It has always been our policy that orphans must be younger than 18 to be placed on the Orphan’s Tear website. One reason for that policy is because we hope that 18-year-olds will be able to support themselves by the time they finish their secondary education. We’ve also found that people are more likely to sponsor younger children at Orphan’s Tear. Older children are usually passed over by potential sponsors. When a sponsored child reaches age 18, we notify the sponsor and discontinue the sponsorship.
But what happens to those older children once they must leave their orphanage? Very few, if any, move on to higher education, but some do go on to Bible School if they can find a sponsor. Most must find a way to support themselves, and so they look for a job. Without skills, however, only the most menial jobs are available—the kind that pay very little. For example, a laborer in Myanmar who works in the fields will earn just one dollar for a ten-hour work day. The same rate is paid to road workers. These hard-working laborers are trapped in grinding poverty all their lives.
For those who have skills, however, there are better jobs. So we’re beginning to make an effort to provide some skills training for our older orphans to help them better support themselves once they leave their orphanages.
In Myanmar, we’ve just launched a sewing school through the purchase of 15 treadle sewing machines and by providing a teacher’s salary for a year. We’ve also just begun special English language classes by paying for two teachers’ salaries for a year. And we hope to start classes for computer training, hair dressing and watch repairing. These kinds of skills can open doors of opportunity for our older orphan children that would otherwise remain closed.
We hope to do much more of this kind of thing, not only for our older orphans in Myanmar, but also for our older orphans in Pakistan, India, Tanzania, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Haiti. Many of our orphanage directors have talked to me about this, but I’ve always explained to them that we just don’t have the funding. But I’ve been praying, and I think I have a God-inspired idea to turn dreams into reality.
I’m sure you’ve heard the news that most U.S. taxpayers are going to receive a check for $600 in the mail, beginning in May, in order to stimulate our economy. Even in a recession, however, our economy is still in the economic stratosphere compared to most of the world’s nations. So may I ask that you prayerfully consider using some or all of your “gift” from the I.R.S to lift some orphans who are currently trapped on the world’s lowest economic rung? They are our little brothers and sisters in Christ.
Becky and I are going to give 100% of our tax rebates to these two funds, and we’re asking you to join us. If every orphan sponsor would do this, it would result in $225,600! That would certainly stimulate heaven’s economy (with all that treasure laid up in heaven), and it would dramatically improve the future of the child (or children) whom you sponsor, as well as the lives of thousands of our orphans through the vocational training that it would provide for years to come. The more funds we have, the more we can do to help our older orphans get a good start in adult life. A young woman in Myanmar, for example, can receive training to be a nurse for only about $500.
I suspect that most of us would have survived without the tax rebates that are coming our way. So I hope we will all seize the opportunity to use our windfalls for God’s glory. If you want to be a part of this initiative, I would sure appreciate your letting me know right away (just contact us ), because we’re making plans for several vocational skills projects that we want to implement immediately. Then, when your tax rebate check arrives, just send a check to Orphan’s Tear with “Education Fund” in the memo. Or you can give by credit card by clicking on this link: Education Fund. Thanks so much!
For the Children,