God gives children to families. His plan wasn’t for children to be put into orphanages or institutions. In Myanmar, the devil has made it culturally acceptable for parents to disown their children and put them into orphanages if they get divorced. It is also common for parents, too poor to provide for their own children and send them to school, to drop them off at an orphanage where they know their basic needs will be met. Compassionate orphanage directors readily accept these children into their care, just as they do true orphans without parents. The directors, too, feel trapped in a system that provides few options.
It breaks my heart to see families torn apart by poverty or any other circumstance. If a child has no family to care for him or her, then a Christian orphanage is certainly the next best option. As hard as they try, however, orphanage directors can rarely provide the individual attention that each child would normally receive from a parent. Family care is best!
Orphan’s Tear is now equipping orphanage directors with the tools necessary to help families stay together. We’ve conducted two conferences on foster care to help directors understand the importance of children living in families, as well as a micro-finance conference where the directors learned how to help poor families start small businesses through micro-loans so that they can afford to pay for their childrens’ school fees and other needs.
In November, Orphan’s Tear will be holding a foster-care conference specifically for Christian couples and pastors to learn how they can take care of orphans the way God designed—in families!
We’re already seeing fruit from our efforts—several children are back with their families and relatives! Please keep us in your prayers as we work to break down cultural boundaries and promote the age-old design that God has already set in place: families.