Hi! My name is David Rathbone and I am the Executive Director of Visiting Orphans. We are a sister organization to America World and we were actually formed back in 2005 due to the strong desire of America World families and staff to help more orphans around the world.
Since then we have grown and our mission for helping orphaned children has become more focused. I am posting here because I want to get the word out to more AW families such as yours about how you can be a part of impacting more orphaned children’s lives.
I will share a little bit more about what we are doing below but also make sure to check out our website, www.visitingorphans.org for more information.
What we do –
Visiting Orphans seeks to fulfill the biblical mandate given in James 1:27 of “visiting orphans” in their distress. We do this by working with Christian churches and organizations to help orphans experience the blessing of family through:
Reunification with the biological family
Transitional Services (group home or foster care)
Adoption (either domestic or international)
Every child has the right to a loving family. It is God's true design for the upbringing of children. Yet currently 148 million children around the world have been denied that right. At Visiting Orphans we believe that families are the solution to this crisis. Orphanages serve their purpose, but we can all agree that it is not the best place for a child to grow up. We want to partner with orphanages to work towards getting orphaned children into a “family”. The sad reality is that children are stuck in an orphanage until they turn 18 due to barriers outside of their control. Many times it is simply because they lack the proper legal documentation or their situation has not been properly investigated by a social worker. Both are processes that may only take a few days by a trained professional but currently do not happen in many orphanages. We seek to provide such resources to children in addition to making sure they physical and spiritual needs are met. We want to turn orphanages into in essence temporary homes where children live while they await their opportunity for a family. We do this by creating partnerships with like-minded orphanages and churches who are committed to these goals.
We also provide short-term missions trips to visit and work in orphanages. We want people to know the name of each child in an orphanage. Many of our trip participants have adopted through America World and have felt God’s calling to do more. These are the some of the greatest advocates children can have; people who have seen the true power of adoption and who want to help provide more children with the opportunity for a family.
How you can be involved –
1. Join us on a mission-trip and bring your family! Spending a week getting to know orphaned children is surely a life-changing experience. We send teams of individuals and families year-round to China, Ethiopia, Honduras, and El Salvador. To learn more click here.
2. Partner with Visiting Orphans to “adopt” an orphanage through your church. If your church doesn’t have an orphan-care ministry, great! You can start one! If it already does consider spearheading a new partnership. Our long-term goal is to foster mutually beneficial relationships between orphanages abroad and churches in the United States that seek to provide orphaned children with the opportunity for a family. To learn more about our Church Partnership Programs click here.
3. Pray! We need all the prayer support we can get! Please pray that our organization would be walking in God’s will.
4. Consider financially supporting Visiting Orphans in our efforts.
I will be making occasional blog updates here but for more information check out our website, www.visitingorphans.org. Also, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!
We are so grateful at Visiting Orphans for the work America World is doing. It is also important note that we are a testament to America World’s devotion to the entire cause of the orphan. It doesn’t stop at adoptions with these folks. Every staff person is committed to serving orphans in whatever capacity possible. And from my experience, the same is true of its families.
Thanks for reading and have a happy New Year!