Early this year, we told you about our four-step plan to make a lasting impact on Romania by building an “orphan care culture.”
But before we can build something new, we have to shore up the foundation—literally. Back in 1998, our first project as an organization was constructing an orphanage building in Oradea, Romania. This building (called Hope House) was completed in 2000, and it’s been the headquarters of our Romanian ministry ever since. But that ministry looks different today than it did 15 years ago—and so does the building.
In the early days, we had 16 children living at Hope House at any given time, while we worked to find them families. Today, we’re working on more children’s cases than ever before (36 as of this writing). But rather than living at Hope House itself, our children all live with their soon-to-be families. This arrangement became necessary due to changes in Romanian law, but it’s also an overall better environment for the children. Although Hope House was a beautiful and well-run children’s home, a loving family is always superior to an institution.
So what happened to the Hope House building? Well, it’s still in use as an office for our staff. But to be perfectly blunt, it’s seen better days. After years of hard wear as a home for abandoned children, Hope House is in dire need of both renovation and refurbishing as a real headquarters for our expanding ministry.
For years, we’ve been praying that God would supply the funds needed to renovate Hope House. A refurbished headquarters would allow us to hold counseling sessions on-site; host training workshops for parents (like the recent one featured here on our Facebook); and supply office space and equipment for additional staff as the ministry grows.
Recently, God answered our prayers in a clear and humbling way. On June 18, our board was scheduled to meet by phone conference to discuss the increasingly-urgent renovation need. Just as the meeting was set to begin, an unexpected text message came through to a board member’s phone from an anonymous donor, pledging a $35,000 matching gift for our annual July fundraiser. This generous donor promised to match every dollar we raise in regular giving during July, up to $35,000. If the entire goal is reached, the matching gift will be just the amount needed to fully fund the renovation. (Needless to say, our scheduled board meeting became a time of prayer and praise instead!)
This pledge means that our July Giving Challenge has added significance this year. Every dollar you give this July will serve a double purpose: first funding our regular work, and second securing a gift to renovate our ministry headquarters. You could think of it as a way to impact Romania both now (through the life of a child) and in the future (through the building from which we hope to launch an orphan care movement.)
But we’ll need some help to get there. In past years, our July goal has always been $20,000. We’ve occasionally overshot that goal by a little, but $35,000 is by far our highest July goal to date. This is a big goal, but we serve a big God—a God who sees the sparrows and certainly cares for the many Romanian children still waiting for families.
So if God is leading you to help this July, there are quite a few ways you could get involved:
1. Our “Summer Sales” effort is a fun way to get your family and community in on fundraising.
2. If you live in the greater DC area, our benefit concert on July 17 is another great opportunity.
3. Of course, the simplest way is just to give a donation of any amount. Remember, every gift this month will be doubled by a matching gift donor—and, we trust, multiplied even further by our gracious and mighty God. To Him be the glory!