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A word on orphan care…


To get representatives from three busy ministries together at the same time is difficult. After a couple of strikes, we hit it out of the park. A friend David Mollinedo wants to develop a new orphanage (three of them with a pediatric hospital to serve orphans in Guatemala). We have had several discussions over the last year. I suggested that he go with me to Casa Angelina/Mercy Clinic (CAMC). David had his ideas, very traditional and has a melted heart for orphans. CAMC is in my mind one of the good orphanages. It is difficult to do orphan care well with all the regulations. There are seven or more regulatory agencies requiring frequent documentation and doing both surprise and scheduled inspections. Like bureaucrats in the USA they must find something wrong to justify their position. All this adds up to expense for the orphanage in question. CAMC came to Vine International attention due to their work in medicine. Mercy Clinic first was formed to care for the orphans themselves, but they also share their resources with the local community, improving health of young mothers, children and the widows in the immediate area. They have a good reputation among the rural Mayans.  They treat their neighbors with respect due a creation of God and are drawing patients from quite a distance now.
Because of David Mollinedo’s desire to couple medical care with orphan care I wanted him to talk with Yuri and Kerry Mondal, directors at CAMC who have a decade of experience serving under What Matters Ministry founded by Ivan & Kimberly Tait.  We got the $100 tour, new house, school, dining hall (9,000 meals per month), aquaponic greenhouse, water treatment and medical clinic. Several issues were discussed at length, including security, caring for abused children and financial issues. CAMC has purposely chosen to deal with sexually and physically abused children. Some are true orphans, while some are wards of the state due to the abuse from family member. They have several sibling groups. 80 – 90 % of the children received are malnourished, some severely. One outgoing delightfully smiling 7 y/o was 8 pound when received. The staff thought she was a month old child, but she was 18 months old.  Photos linked here.
Here in Guatemala there are many good orphanages, others with limited financial and personnel resources that try to be as good as they can, and a few that are not so good. CAMC is top of the shelf. Child sexual abuse in this country is rampant. Capture rate of offenders is estimated 10%, with a conviction rate of less than 10%. Vigilantism is alive and well in some rural areas due to lack of punishment, but most get by with this horror of a crime, at least in this life.
OK, I am going to try to express myself clearly in this issue of orphans. Orphans are the responsibility of the church not the government. Pastors rise up and declare God’s word on orphans from the pulpit. Churches start developing strong families and when one family comes forward desiring to adopt in obedience to God, make sure fees and finances for adoption are not a burden. That adopted child should have a church full of aunts, uncles and grandparents. We are failing as the church in this issue. That is about as gentle as I can be. May God grab us by the ears and put His nose to our nose and discipline us to respond to such as these.
International adoptions hit their peak in 2004 when 45,000 children were adopted worldwide as I understood the article I read. Sound like a lot? There are according to the UN an estimated 143,000,000 orphans. 8 million in orphanages, over 100 million on the streets. International adoption is falling dramatically due to UNICEF influence opposing international adoption. Unclaimed children become fodder for child sex trafficking, servitude/slavery and gangs. 45,000 is a tea cup in an ocean.
Find and follow a good orphanage like CAMC and follow David. I will keep you posted as that project moves forward. There are others in many countries. Develop a relationship, pick a need and respond. 100 kids, laundry, clothes, propane, electric bills, medical bills, school expenses, food, staffing, everything it takes to run your homes they need multiplied several fold. You can only give a little??? Remember what Jesus did with that boys lunch!? That is Vine International every day – little is much if God is in it folks.  That phrase plagiarized from the side of Buck and  Linda Forester’s Kentucky Coalmine Mission trailer.
There are a couple of links below for those interested in orphan care. The first is about the untoward effect that the UN/UNICEF is having on the adoption process and orphanages. The second is by Professor Dr. Elizabeth Bartholet (mother of two adopted Peruvian children, Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law, Child Advocacy Project ) Harvard Law School. She has quite a body of work on adoption process which you can find on her CV on the faculty page at Harvard. The first article is brief. The second paper is detailed, Guatemala gets special mention on more than one occasion… but if you care for the children in orphanages, read and watch – smoke will come out of your ears!!!
God has used Vine International to put others together before and we are praying God has so used us once again. Time will tell. I know that David was unusually quiet for a few minutes as we started home. His first words were along the line that his plans got turned upside down by what he saw at CAMC and he needs to go back to the drawing board. This is early in the process so simply pray for David’s Project at this point. CAMC, many other orphanages AND the government bureaucracy that seems to oppose us so often need your prayers as well.  Church let’s get out of the pews…
In Christ,
Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon


One Comment leave one →
  1. 04/05/2014 11:15

    Reblogged this on A Heart For Adoption.


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