 3 y.o. - club foot - kindergarten
boy - 3 y.o. - lower extremity deformity - kindergarten
boy - 3 y.o. - healthy - kindergarten
girl - 5 y.o. - Cerebral Palsy - kindergarten


Girl born 11/04 (has Cerebral Palsy) in kindergarten
girl - 4 y.o. - possible autism - kindergarten
girl - 6 y.o. - Cerebral Palsy - kindergarten
boy - 3 y.o. - Cereberal Palsy - kindergarten
girl - 6 y.o. - Cerebral Palsy - kindergarten


girl - 14 yo - cerebral palsy - special ed school
boy - 15 yo - cataract - special ed school
girl - 15 yo - low IQ - special ed school
girl - 7 yo - cerebral palsy - kindergarten
girl - 10 yo - cerebral palsy - primary school
girl 9 yo - cerebral palsy and epilepsy - kindergarten
girl 10 yo - cerebral palsy and epilepsy - kindergarten
boy - 9 yo - developmental delay - kindergarten
boy - 3 yo - hydrocephalus - kindergarten
girl - 10 yo low IQ - kindergarten
boy - 13 yo - low IQ - special ed school
girl - 7 yo - "malfunction of the brain" - kindergarten
girl - 16 yo - low IQ and hep B - special ed school


girl - 13 yo - middle school

All of the above children need $155 per year. But we also have some older children that need more but this could come from several sponsors if needed so any amount you could donate would be much appreciated. A few of these are:

A girl from Leping, born 10/90, who has had polio and will attend Nanchang Financial College. She needs $994 for the year.

A girl from Nanchang, born Jan 1993 and has hep B, in her first year at Nanchang Women's College. She is majoring in aviation service and hotel service and when she graduates wants a job as an airline stewardess or job working in hotel. The cost is $268 per year.

A girl from Nanchang, born Jan 1990, has hep B, also in her first year at Nanchang Women's College. She is majoring in metro service and administration, planning for a job associated with the subway. The cost is $268 per year.

A girl from Shanggao born 7/95, healthy, who is in high school and needs $315 for the year. (High school is not paid for by the government even though she is living in the orphanage).

Support is provided by donations to Altrusa Foundation which is a 501(c)3 organization in the US that works together with Amity Foundation in China. Altrusa does not take any admin fees out of your donation and Amity Foundation in China charges only a 7% admin fee. The rest of your donation is all going to your sponsored child's schooling! You can learn more about us at

If you'd like to donate by check it should be made out to Atrusa Foundation (tax deductible in the US) and mailed to me at:
Altrusa Foundation
Attention: Peggy Gurrad
P.O. Box 1354
Longview, WA 98632

You can also donate through (which is a good option for those of you outside the US). But there are fees with PayPal also so please add about 3% for US donations and 4% of those from outside the US. (However it appears that you can choose an option that says this is a gift and then neither you or Altrusa are charged fees.) If you want to use a credit card let me know.

Please consider helping. We have lost many sponsors because of the bad economy and won't be able to continue helping all these children if we don't find some more people who can help. And it makes such a big difference. It's thrilling to see some of these kids continue on with school through university or professional school and then get jobs!

Peggy Gurrad
Altrusa Foundation

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Training Opportunity

The Evangelical Child and Family Agency (ECFA) is sponsoring a training event for any current foster families or those who want to learn more about foster care. Licensed families who attend will be awarded continuing education hours.

Date: October 23,2010
Time: 9:00am-4:00pm

Location: Harvest Bible Chapel
1000 North Randall Road
Elgin, IL 60123

Topics: Multiple Transitions- Child Trauma
Adjustments to new placements
Race Matters- A Struggle for Identity
Leaving a Foster Home
Working As A Team
Panel Discussion on Team Members' Roles

Cost: Free (non ECFA families will be expected to pay $6.00 for lunch)

Registration: Call Lois Eldridge at 630-653-6400 ext. 236

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Children's Closet

The Children's Closet needs your help!

Working with agencies such as DCFS and Safe Families for Children, The Children's Closet is providing support to families who are caring for children in crisis. The Children's closet provides clothing, supplies, and basic necessities free of charge to help families who are providing temporary homes for needy children as well as their biological families.

Right now there is an urgent need for Pack N Play beds and boys clothes, sizes 9 months - 3T.

If you are able to donate new or gently used items, please contact Teri (630-205-6013) or Lisa (847-466-2660).

Thanks for your prayerful consideration!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Monthly Gathering

Join adoptive, pre-adoptive, foster & Safe Families for our monthly gathering on Sunday, September 19 from 5 to 7 pm at Willow Creek, South Barrington in rooms B105/107/109 (near the Chapel).

Our speaker, Joyce Moffit, from Evangelical Child & Family Agency (ECFA) will address the question: "If I Want to Adopt, Should I Become a Foster Parent?"

We will meet at 5:00 to share a pot-luck meal. Please bring a dish to share. Beverages will be provided.

Child care is available if you r.s.v.p. with the number of children and their ages. Contact Dina at or call 630-213-3558.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Foster/Safe Families Mom's Coffee

After a summer break, the Mom's Coffee gathering is back! Please come for a time of connecting and sharing experiences with other Foster Care & Safe Family Moms. Regular gatherings will take place every second Tuesday of the month. Children are welcome.

September 14th, 2010
9:30am - 11:30am

The Applegate Home
1315 W. Kenilworth, Palatine

Please RSVP to or 847-323-0150

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hike for Orphans Fundraiser

Fall Colors Hike at Herrick Lake

What: Three-mile walk to benefit orphans & raise funds for adopting families
When: 10 am, Saturday, Oct. 9
Where: Herrick lake Forest Preserve, Wheaton

How: 1) RSVP to by Oct. 1; 2) Ask family & friends to sponsor you or sponsor yourself. 3) Turn in donations by Oct. 9 ($25 minimum) and walk with us! The participant who raises the most money will win a prize basket!

Sponsored by Lisle Bible Church, Lisle, IL

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Creation Groans

(Before playing video, pause the blog music at the bottom of the page.)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Family Stories: The Cormiers

The following story is written by my friend Becky. We met ten years ago when our families traveled together to adopt our first daughters from China. (The kids found forever families and we found forever friends!) The recent story of their fourth adoption is a wonderful journey of faith, surprises, provision and God's perfect timing. If you are considering a "special needs" adoption, this is a must read.

David (Shi Shi) Cormier

In 2005, Al and I decided to adopt from China for a fourth time. Our first three children were all healthy girls, all infants at the time of placement. We decided that once again, we would submit a dossier to CCAA requesting another healthy infant girl.

For a time, as we gathered the documents for our dossier, it seemed that I was encountering many families who had adopted children with clefts, whether at the Jewel, in a restaurant, in our children’s preschool, or on a list online. I spent time researching cleft lip and palate, and realized that by living in the Chicago area, we had access to some of the very best care for clefts in the country. But our three girls were also still pretty young – ages 7, 4 and 2. Both Al’s and my family live in New England – no grandmas or aunties or cousins to help out while we took our child into the city for appointments and surgeries. We live in a more rural area, with few neighbors who could help and support us. And, let’s face it – this would be our fourth child. To accept a referral for a child with special needs felt daunting. In August of 2006 we submitted our dossier requesting a healthy infant girl. But I continued to think about cleft lip and palate......

To read the rest of the story and see more really CUTE pictures, click here:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Orphans Sunday T-Shirts

Orphan Sunday is only two months away! (November 7th, 2010) Official Orphan Sunday t-shirts are now available. I encourage you to buy one now and wear it to promote and engage in conversation about the plight of the fatherless. It's one small way that WE can be a voice for His children! ALL SHIRTS ONLY $12.00. To order, visit the online store at

There will be official Orphan Sunday events happening right here in Illinois, across the country, and around the world. For more information or to find an event near you, visit And keep checking back because events are being added every day.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Duffle Bag Drive for Foster Kids Exceeds Goal!

Well, the duffel bag drive is officially over now and I just wanted to give everyone a final update. After we sorted through all of the bags (we had to remove a few that were in not-so-gently-used condition), we have 265 duffel bags and backpacks to distribute to kids in foster care!!!

In addition, we have 83 purses and smaller bags (like messenger bags) that are being donated to the Allendale thrift shop. (Allendale Association is one of the three organizations we are donating duffel bags to). In addition to the monetary help that these bags will bring, the thrift shop is used to help give Allendale kids real-world work experience, so these "extra" bags will be a double blessing!

I am so very excited about the success of our first Many Helping Hands project!! I thank each and every one of you for the impact that you've made. We could not have done it without you.

Thanks so much!
Nicole Hewitt.

Donated bags will be distributed to ECFA, Allendale Association and Lydia Home Association.

For more information or to get involved with the next Many Helping Hands project, contact
Nicole Hewitt at