Acts of Love, Valuable Lessons, Perseverance Pays Off, and more!

Victory House Redemption

Transitioning to Adulthood

Do you know about Victory House?  Victory House allows students to transition from orphanage life to adulthood in a safe and loving env
ironment.  Orphans who age out without support are much more likely to be trafficked or abused.  With your help, teens like this one are not “tossed to the streets,” but, instead, have support, love, and a much brighter future.

“Sarah” used to worry what would happen to her after leaving Dai Loc Orphanage.  Her mom died when she was 2 years old.  Her father, who was mentally slow, put Sarah in orphan care over 10 years ago.  He, too, has now died.

Who is going to help me when I have to leave here?” Sarah agonized.  But, thanks to you, Sarah has a bright future.  She is studying to be a kindergarten teacher at the college in Da Nang.  Orphan Voice staff talk with her often, and encourage her in pursuing her dream to be a good teacher and to one day have a private kindergarten school of her own.

Sarah is grateful for the provision and protection she receives from you, allowing her to live at Victory House.

Teens in the Victory House program are given career guidance and support, food, and shelter.  There is no way to measure the impact of this redemptive work.  But, assuredly, the Father credits your comp
assion for them in heavenly measure.

(Photo: “Sarah” and her twin sister.)

Victory House is an aging-out ministry, and also part of our trafficking prevention initiative.  Be a part of this redemptive work with your gift HERE.  Or mail your support to Orphan Voice, P.O. Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591.


Perseverance Pays Off

Special Needs Triumph

Trinh was born with cerebral palsy.  When she came to us in 2010, she was very small.  The muscles in her mouth were so rigid, she could barely eat.  Her neck was weak.  She couldn’t lift her head, sit up or speak, and she had no feeling in her grossly contracted limbs.  Trinh’s mother was so sad that her hair was falling out.  She thought Trinh was going to die.

But perseverance pays off!  Though it’s very far from her house, Trinh’s mom brings her faithfully to the Center.  She has to ask a relative or friend to carry Trinh as she drives the motorbike.  But she always makes it, even if it’s raining or extremely hot.  Trinh also has a twin sister with a milder condition.  But Trinh’s mom does whatever it takes to get her the help she needs.

Trinh gets more than therapy at Phu Ninh Center.  She is loved.  She is hugged and cared for in the arms of Orphan Voice staff.  Her mother is also faithful to give therapy at home every morning and evening – first massaging her neck, then helping Trinh sit with support, and finally standing.

In 2011, Orphan Voice gave Trinh a walker.  She was so excited, and practiced very hard.  Soon she was able to walk to the rice field, see the countryside, and open her view of the world around her.

Today, she can stand up and walk about 5 meters by herself.  What an accomplishment!  Though Trinh can’t talk clearly, her eyes and behavior show that she is friendly and very happy.  Trinh’s mother is elated.  “My dream was only that she could stand up by herself.  I am so thankful for the help of Orphan Voice!”

None of this life-changing work is possible without you.  Support Special Needs HERE to help a child like Trinh know love.


Superfood!

Keeping Families Together

Orphan Voice’s work to help parents provide for their children has taken many forms over the years.  We have provided business training on how to operate a grocery store, and with the training, start-up funds for purchase of stock.  At other times, we purchased pregnant sows and helped parents build sheds to house them and their soon-to-arrive litters. Families benefitted greatly.

We are most excited, however, about our newest income generating project for poor parents.  Have you heard of Moringa Oleifera? a.k.a. the drum stick tree, the ben oil tree, or the horse radish tree?  Don’t feel bad if you haven’t; I hadn’t heard of it either.

Orphan Voice staff learned of the drum stick tree in their continuing efforts to help parents keep their families together.  The plant is very nutritious and almost all of it is useful.  Very little is thrown away.  It contains huge amounts of protein, vitamin B-6, Vitamin C, iron and other nutrients.  Some call it a superfood!

Our staff brought this project full circle when they found a Vietnamese company which will buy the plant!  We now have a market!

Meet our first family to grow moringa oleifera.  This mom is excited about raising and selling a plant that will ensure that she can provide for her children!  There is no orphanage in this family’s future!


A Dream Fulfilled

Jennifer Stebbins spent her youth and teenage years in Vietnam where she learned the language and loved the people.

Jennifer’s adult life took her back to the States where she raised a family and worked as a social worker.  Vietnam, however, never escaped her heart.

Four years ago, Jennifer returned to Vietnam.  Just last year, she realized a lifelong dream by moving to the Highlands of Vietnam to teach English.  You can tell that she loves her new job and that the children love her.   We are so blessed to have Jennifer on our team!


Valuable Lessons

This is fun.  But it isn’t child’s play.  Students attending the More Precious Than Goldseminar learn very valuable lessons – lessons that can save their lives.  They discuss topics such as:  knowing who your true friends are, choices and consequences, traffickers are real, and ways to stay safe.  They learn the importance of being patient, becausetraffickers prey on their dreams, promising a better life right now, if you will only listen to them, trust them, go with them.

Seminar leaders share frankly with children what sex slavery can be like:

  • They could have 20 customers per night
  • They are beaten, abused, and kept from friends and family
  • They do not get enough to eat and have few, if any, possessions
  • They can be forced to take drugs
  • They can never leave, rarely escape, and are brainwashed by their captors
  • They make little money
  • They may die early from disease or abuse

This eye-opening seminar is full of truth and wisdom to protect these innocent children.  Because of your support, these precious ones know their value.  They are more precious than gold.  And so are you!  If you have any doubts, just ask the One who made you.  You are unique, valuable and dearly loved!

This vital ministry needs additional support.  Your gift HERE to Trafficking Rescue and Prevention will save a child’s life.  Please be generous.

Mid-Month Newsletter – August 2016

This will make you smile!  Please watch and see what is happening at Phu Ninh Therapy Center for Special Needs Children. (2 minutes)


Phu Ninh Therapy Center

A place of hope.  A place of love.  Where therapy is available.  Where every step is a victory.

Help us do more.

This vital ministry needs support.  Please Donate Here to help a child today.  Or mail your support to Orphan Voice, P.O. Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591.

Shutting the Door on Human Slavery, a Message from Tony, and Other July News

We Will Care

Please Watch and SHARE!


One Divine Moment

As you bless, protect, feed and clothe “the least of these” in Vietnam, you’re fulfilling a Divine Directive.  Let me, Tony, tell you the story.  It happened in One Divine Moment in 2006.

Cindy and I, and 1700 other adoptive parents, children and friends, celebrated the miracle of adoption that day at Lexmark Park in Lexington.  It was a time of great joy.  And, in many ways, it was the high point of our many years of adoption work.  Some of you were there.
Near the end of the festivities, as I stood alone watching Steven Curtis Chapman and listening to him sing, I heard in my heart the words that we now entitle We Will Care.  

Watch again.  Be blessed in knowing that you are participating in a plan that has existed since the foundation of the world.

With awe, Tony


Oh, I See!

We recently had a day of training on eye sight at Promise House.  Children learned the various causes of eye problems and ways to have healthy eyes. 

They were taught the importance of proper nutrition and rest, protecting their eyes from the sun, reading with sufficient light, limiting time at the computer, and other healthy habits.

They practiced exercises for the eyes, and also took eye exams.  Many of the children need corrective eye wear.  Your support of Orphan Care provides for their needs.

It was a fun and informative day!


Orphan Voice is shutting the door on human slavery by educating community leaders, warning and teaching children, rescuing victims, and providing a place of safety where victims can rebuild their lives.
Click above to watch (98 seconds).

Protecting the Innocent

Schools in Quang Nam Province closed in June for summer break.  But even with limited class time last quarter, Orphan Voice was able to conduct training seminars for students and teachers that resulted in 10,383 students hearing our “More Precious Than Gold” anti-trafficking message.

As a result, the work of traffickers and abusers will be thwarted!

What is the value of saving one child from the horror of sexual exploitation?   For our part, we are committed to give Quang Nam Province children the protective message of “You are more precious than gold.”  And, as we protect them from predators, we are sowing into thousands of young hearts the basic truth that they ARE more precious than gold.  One day, they will understand more fully why that is true.

We need your help to protect the innocent.  Make your donation HERE.


“My Grandson Can Eat!”

   A Follow Up Story

This is the new Bao.  We had the privilege to assist in his cleft lip surgery a year ago.  And last month your support helped us provide surgery for his cleft palate.  His family is from a poor mountain area, and they are so grateful!  Bao’s father expresses his“deepest thanks to those in the United States who gave and cared for our child in this way.”  His grandmother was
beside herself with joy.  “Now my grandson can eat and drink!  We will practice with him every day, so that he can speak better.  All our hardships are gone!”

Your gifts to Special Needs change families like this one.  Other children await surgery.  Please turn your compassion into action by helping HERE.  Or mail your gift to Orphan Voice, PO Box 910410, Lexington, KY 40591.


Nguyen Van Hai

Promise House Testimony

I am Nguyen Van Hai.  I was born in a poor family. I have an older brother.  My Dad passed away because he was sick.  No matter how hard my Mom tried, she couldn’t afford for us to go to school or have enough food to eat.  My Mom said when I finished secondary school I would have to quit studies.  I didn’t have enough warm clothes in the rainy season.  Sometimes, we didn’t have rice to eat, and I borrowed it from the neighbor.

Since I came to Promise House, my life has been changed to a new chapter.  I can go to school like my friends. I can have good food and fun with many friends.  For example, I can go the beach. I had a chance to visit the American Navy and Mercy ships, go camping, and picnic with brothers and sisters here.  Moreover, I am taught the right things.  For example, I know how to tidy the room, do laundry, fold clothes, clean the bathroom…I like keeping the house clean and helping caregivers to cook.  I don’t feel it’s hard work.  I feel happy to do it.  And I feel that I am so lucky to be able to live at Promise House surrounded by the loving arms of many people.

I wish I would have a stable job when I grow up to support myself and my Mom when she is old. I believe that, with my constant effort and the help and care of caregivers, especially my sponsors, I can make my dreams come true.  I would like to send MANY THANKS to everyone who has been helping and loving me so much!

This is the testimony of a changed life.  If you knew Hai, you’d see quickly that he is a fun guy, and so grateful for all he has.  Thank you for helping his dreams come true, by your compassion.  To sponsor a child like Hai, emailmaria.lester@orphanvoice.org.  Or visit our Sponsor Page for more information.

A Happy Mom

The big day finally arrived when Trinh’s mom gave birth to the twins she had carried for so long.  Two beautiful girls said “hello” to the world.

But in time, it was obvious that something was wrong.  Doctors eventually diagnosed cerebral palsy for both girls.  Trinh suffered the severest case.

Before coming to Orphan Voice’s Therapy Centre in 2010, Trinh couldn’t lift her head, much less care for herself or walk.  Her jaw and throat muscles were weak, making it difficult even to feed her.  Trinh spent her days laying on a bed, positioned so she could see out the window.

But, there was a better plan for Trinh’s life! Since she arrived at Phu Ninh Therapy Centre, therapists have worked hard.  Trinh has worked hard.  Trinh’s mom has also worked hard with home-based therapy.

Take a look and see why Trinh’s mom is happy! (Click here or on the picture below to see 1 minute video of a changed life!)

Each month, you feed the hungry, cloth the naked, protect the innocent and help the lame to walk.  We need your help to continue touching “the least of these” in Vietnam.  Please lend your helping hand HERE.  Or mail your support to Orphan Voice, P.O. Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591.

85,575 Meals. And so much more!

Feeding the Hungry

Since April, over 100 TONS of dead fish have washed ashore along the coast of four Central Vietnamese provinces.  (This doesn’t count the dead fish still in the water.)  Chemicals discharged into the ocean from a steel mill are the suspected cause.

The economic hit on families due to the killing of the fish is tremendous.  Why?  Because people both eat from the sea and make their livelihoods from it.  Not only is their food source depleted, but they can’t fish to sell to the market.  Many are hungry.

Orphan Voice is responding to this need.  In the second quarter, you helped provide food to over 4,000 people – a total of 85,575 meals!  Thank you!

For the next 2 months, Orphan Voice will provide rice and instant noodles to distressed families affected by this disaster.  Help us with your donation HERE.


Multiply

Han is smart and beautiful.  But she was born deaf.  She “sat in” at the village school for years, but there are no deaf services, so she was woefully behind her peers.   At 14 years old, Han could add and subtract single digit numbers, but never understood remainders.  And certainly not multiplication!

She came to New Beginnings School for the Deaf a year ago.  She is learning to sign, which opens up a whole new world of communication and understanding.  Han is so happy to be with us!  She is mastering addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with ease…including remainders!  She is also studying Vietnamese reading, writing, social studies, nature and art.

Most of all, Han is learning character development, which is changing her behavior.  She used to show anger often and talk back to her teacher.  But Han is no longer the same as before.  She is friendly and helpful with everyone.  Her friend’s shirt was torn, and Han helped to sew it.  Another friend had a nose bleed and she helped him to the bed.  She is always concerned when her friends are absent.

Han truly cares about people.  In a way, she learned it from you.  Your generosity provides her a place at New Beginnings School.  Because YOU have loved her, she is loving others.  Now that’s the best multiplication of them all.

To support New Beginnings School for the Deaf, DONATE HERE.  Or mail your gift to Orphan Voice, PO Box 910410, Lexington, KY 40591.


No Longer Sad

Several years ago, Lai’s father left his wife to raise two children on her own.  Lai’s mother remarried and had two more children with her second husband.  But after the birth of the second child, Lai’s stepfather left.  Lai’s mother was again on her own, this time with four children.  She began to farm to earn a living, but farming is hard work and it produces very little income.  Unable to care for her family, Lai’s mother sought help.  In July of 2010, Lai was welcomed into Promise House.

She likes her new home.  When we asked what she liked best about Promise House, she replied, “The food, the housemothers…everything.”

Lai testifies, “When I first came here, everything was new and strange. Every child had a similar background, all gathering to stay in the same house we call Promise House.  We are loved, cared for and helped intensively by the housefather and mothers in everything.  I remember aunts and uncles from Orphan Voice bought me some necessary things for daily activities. And I went to a new school.

“When I first came to Promise House, I had no feelings. Everything was strange.

“Over time, things got better. I am no longer sad. Thanks to the love and encouragement of the housefather and mothers, I got used to the new life here.  My friends at school loved me, cared about me and made friends with me.  I started studying in a new class in a new school. Although I tried hard, I couldn’t keep up with my friends because I moved from the rural school to the city school.

“At Promise House, my friends and I have the same daily routine. Every day, we go to school, come back home and think of games to play together.

“There is a memory that will always stay in my mind.  In the first year of living here, two weeks before Tet holiday, the father informed everyone at the gym that the center would celebrate a concert to welcome the spring. The father chose me to sing a song.  For me, it’s the first time I sang on a big stage with large audience. I practiced very hard and passionately thought of the moment I would be singing in a big stadium. Finally, I got the prize. The father and mothers praised that I have a beautiful voice.”

Children like Lai are restored, loved and nurtured because of you.  When you give to Orphan Care, you are shaping her future.  Indeed, you are living out James 1:27.  Stand tall today.  You are a hero.


The New is Better

50,000 Co Tu minority people live in the mountains west of the Orphan Voice office.  The Co Tu live in small villages scattered throughout the hills and hollers.  They speak a non-Vietnamese language, and express their distinct culture in unique dances, peculiar rites and living off the forest. They are also very poor.

Recently, Orphan Voice, enabled by you, made several trips to Co Tu schools located in the Tay Giang and Nam Tra My districts to deliver 316 pair of shoes.  They loved it!

You can see why.  The old green, plastic shoes are thin and torn.  During this past winter, when temperatures reached 30 degrees at night, the cheap plastic hardened.  It then became sharp at the edges and cut the children’s feet or rubbed painful sores on them.

The shoes you provided, on the other hand, have a soft, padded heel and sole.  Notice the difference.  They’re made of cloth.  No more cut feet!  An added bonus is that the shoes you provided are attractive – especially important to the girls!

You are preparing the way for a miracle in their lives. Thank you.

For the next two months, we will deliver shoes to poor children in the mountains. We need your help to continue.  To enable Orphan Voice to reach more of  “the least of these,” donate HERE or mail you support to Orphan Voice, P.O. Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591.


What Do You Think?

Over the years, Orphan Voice friendship teams and staff have made many work trips to rural boarding schools.  The schools are much like orphanages because boys and girls leave their parents for months on end to attend junior and senior high school.  The schools are centrally located in larger towns far, far away from the children’s rural villages.

On such trips, we have dug wells so that children have clean drinking water.  We have installed electricity and lights, built or repaired beds, put on roofs, delivered coats, blankets or mattresses, provided medical and dental care, brought supplemental food, and met a host of other needs.

You’ve gone with us on every trip and been a part of each outreach and ministry to them.  Thank you!

It might be hard to imagine, but these boys are waiting for school to begin.  This is their “dorm.”   In this Highlands area during winter, temperatures fall into the low 30s at night.  What do you think?  Do these boys need something better?

“Yes!”  And so, for the next several months, Orphan Voice will focus on these boys to ensure they have adequate living quarters, medical and dental care, and adequate nutrition.

Your gifts make you a participant in changing their lives.

Support Orphan Voice in our outreach to “the least of these”, by donating HERE, or mail your gift to Orphan Voice, P.O. Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591.


Cleft Lip Repair

Meet Bao.  You’ve seen him before.  Bao was born in early 2015 with a severe cleft lip and palate to a poor family in the mountains of Vietnam.  Orphan Voice worked to get him healthy enough for surgery, and in the summer of 2015, his cleft lip was repaired.

As this newsletter goes out, Bao is in the hospital having his palate repaired!  Thank you for making this possible.

It costs on average $600 to have a cleft lip or cleft palate repaired.  Can you provide one surgery?  To do so, donate HERE, or mail your gift to Orphan Voice, P.O. Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591.  Thank you!


It Happens to Boys Too

In April, CNN Hong Kong reported the dangerous plight of young Vietnamese girls who live along the Chinese border.

“Lan” was out with friends at night when a boy drugged her at a café.  When she awoke, she was in China, having been smuggled across the border and sold as a bride – for $3,000*.

Here is the background to explain why Lan found herself in China.  Because of China’s decades long, one-child policy and a strong cultural preference for boys, the numbers for marriageable-age males and females are skewed.  There are not enough brides for young men to claim. And if they do find a Chinese bride, they must pay a large sum to “seal the deal.”  To save money and make things easier, some young men choose to pay smugglers for a foreign bride.

Lan was fortunate.  She never warmed up to her Chinese husband (as his mother thought she would) and she eventually made it back to Vietnam, along with two other Vietnamese girls who had also been trafficked but escaped.

Her two Vietnamese girlfriends suffered in the leaving, however.  They left their babies behind, one saying:  “I hope that my daughter forgives me and that she has a good life.”

And it’s not always girls who are trafficked.  In a Northern Vietnamese Province, due to the diligence and work of Vietnamese and Chinese police, 12 boys who were trafficked to China as babies have been returned to Vietnam.

The search for these boys’ families continues, but it’s possible that they won’t be found.  In the meantime, they need food, education, medical care, clothes and a safe place to live.

You, Orphan Voice partners, are helping to support these boys.  Thank you!  You help to provide them a bed, daily food and needed medical care.

And that’s not all you’re doing!  This quarter, Orphan Voice conducted seminars in school districts at high-risk for trafficking where 44 teachers representing 22 schools were trained and equipped in trafficking prevention.  They, in turn, will “teach others also” – namely their students.  When the teachers finish, 7700 rural students in this high-risk area will know how to recognize the wiles of traffickers, how to protect themselves from being trafficked and how to report to authorities if they are approached by a trafficker. Through this educational effort, you’ve saved some!  That’s worth a lot!

Orphan Voice’s work of educating and equipping rural, poor students, teachers and parents about trafficking prevention is ongoing.  Our goal is to reach 300,000 students. To do so, we need your prayers and financial help.  What would saving one child from this horrid experience be worth?  That’s hard to say.  To lend your helping hand, donate HERE.

*Orphan Voice has knowledge of one young girl from our area who was also trafficked to China and sold as a bride.  In her case, the price was $500.  Given Lan’s price of $3,000, it’s possible that the $500 was paid to an intermediary and that she was sold again – for a higher price.

New Math, A Joyful Song, and An Uncomfortable Situation

Escape

“We were made to work as slaves.”

There are gold mines in the mountains, not far from where we are delivering shoes to orphans.  Recently, two girls escaped from the mines who had been forced to work there.  They fled on foot and made it to Nam Giang District, a place where we have helped in the schools.

“We were made to work as slaves,” the girls testified.  “We got away, but other children are still there.”
Together, we are saying, “No more!”  Our anti-trafficking seminars enable children to avoid this evil.  Please continue to pray for and support Trafficking Rescue and Prevention.
Lend your help HERE.  Or mail a gift to Orphan Voice, PO Box 910410, Lexington, KY 40591.  Bless you!

Photo: Intent Faces Learning They Are More Precious Than Gold

Special Request

This precious baby “Linh” needs surgery.  For her preparation, we provided a special bottle which helped her get enough milk to gain sufficient weight.  We transported Linh to the hospital on May 10th, but there are other problems.  She remains in the hospital for treatment in hopes of corrective surgery by June 10th.  Please pray for her.

Your gifts are already helping this family.  The mother expressed deep gratitude for the specially-designed bottle.  “My baby can suck milk much easier!  Thank you for your love and care.”   Please remember this little one, and others like her, in your prayers.  On average, it costs $600 per cleft operation, and we hope to complete 24 during the remainder of the year, provided sufficient funding. Can you help us by donating HERE?


Left Alone

Orphan Voice recently delivered 350 pair of shoes to a remote mountain school.  The children were excited and so grateful.  One child’s story was particularly compelling.

Khanh is a 7th grader.  When he missed school for a week, his teacher went to his home to see why.  She learned that Khanh’s mom had died and that his father had left him there to care for his younger brother and sister.  All the children were hungry, and there was no food in the house.

We don’t know if the father abandoned the children or simply left them to search for work.   Whatever the case, they each got new shoes, and all will have sufficient food.

Your gifts make this help possible.  Remember the “Khanhs” among us and sow your gift here.


A Joyful Song

When Truc first came to the Phu Ninh Therapy Center, she couldn’t walk, weighing less than 10 pounds at age 3.  But in her time here, this tiny tot has experienced big changes, in both body and spirit.

Last Friday, Truc came to the Center early.  When she walked in the room, she said “Hello” to her therapist, Mrs. Ly, in an unusually respectful way.  Then she put her little hands in front of her stomach and bowed her head slowly to greet her.  Her sparkling eyes and bright smile made Mrs. Ly’s heart melt.

After that, she walked around the practice room, clapping her hands and singing a made up song, “My Dad loves me because I look like Mom.  My Mom loves me because I look like Dad.”

Other families were astonished watching her.  Then she found a chair and pushed it around while she sang, showing her strength and joy.

Mrs. Ly proclaimed, “Truc’s improvement makes the staff so happy that we forget the summer heat!”

Bring hope to others like Truc.  To further our therapy work, designate your gift to Special Needs HERE.


A Whole New Meaning to “New Math”

Vi was born deaf and mute.  He is 15 years old.  When he came to New Beginnings School for the Deaf, he didn’t know any numbers or words.  Can you imagine at age 15 not knowing numbers?  Not knowing words?  Vi was also a “shouter,” being easily upset.

But what a change in just one year!  Now, Vi not only knows his numbers, but he can add and subtract figures with up to four numerals  (example 8798 + 9867).  He thought the hardest part was learning what to do with remainders over 9, but he learned!  He is now studying multiplication and division.  For Vi, it’s ALL new math!

He’s also learned to write.  He now writes his full name, his parents’ and friends’ names, his address, and his age.  And he’s learning to communicate in sign language, which helps him “talk” to more people.  His family and friends are also learning sign language, which brings them closer.

Character development lessons have helped change his personality, which will shape his future.  He shouts much less.  And he knows how to express love to his friends and family members.

Everyone sees a big change in Vi!  Thank you, Orphan Voice supporters, for giving him a new beginning

We need your help to continue this life-changing ministry.  To support New Beginnings School for the Deaf, DONATE HERE.  Or mail your gift to Orphan Voice, PO Box 910410, Lexington, KY 40591.


Keeping Families Together

An Uncomfortable Situation 

Hau lost his father in a motorcycle accident when his mother was pregnant with him.  She raised him alone, giving all she had to keep him safe and in a home of love.  But she developed a heart condition and died when Hau was 9 years old.  His world came falling down around him.

Hau, now an orphan, was taken in by his single aunt, Dien, who loves him as her own.  Dien cares for Hau and his grandmother.  He lives happily with the two of them in the Vietnamese countryside.  But…

An Orphan Voice team went to visit recently and found that Miss Dien was unlearned about dealing with an adolescent boy.  Orphan Voice’s, Hạnh and Chau,  gave her advice on the emotional and psychological needs of a young teen.

While talking to the family, Chau and Hanh discovered that the three of them shared one small bed, which is common in the Vietnamese countryside.  But, a teenage boy sleeping with two female adults?  Awkward, at best.  And potentially “too close.”  The team spoke to young Hau to find out how he felt about the arrangement.  “I want to have a private room, but I do not know how to tell my aunt,” he said.

After talking with a reluctant Miss Dien, she agreed to empty the storage room for Hau.  Our team immediately helped get the room ready for him.  We also spoke to Hau about keeping his new room tidy.

Hau, who has experienced so much loss and sadness, now has a sense of optimism and hope.  “I’ve always wanted a room for myself!   I am so excited to have my own room!”

Keeping Families Together and healthy is always a win for us at Orphan Voice.  Help us keep more families together.  Your gift to KFT will do just that!  Thank you!


Year-End Celebration

New Beginnings School for the Deaf recently celebrated the end of its first, full academic year!  The children worked hard during the year, and on their celebration day, they played hard at a local arcade, then attended an awards ceremony topped off with lunch.  And, boy, did they eat!  Vy (left) ate a record-breaking 9 pieces of pizza!  Their teacher, Mai (pink dress), did a wonderful job for the children.  Cindy Brewer handed out awards and encouraged the students.  They are growing in every way.

Fishing for Hope – Help Softens Hearts as Orphan Voice Responds in Disaster

Feeding Hungry Families

Because of an ecological disaster along the coast of four Central Vietnamese Provinces, several hundred families face hunger.  The major source of each family’s food and the livelihood of most of the men who work as fishermen – the ocean – cannot now yield edible food.  As usual, the children are the first to suffer and the ones who suffer most.

When Orphan Voice and Danang International Fellowship learned of the plight of the 864 worst-affected families, we acted.  Last Thursday, tons of rice and thousands of instant noodle meals were delivered to these worst-hit families.  And more, the food was delivered with a testimony to the local government.

Your gifts have rescued the families from immediate suffering and deeply affected the government officials in charge as they witness our love in action.

We need your help to continue reaching “the least of these” in  Vietnam.  Can you help us today?  To support this continuing disaster relief work, Donate Here.  Or mail your support to Orphan Voice, P.O. Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591.  THANK YOU!

Above – Hard-working crew shows love in action.     Below – Happy Food Recipient!

Wrinkles

Truyen at the Hospital Again

Truyen is now a regular at Orphan Voice’s Phu Ninh Therapy Center.  We introduced him to you earlier, but he continues to struggle with his health.  Please pray for him.

When Truyen was several months old, his farmer parents noticed that his head seemed abnormally big.  It was then that they learned the Vietnamese word for “hydrocephaly.” (fluid on the brain)

Two surgeries over the years relieved the pressure from his brain, but not before damage was done. Regrettably, the surgeries were not always timely because his parents needed to wait for free operations performed by foreign doctors.  And even with the surgeries, Truyen lagged behind developmentally.  There was damage. The diagnosis of “partial paralysis” came from rural doctors.

To address his lack of development, Truyen’s parents took him to the Danang Therapy Center, and it helped.  But the family’s resources were soon exhausted and Truyen returned home.

In the course of time, the family learned of Orphan Voice’s Phu Ninh Therapy Center and they came. When he arrived, he had regressed to the point where he could not hold his head up.  But after a year of steady work, Truyen was able to sit up unaided. After two years of hard work, he learned to haltingly walk with support.

Late last year, Truyen was declining again, and doctors told his parents that he needed another surgery.  By this time, the family was reduced to moving back and forth between the homes of Truyen’s grandparents.  An operation was beyond their means to pay for.  They asked Orphan Voice for help.

Orphan Voice staff went to work.  First, staff worked with extended family to garner as much family support as could be had (not much). Then staff worked with the government insurance agency (something the parents did not know how to do) and obtained additional help.  Finally, the generosity and love of Orphan Voice partners kicked in.  They supplied the rest, and Truyen had his operation!  He is once again out of the woods and doing better.

Thank you, Orphan Voice partners, for that operation.  Without you, it wouldn’t have happened and Truyen may have died.  Can you imagine how those parents feel?  I doubt it.  But if you can comprehend a portion of their gratitude, you can feel good about what you have done.  The angels rejoice when seeing your love.

Orphan Voice receives many requests to help children in need of life-saving surgery.  Sometimes we can help and, at other times, we aren’t able to do so.  Your gift of $100, $500 or even more will enable us to continue to help needy children like Truyen.  To bless a needy one, donate here.


Wrinkles

You may be able to count the wrinkles, but can you hear them?  Each one holds a dozen secrets of Chau’s life.  One wrinkle remembers sitting safely in her dad’s lap as a child and feeling, oh, so very secure.  Another can hear her mom sing as she cooks Chau’s favorite dish.  Another remembers how her heart leapt at the sight of her first love in her teen years.  Oh, how handsome he was.  Another wrinkle holds the pain and anguish of losing a child.  It was Chau’s first child and she could not cope.  Still others reflect her love-filled heart as three more children were born and grew up to have families of their own.Chau’s husband has been gone now for 20 years, but there are several grandchildren, and now, great-grandchildren.

Orphan Voice met Chau during a recent food distribution. A district government identified fifty families as in dire need for food, and Chau was one.

Chau is happy in this picture because she is taking home 22 lbs of rice, 30 meals of noodles, salt, sugar and more. Her arms are full! (Her granddaughter is also helping carry the gift.)  Chau and her family will eat well tonight.

Before we left, Chau thanked us.  We pass along her thanks to you!

Will you join with us to bless “the least of these” at both ends of life’s spectrum?  Your gift changes lives!  Please donate here to make a difference.

Promise House Needs Paint!

Vietnamese buildings, Promise House included, don’t resist water well.  Concrete walls soak up water like sponges during rainy season.  For that reason, it’s difficult to keep the buildings looking fresh and clean.  

Promise House is due fresh paint all over.  Overdue!  We want the kids to know they are important enough for a Grade A facility.  We also need an industrial size clothes dryer, an upgrade to bathrooms/showers, and a thorough kitchen renovation.  Promise House has 6 bathroom stalls and 5 showers.  If you visited the Promise House kitchen with me, you would consider it far from modern.

Australian volunteers will donate labor to paint this summer.  But we need to raise the funds for bathroom, shower and kitchen renovations.  Additionally, we need to purchase the clothes dryer, various lighting fixtures and painting supplies.

Can you help us provide the Promise House children a “Grade A facility?”  We need a substantial renovation and we need your help to do it.   Believe me, they are worth it!  Help us raise the several thousand that we need for this project and, donate here.


First Things First

Meet Quyen.  Her family lives in the 2nd poorest province in the Central coastal region.  Her dad is a fisherman.  When Quyen’s parents saw her at birth, they were scared, confused and didn’t know what to do. After seeking counsel from local church leaders, they called Orphan Voice for help.

Quyen was six days old when her dad called—much too small for corrective surgery and already struggling from six days of inadequate nutrition.  Her cleft lip and palate would not allow her to ingest most of her mom’s milk.  She was only getting a little.  So the first order of business was to keep her alive.

A specially-designed, cleft lip milk bottle did the trick by making it easier for her to suck.  What a difference!  She gained weight!  Today, she weighs 4 kg.  She needs to weight 6 kg in order to have surgery.  Please pray for little Quyen.  We believe that she will make it!

By the time we do the “extra things” for children like Quyen—help with transportation, food and hotel costs, staff time, and the cost of the operation—we will expend, on average, $800 per child per operation.  But look at the difference the corrective surgery will make in Quyen’s life for the next seventy years.  That small investment will pay huge dividends!

Would you like to provide for one child’s life-changing operation?  To help, please donate here.


Compel Them To Come In: Orphan Voice’s Cleft Lip Program

There are Vietnamese children like Quyen (above) who, for various reasons, don’t obtain needed cleft surgery.  Perhaps the family lives in the countryside or mountains and doesn’t know where to take their child for help.  In some remote villages, leaders believe that a child born with a cleft lip or palate is “destined” that way and they encourage families to leave the malady alone.  In other cases, the family may be too poor to travel to a faraway city (bus fare, food, hotel costs) to obtain even free surgical repair.  In still other cases, the family may be so overwhelmed by hopelessness, caused by poverty, life’s problems, and their worldview, that they don’t have the “strength of heart” to make the effort.  For all of these reasons, children suffer…and sometimes die.

Orphan Voice partners remove these “hindering factors” so that children receive the surgery they so desperately need.  In removing the “hindering factors,” and even sending our van to transport the family and take them to the hospital if needed, we “compel them to come in.”

We need your help in the compelling.  To partner with us in fulfilling this call, please donate here.

Your Help Brings Hope – Please Join Us!

“There’s Too Much Damage. You Won’t Have Children.”

You may remember the story of Hahn, tricked and drugged by a sham boyfriend who sold her to men to be trafficked.  Her abuse was heart-wrenching.  Her rescue intense.  And her healing at Hope House has been real. (Click here for the original Hanh Story.)

While at Hope House, Hanh felt safe, secure and accepted.  She made good friends, improved her grades in school, and began to dream again.  She also learned about Love; and that Love continues to heal her.

Hanh’s mother died about a year ago, which has been an adjustment.  But we found a believing foster home for Hanh, and she has continued to blossom there.  Hanh is now in the 12th grade and dreams of going to university to become a teacher.  Through your generosity, Orphan Voice will help her realize her dream to become a teacher.

In this video (below), Hanh shares with an Orphan Voice counselor and talks about the changes in her life since coming into our care.  Because of your faithful prayers and support, Hanh has risen above her horrid past!

Doctors tell Hanh that, because of her abuse, she won’t have children.  But we believe otherwise.  Will you lift Hanh to the One who alone decides?  And thank Him for the beautiful testimony of restoration in her life.

To help Hanh and other girls like her, Donate Here.  Or mail your support to Orphan Voice, P.O. Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591.

(For privacy, the picture of Hanh in original story is not the real Hanh.)

The Faces of New Beginnings School for the Deaf
Click the picture to watch.

The generosity of Orphan Voice partners allowed us to open New Beginnings School for the Deaf in November, 2014.  I remember visiting the school early on and thinking (and praying): “If we can just get these kids to stay seated and not run outside when visitors come, it will be a great victory!”

It was understandable that the kids were undisciplined. They had never been in school before!

Pastors Bob and Darlene McCoy, and their deaf son, Bobby recently visited New Beginnings.  Bobby is 19, is overcoming his disabilities, and is prospering in life — the very role model we want to hold up to the New Beginnings children.  Bobby spoke to and greatly encouraged the students during his family’s visit.

After the visit, Pastor Bob told me: “The kids were so orderly and well behaved.  Darlene and I have visited many schools in developing countries and usually the children are unruly and even rowdy.  We are impressed with the children at New Beginnings!”

Needless to say, that statement make my day.

New Beginnings children are learning sign language, reading, writing, math and character development because of the generosity and love of you, our partners.  Thank you.

New Beginnings is part of Orphan Voice’s commitment to the special needs community.  We need your help to continue that outreach.

Praise the Lord for all He is doing through YOU to give them a future and a Hope!
To support New Beginnings, donate here.


Culture Shock


You never know what you’ll encounter on an Orphan Voice friendship team!  Oh, there’ll be all the sights and sounds of Vietnam, and plenty of ministry opportunities.  You’ll be in a safe environment with folks who love the Lord, and who speak English!  But you may experience even more than you expect!

Here, volunteers from two different continents have a little fun embracing the stereotypes of each other’s cultures.  Catherine is from Kentucky, and Olivia is from New Zealand.  In this spoof video, Olivia teases Catherine about “drive your tractor to school day,” fried chicken, and beans and cornbread.  Catherine, pretending to be from New Zealand, complains that no one knows where that is, and that people ask her if she lives in the “bush.”  They copy her accent poorly, and she quote “God save the Queen!”  See the video below – all in good fun, of course!

To learn more about serving the Lord on an Orphan Voice friendship team, email maria.lester@orphanvoice.org.  But beware. The experience will change your heart, and, perhaps, your world view!


“If You Don’t Sell Yourself…”

The Vietnamese community in Phnom Penh, Cambodia lives along the banks of the Mekong River which runs through the city.  There, they are mistreated.  As hard as it is to say, the families largely depend on fishing, working in sweat-shop garment factories and prostitution in order to live.  To ease the economic pressure, at times, parents push their young daughters toward a life of prostitution.

On a recent visit to that Vietnamese community, an Orphan Voice scout team visited two schools.  Hear this tragic story:

A mother had two children – a teenage daughter and a 2 year old son.  She had been reduced to begging for her children’s food.  Still she couldn’t feed them. One day, a man to whom she was in debt offered her lots of money for her daughter to join a brothel.   Unwilling for this to happen, but pressured by her circumstances, she finally asked her daughter to do it.  In the end, the mother felt enough pressure to say: “If you don’t join the brothel, I’ll be forced to abandon your brother.  If I place him in this boat and set it free on the river, others will find him and care for him.  He won’t starve.”  To save her brother, the sister agreed.

The Orphan Voice team was in Phnom Penh to visit and strengthen a school run by our Vietnamese friends for vulnerable Vietnamese children living there.  At the school, the children get food, the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. Needless to say, they are protected from sexual abuse. We are assisting the school in their work.

These children are safe!  Hear their beautiful songs!

Orphan Voice reaches out to “the least of these” in vulnerable places in Southeast Asia.  To join us in protecting “the least of these,” invest your gift here.  Thank you.


PET Carts through Orphan Voice Change Lives

PET Carts through Orphan Voice Change Lives

Thanks to you, Orphan Voice partners, we have now screened, trained and given out nearly 400 PET (Personal Energy Transportation) carts!  That’s two 40-foot ocean-transported containers of PET carts!

Each cart changes a life.  Increased mobility is liberating.  It also allows for increased income for the disabled.  How?  Many PET cart recipients sell items on the street for a living.  Formerly, many of them dragged themselves or hobbled to their favorite street corner where they sold to passersby.  But, as you can imagine, the “best corner” changes throughout the day.  Now, with their PET carts, the disabled can more easily move “selling locations” to where the largest crowds of people are at different times of day.  More people, more sales.  More sales, more income!

Click the picture to see them go!

This is what you do!  You liberate and uplift people. Thank you.

Orphan Voice works to bless the special needs community at the Phu Ninh Therapy Center, the New Beginnings School for the Deaf, in cleft lip/palate operations and PET cart distribution.  It’s expensive to do so.  To support Orphan Voice in this special work, please donate here.

Because That’s Where They Are!

Ha Giang Province,  the northernmost part of Vietnam, is a place where tigers live.  It’s also a place where very poor people live, many from minority tribes.   These people live largely in the forests where they trap, hunt and plant where they can.

After completing elementary school, minority students move to boarding schools in larger towns to attend junior high.  The boarding schools are functional orphanages with the children returning home only a few times each year to see their parents.  Recently, an Orphan Voice Relief Team went to 10 of those junior high boarding schools and their 731 precious children.

As a result of that scouting trip and finding needy children, an Orphan Voice team delivered 731 pairs of new shoes. Have you ever fitted 731 children for shoes? Now imagine buying those shoes in one town, then transporting them 200 miles through 6,500 foot mountains to reach the children. Thankfully, through the teachers’ careful measuring of feet on one end, and the careful buying of shoes on the other, Orphan Voice staff put 1,462 new, warm shoes on those precious feet!

Narrow, muddy roads made five of the schools accessible only by motorbike. It was hard to get there, but our partners sent us and we are very glad to go!.  But Orphan Voice had no choice but to go, because children were in need. Going is what Orphan Voice partners expected us to do.

In the Highlands in the winter, the temperature falls to below freezing. Children often have poor (or no) shoes and they needs coats.  If you would like to provide a child a heavy winter coat and good winter shoes, you can do so for $20 per child.  To do so, click here!