"There's an incredible felt need in the community as they try to address the orphans that have already been left behind by the HIV pandemic. You wouldn't imagine that that could be an effective church growth strategy, but in fact it has become just that," said Gary Schneider of Every Orphan's Hope.
The church grows as people notice the Christian love that radiates from each home, Schneider explained. "They're intrigued by a church that, again, moves outside its walls in the community. Even whole households where caregivers have been and the church has been visiting orphans have come to Christ and then, ultimately, come to the church to learn more about Jesus Christ."
Each home houses one widow and up to eight orphans. The woman commits to raising the children in the single-family home that is sponsored by a church in the West. Right now, they still need $10,000 for each of the four homes that are currently being built in one village.
Prayers for strength and perseverance are needed. "It requires a sustained response. It's not like a relief development effort where you can come in and meet one need. These children have a family crisis, and they need to be cared for and really loved and ministered to for a good number of years," said Schneider.