thoughts on orphans and poverty Posted February 9, 2012 by Hope

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We are moving along in the process of making our BIG DREAM into reality. Much of the thoughts and conversations that Dave and I have late at night or in the car center around orphan care. We had dinner with some new friends last weekend and were able to talk (for four delightful hours as the children had a BLAST playing together) about the hows and the whys of orphan care. My friend found this article that makes some points that at first seem shocking. Do orphanages in some cultures create orphans? Is a child better left with a family member than in an orphanage?
Then yesterday I ran across another article that really made me think about the way we treat poverty in the church.  This article questioned something they call poverty tourism.  As someone who hosted teams in Africa for four years, it really made me think about why people go.  Don’t get me wrong, my trip to Africa to help with a kid’s camp changed my life.  Dave and I are both ready to move to Africa and raise our family there because of short term trips.  This article, however, raised questions I have never thought about before.  I think it’s so important to question everything.

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Then today that same blog posted yet another article that stopped me in my tracks.  This one dealt with the feeling that many of us have after returning to the US from an impoverished place.  Why can’t we just take all those sweet, poor kids and move them here?  Or even better… why not just all move to the impoverished places and live there just to help out.  Well, now you’re speaking my language.  Yes, please.  That’s what I want to do.

I hope you find these articles interesting.  In the middle of all my reading and thinking I keep coming back to one thing.  I hear God’s voice.  It’s still and small, but it’s there.  I want to help kids in Niger.

another interesting read:

Orphanages who do it wrong: IRIN article on Protecting Children from Orphan dealers

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