International (MNN) — In the year 2008, Orphan Outreach
expanded its ministries in Russia,
Guatemala, and India in the year 2008. Despite
challenges, it plans to continue expansion in 2009.
"What's going on economically has caused challenges for all
ministries worldwide," said Tiffany Taylor, Orphan Outreach's director of
Marketing and Development. "But what we
have seen is God just continuing to bless and expand our ministry, which has
been so exciting."
Orphan Outreach is already beginning a number of new
projects for 2009. In many countries
such as Guatemala,
the new school year actually starts at the beginning of the calendar year. This year, Orphan Outreach will open a new
school in Panabaj, Guatemala.
"We are excited that we have a brand-new school starting in
an extremely impoverished area in Guatemala,
up in the mountains in Panabaj, where there are so many children in need," Taylor said. "We will literally have 200 children starting
school that had no access to education before."
"As we look at the need for education, and of course
Christian education, there are over 72 million children still not even in
primary school, so the need is overwhelming," Taylor said.
"And we see the relationships that we've been able to build with local
churches. We have such wonderful opportunities to be able to do ministry
and open new schools and expand our ministry to help children around the world."
Orphan Outreach is planning to expand even further in the
coming year. Recently, Othey
signed a partnership agreement with a ministry called Redeeming India,
effective January 1, 2009.
"We are helping with the ministry literally on the front
lines of saving baby girls from infanticide. Families believe that these baby girls are
cursed, and they ask the midwives to kill the baby girls," Taylor explained. "We are going to be building a Christian
school there, helping them with long-term planning, and helping them with this
wonderful ministry of saving baby girls."
The ministry was founded by Sony and Soso Prince in 2003
and has rescued 20 baby girls since then.
secretly pays midwives to deliver the babies to caregivers rather than
Families in Tamilnadu believe that an odd-numbered female
child (i.e. the first, third, or fifth child in the family) is cursed if it
is a girl. After the midwife announces
the gender of the child, they usually pay her about US$8 to take the child away and
kill her. Redeeming India is
endeavoring to raise the children in a loving Christian environment.
Orphan Outreach first visited the ministry in 2007 and
quickly became interested in helping.
"Seeing all those beautiful girls that
would have otherwise been killed was a powerful testament to what orphan
ministry is about," said Mike Douris, president of Orphan Outreach. "These
girls literally have a chance at a future because of Redeeming India's work."
Because the girls are members of India's lowest
caste, they are unlikely to be adopted by people who can afford to care for
them – even by Christians. However,
Orphan Outreach plans to help Redeeming India give them the best upbringing
"Orphan Outreach can assist in
providing for the long-term growth and professional consultation that will be
required to ensure the future of the girls currently in the orphanage and allow
the ministry to impact and serve more children," said Dave Williams, director
of Redeeming India. "They can also provide leadership support through
India-based Orphan Outreach staff."
Orphan Outreach has also signed a new
agreement to expand its ministry to orphan graduates in Leningrad. Russian orphans face a bleak future when they age out of the orphanage
system, and Orphan Outreach is helping local churches help the orphans.
"Caseworkers are going to be working with these children
that are about ready to be put out on the streets with nothing, equivalent of
about $50," Taylor
said. "Our ministry is so excited about this new program to be able to help
these kids through the local churches."
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