Sadly, as beautiful as adoption is, it cannot be the only answer for the estimated 147 million orphans in the world. Even if there were enough willing families, the majority of these orphaned children could not be adopted due to the many complicated factors of each country. But families, are still the answer!
Two years ago our family discovered and fell in love with an awesome orphan care ministry called Faithful Heart Foundation (FHF). Faithful Heart Foundation serves the Hill Tribe children of northern Thailand. The Hill Tribe people may legally live in Thailand, but they are not granted any of the rights that Thailand citizens hold. This puts them at great risk for being exploited – especially the children. Northern Thailand is one of the worst areas in the world for child abuse and human trafficking. Thailand has a billion dollar sex and laboring trafficking industry. Tens of thousands of women and children are trafficked. Young men looking for work become modern day slaves and are worked to death.
Thailand is a 95% Buddhist Nation. Buddhists believe in reincarnation and karma and that nothing happens to a person that isn’t deserved. So, if someone is born handicapped or poor, then that is their fate…it is the consequence of bad karma in their past life. Thai culture is not inclined to have compassion on those less fortunate than themselves. This attitude toward the less fortunate creates cyclical poverty and an abundance of children that are left hungry, sick, exploited, uneducated and abandoned.
Faithful Heart’s motto is Rescue a Child, Build a Family. David Callahan, founder of FHF says, “We are a Reach and Rescue Ministry. Our ministry goal is to reach these vulnerable children in need and rescue them from the dangers that are unique to poverty here in Thailand. Our mission is to provide these children with a safe and loving environment; a place to grow into healthy God-loving and people-loving adults.” FHF places rescued children into small family homes that have Hill Tribe house parents that speak the child’s heart language. The house parents have made a long term commitment to love these children as their own. They provide them with excellent education and health care. They teach them to play soccer and help them to exceed academically. When it is safe to do so, the rescued children are allowed to keep in touch with their village culture and extended family members. The children of FHF have all had traumatic starts in life, but are thriving in their FHF families!
We have had the privilege of spending the last two summers in Chiang Mai, Thailand volunteering with FHF. We have come to know the Callahan’s quite well. They are the epitome of integrity and excellence in orphan care. If you would like to rescue a child’s life, please consider sponsoring one of our Faithful Heart Children. You can check them out at Faithfulheartfoundation.org.
Joel & Betsy Tardy