Family Life Transformation
We are compelled to bless the least of these, and that means Family Life Transformation. We want families moving from dependence to independence. Put another way: we find blessing in the delivery of rice to hungry families, but ultimately, that family providing for its own needs is the goal. That’s what our Keeping Families Together program is all about. We don’t want a destitute, single mom looking for an orphanage to place her children in.
Today, you meet Phuong. The emotions of Phuong’s story run the gamut – from despair to joy and you’ll see why.
“I Don’t Want To Leave My Mother!”
With three children, ages 10, 8 and 3, Phuong and her husband, Duc, had family riches, even though as the world reckons they were poor. Duc worked as a builder’s helper which paid enough to put food on the table. Phuong stayed at home with the kids. Given that Phuong is deaf which makes finding a job difficult anyway, she was happy.
The family’s life was upended when Duc died of a stroke one year ago. Like a bolt from the blue, Phuong’s life suddenly and drastically changed.
After the funeral, with mounting bills, no income and the emotional loss of her beloved husband, Phuong sank into deep depression. She could barely function. Neighbors and friends provided food for the children.
At the nadir of Phuong’s grief, fearing that she couldn’t feed her children and send them to school, she arranged with a lady from a neighboring village to adopt her oldest daughter, Nguyen. Everyone thought the adoption best for Nguyen and the family in the long run, but not Nguyen! She cried out: “I don’t want to leave my mother!” That stopped the adoption!
At that point, local leaders asked Orphan Voice for help. Soon afterward, Phuong and her children were accepted into our Keeping Families Together program. Check it out to see what happened.
“Have I not wept for her who is in trouble?
Hope is Born
During our staff’s first visit, Phuong and her children were visibly depressed. First, we got food into the house. We then obtained needed medical care for the children. Several counseling sessions followed. Only slowly did hope arise in Phuong’s heart. But it did arise!
We needed to find a way for Phuong to support her family. Her deadliest enemy continually discouraged her. Many negative, even compelling facts, supported failure: 1) Phuong is uneducated; 2) she’s deaf; 3) she’d never worked outside the home and thus had no to skills to build on. Overwhelming, huh?
But, Phuong lives near a busy road. With encouragement and hope, that busy road provided a way forward!
Making More Money
After much prayer and Orphan Voice-provided training, Phuong opened a food shop along the busy roadway near her home to sell sandwiches (banh my) and sugar cane juice (nuoc mia).
We employed a multi-faceted approach. First, Phuong grew vegetables to use and sell in her new business. Second, we purchased a sugar cane press and cup sealing machine to equip her to make and sell nuoc mia. Third, we mentored her to buy vegetables and bread at the village market, add value to them by making sandwiches, and then sell the sandwiches (banh my) and sugar cane juice (nuoc mia) for a profit. We also trained her in book-keeping, budgeting, and business planning.
After cleaning, splitting, skinning and cutting the cane into the 12 inch lengths, Phuong squeezes the sweet juice out of the sugar cane by running it through the press. The press deposits the exhausted cane in a throw-away pile while collecting the nuoc mia in a separate bowl. Phuong then pours the nuoc mia into cups and adds a little ice. Another Orphan Voice-provided machine seals the iced nuoc mia with a plastic wrap. Then, its ready to sell!
Hot and tired men and women coming in from the fields love it! The nuoc mia is a powerful thrist quencher and it tastes great!
Phuong also sells sandwiches. At 5:00 each morning, Phuong walks to the village market and buys bean sprouts, eggs, bread and cucumbers. These will make their way into her sandwiches. Vegetables grown in her garden supplement these morning market purchases.
A clean and attractive “food-cart,” purchased for Phuong by Orphan Voice, has compartments to hold the various sandwich ingredients. At breakfast and lunch time, Phuong first warms the bread (baguettes). She then adds eggs and the customer’s vegetables of choice to round out each sandwich. It tastes great!
Now you’ll understand why Phuong is happy. Her profit from selling banh my and nuoc mia is 100,000–150,000 VND per day (from $4.50 to $6.50)! That’s enough to provide for her children, including sending them to school!
A Wounded Warrior
“My Wife Will Love Me Now!”
(Click on the picture to see the video!)
Note from Tony: My Pepsi Challenge to you: If you watch Huong’s 15 second video and don’t like it, I’ll buy you a Pepsi (or Coke) the next time we’re together!)
Huong fought in the army and was injured in battle years ago. That injury left him unable to walk unassisted. He walks today only with the help of his devoted, 70 year old wife, Dung.
During their lives, Huong worried about the burden that his disability caused Dung. He says: “I always wanted to release the burden off her.”
Huong never owned a wheelchair or walking aid – only Dung’s helping hand.
Hope came to Huong and Dung’s hearts when Orphan Voice delivered a shipment of PET (personal energy transportation) carts to his village. We quickly qualified Huong to receive a PET cart. It was an exciting day! After training, Huong was “off to the races.”
The results? See for yourself by clicking here. Wow! When you watch, you’ll see one happy guy! (Remember Tony’s Pepsi Challenge!)
Huong has gained control over his life and feels more independent. Before receiving his PET cart, he was largely immobile; now, he rides daily to neighbors’ houses to visit. He will even use his newfound mobility to make some extra money!
Dung says: “Thank you, Orphan Voice, for giving my husband the cart. Without your help, he would never have had this precious gift!”
Huong simply says: “I will remember Orphan Voice’s help forever.“
Orphan Voice is heavily invested in caring for the needs of those with special needs: at the Phu NInh Therapy Center; at New Beginnings School for the Deaf; with PET cart distributions; and by cleft lip and palate corrective surgeries. With your help, we will reach even more. Want to be a part?
To change a life forever, click here to DONATE today.
It Was Me
Click on the picture to view this powerful video!
Recently Orphan Voice partnered with Danang International Fellowship to visit patients at a local cancer hospital. Medical care being less developed in Vietnam than in the United States, many of these patients have little hope. Take a moment to see how reaching out to others brings hope and powerfully affects lives – even with a language barrier! (Click below)
Miracles For Today
Look at the smile of a child who is overcoming cerebral palsy and who now walks! We’ve told you about Trinh, but her story is so amazing that it’s worth a re-tell. A loving Father is behind it all.
Each day at the Phu Ninh Therapy Center, Orphan Voice provides for three therapists, equips the Center with therapy equipment and buys lunches for the children.
We need your help to continue this life-changing ministry. Without it, these children will lack services and some will not live beyond their beds.
To bless and help a special needs child, donate HERE or mail your gift to Orphan Voice, P.O Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591.
Promise House: The Puberty Talk
“I Will Restore To You The Years That The Locust Has Eaten”
Orphan Voice takes its responsibility for the 21 children living at Promise House seriously.
In the last quarter of 2016, our staff along with paid and volunteer teachers, provided 144 tutoring sessions.
More importantly, our staff mentored children in small group settings 24 times. That’s 24 opportunities for the Father to pour out His healing love to damaged lives. He faithfully does that, and as He does so, He restores their lives to what He intended them to be!
The small group mentoring topics are interesting. We recently talked about the difference between “like and love.” Bracing ourselves, we went the full distance and had “the puberty talk.”
Whew! Glad that’s over!
As we provide 166 tutoring and mentoring sessions; as we buy food for the caregivers and children each day; as we take them to the hospital; as we buy their school supplies and clothes; and as we hold their hands and dry their tears, we quickly realize that we can’t do anything without you.
We need you to lend us your faith and support this work. Help us provide for these selected ones of “the least of these” by donating HERE or by mailing your support to Orphan Voice, P.O. Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591.
Protecting The Innocent
“Lan’s uncle asked her if she wanted to go to China with him on vacation. She quickly said “yes.” Lan’s mom knew what was happening. Once in China, Lan was sold as a bride to a middleman for $500.
“Phuong’s” mother desperately needed money to repay a loan shark. A neighbor came to pretty, 12 year old Phuong and told her how she could get money for her mother: “We will go to Hue where rich Vietnamese men visit from America. Just do what they say. They’re easy to get money from.”
12 year old “Linh” was riding home at night on her bike along a country road from the village school. Suddenly, a man jumped from the shadows and raped her. Little “Linh” never understood what happened and never spoke of it – until her grandmother noticed her growing stomach.
Real girls – who suffered in real ways. We know them personally.
Through Orphan Voice’s Victory House program, vulnerable girls who’ve aged out of orphanages but have no place to live, are given a home, food to eat and job training so that they can provide for themselves. With the job comes safety.
At Orphan Voice’s Hope House, girls who have been raped or trafficked find safety, a loving home and practical help as they recover from their trauma. Through love, brokenness is turned into beauty.
Through Orphan Voice’s More Precious Than Gold anti-trafficking seminars, tens of thousands of children hear about the “ways and wiles” of traffickers. More importantly, they learn how to protect themselves and who to call if they suspect that a trafficker is near.
Through you, Orphan Voice is protecting young girls from sexual abuse. But we need your help to continue. Can you give sacrificially today to protect the innocent? To do so, donate HERE or mail your support to Orphan Voice, P.O. Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591.
What a cutie! This little fellow is on his way to a healthier and happier life! Because of your generosity, Khang received surgery for his cleft lip in October. His parents are so grateful for the life-changing surgery they could never afford. “You have shared the burden with my family. Our son can have a new life!”
Khang’s mother is overjoyed. It used to take her hours to feed Khang, even with a special bottle. She is hopeful that he will now be able to drink from her breast. “On behalf of my family, I am deeply grateful to Orphan Voice and the sponsors for your love and care for my child.” The family is overwhelmed with YOUR sacrifice. Thank you!
Your gifts to Where Most Needed provide for families like this one. We can only bless “the least of these” as you enable us. Please share from your abundance HERE.