Thursday, January 13, 2011

Show Hope

My featured organization for January's topic of Orphans/Orphan care is Show Hope.
(Originally Shaohannah's Hope)

This organization was founded by musician Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife as a result of their experience adopting three girls from China and seeing the desperate need of orphans around the world.
Show Hope is a ministry that enables individuals and communities to change the world for orphans by not only addressing a child’s need for food, shelter, care, and spiritual nourishment, but by also addressing the root issue for an orphan: the lack of a family.
I'll provide more information about this organization and the impact that they have had on my family later. What I want to share today is some facts about orphans worldwide:


What is the need?
* Over 130 million children have lost one or both parents.1
* Every 18 seconds another child becomes an orphan, without a mother or father.2
* At least 16.2 million children worldwide have lost both parents.3
* Every 14 seconds a child loses a parent due to AIDS.4
* Conflict has orphaned or separated 1 million children from their families in the 1990s.5

Where are they?
* 43.4 million orphans live in sub-Saharan Africa, 87.6 million orphans live in Asia, and 12.4 million orphans live in Latin America and the Caribbean.6
* 1.5 million children live in public care in Central and Eastern Europe alone.7
* At any given point there are over 500,000 children in the U.S. Foster Care system.8
* In some countries, children are abandoned at alarming rates, due to poverty, restrictive population control policies, disabilities or perceived disabilities, and cultural traditions that value boys more than girls.9

What about AIDS?
* More than 14 million children under the age of 15 have lost one or both parents to AIDS, the vast majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa.10
* By 2010, the number of children orphaned by AIDS globally is expected to exceed 25 million.11
* AIDS is more likely than other cause of death to result in children losing both parents.12
* As the infection spreads, the number of children who have lost parents to AIDS is beginning to grow in other regions as well, including Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.13

What happens to the children?
* Children are profoundly affected as their parents fall sick and die, setting them on a long trail of painful experiences often characterized by: economic hardship, lack of love, attention and affection, withdrawal from school, psychological distress, loss of inheritance, increased physical and sexual abuse and risk of HIV infection, malnutrition and illness, stigma, discrimination, exploitation, trafficking, and isolation.14
* Orphaned children are much more likely than non-orphans to be working in commercial agriculture, as street vendors, in domestic service and in the sex trade.15
* Unaccompanied boys are at high risk of forced or 'voluntary' participation in violence and armed conflict.16
* Orphanages, children's villages, or other group residential facilities generally fail to meet young people's emotional and psychological needs.17

What about foster care?
* On average, children stay in foster care for 30 months, or 2.5 years.18
* 118,000 children were waiting to be adopted on September 30, 2004.19
* On average, those children waiting for adoption have been in foster care for 43.8 months, almost 4 years.20
* Each year, an estimated 20,000 young people “age out” of the U.S. foster care system. Many are only 18 years old and still need support and services. Of those who aged out of foster care:21
Earned a high school diploma: 54%
Obtained a Bachelor's degree or higher: 2%
Were unemployed: 51%
Had no health insurance: 30%
Had been homeless: 25% 23
Were receiving public assistance: 30%

Is there any hope?
* Yes. There is One who infinitely loves each orphan and calls His people to join Him in caring for the fatherless. Each one of us can Show Hope to an orphan.
* If only 7% of the 2 billion Christians in the world would show hope to a single orphan, looking after the child in their distress, there would effectively be no more orphans. We can each do something.


  1. Dear Kate,

    Thoughts of you and your ministry came to me as I was in prayer this morning. I have to admit, that after first reading your blog, I felt a little overwhelmed and hopeless, but then the Lord showed me that I am to intercede for you, to lift you and what you do up continually. I especially prayed today that what you offer "educationally" would empower people to act and to move upon what their hearts and what the Lord is calling them to do. If you have any specific prayer request, please do not hesitate to email them to me at or post them on my blog. I also have a facebook page!/connie.haskell.
    Thank you for this article on the children....
    God's Blessings, Connie

  2. Connie,
    Thank you sooo much. That's so encouraging to hear! I've been hoping that this blog would be used as a force for good in some way, even if it's simply to simply increase people's awareness of injustices in our world. I decided to put it out there, even if nobody ever comes to read it. I pray that they do. Your prayers and sincerity are so very much appreciated!