Ukraine (MNN) – Imagine your life without love. One where nobody takes a second look at you and you’re left with a great hopelessness.
Statistically speaking, it’s safe to say this kind of life is similar to that of an orphan’s. And it is exactly why Force For Christ works hard to show these kids that they are indeed loved.
Through orphan hosting. And over this Christmas season, Force For Christ is asking families to open up their homes and share it with an orphan.
So what is orphan hosting?
Well, it’s where kids come and stay with a family for a defined period of time, in this case, it’s four weeks. And earlier this fall, Force For Christ’s Chad and Liz LaForce met with orphanages in Ukraine and discovered numerous kids who’d like to come to the United States and stay with a loving family.
Yet for some people, orphan hosting might seem sketchy. After all, a child staying with a family for a month can’t really help that much. But it does.
“You know statistically it’s not good if the kids grow up in an institution and they don’t have anyone actively supporting them in their lives, or feeding into their lives, especially in a Christ-like way,” Chad LaForce explains. “The statistics for them upon leaving the institution are pretty bad.”
For many of these kids, the idea of staying with a family is revolutionary. Some have lived in orphanages their entire lives or have lost everything from the war in Ukraine. Currently, Ukraine is the only European country in an active war, and its effects on these kids are devastating.
“Only about one-in-four of them statistically has a shot at a normal life. Most of them will end up in incarceration or dead. Many of them actually commit suicide before the age of 21 and many of the young women go almost immediately into trafficking,” LaForce shares.
“So it’s really kind of a desperate situation and hosting makes a radical change in that…it gives them access to a Christian family that’s invested in their future and cares about them. And it just breaks up that statistic of hopelessness that’s in the lives of so many of these kids.”
As LaForce says, these kids are looking for a lifeline. Someone who cares about them, their future, and acknowledges their worth. Orphan hosting helps do this because when the hosting period is up, families almost always keep in touch with the child who’s life they mingled with theirs.
In fact, LaForce knows the impact hosting has on a child from personal experience.
“We hosted a teen girl in our home a year ago at Christmas and we got to tell her a little bit about Jesus. We got to walk that light before her, but it was clear she didn’t really understand, but we stayed in touch with her…and when we went back in September and we were able to see her again,” LaForce explains.
“…She wanted to know specifically about Jesus and how to be saved. And it was amazing that through the help of a translator, we were actually able to lead her through the sinner’s prayer and usher her into the family of God. So it was a really powerful experience.”
The odds were not in this young girl’s favor. Yet through hosting, God did a work in her life and changed it for the better.
A Tangible Love
“You know, many of the kids that come over for hosting, they find Jesus…And even some of them, just over the course of life and staying in touch with host families, they ultimately come to know the Lord,” LaForce explains.
“And the young girl that we ministered to that we hosted last Christmas, she said this has absolutely been life changing for her. It set her whole life on a new course and we can really see that.”
Hosting is also a beautiful opportunity to live out James 1:27, which says,
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
So if you would, take a risk and open up both your heart and your home to a child who has known neither of these things and share Christ’s love over this Christmas season.
Force For Christ has a simple, no-commitment sign-up for those interested in hosting and the hosting process. LaForce encourages anyone even a little interested in hosting to fill out this pre-application.
Interested in hosting? Then click here to sign up!
But if hosting over this holiday season isn’t where God is leading you, please pray for these kids who will be hosted and even those who won’t. Pray for them to find loving host families, for their safety and health, and also for them to encounter Christ through the hosting process.
Pray also for Force For Christ as the ministry navigates another hosting season, that Ukraine’s fighting would stop, and for the nation would start to heal.