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Join me in empowering women and embracing children! August 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — julieannclark @ 7:59 am

I regularly have people ask me how I travel with young kids, how I run a nonprofit, and how I am a (pastor’s) wife all at the same time. And my typical answer is that ‘orphan care came first, wife came second, mother came third… and in order for me to fully be who God created me to be, all 3 need to coexist’.

The longer answer (besides that I’m publishing this at 3:58 am– what does that tell you?) is that I’ve seen too much… experienced too much… and feel a sense of urgency that hits my gut every time I think about it too long. So I just move. And then I propel others to action with the same kind of vigor and energy that comes from being compelled.

What compels me? Truly, it’s the cycle of orphanhood that has always compelled me, since my first trip to Russia in 1993. Knowing that we have a God who heals, restores, and renovates through us, makes me run toward those and that which needs healed, restored, and renovated. I’ve spent decades studying this cycle, learning about those who fall victim to it, observing the crap methods that many countries (including our own) deal with these victims. I have seen the stats on how many orphans are orphans of orphans… And I know that sometimes, it’s just a *little* love, compassion, or helping hand that these victims need in order to break free from the oppression, poverty, neglect, and abuse that is/was their daily life.

Doma takes a look at orphanhood and gets to the ‘why’ behind it– we find women most vulnerable to orphaning their children and empower them. We know the long-lasting effects of growing up without a family, in an institution, in ‘the system’– add that to poverty like we’ve never seen before… and well, you know the rest…

Join me October 6-17 as we visit young ladies in Russia who grew up in the orphanage system, and who are now moms themselves. I’ll never forget when a female orphan graduate was visiting me in my home a few years ago. I observed that she didn’t know how to blow dry her hair, and then it hit me that she never had a mom to teach her the simplest daily living skills. She will tell you about the moment that changed her life forever— When a team visited her orphanage, someone asked her if she had heard that God had a plan for her life?

What else can we share with these young ladies just by living life with them for a short time? We will be hosting retreats for them, offering them a mother’s day out, and sharing with them the ‘power’ that is ours with Christ. True women’s empowerment, yeah?

Some of the moms are single, some are married.. so if you’re a guy, and you’re interested in joining our team, there is an opportunity for you to spend time with some of their husbands, as well. So be not deterred by all this mommy talk! (And we might actually go into some of my favorite places on earth (orphanages) just for a short visit… we’ll see!)

It’s not much time away from the daily grind. It’s not much money to redirect in your budget. But it will definitely make an immense impact on the lives of the women you meet, and of the toddlers and infants you spend time with. And of course, it will contribute significantly to breaking the orphan cycle.

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