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Helping the Whole Orphan in Africa

Pastor of Victory Faith Church in Kenya, Carla Porter discusses what her church is doing to help bring healing to orphans in Africa. Read Transcript


TERRY MEEUWSEN (VOICEOVER): They have come

from utter poverty and despair.

They liken their journey to the Israelites

breaking out of bondage, and it's a fitting comparison.

Their orphanage was run by a group of corrupt individuals

who were pocketing the money instead

of providing for the children.

The orphans were eating stale and moldy food,

had no uniforms to go to school, and were

always fearful of the drunken night guard who would hit them,

all this combined with their own issues of childhood abandonment

and loss.

Eric's father died when he was three.

A year later, his mother committed suicide.

Alice lost her father at age three.

That's when her mother started beating her.

Eunice's parents died when she was four and nine.

She was passed between relatives,

but nobody seemed to have the money to care for her.

I felt like I was nothing.

And even when I see other children,

I saw them better than me.

TERRY MEEUWSEN (VOICEOVER): Eunice

remembers she wished then that she had never been born.

Eric's aunt used to beat him because she didn't want him

in their home.

One day, she dropped him at the orphanage.

Understandably, he had a lot of anger inside.

At that time, I wanted to be a police officer,

to beat people thoroughly.

I thought of being a teacher, so

that I can beat up children the way my mom used to beat me.

TERRY MEEUWSEN (VOICEOVER): Alice

lived with beatings for eight years

before social workers brought her to the orphanage.

But conditions there weren't much better,

and she planned to run away.

I was thinking of going and living on the streets

instead of living such a horrible life.

TERRY MEEUWSEN (VOICEOVER): Conditions at the orphanage

reached a crisis point.

One night the drunken caretaker allowed a rapist gang

into the compound.

But neighbors heard, the police were called,

and the attack was stopped.

Without any knowledge of the ongoing abuse and neglect,

members of a local church came to visit.

When they saw the extent of the need,

they reached out with food, clothing, and encouragement.

In a very unusual decision, authorities

asked the church to take over the orphanage.

Orphans Promise came alongside the local church,

providing immediate funds to get the children into school.

The partnership of Orphans Promise

has helped us take these children out

of a very deep pit.

We could not believe our ears when the pastors

made this announcement.

Like a dream, things started changing, good meals,

new uniform, new shoes, new clothes,

and we are able to go back to school,

and that is when we started living, not surviving.

Our freedom came at last.

Well, joining me now is Pastor Carla Porter

of Living Faith International, and we're

so glad to have you here.

Thank you, Terry.

We're so glad to be involved with the work

you're doing in Kenya.

You know, Carla when I first saw this story, what

touched me so much was the ability of these children

to communicate their pain and their healing.

I mean, that's astonishing.

I see adults who don't get to that place.

How did you help these kids come from brokenness and woundedness

and a lack of self-esteem to a place

of singing about the freedom God's given them?

Well, Terry, I think one of the most important things

is the anointing that God has given

us, the spirit of adoption, that we take them

into our hearts as our very own children.

We're not just quote, unquote, "helping them."

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Caring for them, right.

CARLA PORTER: Caring for them, but we receive them

into our hearts, into our church community,

and love them as our very own children.

And years ago, the Lord had shared

with my late husband and me, don't just keep them alive,

give them a life.

And that brought such a change in our hearts

that we stopped helping them and we began

fathering and mothering them.

They know they're loved.

You know, you have to meet the needs of children,

not just physically, physiologically,

but the need to be loved and accepted, it brings esteem.

And they feel a liberty to communicate

what's in their hearts.

They know they matter.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: How did the church

wind up becoming aware of the need there

and then stepping in?

Well, we simply, once a year in October, we as a Church

do community outreach.

We look for needs in the community,

and we make a special effort.

And we had been told about this orphanage,

and that it was in dire need.

And so as one of our care groups in the church said,

Pastor, we want to reach out to this orphanage,

and that was the beginning.

We found them in desperate need, without food,

without proper sanitation, terrible living conditions,

and very rejected by the community.

And we were told, well, no one will let us come to church.

When we walk into a church, everyone moves away from us.

So they had experienced tremendous rejection,

and I told them we would love for you to come to our church.

And we began sending a minibus every Sunday

to pick them up and bring them to church.

And they would come hungry, dehydrated.

They weren't clean.

They had terrible odor and so forth.

And we began to realize, oh, this

is much deeper than helping an orphanage for one time.

And eventually, the government asked

us to take over the orphanage.

Talk about the power of education

because it creates a hope and a future

that you don't really have without it.

You don't.

In fact, you will be consigned to a life of poverty.

You can rescue a child and leave them in the same circumstances.

Or you can rescue a child and bring deliverance in their life

from generations of poverty and lack of education.

It's very important that you meet

the physiological and emotional needs

so that they begin to have self-esteem

and realize I matter.

But then where I'm focused after that is their destiny in God.

Because Jeremiah 29:11 is for every orphan

and every vulnerable child.

God has a good plan for them, but they need an education.

And so I'm in the process of building Heritage Leadership

Academy.

The Lord has told us, raise up leaders for Me.

And with this Academy, I will be able to offer them

what we're not able to find in the school system in Kenya.

You're going to change a nation with this.

Oh, I receive that, Terry.

I believe that.

I give it as a word.

Praise God.

Listen, one of the things that I

see in the lives of every one of these children in that story

is people who should have loved them,

who should have cared about them were abusive to them.

How do you help them walk through the forgiveness?

Because you can't get to the freedom

they've gotten to without being able to release

people who harmed?

Terry, I tell them, you've had a difficult beginning,

but we teach them the gospel.

You've had a difficult beginning,

but now with God, all things are possible to you.

But the key to the power of God working in your life

is for you to walk in forgiveness.

And so we work with them in forgiving everyone,

from parents to other family members

to people that have been in their lives, all

who have abused them.

Because without that forgiveness,

you have an invisible barrier that prevents God's plan

from being fulfilled.

We want to thank you for what you do

and for being here with us today.

And I want you to know, if you'd like

to help children at Carla's orphanage, Our Home,

and be a part of the work Orphan's Promise is

doing around the world, then partner with us.

Our number is toll free, it's 1-800-700-7000.

And you can make a difference.

You can make a difference.

You can set people free.

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