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Because every family deserves the blessing of a child with Down Syndrome...

10:16:00 AM

It Made a Difference to This One!

Some estimates put the number of orphaned children in the world to be around 147  million.
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The Bible mentions the fatherless/orphans more than 500 times.

Take a minute to read through this carefully.  It is mind boggling…

In Central and Eastern European countries alone (this would include Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Romania, etc, but NOT Russia), there are more than 1.5 MILLION CHILDREN who have been abandoned by their families for one reason or another and are living in "public care" (that's the nice way to put it).  If statistically, 1 out of every 733 live births results in a child with Down syndrome, that means at any given time there are 2,046 children with Down syndrome who need families.  THAT'S JUST IN EUROPE!!  Some do not survive because of serious medical complications…some do not survive because of lack of medical attention, lack of food, lack of LOVE. 
In Russia, there are over 700,000 children waiting for families, meaning at least 955 children with Down syndrome wait, languishing.  In ASIA (China, Hong Kong, Korea, India), there are 3,572,000 orphans, with nearly 5000 children with Down syndrome who are unwanted.  Many of those children are killed at birth.    The "lucky" ones end up in orphanages and foster care situations.
In the United States alone, 137 million people claim to be Christians of some denomination.  If only 1% of the Christians in this country adopted just ONE CHILD, 1.37 MILLION CHILDREN from abroad would have loving, Christian families to grow up in.  Of those 1.37 million, 1,869 of those children have DOWN SYNDROME.

Region Number of Total Orphans Potential Number of children with Down Syndrome Number who could be saved by only 1% of the Christian population in the US
Eastern Europe 1.5 million 2046 205
Asia 3,572,000 4873 487
Russia 700,000 955 96
(statistics from Families of Promise, 2000)
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Matthew 25:31-45 says,
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[c] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him,[d] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

I think most would agree that the world's orphans would qualify as 'the least of these'.
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THIS is where we come in.
You could say that we serve 'the least of the least'. Reece's Rainbow serves orphaned children in 25 countries worldwide who have been discarded in orphanages and institutions due to being born with Down syndrome and other special needs. The children no one wants. The children who if conceived in Western countries, 90% of them would not even be born.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…defend the rights of the needy." (Proverbs 31:8,9)

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But there are people who do want these children
. Many of the families that do adopt these children have a biological child who has Down syndrome or other special needs and realising the beauty and worth of their child, once they learn the plight of these orphaned children, go on to adopt.

A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth. Isaiah 42.3

While so many in the world consider these children something to throw away or not allow to be born, there are many who know better. 

"It is not the will of your Father that one of these little ones should perish." (Matthew 18:14)

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One by one families have stepped forward in the 6 years since Reece's Rainbow has been in existence to give these children a home and a family.

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One by one these families have travelled thousands of miles across the world and been a testimony to the people in these countries of just how wanted and loved these children are.

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In just over 6 years, 750+ children and counting are orphans no more. They are loved sisters and brothers and cousins and sons and daughters. One by one these families are showing the world that there is no exception to the words of the David in Psalm 139:13-15

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[a]
Marvellous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

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There is a story that is very well known in the special needs community about a starfish.

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This story is the focus of our current awareness campaign. When you think of how many orphans are without families it can be overwhelming, it is easy for me to feel that when seeing how many of our waiting children still need families. This story so perfectly shows just why it is so important to not give up. Each one of us can only do so much, but collectively we quite literally can save the world for orphans with Down syndrome and other special needs every day.

Not everyone can adopt. But we can each do something to fulfill the call to care for the fatherless.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress." (James 1:27)
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You can become a prayer warrior for one of our waiting children. You can share our families and children on twitter and facebook and blogs. You can donate to the adoption of one of the children that has already found a family who is working toward bringing that child home. You can donate to the grant of a waiting child. There ARE families that WANT to adopt these children and for many, the largest hurdle is the cost to travel to the other side of the world to bring them home. By donating to a child, you help remove that barrier and that child's chances of finding a family increases exponentially.

This is our starfish story. Such a simple example of how important it is to never underestimate the value of that one tweet or that one share on facebook or that $5 donation or the time spent on your knees praying for these children.

One day, a man was walking along the beach and saw a boy picking something up and gently throwing it back into the ocean. Approaching the boy the man asked “What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back out, they’ll die.”
“Son”, the man said, “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach with hundreds and hundreds of fish? You can’t make a difference!".

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then smiling at the man, he said,

“It made a difference to this one!”

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(Thank you to WorldPrayr for sharing our ministry. We provided this post for them and they posted it last week. I thought we'd post it today for those of you who may have missed it!)

Be sure to VOTE for one of our angels (from each of our categories of waiting children) each week and ENTER THE DRAWING to include your own choice as well!

     My Own Little Starfish
Enter the weekly drawing!

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