International (MNN) — "Orphanages have been a thing of the past for over 50 years in developed countries, and they certainly don't work very well in developing countries," said Gary Schneider of Every Orphan's Hope.
That's why "My Father's House Orphan Homes" are being built by Every Orphan's Hope. The homes are structured so that up to eight orphans can live with a widow who is "mother" to the children. Seven homes are already in operation, and four more are being built. These will be situated in more rural areas.
One of the criteria for choosing a location for a new orphan home is dependent on the churches in the area. "We just know that one church alone cannot address the orphan crisis in these communities. It's going to take the whole body of Christ, if you will, working
together. So we make sure that there are multiple churches in a community to come together as one body to really support these children and the widows," Schneider said.
The homes that are currently under construction are set to be finished in a little over four months, and
Schneider says the communities are prepared. "The churches in the community of that village understand the vision, so they're already meeting together and talking about the orphans in their midst and identifying those children who really are 'the least' among them–
those with no extended family. They'll begin to talk with those children and council them."
Children who are able to be a part of "My Father's House" are able to stay near the friends and
school and environment that they've grown up around. On top of that, it is this kind of stability that makes a way for the Gospel. "We just try to help the children understand that this home has been provided to them by a loving God who wants them to know about the Gospel of Christ," said Schneider.
The mother who commits to living in the homes often has been destitute until she is selected
by the church to be a part of the home. Some of the ladies have not had refrigerators or cooked on a stove, "so for them, as well, it's a transformational experience."