Thanks to you, Artjoms journey from a Latvian orphanage to our home in Glendora, CA for the 2012 Christmas Season is FUNDED!
We have a specific need for walmart gift cards at this time so when he arrives we can get him over there to pick out toiletries, socks, boxers, jeans, and shoes, along with good winter gear to send him back with (jacket, boots, hat, scarf, gloves).
Prior to October 17th, I had viewed many pictures, read many bios, as I had been networking and spreading the word about New Horizons for Children, but when I read about Artjoms, in an instant I knew everything had changed. I wasn't just simply advocating for these orphans anymore. I was immediately convicted and my heart was his. Honestly, I thought it was absurd for me to attempt to host, yet God assured me that this was a child that needed us; that we had what he needed and if we didn't answer this call then it would not be done. This sounds a bit silly but He was very stern in His response to my doubt! I knew there would be some criticism and I've meet challenges and adversaries, but I trusted God. I stepped out in obedience, in blind faith, and now we get to prepare for Artjoms arrival December 16th or 17th!
Artjoms has suffered tremendous loss (losing his parents, then his grandmother, endured a kidnapping, and his younger brother and sister are in a different orphanage - all approved to be adopted separately), and yet in the midst of it, even in the rough Latvian orphanage he's been placed in, he stills walks to a lake to fish every day and feeds the stray cats with what he doesn't sell! What a wonderful heart he has!
We are requesting prayer specifically that God prepares Artjoms' heart for the love waiting here for him and, while he is with us, the teaching of his Father who will NEVER abandon him, and to have comfort, excitement, and complete safety in his travel, and for us all as a church family and friends, to prepare our hearts for this brave child; to come together and provide fellowship! Thank you so much...
"Artoyms is friendly, open and paid very close attention to our interview team! He is funny and understood their silly jokes even through translation and made great eye contact. He has had a very difficult past, as his parents left him and his grandmother raised him and 2 other siblings who are in process of being adopted by another family. Unfortunately, grandma didn’t send any of the kids to school, so when they were located and brought into the orphanage, they were all basically without any education. Now, though he is 14 he is only in the 3rd grade. His social worker said he is catching up very fast in math but in reading and writing he needs a lot of one on one attention, so he can grasp ideas and concepts that most kids get when they are 7-9 years old. He is diligent in his studies and his dream was to read and write! When the interview team asked what he would like to improve, he answered, reading and writing:) If he could change one thing, it would be for he and his siblings to be together and that he had gone to school and learned to read and write… he WANTS TO READ AND WRITE! We know his brother and sister and when we talked to him about them, he got quiet tears in his eyes. When we arrived, he and another boy were on the nearby lake catching fish and they explained to us that they have a little business selling their fish to the locals. When we asked how much they had made that day, they proudly explained 2 Lats, which is about $4. He also explained that if they don’t sell some of their fish, they bring it to the orphanage where it is cooked for them and they feed the stray cats who live around the orphanage! His favorite subject in school is math now. He has had a lack of opportunity in school and not a lack of ability. He wants attention from parents and would do well as youngest child or an only child with doting parents and a devoted mom! He is friendly, helpful, smaller than his age and just wants to be loved, more than most kids we meet anywhere!"
These Latvian orphans age-out (considered adults, sent out of the orphanages and onto the streets) at just 16 years of age and are left make their way in life with minimal education, few practical skills, and no guidance in one of the poorest countries in the European Union. Is it any wonder current UNICEF reports show more than 70% of orphan boys end up as criminals by the time they reach 18? That 60% of the girls become prostitutes? Or that 15% will commit suicide within two years of leaving the orphanage? Latvia has one of Europe’s lowest life expectancies, one of the world’s highest suicide rates, and the fourth highest rate of HIV/AIDS in all of Europe. These statistics tell us that like so many others, Artjoms doesn’t stand much of a chance without intervention.
Hosting makes a huge difference! This past summer, NHFC had 5 children hosted in California and because of one of them (being adopted now), there are 22 children from Lavia and the Ukraine being hosted this winter just in California alone!