A Visit to Restoring Hope on the Ground in South Asia
My wife and I lived in South Asia working with orphan care starting
in 2011. We thought it was a one-two year commitment, but then we fell in
love with these orphaned and vulnerable kids whom we were indirectly
serving through local leaders and staff.
For the next five years, working closely with locals to provide the best
orphan care possible for the many orphaned and vulnerable children in our
geographical area, we established the operational side of this indigenously-
Since then we have made annual or twice-annual trips to visit, train,
encourage, instruct, inspire and receive mutual edification as the children
have become students, and are now well on their way to becoming adults.
So when these visits stopped for three years due to the pandemic and other
reasons, we knew the next time we returned would feel like a momentous
And we were right.
I just returned from two weeks on the ground and what a joy to be with
children and families that seem to be thriving.
Spending time with 200 of our college students, who were 8 – 10 years old
when we first arrived 11 years ago, was a fulfilling time of seeing fruit in its
season. The adult caregivers, the staff dedication and the family care that is
now in place has put these “formerly” orphaned and vulnerable children on
a path to the holistic restoration we have dreamed of: physically,
emotionally, socially, educationally and spiritually.
We conducted our first-ever College Student Weekend Conference where
most of our 250 “former” orphaned children-now-college students attended
while on the brink of their future.
It induced plenty of reflecting on the past 11 years and all that is to come for
these students and the kids following in their footsteps in years to come
(450 more children and students coming up through Restoring Hope’s
For example, Sujuna* was eight years old when we first met her in 2011.
One of her parents had tragically died and the local pastor wanted to
support her family in raising her.
Restoring Hope’s commitment not just to food support, not just to
educational support, but also to family support and spiritual guidance has
produced someone in Sujuna who stood out at this weekend conference for
her ability to think and speak and for a future that is shining brilliantly for
Sujuna as she pursues her undergraduate college degree.
Without Restoring Hope’s commitment to her family, Sujuna would
perhaps have made it through her sophomore year of high school and then
not had the financial ability or family support to advance beyond in her
academic and life preparation. She will be the first college graduate in her
Check out the photos and this video (50 seconds) of the College Student
We are forever grateful for the partners that have helped us each step of the
way to arrive to this point of seeing this very special fruit in its season.
*All names are pseudonyms to ensure security and ethical storytelling.
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