Malawi (MNN) — Orphans in Malawi, along with vulnerable children, make up 66 percent of the country’s population for people under the age of 25. Being one of the poorest countries in the world, orphans in Malawi are often left at the bottom of the social ladder with little-to-no hope for change.
Paint the Scene
However, Force For Christ, an orphan hosting ministry based in Portage, Michigan, is offering hope to some Malawi orphans.
“So, our organization, Force For Christ, works with families and we present the opportunity to host an orphan. We bring the child over and then unite the child with a family,” Force For Christ’s Chad LaForce explains.
“And then the family loves the child and cares for the child for a period of four-to-six weeks. So it’s a really powerful ministry where a child who doesn’t have a family is able to absorb the love and faith and fellowship of a family environment.”
To paint the scene, it’s not uncommon for a child in Malawi to barely own more than the tattered shirt on their back — most likely a hand-me-down from another very poor family. Not to mention, these kids are true orphans, having lost both parents to usually either malaria or AIDS.
Food is also scarce. Some kids eat one meal a day if they’re lucky. Others might only get three meals a week. Their meals usually consist of some rice, maybe beans, and a little bit of chicken. Needless to say, these kids are malnourished with no one to help them.
Yet, when these kids come to the United States for hosting, they receive clothing, hot meals daily, a stable environment with a bed, people who talk to them daily, and they’re in a home setting.
“Many of these orphan children in Malawi, they sleep wherever they can. They sleep in empty wood shacks. They sleep sometimes out under the stars. Sometimes they’ve got a family that will allow them to sleep sort of in the corner of their own home and usually that’s kind of a servile relationship. It’s not always very healthy,” LaForce shares.
Furthermore, while these kids may have heard about Christ, they most likely haven’t embraced God as Father. All they’ve known thus far in their lives is poverty, death, and incredible hardship. But in hosting, families have the opportunity to be a taste of Jesus for these children.
“They see a dramatic change in their life and in their environment. They feel chosen, you know, they feel a part of something. And then when our families witness to them about Christ in that environment, it’s very powerful, life-changing stuff. So, I can’t even begin to list all the benefits. That’s just a few,” LaForce says.
And it’s through these experiences that an orphan’s entire perspective on life changes. These hosting sessions are life-changing and oftentimes life-saving for orphans. In Malawi, just the fact that these children will board a plane, let alone come to America, changes their spot on the social ladder.
A lot of times, if not always, host families will send the orphans home with clothes and a bit of money to meet some needs. And while the money these kids go home with might not seem like a lot to someone living in a Western culture, it is enough for these kids to buy seeds and fertilizers for the fields they inherited when their parents passed away.
“I had one particular case of a young girl, she’s about 13-years-old, who was hosted through our program this past winter. She went back with just a little bit of money for seed and fertilizer,” LaForce recounts.
“And for the first time she fertilized her field and planted her crops, and we saw pictures the other day of those crops and it brought in a harvest for her. Not only did it change her life and give her food to eat and potentially save her from starvation, but it benefited her entire village…and that’s just one example.”
Will you consider hosting an orphan? You could be the answer to a prayer for a Malawi orphan just by inviting them into your home.
Force For Christ has about 15 children the ministry will be bringing to the U.S. for hosting. However, families for these children need to be found within the next two weeks for visa purposes. LaForce encourages anyone interested in hosting to fill out an obligation-free pre-application. Force For Christ will then shortly be in contact to talk about hosting and answer any questions.
If hosting isn’t a possibility, will you pray for these orphans? Please pray for God to raise up the right families to host these children coming from Malawi. Pray for the kids who will be hosted, for the time of transition, and for the Gospel’s work in their lives. Finally, pray for God to provide for the needs of these children and the costs for them to be hosted.
Concerned about the effects of hosting? Click here to learn more!