“I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten….”
“I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten….” Hebrew Proverb
In November, Thi earned an academic achievement award from her school! “So, Tony,” you might say, “you’re like those parents who have a ‘My Child Is An Honor Roll Student’ bumper sticker on their car?'” Well, yes.
Before coming to Promise House, Thi suffered for years, to the point where she didn’t go to school regularly. When she came into our care at Promise House, she lagged far behind in her studies, had no academic incentive, poor study habits, and very poor grades! That’s why the academic achievement award makes me so proud! She has come so far! This award represents hours of hard, remedial work on Thi’s part, on the part of her tutors—and on the part of Promise House staff. She—and they—did a great job, and the award is the proof!
Since 2010, Orphan Voice has had the privilege of partnering with the Danang Street Chidlren’s Program to care for 22 wonderful children at Promise House–a group home in Danang. These precious ones were placed at Promise House by government social services for various reasons.
We are thankful that three of the children have been reunited with extended family! 19 children remain.
The ancient Hebrew proverb is that “I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten.” Before coming to Promise House, these children certainly experienced deprivation. However, at Promise House, they are surrounded by attentive caregivers, multiple Orphan Voice staff from our Central Office who come on a daily basis to help them recover emotionally, and subject matter tutors to help them catch up educationally.
They will not be the tail, as is so often assumed by people, due to their difficult early life experiences and their status as as orphans; rather, they will be the head.
Sponsors are needed for Promise House children. Is sponsoring a child through Orphan Voice for you? If so, let’s get started!
Twelve-year-old, Khanh, is rambunctious, boisterous, always going at full-speed and always wearing a big smile. He’s from a large, rural family and has five siblings. Khanh’s mom died from cancer when he was four years old. His father was forced to borrow heavily to pay for his wife’s medical care during her long decline. After her death, poverty drove him to continue to borrow money in order to feed his children. Unlike most of us, having enough food to eat was a life and death reality for the family.
In time, the father’s burden became too heavy and he asked government officials in his rural district for help. No extended-family came forward to take his son in. The local government turned to Orphan Voice for help. It was then that Khanh came to live at Promise House–our group home.
Over the past four years, Orphan Voice partners have provided for Khanh’s needs. Today, he never worries about having enough food to eat. He goes to school, has caregivers who see that he finishes his homework, sees the doctor when he needs to, and has clean clothes. He experiences stability. Other young, Orphan Voice staff work to know and mentor Khanh–to let him know that he has friends and older adults who care for him.
Khanh will make it! Will you sponsor Khanh or one of his 18 friends at Promise House? Click here to find out how.
As Director of Orphan Voice, I sometimes hear heart-rending stories. I heard such a story recently. To plan how to best help a young orphan teenager who had been sexually assaulted, I met with her aunt and with a man I thought was her adult brother. But as it turned out, the adult “brother” of the abused teenager was actually her half-brother.
Here’s how the story unfolded. The now deceased mother of these two half-siblings married 32 years ago and had a boy. When her son was 8, she abandoned him for unknown reasons, moved far away, and broke all contact with her son. She eventually became pregnant with another child – a girl (the teenager in this testimony). The mother never had contact with her son until a few years ago.
For the past three years, Orphan Voice has helped the teenage girl recover from the trauma of rape.
With her mother now gone, I met with the adult half-brother (the abandoned child above) and aunt to discuss the teenager’s future care. From the beginning of the meeting, the brother was quite agitated. As I listened and probed, I learned the facts set forth above.
Imagine being that half-brother. You might feel as he felt. Remember, the meeting’s purpose was to discuss his half-sister’s trauma, her pain at being raped, how to help her deal with the anger in her heart, and how to help her with the emotional scarring that has occurred.
But he could not talk about any of that, because all he felt was the pain and hurt in his own heart. That pain overwhelmed any sympathy he had for his half-sister.
Even though he is now an adult, he wanted and needed someone to know how badly he had been treated as an innocent boy of 8 when his mother abandoned him. He wanted someone to understand that he never understood why she left him. As he grew up, a voice in his head was always there to tell him that he must have done something wrong—that he was the reason his mom left. “She did not love you enough to stay with you” was his constant thought. Feelings of rejection and devastation overwhelmed him.
On the day he came to my office, he needed someone to listen – to really listen. He needed someone to hear – to really hear. He needed someone to pay attention to his innermost cry, and to cry with him. He needed someone to absorb some of his pain and say: “I’m sorry that happened. She shouldn’t have done that. I’m so sorry that happened to you.”
There is healing power in listening.
Orphan Voice staff play the part of willing listener to Promise House group home children. It is an honor to do so.
Promise House Party
Promise House Outing: Children’s Day
Col. Braendel at Promise House
Promise House Playing Twister
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