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Hi, internet neighbor, I’m glad we’re together again!

Caroline Mrowiec, Orphan Voice’s Hope Therapy Center

Tan and his mom

Every session starts with Tan running to me for a hug, yelling, “Co Ly! Co Ly!” (Aunt Ly- my Vietnamese name).

This is my little buddy, Tan. He has been coming to the center for almost a year now. Tan has ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and behavioral issues. If only we could find a way to harness his activeness, we could solve the energy crisis. The first time I met Tan and his mother, Tan was running wild through the house and his mother cried and begged us to accept Tan to the therapy center. Tan’s father passed away a few years ago, and I believe some of Tan’s issues stem from this. One session, his mom told us that during the previous night, Tan had woken her up and asked her, “Did my father really die? Please don’t leave me.”

Tan used to have good and bad days, emphasis on the bad. Now it is the opposite. A recent achievement for Tan is that he has consistently been brushing his teeth in the morning instead of having a temper tantrum like he used to. He also used to use any place in his home as a toilet, but we have finally transitioned him out of this free-spirited lifestyle.

Tan has been enjoying the new toys at the center which my Aunt Kimi donated.

My aunt and cousin came to visit me in April and they spent a day of their vacation helping me at the center, as well as giving us some new toys and equipment for the kids.

One game they brought- Hungry Hippos- has topped the center’s popular toy chart and is the number one requested item at the center. It is especially a favorite with our children with behavioral issues, and more than one game I have played with them has ended in a fist fight. I am trying to tone down my competitiveness though and I keep telling myself that the only real loser is a bad sport. Keep in mind that I did grow up with a brother (who shall remain nameless), who used to flip the game board at strategic moments when a loss was inevitable for him.

Speaking of Miles, he has developed a communication app for me to use with my nonverbal clients. I bullied him into doing this for his senior project at college. It has been a lot of hard work (for Miles) but with no regrets (I don’t have any). In the US, children who cannot verbally communicate often use some sort of augmentative communication device. This can be in various forms, depending on the child’s abilities, but often times, it is an ipad with a downloaded communication app, allowing the child to select pictures, phrases, or words to let others know what they are thinking.

Many of our families have a smartphone, which means they could download an app to use with their child at home. However, I was unable to find a communication app in Vietnamese, so that is where Miles stepped in (rather willingly, as if he had an option to do otherwise).

We have been trialing the app with an 8-year-old boy at the center named Phu.

Look at this angel face- you would never know that he is capable of doing anything wrong, but he does dabble a bit in bad behaviors. Phu understands Vietnamese, but he is unable to speak because of his physical disabilities. He can yell though, and he used to yell until he got what he wanted. The volume of his yelling was only rivaled by its frequency. We have been able to phase out this behavior for the most part though, by replacing it with sign language and the communication app. There has also been a downturn in his behaviors of spitting and hitting others.

Tai, pictured below, also looks angelic but in his case, looks are not deceiving; he is a super sweet 18-year-old boy with cerebral palsy.

When I first met him, Tai showed me how he can use an ipad with his foot and pick up items with his toes. We have been working on the skills needed to pull his pants up and down. He can now manage his clothing during toileting, and does not need his mom to help him go to the bathroom anymore.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support! Go Cubs!

Responding Quickly to Disaster – Will You Help?

Responding to Tropical Storm Nari

Being “nimble” is one of Orphan Voice’s strengths.  It allows us to respond quickly to unexpected, and un-budgeted for, natural disasters.  Such a disaster just struck to the north of us.

Ten people are dead and five others are missing from Tropical Storm Nari.  550 houses have been washed away and another 12,500 severely damaged. 8,580 people have been evacuated.  20 schools have been badly damaged.

Last week, Orphan Voice contacted Provincial disaster relief officials to offer our help and love.  Jesus goes to people in their need and we wanted to do that also.  In helping their people, we asked the officials to meet two criteria.  First, we would go to the worst-hit areas, and second, we would go where no one else was going.  They were glad to identify 350 such families.

On Tuesday night (United States time) – the day this newsletter is emailed – Orphan Voice staff and volunteers will be in Tuyen Hoa District of Quang Binh Province giving 4 tons of much-needed rice to 350 hungry, needy families.  We are doing that in your name and stead.  Thank you for making it possible.

In the next newsletter, we will give a follow-up report with pictures.

Half of the funds for this food were donated from friends in Danang and Saigon.  We took on the remaining obligation by faith, knowing that we could not turn the needy away in their time of need.  If you would like to help pay for the rice, DONATE HERE to Disaster Relief.  Or mail your support to Orphan Voice, P.O. Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591.


A Life Transformed

Doctors sent this child home to die three times.  See how Truc’s life has been transformed through therapy, hard work, and deep, caring love.  Click to watch a short video of her transformation! 


THIS JUST IN!  The ladies of Phu Ninh Therapy Center called this very morning so excited!  Truc walked 5 meters by herself!  That’s over 15 feet!


Your Gifts Protect “The Least of These”

Anti-Trafficking Seminars Reach Danang

Mrs. Tam (below) leads the Danang Charity Association – the most important charity in Danang.  She is a woman of deep compassion.  When she learns of young girls being sexually abused in Danang, her heart burns.

A few months ago, Mrs. Tam heard of Orphan Voice’s More Precious Than Gold anti-trafficking seminars.  When she heard, a spark went off in her heart.  Perhaps this was the answer she was looking for!

One of Mrs. Tam’s deepest burdens is for girls who are sexually abused and trafficked in Danang (one recent case that motivates her was the raping of a 10 year old).  So much has changed in Danang over the years.  From a sleepy, poor town with little tourist contact, Danang is now a major destination for international tourists.

But international tourism, for all its positive benefits also has a seedy side.  For example, a casino has been built along one of Danang’s beaches.  Men come from all over Asia to gamble and “party.”  Young girls are sometimes abused.

It was this problem – how to protect ‘the least of these” – that caused Mrs. Tam to seek a meeting with Orphan Voice.  And that meeting led to positive results!

We have long been reaching outlying village children.  Doors have been opened for Orphan Voice to regularly conduct More Precious Than Gold seminars in Danang!  Additionally, plans are underway to reach out to the police about enforcement of existing laws, strengthening of those laws, and prosecution of abusers pursuant to those laws. We are making progress.

We are making progress because of you!  Thank you.  We covet your prayers.  Our protective seminars convey to children that they are loved.  Pray with us that the message goes deep.

Will you sow into the lives of these children today?  To do so, invest your gift of protection HERE, designated to Trafficking Rescue and Prevention.


Enduring Voices Success

Thanks from Craig Reed

When I first got the idea to run across Vietnam to raise awareness and funds for Orphan Voice, I thought it a bit crazy.  Now we have done it twice!

I want to say how grateful I am for your support in our efforts to expand Enduring Voices this year. Last year, we raised $23,000, and this year we had a 50% increase to more than $34,000! We could not have accomplished this without the support of friends and family, the physical sacrifice of nearly a dozen runners, and the time commitment of the Orphan Voice team.

So, as we bring Enduring Voices 2016 to a close, I offer a final word of thanks. The love that these children feel pouring through us is real. I have seen their gratitude first hand. I have heard their stories. I have held their hands. The love is real, and it comes from you. I thought about each of you with every step I took. In three days, we covered 162km (101 miles), 6,576m (21,575’) of elevation change, and 22 hours of running. That’s about 200,000 steps in three days, each one thanking you for your support, and hearing the Enduring Voices of the children along the way.


Learning From Others

Promise House Child Update

“Anna” is happy and healthy.  She enjoys school.  Her best subject is Art.  She also likes Math, Biology, and English.  Anna is
grateful for the house father who reminds her to study, and for the mothers who cook good food and help her daily.  She also knows her older “sisters” love her very much.

When asked to share a proud accomplishment, Anna says she has been going to market with Mrs. Lan and helping the caregivers with cooking!  She hopes to become a good cook.

Anna looks up to her two best friends who make her more friendly and kind. “They have a good influence on me.”  After visiting children in other orphanages who have similar backgrounds, Anna says she is learning to be happier and not have self-pity.  “They overcome their difficulties and study well.  I should learn from them.”

In her free time, Anna likes to sing, draw, and eat dessert food.  If she could go on vacation anywhere in the world, she would go “to Korea to see famous singers, and enjoy the beauty there.”  If she could change one bad habit, it would be not getting sleepy while the teacher is teaching!

We are grateful for your support of Promise House, which gives Anna a home and supportive family.  Thank you for caring for her so faithfully!

Please consider sponsoring a child at Promise House, or making a sacrificial gift to Orphan Care HERE.  Thank you.


P.E.T. Cart Brings More Than Income

This is Mr. Canh.  He is 63 years old and has no family.  He is disabled and lives in Peace Village in Phú Ninh.  Though he is provided food and a place to live, he asked the village manager to allow him to work in surrounding areas selling tooth picks, chop sticks, cotton, etc.  The Peace Village said “yes” and asked Orphan Voice for a Personal Energy Transportation Cart to make it happen.

His legs are very weak.  His hands are weak too.  So Mr. Canh practices riding the cart around the village before he can go out selling things.  This helps him gain strength, and occupies his time with purpose.  With the cart, he is making more money, has work to do, and feels good about himself.  Work, purpose, income.  These things make a man proud.

Your support of Orphan Voice Special Needs HERE gives those willing to work a leg up.  Thank you!

A Job Well Done

For the Children

We did it!  Watch this brief recap of the Enduring Voices 2016 ultra-marathon to stop trafficking.

Orphan Voice begins this week to help a young girl who was raped multiple times.  She and her mom are being resettled to safety and a new start.

Enduring Voices 2016 brought concerned men and women from Vietnam, England, South Africa, Australia and America together to stop this evil.

We are short of our financial goal.  You can still support this effort through the end of October.  Help us reach our goal to raise $50,000 for Trafficking Rescue and Prevention.  Your gift truly changes their future.

Joy!  Enduring Voices 2016 was a team effort!

Quotable Quotes

“It was both incredibly brutal and incredibly rewarding.  Sign me up for next year.” – Bill Chapman, Australia

 “We suffer now so that the children will not suffer later.” – Gerald High, South Africa
“The rescued run so that children will be rescued.” – Craig Reed, America
(A standing joke among us) – “It’s only 2 kilometers more.” – Bui Van Duc, Vietnam
Katu minority school girls sent us off and running with flowers and cheers.  We ran to protect them!
Craig Reed and Gerald High kept the course all three days.  A short rest on Day 2 for these tired, sore and brave men.
Tony met a new friend along the way!
Breath-taking scenery all around.


Job Well Done

Craig and the team gave their all.  Help them know it was worth it.  Please support Trafficking Rescue and Prevention HERE.  Or mail your gift to Orphan Voice, PO Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591 and mark it for “Enduring Voices.”

How Far Will You Go?

Treating Them Like Your Own Children

Promise House Students Get Much-Needed Vision Care

Thanks to the support of folks like you, this child now has greater vision…literally!  Orphan Voice strives to provide everything for the children in our full-time care that you would provide for your own children.  And because you care, we can!

Recently, we took the Promise House students to Danang Eye Hospital for examinations.  Seven of the 19 children needed glasses…and got them!  Three of them also needed medicine, which we gladly purchased.  We are school-ready on the sight side anyway!

Your support of Orphan Care helps us truly take care of these, our precious children.

Seven Beauties Sport New Glasses!

To sponsor a Promise House child or support Orphan Care, please Donate Here.  Or mail your gift to Orphan Voice, P.O. Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591.


How Far Will You Go?

On the Heels of the Enduring Voices 100-Mile Run

It starts in a week!  October 4-6, brave men and women in Vietnam will set out to run the entire width of the country in just 3 days.  Craig Reed started the challenge last year, and this year he will be surrounded by relay teams and at-home supporters running along with him.  At least one other person is running the full 100-mile ultra-marathon.  The question is: How far will YOU go?

Don’t let them run in vain.  The lofty goal is to raise $50,000 to combat child trafficking in Vietnam.  It’s easy to give.  Simply go to this link and make a donation.  https://www.pledgereg.com/enduring-voices-2016

You can give to Enduring Voices in general, or type the name of a runner or simul-runner in the Search to support specific people. (Ex. Tony) And don’t forget to PRAY for them!  Read the Runners Brief BELOW, written by Craig, to see what they will encounter.  It won’t be easy.  But the cause has eternal significance.

From Tony: I’m hoping you’ll step in to support me in my run.  I’m a “gray hair,” but I’m doing my part!  Please consider giving a significant gift, if you are able. THANK YOU SO MUCH!


STRENGTH TO FIGHT TRAFFICKING

Strongman Kenneth Etta Helps Orphan Voice Keep Children Safe

Kenneth Etta came to Vietnam to help us fight trafficking through education. In September, he took part in our More Precious Than Gold seminars, teaching over 4500 students how to protect themselves from traffickers.  The children were mesmerized by his feats of strength, and his strong message of truth. 

Click the picture below for a peek at what they experienced.  And please support Trafficking Rescue and Prevention.  It’s WORKING!


We Were Amazed

Friendship Team Testimony

In July, Jeff Tkach (on the right) brought his family to Danang on an Orphan Voice Friendship Team.  Here are a few excerpts from his testimony:

On Monday, we were introduced to the Orphan Voice Team and enjoyed a devotion time with them.  We spent the day preparing 500 pairs of shoes for delivery in rural areas.

On Tuesday, we got to experience Promise House…moving furniture and…crafts with the children.  We were touched by their immediate acceptance of us.

On Wednesday we traveled to the Phu Ninh Therapy Center and enjoyed playing games…and seeing the work that is being
done there… We were amazed at how much of an impact the Center has had on children and families, and wondered how much more could be done with improved equipment and additional training.  In the afternoon, we went to New Beginnings School for the Deaf and applied a fresh coat of paint to the front of the building.

On Thursday, we got to deliver the shoes.  This was the highlight of the trip, seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces as they received their shoes…  It was humbling to realize that what we take for granted (shoes) is truly a blessing to them.

Overall, we were amazed at the scope of the impact that Orphan Voice has, reaching children through orphan care, and helping those with special needs.  We were amazed at how Orphan Voice does not shy away when they see a need, but immediately go to work to meet it.  And we were also amazed at how easy it is to be a part of meeting that need, whether through providing funds or through our presence.  And how “being there” is invaluable…to experience the need first hand and show them our love.  Giving from afar is one thing, and important.  But being there puts it all in perspective.

To visit Orphan Voice on a Friendship Team, email maria.lester@orphanvoice.org.


Very Exciting!

Students Meet Successful Deaf Adults

Thai is 10 years old and has been deaf  and unable to speak since birth.  Because there were no schools to teach him, Thai’s development was grossly stunted.  He couldn’t understand what others said, and he didn’t know how to express his thoughts.  That is, until the New Beginnings School for the Deaf was opened.

As the name conveys, this school was Thai’s new beginning.  After one year of study in sign language, his world is completely different.  He can now communicate with others, both deaf and hearing, and he understands people, problems and relationships better.  He is also more confident and closer with others.

Thai is improving every day, studying math, language, science, nature and society.  He is learning that the most important thing is to become a person of good character.

Orphan Voice also provides out-of-school experiences for Thai and his friends to meet other deaf people and see how they are succeeding in life.  Over the Summer, they met several deaf adults and also went swimming and shopping.  “New Beginnings is very exciting!” says Thai.  His parents are so happy because they see the change in him every day.  “We hope the New Beginnings School will continue.”

To ensure New Beginnings School for the Deaf continues for Thai and others, please support Special Needs programs HERE.  Or mail your gift to Orphan Voice, PO Box 910410, Lexington, KY 40591.


Sponsor Needed

New Student at Promise House

It’s difficult to leave your home at age 10.  “Matthew” came to us in September, and recently celebrated his 11th birthday here.  He is grateful to be at Promise House, but sometimes it’s hard to understand.

Matthew has two younger sisters and one baby brother.  His mother, Trang is a street vendor who sells washing tools.  Her income is very low and unstable.  There is no support from the children’s father.  Matthew has never known him.

The family lives in a government apartment, but Trang has been unable to pay the rent for over a year.  A friend told her about Promise House.  Desperate, she came to us for help.  We welcomed Matthew with open arms.

Matthew is a cute and friendly boy.  He makes friends easily and enjoys living at Promise House with his new pals.  He likes football, basketball and badminton.

Would you like to sponsor “Matthew?”  Or another Promise House child?  With your commitment of $40 per month, you can learn Matthew’s real name, receive his full story, and send him letters of encouragement.  Our Child Sponsors mean SO MUCH to us.  If you are not sponsoring a child, please prayerfully consider the difference it makes.

To sponsor a child, or support Orphan Care in general, please donate HERE.

Volunteer Needed

We are looking for a nutritionist who will volunteer to look at the diet of the Promise House children and advise us on nutritional adequacy and caloric sufficiency.  Please contact Maria Lester at 866-377-4928 or maria.lester@orphanvoice.org.  Thank you!

P.E.T. Carts Changing Lives

Personal Energy Transportation Carts make a world of difference to those who need them.

Meet Ca.  Ca is 12 years old. He lives in Peace Village. He cannot walk because his legs are weak. The PET Cart allows him to go to school on his own.  The school is a little less than 1 kilometer away from the village.  For Ca, P-E-T spells Education!

To help someone who needs it receive a PET Cart, donate to Special Needs HERE.

Enduring Voices 100 Mile Run across Vietnam

Join us in our annual Enduring Voices run across Vietnam!

Enduring Voices 100 Mile Run – 2016 will be completed from October 4-6.  Our runners will start at Cinnamon Top, a remote mountain near the Laotian border in the central highlands of Vietnam.  We will finish near the China Sea, a distance of 100 miles across Quang Nam Province, the entire width of central Vietnam!  Along the way, we will pass through numerous villages, orphanages, and schools, visiting the children of Vietnam along the way.  We have room for individual runners and relay teams, but each must be able to run 33 miles per day for three consecutive days.

New this year is a Simul-Run!  Runners who wish to participate, but aren’t able to travel to Vietnam, can accumulate miles between September 30 and October 6.

We aim to raise $50,000 this year, and ask that individuals raise support through our fundraising page.  Whether you will be in Vietnam, or running at home, we appreciate your dedication and support!

In addition to the 100 mile run in Vietnam we are expanding Enduring Voices to include a Simul-Run for people who want to participate in the run but can’t travel to Vietnam.  So people can participate in the run in 3 ways:

Runners in Vietnam can participate as individuals (run the whole 100 miles over the three days) or participate as a relay, which will allow even the most modest of runners to join. If they can’t travel to Vietnam, they can participate in the Simul-Run! This run will allow them to participate wherever they are – for as many miles as they decide, from Oct 1-6.

Individuals or teams can register for the event, either in-person (Vietnam) or the Simul-Run at no cost, then set up their fundraising page.   They can then share their fundraising page on facebook, twitter, and by email.  Anyone can show their support by making a contribution on one of the runners pledge pages.

To register to participate: https://www.runreg.com/enduring-voices-2016

To make a contribution to support: https://www.pledgereg.com/enduring-voices-2016  They can select to support an individual runner or team or make a general contribution to Enduring Voices.

Enduring Voices Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/promiserun/

For people wanting more information regarding the Simul Run they can contact Jeff at jtkach@woh.rr.com.

We’re Running for These Children.  Will you?

Enduring Voices 100-Mile Run Across Vietnam

Why do we run?

9-year-old “Diep” is raped in the early morning hours.  Her mom can’t protect her because she isn’t home.  You see, Diep’s mom leaves home at 1:00 a.m. each day to meet the fishing boats as they return from night fishing in the East Sea.  She has to get to the pier early in order to select, buy, and prepare her purchased fish for resale, and be in the market by 5:00 a.m.  It is a hard life—but it allows her and her daughter to eat.

The Orphan Voice event, Enduring Voices, is for Diep.  She is why we run.  We sacrifice for her.

If you’re a runner, will you join us and run in the U.S. while we run in Vietnam?  Your friends can sponsor you just like our partners do us.  In that way, you can raise support for Diep and others like her.  If you’re not a runner, will you spread the word about Enduring Voices through your social media channels and to friends?  Will you personally give?  We need you to help Craig Reed, Tony Brewer and others reach their goal of raising $50,000.

Watch this video–it will motivate you!

Here’s how Enduring Voices works: Runners with a passion for “the least of these” will be SIMUL-RUNNERS for the 100-mile run.  If you can’t come to Vietnam, you can still register FREE to run in your home state at https://www.runreg.com/enduring-voices-2016.  Run as far as you can, or want, during the week of October 1-6, and ask your friends and family to support you!   Your friends can pledge their tax-deductible support for your run (after you register) at https://www.pledgereg.com/enduring-voices-2016.

If you need help to register or to support a specific runner, Jeff Tkach or Maria Lester will help you.  Email Jeff at jtkach@woh.rr.com or call him at 937.231.1666.  Reach Maria at maria.lester@orphanvoice.org or 859.317.2477.  If you and your friends want to run as a team, you can do that too! (Example: 10 of you run 10 miles each.)  ANY number of miles you run means that you are “with us” and that you are blessing “the least of these.”

We also need the sponsorship of non-runners who still yearn for girls like Diep.  To support Craig, Tony or other runners, visit https://www.pledgereg.com/enduring-voices-2016.  Type in the name of a specific runner (Ex. Tony), or donate directly to the event.

A final word to those of you over 50.  I, Tony, am running the 100 miles as part of a 7-man relay team.  That is, 7 of us will take turns running consecutive segments of the 100-mile run.  Thus, we will cover the 100 miles as a team.  Some of the younger ones will run more than me, but I will take my regular turn.  I’ve been preparing for over a year to be able to do it.  I need your encouragement!  It won’t be a picnic, but the cause is worthy.  If you are a fellow “gray-hair” like me, will you support me?  Please do so at https://www.pledgereg.com/enduring-voices-2016.  Help me raise my personal goal of $25,000 for Orphan Voice anti-trafficking efforts.

The Enduring Voices race is October 4-6.  Get involved today!  And remember to FORWARD THIS EMAIL to your running friends and to your friends with a heart for “the least of these”!

This event, and EVERY step you make to support Orphan Voice, truly changes lives!

To give your monthly and normal support to Orphan Voice, donate HERE.  Or mail to Orphan Voice, P.O. Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591.

To give specifically to the Enduring Voices run, donate HERE.

Thank you!.

Tony

P.S. Don’t forget to PRAY for those of us running in Vietnam!  We need it!

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.

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.