May 19, 2010
Dear Family and Friends,
Did you know that:
It is estimated there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide (recent UNICEF report.)
The current population of the United States is just a little over 300 million… to give you an idea of the enormity of the numbers… (The current population of Russia is 141 million)
Every day 5,760 more children become orphans
2,102,400 more children become orphans every year in Africa alone
Every 15 seconds, another child in Africa becomes an AIDS orphan
There are an estimated 14 million AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa (a number higher than the total of every under-eighteen year old in Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Ireland combined)
This figure is estimated to reach 18 million orphans in Africa alone by 2010 (only two and a half years away)
8 out of 10 children orphaned by AIDS lives in sub-saharan Africa
Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…
Each year 14, 505, 000 children grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age sixteen
Each day 38,493 orphans age out
James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Eph. 1:5 ...he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, ...
It has been brought to my attention that some of you don't know the story behind our expanding family. I wish I could say that it was "all me"...but it isn't. God has worked wonders and miracles in the heart of my sweet husband and that combined with the desires that God placed in my heart, many years ago, is what has led us to this moment.
We thought we were done, after we were blessed with our 3 children.........then God broke into Bart's life and we began the process of adopting through the foster care system. 3 years later and we have been blessed to adopt 2 children and guess what? We thought we were done :) ! God had other plans for us. Once again, my heart was full, when my husband said that he is ready again, but fear of money was hindering him from giving me the go ahead with this adoption.
I began the initial process of just getting some information and much to my surprise (and my mouth being shut), he chose Africa (as I was jumping up and down screaming *inside, of course*). Africa has been my dream, since I was a child. Still, money was a HUGE obstacle for us. I encouraged him and I prayed that God would give him peace and a gentle assurance that if this were God's will, that He would provide and we could rest in that. So, off we go and here we are....in the middle of an exciting journey and humbling ourselves to our God, our church, friends and family.
The biggest challenge for us (me...I have a hard time asking for help...I know, you are all shocked) is not opening our hearts and home to another child, but it is in finding the finances to make this happen. We estimate our total cost for adoption fees, document preparation, home study, airfare, travel, attorney fees, etc. to be $25,000 - that’s certainly money we don’t have, but we know God is faithful and is leading us to trust Him. By God’s grace we’ve been able to pay the initial $5,000.
Honestly, it’s a little difficult (because of our *my* pride), to make our needs known to the Body of Christ around us, but we also know it’s very Biblical to do so. I was told that adoption isn't necessarily about giving a child a home, but Christ sanctifying us through this process. We (I'm) being sanctified. We appreciate your friendship very much and would like you to pray & consider helping us in our adoption.
There are two ways you can help:
That God would tenderly care for Jude in Ethiopia until we are able to bring him home.
That God would prepare our children for the upcoming changes to our family
That God will give us wisdom, discernment, and insight as we raise Jude to know Jesus Christ.
2. Financial support
Will you please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us pay the remaining $20,000 in adoption expenses, to bring Jude home?
Lifesong (www.lifesongfororphans.org ) has graciously set up a fundraising account for us to raise funds to help pay the “ransom”. If you would like to be a part of bringing Jude home, you can send your tax-deductible gift between now and July 14, 2010 to the address below. Lifesong is a trusted organization administering the funds on Jude's behalf, and will pay adoption expenses out of funds received.
Please make checks payable to Lifesong For Orphans. You may preference how the the donation might be used by writing “preference Crum #1277 adoption” in the memo section of your check. *Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit organization. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
Mail checks to:
Lifesong For Orphans
ATTN: Crum #1277 Adoption
PO Box 40/202 N. Ford St.
Gridley, IL 61744
Thank you for investing in the Kingdom through prayer and finances – it will be an investment towards an eternal reward.
Resting in Him,
Bart, Brandi, Victoria, Alyssa, Grayce, Noah, Daniel and Jude Crum