Serving as the Executive Director and Board Chairman of a counseling agency in Pennsylvania, a trend was being observed in the community. Caring families were adopting children from orphanages in Central America. However sadly, the placements were failing. In fact, some of the children and teenagers were so incredibly wounded, traumatized and acting out that they had to be taken out of their new homes and placed in State run residential care. At times, the adopted children were a danger to themselves and others. Many showed symptoms of depression, anxiety, phobias, stealing, lying, hoarding, sneakiness, sexually acting out, reactively attached, even suicidal tenancies and self-mutilating. And yet, these were caring, hardworking, stable, well established religious families who were adopting the children. They should have been excellent places for children. Clearly – these children needed something more – they needed healing in special ways. We were invited to get involved helping these precious children, teenagers and families.
In 2011, we moved our family to Guatemala to begin programs of healing and hope within orphanages and communities in crisis.
By invitation, we now also go to other third world crisis areas of the world and begin high-quality, innovative services and training, with a strategy to empower nationals to become expert missionaries to their own culture and country. Many volunteers and missionaries have joined our mission - and we currently serve families, communities and orphanages in Central America, North America and Asia.
Over the years of working in Central America with children and teenagers, these things have become clear:
- There are far more children growing up in orphanages and on the streets than most people realized.
- The vast majority of children growing up in orphanages have no hope of being adopted.
- The go-to system of managing such large numbers of children-in-crisis in 3rd and 4rth world countries are orphanages.
- Every child growing up in orphanages has suffered trauma, and many have suffered unspeakable abuses.
- In Central America, orphanages can also be utilized as safe houses, psychiatric wards or temporary housing. Many of the children do in fact have families – however due to abuses, dangers and bad living conditions, children are sent to orphanages.
- In order to oversee such large numbers of children, orphanages often hire low-paid staff to watch the children. Every single adult overseeing these children NEEDS SPECIAL TRAINING.
- Our work is equipping these caregivers who all of a sudden have the most important job in the world – raising hundreds of children who are in need of recovery and healing. We also work at orphan prevention and successful transition out programs.
- After requests by directors, parents and caregivers for more resources, we created this website to help others.