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2019 - The Year to Shine Brightest
by Mike Douris
Posted on Tuesday, January 01, 2019
As we end 2018 and begin 2019, we are thankful for all the ways the Lord has provided and used Orphan Outreach for His glory.  Our prayer has always been to be in the center of His will both as individual servants and as a ministry in light of Ephesians 2:10

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

All our donors and volunteers and amazing staff that are part of the Orphan Outreach family have made that possible, and the blessings to children around the world are very evident of that faithful service.

We have had our loss and challenges as well this year.  The year began with Morgan Scott (part of our missions staff) losing her 29-year old husband Caleb to a sudden heart attack.  Then on Christmas Day , our Director of Administration Beth Galway lost her daughter Sydney. Only 21 years old, she died after a courageous two-year battle with leukemia. And yet, In the midst of these sorrows and the many struggles that the children we serve face daily, Christ continues to provide strength, hope and joy.  The character of a ministry is not defined alone by growth, numbers served, or money raised but how it responds to the most challenging of times.  Our staff, donors and volunteers have rallied around those who have suffered loss and in the midst of that sorrow brought hope, comfort and joy because of Him who sustains us—and that is the true essence of the Gospel

In the midst of the challenges, the Lord blessed the work of Orphan Outreach in so many ways.  I cannot begin to list all the ministry that was accomplished or describe all the ways children have been blessed, but I would be remiss not to share some of the highlights.

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In Kenya, the Paula Hayes Memorial Dining Hall and Community Center was added to the ACK Madeleine School campus, and two wells have brought fresh living water to both that school and the community of Patmos Junior School in Nairobi’s Mathare Slum. We finished developing the protocols for privatized foster care in partnership with the government of Honduras and will begin training both the public and private sector in 2019.  In addition, we added an exciting partnership with Esperanza de Jesus, located near San Pedro Sula.  Ministry founders Mike and Kim Miller will work under Orphan Outreaches umbrella of ministries in Honduras.

Our work in Guatemala has grown, thanks to new programs at the Community Center in Chimaltenango, and expansion of the work abused and trafficked girls and their children at both Hope & Future and the Xela Government Home.  We also began a new partnership with Cada Niño in Guatemala City, the faithful work of Timothy and Sharie Martiny. You’ll hear more about this exciting venture for highly vulnerable children in the upcoming months!

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Our graduate program continues to grow in both Russia and Ukraine and we began a new family support center in Latvia for children living in the naval port in Liepaja.  We began our support of a community center in Nepal this year and expanded our work with the HIV/AIDS program Gan Sabra in India—particularly in support of vulnerable families in the community that are impacted by HIV/AIDS.

That is just a small portion of all the work that is being done in all the countries we serve. Thank you for being part of our journey to served the orphaned and vulnerable.

This coming year promises to be a year of growth in ministries as we work to go deeper in all the countries we serve.  There are some plans to evaluate new projects and countries, but our primary emphasis will be to expand the impact of our existing ministries. Our hope is to recruit more staff with expertise in child welfare, education, spiritual development and public sector engagement.  We are also planning on expanding training and codifying our work in different countries to assist others in developing similar ministries.  We will be restructuring some of our management in order to better serve our partners and add support to the programs we manage directly.  Our greatest challenge will be to continue to develop our fundraising infrastructure.  For us to continue to improve our impact we need to be able to increase our resources to support those efforts. We ask for your continued prayers and support as we serve.

We are looking forward to 2019 to see how the Lord guides and directs Orphan Outreach and see the fruit He will produce through the efforts our or staff, partners, donors and volunteers.  He is always faithful to do beyond what we may ask or think, and it is such a privilege to be His hands and feet to care for the least of these and fulfill His mandate to minister to orphans and widows in their distress.

Thank you to all who make our ministry possible! Together, we shine brightest where the world is darkest.

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