A week before I left for Kyrgyzstan I got to get away with my husband for almost a week for the first time in about 7 years. We took time while there, to examine our family goals and put together strategies to get where we want to go in the future. We identified that we were moved by our church's passion for helping others - especially orphans/foster kids this year. I had volunteered a few times with Young Lives, Hollywood (a ministry to teenage mothers in foster care) this past spring and "adopted" a college student from China a few years ago. We decided we'd like to start a non-profit to help foster kids who age out of the system to have a place to call home and get on their feet. While in Kyrgyzstan, I found out that the church there started a home for girls who age out of the orphanages, which is at 15 or 16 years old there. You can't legally work in Kyrgyzstan until you're 18. That's quite a problem. So the church is bridging the gap. It was so cool to see nearly the exact ministry in action that my husband and I had just envisioned.
Our team visited the Oak House, which is what the church named the home in Bishkek for the girls in transition between orphanages and adulthood. I worked with one of these girls every day in the dance class. She was in charge of the dance over the course of the entire month of camp. She is 17 and super sweet and the newest resident of the Oak House. We also got to meet and have dinner with her roommates. They seemed happy, hopeful, and confident. Clearly the mentor-ship and provision of the church in making a difference in these girls lives. (to be continued)