Opening Windows of Hope for Russian Orphans, and for the Nations.
"In his name the nations will put their hope." Matthew 12:21
From a biblical perspective, a heart for the orphan and a heart for the refugee is essentially the same. The Bible rarely mentions the orphan without also mentioning the widow and refugee. That is why when the gift of cancer brought us back to the states (more about that in the blog posts to the right), it made perfect sense for us to begin to engage in refugee outreach, both at home and abroad. Stateside we are engaging with refugees whenever possible through The North Hill outreach of our church, The Village Church Fort Worth, and through World Relief, who are resettling refugees in an apartment complex a half-mile from our home.
This video demonstrates what happens when God's people show up in response to his heart for the refugee. It is the story of two women from our church befriending a Sudanese woman, and what happened when they believed God for a miracle.
But, the orphan ministries in Voronezh, Russia, also continue.
Studies by social scientists point to connection being one of the greatest needs of children who grow up without parents. The abuse and abandonment most of them experience growing up in an institution leaves them with a great sense of detachment. This is a ministry committed to connections.
Though the team is involved in a broad range of orphan ministry, our primary focus is on helping orphanage graduates navigate the troubled waters of life outside the orphanage. Through programs like the “You Are Not Alone Club” and the Advocacy & Mentoring programs, we are helping connect these young people to people in the community who affirm their value to society, and will further connect them to the resources and advocacy they’ll need to establish themselves as contributing adults to Russian society.
Highlighting a few of the Faces & Phases of this ministry
You Are Not Alone Club
The large group activities of the 'You Are Not Alone' club, styled along the lines of a "Young Life" ministry, serve as a continual reminder to the kids that they are NOT alone in their journey. It is open to post-graduate orphans or those in their last year at the orphanage.
The Club, having begun in 2004 has now begun it's 13th year of ministry. It provides a safe place for kids to come and hang out for fellowship, tutoring or just to have a healthier, Christian environment than their alternative living situations provide. There are also organized, planned meetings involving music, games, discussions, meals, and cultural or recreational outings throughout the week.
To see the most current photos from ongoing "You Are Not Alone Club" activities, go to this special Russian Social Media page, http://vk.com/yournotalone - and click through the photo albums & videos posted there to see the club in action. Enjoy!
School for Adoptive Russian Parents
Gennadiy and the ministry team have been hosting this program for Russian parents who are fostering or adopting from the Russian orphanage system, now in its fourth year. The increase in adoptions by Russian families is one of the reasons the need for our residential transition ministry of Hope House has diminished. And, with the phasing out of the residential ministry, we are now able to redirect support toward this strategic effort. One of the ways we are contributing to this vital ministry is through a summer camp for these families every year. The family camp is a time for parents to encourage one another, realizing they are not unique or alone in the struggles common to such adoptions of children "from hard places", as Karyn Purvis liked to call them.
Mentoring, Jobs Development, and Advocacy programs
Another ongoing facet of this ministry is taking aim at a more aggressive approach to the orphan graduates' transition and integration into society, taking the form of a more specialized and focused life-skills, and marketplace skills training program. One of the most valuable forms this program takes is through seeking Russian mentors to walk alongside the orphanage graduates, teaching various skills, but perhaps more importantly modeling a responsible approach to living independently, while at the same time acknowleging how desperately we all still need the support of one another in the context of community.
This ministry is currently seeking support, national partners, and advocates intent on assisting these young adults in their battles with a system that often further victimizes them by denying them rights to employment and property.
"Blog-A-Dot" is actually a Russian word meaning Grace, or abundance. In our case, we use it here to refer to the stories of His Abundant Grace, as we live out His call on our lives. Follow these stories for more personal insights and perspectives from Ann and Robert.
Though we didn't reach our fund-raising goals for 2016, we were very encouraged by the outpouring of support, and to see God continue to build momentum in this work. For budget details, and to for a summary of our financial needs looking toward 2017, check out this Ministry Financial Update.
The story told here of “Fruit-Bearing Fruit”, provides a particularly intimate portrayal of the current state of the ministry, the Russian team that serves it, and the impact all of this makes on our hearts when we stop to breathe in the beauty of what God has done, and is doing, in us, through us, and of course in spite of us. And, another fun glimpse into the fruitfulness of this ministry is to watch the slide show of new photos from recent orphan camps in the upper right-hand corner of this page.
And, you can’t really consider the current financial needs of this work in the first article, without considering the fruit of this work in the second article above, or without also taking a look at what is currently going on with us, Robert & Ann, and the New Ministry Opportunities & Our Evolving Roles as detailed in the article we’re highlighting here.
You can help open...
Windows of Hope for Russian Orphans & the Nations
There are always opportunities to invest in the financial resource needs of this ministry. Since stepping out by faith in 1996, God has shown his faithfulness. And, since the inception of this initiative in 2004, He has faithfully provided through people who have simply learned of the need, mostly through this website, and responded sacrificially to the cry of the heart of God for His children.
Almost all of the funding of this work comes from the Ministry Account of Robert & Ann Fuqua. A number of individuals, as well as a few businesses and churches, who have faithfully and sacrificially given to this account is what enables the Fuquas to continue to faithfully show up in these kids' lives, serving as a reminder that they have a faithful Heavenly Father whose love for them will never fail them. These funds also continue to fuel the work of the ministry team, taking "Days of Joy" to the orphanages, hosting camps for orphans throughout the year, the You Are Not Alone Club, and the Advocacy efforts. Thank you for your prayers and your gifts that keep this ministry going.
As you can see by our Financial Update, we are in need of adding ministry partners. You may know people in your circle of friends who would love to learn of the opportunity to partner in what God is doing through this ministry. If so, follow the "Contact Us" link to begin a conversation about getting together or hosting an informational event in your home, social circle, or Sunday School class.