As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, A Family for Every Orphan continues to pray for you and your family. We turn to God during times of fear and uncertainty.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.—Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Please join us as we pray for God’s truth to dwell in us and show us how to face these new challenges posed by the coronavirus. Times like these can be daunting, and it is our goal to be a source of hope and encouragement for you.
Father, we ask you to bless everyone around the world. We pray for healing for those who are sick and comfort for those who have lost someone due to this pandemic. We ask you to bless everyone who is experiencing financial hardship during this time of quarantine. We pray for all world and local leaders, that they would make good decisions and provide guidance to the public that will protect those who are vulnerable. Please give them wisdom on how to keep economies running despite the necessary quarantines.
Orphans and vulnerable children need you now more than ever! COVID-19 is affecting the communities we serve in, but our ministry efforts continue still.
How COVID-19 affects vulnerable children and orphans
- Currently, there are over 1 billion children around the world unable to attend school due to COVID-19
- Children are 3x more likely to be exposed to violence during times like these
- Many of the families you have helped are facing stressful financial concerns due to the virus’ impact
- The value of local currencies has dropped substantially around the world
- The children with and without families need our prayers and support more than ever
Recent news about COVID-19 has impacted us all. Our primary concern is for the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve. We are continuing to monitor information around COVID-19, including guidelines from federal, state, and local authorities.
A Family for Every Orphan will keep you updated with each of our international programs and their specific prayer requests. Many of our on-ground partners are reporting business shutdowns, curfews, lack of testing kits and ventilators, and many children out of school and without meals – all of which are negatively affecting vulnerable children and orphans.
*Please continue to check back to this page for further updates.*
COVID-19: AFFEO’s Response
Our ministry continues thanks to your generous support!
Specific things being done:
- Praying! With and for our on-ground partners throughout the world
- Helping children who have been adopted or are in foster care, especially those with situations that make them even more vulnerable, such as:
- Single parents
- Children with special needs
- Vanya, a 2 year-old boy with a compromised immune system. Read his story here!
- Helping connect local churches with local child protection service units. This offers coordinated support to children and families at risk during this crisis.
- Helping transfer in-person counseling/resources/trainings to be online and by phone. For example:
- In Romania, transitioning to trauma training online
- In Paraguay, providing support on Skype and phone to brand-new foster families. *Many of these families have welcomed children who have experienced trauma and are now adjusting to being in a new family while quarantined inside.*
Long-term impact and our plan:
- Keeping mission focus: children deserve to be safe and loving families
- Continuing or modifying as many programs as possible
- Empowering and partnering with local leaders
- Strengthening families that need support now more than ever
- Providing resources for parents on how to explain and approach COVID-19 with their children
- Partnering with governments and continuing legal advocacy for orphans and vulnerable children. For example:
- Non-emergency court cases are halted in many countries right now, meaning fewer adoptions/foster placements are happening. Advocating for swift returns to this and better systems of support
How you can help:
- Amidst the fear and craze of this world COVID-19 pandemic, you can protect one child. A gift today will help Vanya continue receiving his immunodeficiency medicine which is critical right now. Give him life-saving medicine today!
- Consider giving to help vulnerable children and orphans around the world during this crisis. Your support enables vital work to continue, helping children grow up in loving families.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Updates and Prayers
Eastern Europe and Central Asia – Ukraine, Romania, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan
We have received messages from several of our partners on-ground that they have had to stop normal services to children and families but they are now trying to react to the new crisis of families running out of money for essentials such as food and disinfectants. The most vulnerable families to the current crisis are the single mothers and families with special needs children who cannot leave with their children to go get food. Christian large group foster homes are having to keep staff on-site 24/7 and incurring additional expenses due to increased hours and the amount of food consumed.
In Ukraine and Romania, all of the government social service offices have been shut down and adoptions, foster placements, and identification of children in crisis have halted. We have had some partners move training and support services to parents to online platforms. We are looking for ways to work with our partners to utilize this time to finish video and translation projects that can be done from home offices. In Romania an adoptive family camp that was planned in May will most likely be cancelled, but our partners are hopeful they can run another camp in August. According to our partner in Kyrgyzstan, there are 1 million people in Bishkek (capital and largest city in Kyrgyzstan), and only 12 respirators available.
Father, we pray for the children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, especially those who are vulnerable. We pray for all of the single mothers and families who are now without work and cannot afford to buy essentials like food and disinfectants. We also lift up all of the families who care for children with special needs and do not have anyone who can stay with them while they get food or supplies. We pray that you would strengthen and encourage the parents who are struggling, especially those who have children with special needs or who suffered from trauma before being adopted. We pray for the children who were waiting for adoptions, foster placements and reunifications to happen but will now have to wait even longer because all of the government offices are shut down. Lord, protect the people of Kyrgyzstan who are experiencing a shortage of respirators for their hospitals. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Southeast Asia – India, Bangladesh, and Nepal
Our on-ground partners in India and Nepal are reporting that towns and cities are facing shutdowns. In India, a curfew has been declared, which is affecting many people in the country. Government school is shut down until April 14 and many children will go hungry due to the school shutdown. 80 children’s homes in India have been trained on COVID-19 prevention, risks, and hygiene measures and masks have been provided to children who are ill. Many of our partners have also shifted to telecommuting.
The virus has not spread through Bangladesh, but the government is encouraging people to stay home. Our partners in Bangladesh say that they are fully running on faith every day and they are depending on God’s grace for their ministry and for their families.
Father, we lift up our brothers and sisters and their families in Southeast Asia. As these countries shut down completely, we pray for everyone and especially the most vulnerable. Make ways for your people to serve the most vulnerable during this time, while keeping them and their families healthy and safe. We pray for hospitals that are over capacity that you would protect the nurses and doctors as they serve the sick.
Father, we also want to lift up the children and families who are in the adoption process currently, both domestically and internationally in Southeast Asia. Father, would you make ways for these children to come home, make ways for them to be with their forever families despite this crisis. We pray for the government to act with compassion and haste for the protection of the kids. We pray this is Jesus’ name, Amen.
Africa – Uganda and Ghana
Our partners in Ghana report that all the COVID-19 cases are adults and most are imported cases and few are local transmission. They hope that the closure of borders will facilitate the import cases as we reduce the community spread. On-ground team members report: “The numbers are on the rise, our prayers will also rise up. May God save us now in Jesus’ name.”
Lord, we join our brothers and sisters in Ghana and Uganda in praying for their country. As our friend said: “As the number (of cases) are on the rise, our prayers will also rise up!” Please protect the many children who are living in orphanages right now, and their caregivers. We pray against despair and abuse. Please strengthen their caregivers, give them wisdom to comfort the children, and keep everyone healthy. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
South America – Paraguay
The on-ground team in Paraguay reports that aside from the health crisis itself, the biggest impact on children and families has been the decision to close schools and other public institutions. As seen in previous outbreaks, closure of schools has negative consequences for children, especially those in the most vulnerable communities. The distribution of the food kits has already begun in the indigenous communities of the country in order to mitigate the economic impact. The government’s Ministry of Children is continuing to provide food to families and children who are part of its programs (who work and or live in street situations). However, because the work itself of the program has been suspended during this quarantine, more children seem to be seen in the streets (without adequate adult supervision) to beg.
Pray for South America: Heavenly Father, we pray for the children in Paraguay and other countries in South America who were already highly vulnerable and are now even more at risk. Many of them are being cared for by a single parent or grandparents who are at high-risk for coronavirus. Many children are no longer getting their meals through the public school system. They are also noticing that more children are begging in the streets. We join our voices with orphan care leaders in Paraguay to pray that these children will not be left behind or forgotten as the nation goes into survival mode and experiences economic hardship. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.