Residential Care

Houseparents: Family for life

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Day 14:  30 Days of Prayer for Hope A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. (Psalms 68:5-6) Hours after the children scuttle off to bed, houseparents gather for a late-night dinner and prayer meeting. Almost every night, as dinner winds down, the houseparents form a circle, and—holding hands—they intercede before God for each child. Together, their passion for every child in their care is palpable. These special houseparents sign ten-year contracts …

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On Mission

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Day 13:  30 Days of Prayer for Hope Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9) Every year, hundreds of visitors grace our campuses with their presence. They come from the local churches and communities, from the U.S. and Europe, and from all over the world. They come for one reason: to be on mission — sharing the love of Christ with the children of Hope. They leave changed, just as the children are changed. One of the realities of New Testament …

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Transformation from the Inside Out

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Day 12:  30 Days of Prayer for Hope Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2) When children come to Hope Unlimited, they bring short lifetimes of destructive behaviors with them. Sexual promiscuity, drug abuse, violent acting out, theft, and dishonesty are all part of a street kid’s life. Hope Unlimited’s staff—and, importantly, children whose lives have already been transformed—work diligently to help newcomers put harmful life choices behind them. …

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Cultural Noise

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Day 11:  30 Days of Prayer for Hope Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts his voice, the earth melts. (Psalms 46:6) Our children come to us steeped in a culture that places values on all the wrong things: materialism, carnality, and disregard for those in need. Much of what the team at Hope does is help children listen for the quiet voice of our Sovereign Lord—calling them to a deeper faith in Him, to care for others, and to practice spiritual disciplines. Please pray with us that in the midst of the cultural noise, the voice of God …

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Earning Their Trust

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Day 9:  30 Days of Prayer for Hope Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his …

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A Cultural Current

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Day 6:  30 Days of Prayer for Hope “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Before coming to Hope Unlimited, the children we serve are often swept into destructive lifestyles by a cultural current pulling them towards drugs, crime, sexual exploitation, and poverty. A central part of our philosophy is maintaining a campus culture that, instead, directs the children in a positive trajectory. We count on older children, whose lives have already been transformed, to help …

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Paulo Vitor: Abandoned

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Day 5: 30 Days of Prayer for Hope But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. (Psalm 10:14) Paulo never knew his father, and he was abused and neglected by his mother. She turned him in to the authorities, saying she did not want him anymore. She abandoned her son. Thankfully, he recently found a home at Hope. He asks every day about when he might return to the only family he has ever known, but his …

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Culture: A Powerful Tool

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Day 4:  30 Days of Prayer for Hope Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. (Ruth 1:16) We have seen it happen so many times: a squad car arrives at the City of Youth with a terrified child in the back seat. The child does not know why he has been picked up and does not understand why he’s being brought to this place. That’s why, instead of adult staff members …

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Prayers and Pray-ers

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Many of you readers are new here, so I’m reprising this post from several years ago. Its words are timeless…   Reading 1 John again this evening… “But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” Must walk as Jesus did.” That’s a tough one; one I’m not sure I have completely worked out. But I do know that it starts with relationships — both with God and with others. And I think John’s point is that …

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Orphans, residential care — and outcomes

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It’s a refrain I hear pretty often. “Orphanages are bad. All of them.” That sounds good, and perhaps it echoes the well-meaning hearts of those motivated by Christian love to see every child in a family. Besides, we shudder —with good reason—when we see the cold walls of nursery orphanages in eastern Europe or places where young children and teenagers are essentially warehoused. “Please, sir, said Oliver, “I want some more.” God forgive us for ever treating children so. And so, in that line of reasoning, unequivocal statements are made: For all orphans, residential care is bad. We immediately assume …

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