We are a nationwide orphan ministry that works with families from coast-to-coast, including Puerto Rico. We provide families the unique ministry opportunity to share Christ’s love with orphans for a 4-5 week visit during the summer and around Christmas. We have a team that works with orphanages and foster homes in the Eastern Europe countries of Latvia and Ukraine and several Asian countries to bring the school-aged children to the US to stay with Christian host families. This can be a life-changing experience for the orphans who have never been a part of a loving, functional family. And at their age, 6-16 years old, they are the least likely candidates to ever be adopted; most believe they are unwanted and have no hope of ever knowing life in a real family.
In their 4-5 week visit, host families teach these chlidren English, life skills, and about the love of God our Heavenly Father. By the end of the child’s visit, most host families are eternally grateful for the blessings they have received in ministering to these precious lives. It brings the mission field right to your own home, neighborhood, and church. We are a Christian based, international hosting program, which brings over orphaned children from Eastern Europe twice each year to share with them the love of God and the love of a family.
Twice a year, Le Ann Dakake, mother of 9 children (eight adopted; four as teens) travels with and leads small mission teams from different churches to Eastern European and Asian orphanages during the months of February and September.
The teams go into selected orphanages and take humanitarian aid with them. Items include shoes, clothes, school supplies or whatever the needs may be for the particular orphanage. Together with the orphanage director and care-givers, LeAnn and the team begin the interview process and get to know the children in order to make the difficult decisions of which ones will participate in the next hosting program. Typically, the team will talk with each child, take a photo or two and watch them as they interact with other children, the team members and their care-givers.
They search for children who have a “resilience factor” in their lives that helps them to overcome past obstacles and difficulties. Mrs. Dakake relates, “All orphans have issues and most have experienced ‘bad things’ in their lives. But, why do some overcome and go on and others cannot? A child that has a gift of being an extraordinary artist, musician, athlete, academics (especially language) or even a sense of humor–the ability to laugh at oneself and move on—these are the resilience factors that I have learned and seen first hand, that help children to heal and move on with normal lives.”
Mrs. Dakake uses some personal history and understanding of Attachment Disorder in the decision-making process having adopted a teen daughter in 1999 from Russia who was eventually diagnosed with the disorder. She states, “While there is no sure-fire way to 100% know if a child has the disorder or not; research based on classroom instruction, literature and books written by Attachment Therapists around the country, and personal experiences, indicate that certain children show particular mannerisms, personality and character traits that typically lend them to being suspect for Attachment Disorder.” Children who exhibit AD traits are not considered for participation in the hosting program. “Sometimes it’s just a gut feeling or personal trigger reaction I feel, that seems too familiar from the of days raising our AD daughter”, shares Dakake.
Since the team’s time with the children is limited, they start with the recommendations of the orphanage care-givers who know them best. Then, from this group of children, the interviews take place and the group is selected.
Overall, the team is led by constant prayer…their simple request is “Lord, please lead us to the children You already have in mind, and also lead the families at home to the program…the ones that You already know will come…so each child will be with the family that You want them to ultimately be with. We pray that everything we do glorifies You and is Your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”