What is the best way to help “the least of these”?
That’s a question we at Heaven’s Family often ask ourselves as we seek to serve our spiritual family in Jesus’ name. Our Orphan’s Tear division has been helping to care for orphans for over seven years, and during that time we’ve come to realize that we help them best when we help their orphanages become more self-sufficient. We can provide food day by day—making them dependent on others—or we can provide them with seeds, or chickens, or pigs—helping them feed themselves year after year.
This month I want to share with you five of the ways Heaven’s Family is partnering with our orphanages—as they use their God-given abilities—to help them become more self-sufficient.
CHICKEN FARM – Living Hope Orphanage
The chickens start clucking even before the sun rises, signaling the start of a new day. The older boys roll out of bed and head out to feed the always-hungry birds. Later, everyone pitches in, gathering the eggs in crates. The sharp “ching, ching!” of a bell lets everyone know that the egg peddler has arrived on his bicycle. Then it’s time to load all the crates on his bike so he can take them to the market. The large eggs fetch the equivalent of nine cents each, while the smaller eggs go for five cents each. The children pray that all the eggs will be large!
WEAVING – Faith Orphanage
The loom shuttle makes a swishing noise as Lal Pek Mawi’s skillful fingers send it back and forth across the loom. The material she is creating will be used for blankets, school uniforms, school bags, and “Tallits,” or Jewish prayer shawls. The blankets, uniforms and bags are used by the orphans, and are a great blessing because they would have to buy these items in the market otherwise. The prayer shawls are made to sell. Their loom not only provides ways to save and make money, but it also teaches the teen girls a valuable skill.
FISH POND – Christ’s Home for the Needy Orphanage
Right across from the dorm of Christ’s Home for the Needy Orphanage is one of several peaceful ponds that sit on their property. But it’s not there to provide a nice view. Below the surface of the pond, the water is teeming with fish. The director purchases fingerlings for 14 cents each to stock the ponds. The children take care of feeding them, and after a year the fish grow sufficiently to be sold for a dollar. After two years, they can be sold for four dollars. That extra income is a real blessing for the children. Besides providing extra income that makes them more self-sufficient, the fish also supply special fish dinners!
The director of the orphanage says, “I wish you come to our place and enjoy to catch the fish.”
PIGS – Living Hope Orphanage
If you visit Living Hope Orphanage, you may notice an odor that wafts from the back corner of their property. To the director and children, that odor is the smell of money! To own pigs is a blessing. A full-grown pig can be sold for three times the cost of a piglet. Some of the orphanages purchase piglets, feed them, and then sell them when they are full-grown. Others breed pigs and sell the piglets. Either way, it helps them become more self-sufficient.
The director reports, “We have two pigs and it mother has been matted. May the Lord bless it and bear good piglets.”
DUCKS – New Heritage Orphanage
At New Heritage Orphanage, they’ve hatched their own scheme by raising ducks—37 of them. Right now, those little balls of fluff don’t do much besides look cute and play follow-the-leader behind their mothers. But the director and children of New Heritage have big plans for these ducklings. With the children’s care, the ducks will grow up and provide eggs for the orphans to eat. So the children take very good care of them.