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You’re His New Beginning!

New Beginnings School For The Deaf: A Family’s Prayer Answered

Like all parents, Huy’s mom and dad were overjoyed at his birth. They were proud! They beamed! Truly, Huy was the “star of the show” so far as his parents, grandparents and village neighbors were concerned.

However, after 7 months, Huy’s parents began to suspect that something was wrong. And even though Danang was a two hour plus bus ride from their village home, they took Huy to a Danang Hospital for examination. There, to their surprise and dismay, doctors reported that Huy was deaf.

The life of rural Vietnam’s, special needs children can be hard. Nowhere is this better seen than in the lives of rural-born deaf children. In Huy’s village, there resided no one who could teach him or his parents to sign. Huy’s mom and dad couldn’t send him to “the big city” where deaf services were available. As a result, from age one, when Huy’s diagnosis was confirmed by a second doctor, until he was 11 years old, Huy never attended school, didn’t learn to read, and never learned even basic math. He didn’t communicate with anyone outside his immediate family – and even with his mom and dad, he didn’t communicate well.

When Huy’s dad learned of New Beginnings School for the Deaf recently, he immediately came to the school and asked Teacher Mai if Huy could attend. In fact, he pleaded with her. So even though New Beginnings’s school year has already begun, Huy was admitted.

Huy’s just getting started and must catch up. Please pray for him (and a second new child) as they begin to learn Vietnamese sign language, reading, math and character development. Thank you!

New Beginnings now teaches 12 children each day.  The school depends on your prayers and your investment, to pay the bills.  Can you invest $50, $100 or $250 in one of these 12 deaf children today? Please do so and Donate Here.

Or mail your support to Orphan Voice, P.O. Box 910410, Lexington, Kentucky 40591. Thank you!

Keeping HER Family Together

“Would my girls be better off if they lived at the local orphanage?” So Cuc, a hard-working but struggling mother, thought many times over the years.

Cuc loved her daughters, Ha and Thu. If they lived at the orphanage, she would miss them but maybe she could visit from time to time and bring them their favorite food. She had heard good things about the orphanage. It was supported by rich foreigners. Last year, due to really hard times, that “orphanage thought” passed through her mind more often than usual – and it always made her sad.

Cuc’s husband is disabled, does not work and therefore does not help pay the bills. Cuc herself is uneducated, with little by way of marketable skills. Truly their lives have been hard.

Ha and Thu attend school but have not had the benefit of the all-important tutors (without tutoring, which is built into the Vietnamese educational system, students may not proceed beyond 8th grade). Their grades were therefore poor. The girls never knew a dentist.

A Meager Income

Before entering Orphan Voice’s Keeping Families Together program, Cuc bought fruit, bread, and other food from a local store and walked the city streets hawking the food. Her inventory was what she could carry. The work was hard and hot. She sometimes sold her food; sometimes not. Earnings were meager.

Over time, she convinced a friend to allow her to set up a small food stand in front of her home. The space was small – only 4 feet by 3 feet – but it allowed Cuc to cook simple dishes and sell to passersby. Her income increased to 30,000 – 50,000 VND per day ($1.30 – $2.20).

That amount put food on the table – always enough rice, but the family still depended on the charity of others. Home repairs were left undone. Neighbors bought the girls’ textbooks and school supplies and when sickness came, doctor’s visits were unknown.

A Partnership Bringing Hope

After village social services recommended Cuc and her husband to Orphan Voice’s Keeping Families Together program and they were accepted, Orphan Voice staff began to meet with the couple and children regularly. A local pastor joined the Orphan Voice team to offer spiritual guidance. Friendships were formed; mentoring began.

Experienced mentors counseled Cuc and her husband on the qualities of a good and Godly marriage. They heard for the first time the importance of valuing one another. They also learned positive ways to discipline the girls and the importance of their girls having a good self-image. The couple learned of family budgeting for the first time.

When Orphan Voice staff and Cuc discussed how to create more income for the family, everyone agreed that she could expand her food business if she had better tools. To that end, Orphan Voice worked with Cuc to negotiate more space from her neighbor to set up an outdoor restaurant.

The KFT program purchased new tables and chairs so that Cuc could serve more customers. KFT also purchased new bowls, cooking utensils and a “cooking cabinet” which allowed Cuc to keep all her ingredients together. The new tools replaced the badly worn (and bad looking) ones; customers noticed the difference.

Return On Investment

Cuc’s business has grown! The new tables and chairs are welcoming to people as they walk by, and more and more stop for a bite to eat. The “cooking cabinet” gives the food stall a more professional look and, of course, allows Cuc to organize food ingredients and prepare dishes more quickly and easily. She is experiencing something which has not troubled her before: having more sales and income!

Cuc now makes from 150,000 to 200,000 VND per day ($6.60 – $8.80)!  And the increased income has translated into practical help for her family!  The girls have tutors for the first time and their grades have improved. In addition to rice and vegetables, the family eats fish and meat during the week. They’ve been able to repair their old motorbike.  Even home repairs are foreseeable.

The family is overjoyed! Gone forever is the thought that the girls would be better off in an orphanage!

Why Keeping Families Together Is Needed

Most children in Vietnamese government orphanages have at least one parent. Sometimes they have two. And for every child in state care, other desperate families press orphanage officials to “take” their children too. Why would parents do that? Perhaps you can guess from Cuc’s story.

Poverty, of course, is the main reason. Countryside families, who have a hard time feeding their children, despair. Their religion is about duty and it gives little hope. For some moms, like Cuc, placing their child in an orphanage seems like a “step-up” in that their son or daughter will receive good food and go to school.

But caregivers in even the best orphanages know that at night – when the day’s activities are over and before falling off to sleep – children long for their parents. KFT allows them to be home!

Your Opportunity To Protect Children In Vietnam And Southeast Asia

Our 2018-2019 KFT plans are to reach 1,000 needy children and their moms and dads in Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal, and Laos. Why these countries? Because they have one thing in common: children living in orphanages who should not be there because they have one or two parents.

This 18-month KFT program of mentoring, training and income generation assistance will cost $100,000.

While we are praying and planning for this expansion, Orphan Voice continues its daily Vietnamese ministry to orphans, special needs children, and children at risk for abuse or trafficking in its established 10 programs. The children and families in these programs are protected and blessed only because of you – our Orphan Voice partners.

Can you give generously today to impact Vietnam and Southeast Asia’s “least of these”? To do so make your gift online HERE.

A Dream Come True

School: Her Dream Come True

Nuong, from a poverty-stricken mountain family, was born deaf and her life has been hard. Her mom, fearing that men would molest her, kept the 23 year old close by her side during her childhood. Before this year, Nuong had only spent one night away from home.

As a result, Nuong has spent most of her life looking after the family’s cow and doing other household chores. On a normal day, she walks the cow to pasture – making sure that it doesn’t get into anyone’s crops – and cuts grass for it to eat when pasture is available. In a sense, the family cow became her best friend.

Night and day! That’s the difference when comparing Nuong’s old life to her life now! Check it out. The story of her “new beginning” will bless you.

I Know The Plans That I Have For You

Orphan Voice partners provide the ministry of New Beginnings School for the Deaf.  You employ two love-filled teachers to minister to Luong and the other students five day each week.

New Beginnings School for the Deaf is our most expensive program, per child.  For two students, we need to supplement their lunch and transportation. Nuong is one of those two students.

Can you sow generously into the lives of these 10 students?  Please do. The “trajectory change” for these children is astronomical because of New Beginnings.

To help us keep it going and to bless “the least of these,” donate HERE.

Hope Therapy Center Is Open!

“Joshua” (fictitious name) is a young boy who can’t walk. Before Hope Therapy Center opened, he didn’t receive therapy. Why? Because there was no government or private therapy center within drivable distance from his house. And his parents couldn’t afford to send him to a large city where more help is available.

As a result, before Hope Therapy Center, Joshua’s day looked like this. Each morning, his parents put him in a crib on the concrete porch along one side of their house. He stayed in the crib alone all morning until his grandfather arrived at noon to give him some porridge. In the afternoon, “Joshua” was again alone until his parents returned from work around 5:00.

The concrete floor and a water hose made for easy cleanup where “Joshua” used the bathroom during the day.

But “Joshua’s life has changed because of Orphan Voice partners. He now has a place to receive therapy. A love-filled therapist works to alleviate the problem in his leg that keeps him from walking. It’s life-changing for him.

Hope Therapy Center operates ONLY because of you.  Can you help us by sowing as generously as you can into this important outreach?  To do so, donate HERE.

Hope Therapy Center After Renovation

Cleft Lip Surgery: Changed Lives

In rural Vietnam and in the Highlands, some children may not have their cleft lip/palate repaired. There are many reasons which force parents this way: 1) being unable to pay the hospital bill or the related travel and food expenses; 2) being unaware of available help; 3) lack of hope among parents that things can be better; and even 4) counsel from village elders to leave “fate alone” (if fate determined that the baby be born that way, don’t interfere with it).

But cleft lip and palate repair saves a child from mockery from other children as he/she grows up. In the case of cleft palate repair, it gives the child the chance to speak clearly. The surgery can, of course, be a life saving procedure and, some who need it but don’t get it, die.

For these reasons and more, Orphan Voice provides help for families and children who cannot obtain the needed repair on their own.

Check out our latest case by clicking on the button below. And please help us do more. The total cost is running about $800. Can you be the reason that another child get his/her surgery? Every gift helps. To bless “the least of these” today, donate HERE.

Full Circle

Orphan Voice is excited about June 6 – 17, 2019! That’s the time A Helping Hand adoptees and their families (who the Brewers helped with their adoptions) will visit Vietnam to serve “the least of these.” In fact, we may have two teams!

So if you’re an A Helping Hand family looking for a ministry experience in 2019, you’ve found it! Or if you’re one of those beautiful girls, now is your time. Let’s make it full circle!

We’ve made preparations.

Team activities will include: 1) painting murals; 2) sports; 3) painting classrooms; 4) games and crafts; and more. For a 12-14 day ministry experience (including travel days), one person’s cost for food and hotel will be roughly $500 (plus the air ticket which we are working on). We’ll reserve hotel rooms, provide translators and help at meal time. With a year’s notice, the money can be raised!

Email don.secrest@orphanvoice.org to let us know, with no obligation, that you’re interested.  You can let us know of your interest, but later drop off the list if need be. God bless!

New Beginnings School for the Deaf Graduation

At the beginning of July, we took the 10 students from the New Beginnings School for the Deaf to ‘Happy Heart’, cafe here in Danang, that provides training to deaf people, to work in their cafe. This is where we celebrated the end of the school year, with these students and their amazing teachers. The children loved coming here, as they see how a deaf person can get a great job, without letting their circumstances stop them. Certificates were awarded for the 3 children completing grade 1, and the 7 children completing grade 3, which is an amazing achievement for them all. We feel blessed that they are learning in a safe and positive environment, so thank you to the wonderful people who support the school.

Promise House Graduation

Last week, we held an end of the school year celebration for the children from the Promise House. This was an evening to acknowledge their hard work and commitment to their studies, as well as to thank their house mothers for their mentorship and support for their schooling. Every child received an award, specific to their achievements, as well as a small gift.

We are so proud of the results and goals they have individually achieved. Education is such a powerful thing, and we feel blessed that thanks to your support, these children are able to gain a great education here in Danang.

Gifts for the Children of Tam Ky

Last week, 130 of the children from poorer families in the Tam Ky region of Quang Nam province, spent their day on a field trip to Danang. The children included in this day, are determined by the Government, who then pass on the information to us. This was a special day for them, as they visited the Museum, as well as participating in other activities. Orphan Voice was able to support these children, by providing each child with notebooks and a pen, as a small gift for their studies.