Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Christmas Reminder

A year ago the pastor at the church I attend told this story in his Sunday sermon. I was thinking about it today and thought it should be shared. As we reflect on what the true meaning of Christmas is let us remember that it is not about toys, parties, cookies, clothes, vacations, etc. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ. For he did not come to teach us the way, he IS the way.

In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach morals and ethics in the public schools. They were also invited to teach at prisons, businesses, the fire and police departments and a large orphanage. The orphanage had about 100 boys and girls who had been abused, abandoned, and left in the care of the government-run institution.

Near the end of the holiday season the Americans had an opportunity to tell these orphans, for the first time, the traditional story of Christmas. They told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger. Throughout the story, the children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they listened. Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp every word.

Completing the story, the Americans gave the children three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper square, cut from yellow napkins one of the Americans had brought with him. No colored paper was available in the city.

Following instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully laid strips in the manger for straw. Small squares of flannel, cut from a worn-out nightgown, were used for the baby's blanket. A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt they had brought from the United States. The orphans were busy assembling their manger as the Americans walked among them to see if they needed any help.

All went well until one of the Americans, Will Fish, got to a table where little Misha sat. He looked to be about 6 years old and had finished his project. As Will looked at the little boy's manger, he was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. Quickly, he called for the translator to ask the boy why there were two babies in the manger. Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at this completed manger scene, Misha began to repeat the story very seriously. For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related the events accurately until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger.

Then Misha started to ad-lib. "And when Mary laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don't have any place to stay.

Then Jesus told me I could stay with Him. But I told him I couldn't, because I didn't have a gift to give Him like everybody else did. But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept Him warm, that would be a good gift.

"So I asked Jesus, 'If I keep You warm, will that be a good enough gift?' Jesus told me, 'If you keep Me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave Me.' I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and He told me I could stay with Him - for always."

As little Misha finished his story, his tears splashed down his young cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon him. Someone who would stay with him - for always!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gifts that give back!

Over the year we have many opportunities to purchase gifts for someone special, whether it be a holiday gift or just because. By choosing a "Gift of Hope" you will meet the real needs of the orphans in Kazakhstan and Russia!

All of the items in the catalog were specifically requested from orphanage directors we work with and will make a huge impact on the children still waiting for their forever families.

How it works:

1) Select "Gifts of Hope" that will go directly to an orphan in need. You can purchase an entire item or make a donation towards the total of the item.
2) Give your gift "in honor" of a friend or family member.
3) Check out and print your greeting card!

Gifts that give back are a perfect way to honor your friends and family while taking care of the orphans who have nothing!

Please visit our site today -

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Pair of Shoes

I just finished reading "Red Letters" by Tom Davis.  In Chapter 9: Snapshots of Hope, Davis recounts the story of a young woman living in Russia.  As you read the story below I encourage you to think of the orphans we are trying to help through Christmas for Russia.

Natasha Koryakina is a second-year university student in Russia, majoring in foreign languages.  She looks like any happy normal Russian young woman, and you might guess she comes from a happy normal home.  You'd be guessing wrong.  Her happiness isn't the product of a wonderful family life.  In fact, her past is marked by pain, abandonment, and abuse.  So where did she find her smile?  

It was a gift handed to her by a man name George Steiner.

"I still remember how George put shoes on my feet when I was at Neya orphanage.  It was me and another boy from my class.  We still talk about it every time we get together.  That small, little moment changed our lives in a profound way."

In the ten years that have passed since that "small, little moment," Natasha graduated from one of the worst orphanages in the Kostroma region and entered a tech school in Kostroma.  She eventually got plugged in to the Ministry Center and graduated from her tech school with honors before being accepted to Kostroma State University, a truly rare accomplishment (less than 1 percent of orphans reach this milestone).

The odds were against Natasha.  Most girls living in Russian orphanages are forced to leave when they turn fifteen or sixteen.  Within two years of their release, 15 percent commit suicide and 60 percent end up as prostitutes.

But when George Steiner put those shoes on her feet, he tipped the scale just enough with his encouragement and compassion to help her rise above the statistics.  

His small act helped her believe in herself.  

Natasha will never forget George.  All he did was give her shoes.  But God used those shoes to help Natasha walk into a wonderful, new hope-filled life.

Can you imagine that this simple act of kindness changed Natasha's life forever?  One pair of shoes saved her life!

Think about how a small box of presents given with love this Christmas can bring just enough hope to these children to get them through the day, week, month...maybe the rest of their lives.

Please consider supporting an orphan in Russia today!  These children are always on the top of God's priority list, make them the top of your list this Christmas!

Visit and ACT today!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Christmas for Russia

The holidays are fast approaching!  This year we are giving you the opportunity to truly make a difference in the life of an orphan!  We have been blessed with the opportunity to provide each child at Children's Home #1 in the Novgorod Region of Russia with a special gift of their own this Christmas.

Children's Home #1 is home to 200 children age 6-17.  Your $15 will sponsor 1 child.  Each child will receive a wrapped shoebox full of goodies!  Father Christmas will be delivering the shoeboxes to all the children at a Christmas celebration in January.  Our in-country friends will purchase the gifts, deliver them and snap photos of the party!

Donations can be made on our website  or mailed to:

Two Hearts for Hope
P.O. Box 1928
Lebanon, MO 65536

Deadline for supporting these children is December 1, 2011.  

We hope you will add a child from Russia to your gift-giving list this Christmas!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 40

Day 40: "Today, thank the Lord for the past 40 days of prayer for orphans.  Ask Him to bring more prayer warriors into battle.  Ask Him to help you to continue praying diligently.  Ask Him to continue to give you His love for the orphans.  Ask Him to continue to challenge the hearts of your congregation that "He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward him for what he has done."  Proverbs 19:17

Saturday, November 5, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 39

Day 39: "Today, pray for the health of orphans around the world.  Ask the Lord to provide medications and treatment for the simple things that are unnecessarily killing children like unclean drinking water, malaria, dysentery, AIDS and malnutrition."

Friday, November 4, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 38

Day 38: "Today, pray for street children.  These children live under bushes and in dumps and sewage pipes.  They may eat meals out of trash cans.  Many people walk by them without seeing them or view them as pests.  Ask God to open the churches' eyes to help them see the orphans all around them.  Ask the Lord to provide food and shelter for the street children."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 37

Day 37: "Today, pray for families who are in the adoption process.  Pray that God will provide the funds and help them with all the necessary details."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 36

Day 36: "Today, ask the Lord to release and speed any care supplies to refugee camps where many orphans live and need even the most basic necessities.  Ask Him to cut through any governmental regulations or corrupt leaders to miraculously get the supplies delivered to where they are needed most."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 35

Day 35: "Today, ask the Lord to encourage and strengthen your church.  Caring for orphans and changing attitudes and beliefs and actions is tough work and the enemy is bound to attack.  Ask for protection for your pastor, his family, their health, and their ministry.  Ask for God's hand of blessing on their lives."

Monday, October 31, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 34

Day 34: "Today, pray for yourself and the other prayer team members.  Ask the Lord for strength.  Ask Him to help you not grow weary in battling for the orphans on your knees."

Creation Groans from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 33

Day 33: "Today, ask the Lord to help your church be an example of the Lord's love for orphans as written in Psalm 10:17-18 "The helpless put their trust in You.  You are the defender of the orphans Lord, You know the hopes of the helpless.  Surely You will listen to their cries and comfort them.  You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so people can no longer terrify them." 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 32

Day 32: "Today, pray that every member of your church would remember and acknowledge and praise the Lord that before the world was made, He loved us and chose us, and that His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ and that this gave Him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:3-5)"

40 Days of Prayer, day 31

Day 31: "Today, pray for families in countries all over the world who have room in their homes and hearts for a fatherless child.  Ask that the Lord would speak to them even now, leading them to consider adoption or foster care."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 30

Day 30: "Today, ask God to protect children affected by war and violent conflicts.  Pray that the Lord will protect their vulnerable hearts and keep them safe.  Pray that the church will reach out to them."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 29

Day 29: "Today, pray for mothers and fathers who might be having trouble caring for their children and feel they need to give them up or abandon them.  Ask God to help them find support.  Ask the Lord to meet their needs and give them the resources to be able to take care of their children."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 28

Day 28: "Today, pray for families who are taking care of their grandchildren or nieces or nephews in addition to their own children.  Ask the Lord to bless them for their sacrifice and to provide enough food, clothes, education, and shelter for all of their children."

Monday, October 24, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 27

Day 27: "Today, ask God to care for child-headed households.  Pray that the Lord will provide for their needs.  Pray that an adult would come alongside them and adopt them.  Ask the Lord to protect them from abuse."

5K Day!

We had such a fantastic time at An Orphan's Hope on Saturday!

Thank you to everyone who supported us by donating, sponsoring, attending and volunteering!

It was great to see old friends and make new ones.  We had a great time talking to everyone, especially those that registered without being familiar with Two Hearts.  

There was a soldier in the Army who registered the day of because he found the event online and, after just returning from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, knew he had to be here.  

Our first place winner was in town for his 10 year college reunion and was looking online for races in the area.  After finding many, he chose the race that he thought had the best cause.

There were runners that attend local colleges and are now aware of the plight of the orphan in Kazakhstan and Russia.  

Even a lady who was just taking a walk through the park came over to our pavilion to ask about us and donated to the project! 

The event raised $7795 for the Ust-Kamenogorsk Window Project and there are still more donations coming in! 

We have received such great feedback and are so excited the day was awesome!  Even the face painter commented on how sweet and polite the kids were. Our 2nd year was a wonderful success!  All the glory to God!

Congratulations to:

Men's Overall Winners:

1) Peter Winterburn 22:30
2) David Prud'homme  25:25   
3) Eric Endsley  29:06

Women's Overall Winners:

1) Stacy Segebarth  30:33
2) Samantha Johnson  30:52
3) Dani DePoy  31:08

Child 5 and under winner: Aidan Heasley

Child over 6 and over winner: Natalie Tiller

Superlative Awards:

Team that collected the most money: Teak Aktobe (The Dykes Family, The Feliciano Family, and The Egan Family)
Child that collected the most money: Nick Kitzman

The results are posted here -

If you would like to see pictures, "like" us on facebook -

Sunday, October 23, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 26

Day 26: "Today, pray for children who are not yet orphans but may only have one parent who may be sick or dying.  Pray for health and safety of their parent.  Pray for God's provision.  Pray for protection for the children in these households."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 25

Day 25: "Today, pray for God's provision for your church's orphan care ministry.  Ask Him to provide people, prayers, money and food, and supplies to give the orphans all the care they need."

Want to start an orphan ministry in your church?  Check out this website and watch the video to learn how!

Friday, October 21, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 24

Day 24: "Today, pray for any church staff members and leaders.  Ask for the Lord's hand of blessing in their lives.  Lift up the health and safety of them and their families.  Ask also that the Lord would break their hearts for the orphans in your community."

For God So Loved - OS from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 23

Day 23: "Today, ask the Lord to strengthen the faith and resolve of Christians woking in orphan ministries."

We covet your prayers.  Please lift up Stacy and Kim, our in-country teams in Kazakhstan and Russia, and our Board of Directors as we seek to live out Proverbs 31:8 and speak up for the ones who can't speak for themselves.

To meet our Board of Directors, click here

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 22

Day 22: "Today, pray for the families who have members living with HIV and AIDS.  Pray for the children orphaned by this disease.  Ask God to provide treatment, care and support through the church."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 21

Day 21: "Today, pray for the government leaders in your country.  Ask the Lord to burden their hearts for the orphans.  Ask that they would feel compelled to protect and provide for orphans."

Did you know:

There are nearly 500,000 children in foster care in the United States. 
Over 250,000 will never return home.
Over 123,000 need adoptive homes right now.
More than 29,000 aged out of foster care in 2008, at age 18 without anyone, to live on their own, unprepared and unsupported.

Can you change the life of a waiting child?
Can you adopt? Can you foster

Monday, October 17, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 20

Day 20: "Today, pray that the Christians in your village, town, city, and country would believe and live out the truth of Proverbs 14:31 "He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God."

This is The Harbor.  We were blessed to be able to spend the night here when we visited Russia in May.  This organization is fantastic and a great way for you to honor God by honoring the needy.  The orphans in Russia truly have no one when they leave the orphanage system.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 19

Day 19: "Today, pray for your Pastor.  Ask God to provide him with resources, encouragement, courage, and a strong prayer team to support him as he seeks to live out James 1:27 "Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us."

Is the Orphan My Neighbor? Russell D. Moore
I will never forget seeing her pull the measuring tape out of her purse as she talked about the skull of her child.
The woman, standing in an airport in Russia with my wife and me, was, like us, an American. She, like us, was in the former Soviet Union to pursue adoption. But she was worried. She had heard “horror stories” about fetal alcohol syndrome and various other nightmares. She said that the measuring tape was for gauging the size of the craniums of her potential children, to “make sure there’s nothing wrong with them.”
The reason I think about this conversation so much these days is because I am finding—more and more often—that one of the primary obstacles for Christians in advocating for the fatherless can be summed up right there in that measuring tape: the issue of fear. As much as we might not want to admit it, many of us don’t think much about orphans because, frankly, we’re scared of them.
Orphans are unpredictable. Often we don’t know where they’ve come from, what kind of genetic maladies and urges lie dormant somewhere in those genes. Moreover, in virtually every situation of fatherlessness, there is some kind of tragedy: a divorce, a suicide, a rape, a drug overdose, a disease, a drought, a civil war, and on and on. We’d rather not think about such things, and we’re afraid often of what kind of lasting mark they leave on their victims.
Those of us who know Christ ought to recognize that fear is often a deterrent to justice, a deterrent that has been indicted, crucified, and buried in the triumph of Jesus. In Jesus’ story of the so-called “good Samaritan,” after all, Jesus presents us with a man who “fell among robbers” and was beaten, nearly to death (Lk. 10:30). With little commentary on why, Jesus tells us, simply, that two passers-by, both religious officials, moved on to the other side, to avoid the wounded man (Lk. 10:31-32).
While many have speculated that there might have been theological reasons behind their neglect (the fear of becoming ceremonially unclean from touching a corpse), the most compelling reason I’ve ever heard was from Martin Luther King, Jr., who wondered whether the passers-by were simply afraid.
After all, there were no streetlights on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho—the setting of this story. There was no police force. A man beaten by terrorists is a good signal that the evildoers are still about, perhaps hiding in the caves along the roadside, lying in wait for their next victim. Moving on along, quickly and quietly, probably just seemed like prudence.
But Jesus never was one for justification by prudence alone. He praised a Samaritan—a reviled outcast from the official religious structures—for the compassion he demonstrated toward this man. And the compassion Jesus commended—and commanded from us in imitation—wasn’t mere charity. The Samaritan didn’t simply help the beaten man; he gave him his own animal, set him up in an inn, and paid for all his expenses for his ongoing care (Lk. 10:34-35). Any Israelite hearing this account would have seen immediately what was going on. The Samaritan was treating the beaten man like family.
Right now, there is a crisis of fatherlessness all around the world. Chances are, in your community, the foster care system is bulging with children, moving from home to home to home, with no rootedness or permanence in sight. Right now, as you read this, children are “aging out” of orphanages around the world. Many of them will spiral downward into the hopelessness of drug addiction, prostitution, or suicide. Children in the Third World are languishing in group-homes, because both parents have died from disease or have been slaughtered in war. The curse is afoot, and it leaves orphans in its wake.
Not every Christian is called to adopt or to foster children. And not every family is equipped to serve every possible scenario of special needs that come along with particular children. Orphan care isn’t easy. Families who care for the least of these must count the cost, and be willing to offer up whatever sacrifice is needed to carry through with their commitments to the children who enter into their lives.
But, while not all of us are called to adopt, the Christian Scriptures tell us that all of us are called to care “widows and orphans in their distress” (Jas. 1:27). All of us are to be conformed to the mission of our Father God, a mission that includes justice for the fatherless (Exod. 22:22; Deut. 10:18; Ps. 10:18; Prov. 23:10-11; Isa. 1:17; Jer. 7:6; Zech. 7:10). As we are conformed to the image of Christ, we share with him his welcoming of the oppressed, the abandoned, the marginalized; we recognize his face in the “least of these,” his little brother and sisters (Matt. 25:40).
The followers of Jesus should fill in the gap left by a contemporary Western consumer culture that extends even to the conception and adoption of children. Who better than those who have been welcomed by Christ to care for the most feared and least sought after of the world’s orphans? After all, who are we, as those who are the invited to Jesus’ wedding feast? We are “the poor and the crippled and the blind and the lame” (Lk. 14:21). Since that is the case, Jesus tells us, we are to model the same kind of risk-taking, unconditional love (Lk. 14:12), the kind that casts out fear.
Yes, orphan care can be risky. Justice for the fatherless will sap far more from us than just the time it takes to advocate. These kids need to be reared, to be taught, to be hugged, to be heard. Children who have been traumatized often need more than we ever expect to give. It is easier to ignore those cries. But love of any kind is risky.
The Gospel means it’s worth it to love, even to the point of shedding your own blood. After all, that’s what made a family for ex-orphans like us.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 18

Day 18: "Today, ask the Lord to raise up respite care providers to support and give relief to the caregivers caring for orphans who are waiting to have families adopt them."

Friday, October 14, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 17

Day 17: "Today, ask for forgiveness for Christians around the world who forget the orphans and forget to heed 1 John 3:17 "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?"

A very powerful video!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 16

Day 16: "Today, pray that because of God's mercy, He will provide caregivers and counselors for children who have been abused."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 15

Day 15: "Today, pray for yourself as a church member.  Ask the Lord to lead you on, that you might walk in obedience.  Ask God to show you how to encourage your church family or youth to care for the needs of orphans."

In you the orphan finds mercy.
Hosea 14:3
Never take advantage of any widow or orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, you can be sure that I will hear their cry.
Exodus 22:22-23
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."
Romans 8:14-16
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
Galatians 4:4-6
You are the helper of the fatherless. LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.
Psalms 10:14,17-18
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
James 1:27
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.
Psalms 68:5-6
When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don’t go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do.
Deuteronomy 24:19
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
Isaiah 1:17
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
Proverbs 31:8-9
And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.
Matthew 18:5
I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!
Matthew 25:40

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

At work in Russia

Bright Smiles - Novgorod

Last month the Russian division of Colgate donated 200 new toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste to the children's home in the Novgorod region of Russia!

We were told some of the toothbrushes were the electric type and the children thought they were the coolest thing!

A note from the director:

"Thank you very much for your help in arranging the gifts from the company Colgate: the toothpaste and toothbrushes. These items are always needed.  We have begun our school year. The children have begun their studies, they are playing sports and are involved in the Arts. They grew so much over the summer. Those who lived with families learned a great deal from their experiences.  We are sad to part with our graduates, but they have moved on to their own adult lives now.  They are fine adults, we are happy for their accomplishments. 
Thank you again. Good luck in all your nobel deeds."

Medical Supplies - Volgograd

We also started to work in the Volgograd region.  Last month we were able to support one of the baby orphanages by purchasing medical supplies for the disabled children.  

We purchased:
- 4 laser radiation therapy devices
- Inhalers
- Walkers
- Shoe covers
- Rubber gloves
- Sterile gowns
- Gauze
- Air Ionizer 

We were also able to help a sweet little girl at this orphanage in need of surgery.  We assisted with some of the fees needed for her upcoming surgery:

Thank you to all who continue to support TH's in Russia.  We love being able to help these sweet children and continue to thank the Lord for your overwhelming love and support!

40 Days of Prayer, day 14

Day 14: "Today, pray that your whole congregation will believe and be convicted by Proverbs 22:9 "A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor."  Ask for the Lord's blessings on those who share their food with orphans."

Monday, October 10, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 13

Day 13: "Today, ask the Lord to lead the lawmakers in every nation to protect and provide for orphans."

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption is a great resource for lawmakers and families. 
"The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) is a non-profit organization that works to raise awareness about the needs of children without families and to remove policy barriers that hinder children from knowing the love and support a family provides.  CCAI is unique in that each of our programs brings together policymakers and individuals with direct foster care or adoption experience.  We have found that when policymakers hear direct experiences of those affected by orphan and child welfare policy, they become engaged in this issue and work to bring about legislative improvements in an effort to ensure each child has their right to a family realized."

Check out all the fantastic work they are doing on behalf of the fatherless!

Website -

Facebook -

Blog -

Vimeo -

Sunday, October 9, 2011

40 days of Prayer, day 12

Day 12: "Today, pray God, the Defender of the orphan, will rise up and secure justice for the oppressed."

Though I Was Born an Orphan

Though I was born an orphan,
Abandoned and alone,
Enslaved and bound in darkness,
Without a hope or home,
The God of grace and mercy
From his eternal throne
Ordained to be my Father
And claim me as His own.

That I might be adopted
The Father sent his Son
To live in full obedience
And die for what I’ve done.
Now through his resurrection,
Through faith, with him I’m one.
A member of his household,
I am an heir, a son.

To soothe my fear and worry
The Spirit from on high
Was sent to be a witness
That “Father!” I might cry.
O How I love this Father!
I’m never left alone.
He’s come to dwell within me
Until he calls me home.

Since I have this adoption,
I cannot close my home
To widows and to orphans,
Abandoned and alone.
Lord, fill me with compassion
To love the fatherless,
That I might show the nations
How great my Father is!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 11

Day 11: "Today, pray specifically for any orphans you may know by name.  Pray for their healthy and safety.  Pray for their shelter.  Pray that they will be brought into loving families who will provide for their education."
Symbol and Symbat
Lisa and Lena


Friday, October 7, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 10

Day 10: "Today, ask the Father to set the lonely in families.  Pray specifically for families in your community who may be in the process of adopting an orphan.  Ask for God's provision for all their needs: physical, emotional and spiritual."

Adoption is a miraculous gift! It has changed our lives and because of it we are here serving the beautiful children left behind in the countries of our children's birth.

Christians are lovingly commanded by God to love others, particularly the innocent, the young, and the poor.  If you have ever felt even the smallest pang of curiosity about adoption, the merest flicker of interest in an orphaned child, ask God if he wants to fan it into a flame.  Then trust him to take care of the details.  As you consider adoption, focus on the resources you do have and let God take care of what you don't.

This Lord has greatly blessed our family through the gift of adoption:

N, adopted from Russia in 2005
J and H, adopted from Kazakhstan in 2007
E, adopted from Russia in 2009 
S, adopted from Kazakhstan in 2010

Thursday, October 6, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 9

Day 9: "Today, pray that God would break the heart of your city's pastors with the plight of orphans.  Ask that He would convict them to lead their churches to pray, go, and love in Jesus' name."

What Are The Benefits Of Short-Term Mission Trips?

·      A greater commitment to Christ and His plan.
Doing work for God, and seeing results, is like starting a fire. It is natural for it to continue and grow larger. Once you get a taste of it, you want more.  You will see first hand what breaks God's heart and you will have a greater desire to follow his command to care for orphans.

·      Advancement of the Kingdom of God.
Souls are usually won to Christ, churches are strengthened, missionaries are encouraged, by those taking short-term mission trips. No matter how big or small a project is you still are making a difference in the kingdom of God.

·      A better understanding of what it is like in other countries.
You realize that other countries and cultures are different. That other people have different ways of looking at life and doing things. Your thinking will expand to consider other ways of doing things which you never have before.

·      A better understanding of orphans and their universal needs.
You find out that children, though they may look different, are the same all over the world. They have the same feelings, hopes, and desires - they are human just like you are.  They need the same love and attention as your own children.  They have the right to care and love.  You will understand they deserve a better existence.  

·      A greater vision for missions.
When you see the need first-hand, orphans are not just statistics, but real children you will come to know and care about. Your heart will overflow with love while you are with the children and grieve for them once you return.  You will see that missions are an important part of any ministry, especially those that involve loving orphans.  You are more likely to come home and follow God's command to care for orphans.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

40 Days of Prayer, day 8

Day 8: "Today, pray for the Lord to raise up workers for the harvest from your church and community.  Ask Him to call Christians to go to the "fields of the fatherless" to experience the joy of caring for orphans as we are commanded in Isaiah 1:16-17...."Give up your wicked ways.  Learn to do good.  Seek justice.  Help the oppressed.  Defend the orphan.  Fight for the right of widows."

If you would like to get involved with Two Hearts for Hope, visit our website and fill out our volunteer form!  There are many ways to get involved with our organization.

You can:
1) Pray: All of the orphans in Kazakhstan and Russia have a name and a story. They are real children waiting for a family but unfortunately only 15% will ever find one. We can still make a difference in their lives with prayer. The power of prayer is very real and evident. Please keep the orphans of Kazakhstan and Russia in your daily prayers.

2) Organize a donation drive: We are always in need of physical donations for the children we visit. A great way to support us is to organize a donation drive in your church, school or community.

3) Participate in "An Orphan's Hope 5K":  Our 5K will be held at Edwin Warner Park in Nashville on the 22nd!  Join us for a family fun day as we walk or run for the orphans in Kazakhstan and Russia!  If you can't join us this year please consider becoming a sponsor.  100% of the money raised will go towards the Ust-Kamenogorsk window restoration project.

4) Join us on a mission trip

5) Donate:  98% of donations provide basic necessities to orphans living in Kazakhstan and Russia. We do not receive any compensation for our work.  Each person associated with our organization is a volunteer.   All cash gifts are tax-deductible. 

6) Shop in our store! 

"Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world when He can do something about it, but I am afraid He will ask me the same thing!"