Your Personal Touch Heals Orphans
This sponsor was struck by how small the boy’s hand was when he shook it. Yet, he will never know how much that simple, friendly touch meant to this little guy who wonders daily whether anyone knows or cares that he exists.
You can touch orphans’ hearts even from a distance. That’s the idea behind the J127 Orphan Initiative. Safe in a group home, an orphan has food, clothing and shelter. Too often, though, the child still starves emotionally and spiritually. They are off the streets but still alone in their hearts while living in an institution with dozens, if not hundreds, of other children. They want to be special to someone.
All us have been lonely. For some of us loneliness is a constant companion. For an orphan, a child, this pain is even more intense.
Drawing on collective wisdom from experts all over the world, David C Cook developed a program of small group therapy that kids regard as “a fun club.” The “Jesus Fun Club” is their nickname for these sessions that meet at least three times each week. The purpose is different for each day, though the sessions weave together.
One day centers on Character Building. Here’s what that means. Everyone needs values. Without internal reference points, it is impossible to understand where you are headed, or even where you are. An example of this kind of issue is trust. Orphans typically go to one extreme or the other. They trust everyone and are exploited, or trust no one and suffer isolation. Healthy, wise people find a balance. They can tell who can and cannot be trusted. The character-building portion of this program helps abandoned children learn healthy trust and develop other essential values.
The core of this program is Spiritual Formation. To the kids, these are enjoyable Bible Stories. These lessons, though, go far deeper than typical Sunday school. These are life-giving stories. The kids identify with stories like Hagar, who found that God notices and intervenes when you are kicked out of your home. The story of Samuel reveals that God talks to children. Most orphans we serve come from non-Christian backgrounds, so it is vital for them to learn there is a good God who has their well-being in mind.
The third session each week covers Life Skills. Orphans have never lived in normal families, so it is hard for us to imagine what they don’t know about the most ordinary aspects of life. For instance, they are enthusiastic about washing their hands because, until a lesson on germs, they never knew what made them sick. Now they love having the power to kill those germs.
Orphans bond in community with the 15 to 35 members in their club. At least two people from outside the orphanage lead each club. They are not strict authority figures, because they are behaving like strict teachers. They are more concerned with nurturing the hearts of the children than training their minds. The kids call these leaders “auntie and uncle.” Often husband and wife, aunties and uncles come from neighboring churches. David C Cook trains, monitors and provides a small stipend for them to guide and nurture the children. That way the club becomes a virtual family.
David C Cook, using our own funds, pays all the costs to develop the content, supervise the orphan program globally, and launch each club. As sponsors step forward to support a club, we begin another one. When you and your group agree to sustain a J127 group, that frees us to reach out to even more orphans in India and the world. It is thrilling to see frightened, lonely children open up and find new life in Christ.
There is so much more to tell. Contact us with your questions and learn details about possible involvement with your own J127 group.