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FAQ

                     1. What is Interhope (IH)?

Interhope is a group of believers determined to know Christ and to make Him known among the very least of these of many nations. We believe that no child should have to eat from a garbage dump. We believe that little boys should not be turned into killers or drug addicts. We believe that little girls should not be exploited and molested. We believe that children should not starve. We are willing to act on our beliefs.  Interhope is an evangelical nonprofit missionary-sending agency recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c) 3 public charity.

CHILD RESCUE

This is the most urgent and dangerous activity of Interhope staff-members and involves the physical rescue of children from:                    

    •  garbage dumps where they live and forage for food amidst medical waste, dead animals and contaminated refuse of all kinds
    •  brothels where we have actually purchased children–generally little girls age 6-14—from a life of unspeakable horror and abuse
    •  drug and street gangs where criminal or militant groups often purposely enslave children to their cause through addiction and physical abuse
    •  indentured servitude and slavery in child labor factories/camps where children have been rescued from long hours without pay in inhuman conditions that often involve toxic substances
    •  life on the streets where children often succumb to sickness and death from exposure, hunger, and disease.

 

ORPHANAGE DEVELOPMENT

-After a child is rescued we provide them with a safe and loving home in which to grow, learn, and prosper as a child of God. Interhope develops orphanages in many different ways. In rare cases we found, build, staff, and operate the orphanage under the auspices of a local board of directors. In other cases we have enlarged or remodeled an existing orphanage to bring it to the standards we require to create a loving, modern home for children. Our standards of care are the highest, most stringent, and detailed we have found among Third World orphanages. We are determined to make—in every case—a home worthy of God’s own children, these special treasures rescued from the streets. In some cases Interhope has built or sponsors a wing or suite of rooms specifically designated for girls who have been rescued from brothels and sex trafficking situations.  In other cases Interhope sponsors the work of our excellent partners whose dedication and integrity are so inspiring that we are humbled and privileged to participate in their orphanage ministries generally through orphan sponsorship.

 

SHIPMENT OF GOODS

-We also provide the shipment of clothing, food, medicine, toys, books, school supplies, and various needful things. These shipments are carried by cargo container and amount to many thousands of pounds of goods each year. These gifts of love are often distributed to the poor through our orphanages. This witness gives testimony to our faith and many have come to Christ in this way.

 

ADVOCACY AND AWARENESS

-Through publications, public speaking tours and legal advocacy. We advocate for the cause of the orphaned child and seek ways to raise awareness, especially among people of faith, of their plight.  In many of these places abandoned and orphaned children are viewed as outcasts to be discarded by society. We seek every opportunity to stand up for them, to protect them, and to advocate for them in schools, government agencies, and other institutions. We have had great success in seeing the old mean-spirited prejudices transformed through openness and community involvement in certain locales. In other places, particularly Muslim areas, the challenge remains.

                        2. Is IH affiliated with any church or denomination?

Interhope is not affiliated with any church or denomination but is embraced and supported by many churches from various traditions including: United Methodist, Free Methodist, Southern Baptist, Independent Baptist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Assembly of God, Church of God, Wesleyan, and nondenominational churches. Our mandate states that we exist to strengthen the local church in her crucial role at the center of God’s mission to the world.

                   3. Are there really that many orphans in the world?

Estimates from the United Nations have put the number well over 100 million children ages newborn to 16 years. In India alone the number is estimated to exceed 20 million.

                 4. Why are there so many abandoned and orphaned children?

We live in a fractured world. Children are abandoned and alone due to many factors including AIDS, war, famine, disease, or intentional abandonment. In sub-Saharan Africa 9% of the children have lost their parents to AIDS. In Southeast Asia and parts of Africa children are sold into the child sex industry where they often die under the weight of such horrible abuse. All over the developing world we find children by the thousands who are alone, in crisis, often sick and in such profound need that our hearts are broken by their plight and we, with many of God’s people, are determined to help them.

            5. What is orphanage development?

Interhope develops orphanages in many different ways. In rare cases we found, build, staff, and operate the orphanage under the auspices of a local board of directors. In other cases we have enlarged or remodeled an existing orphanage to bring it to the standards we require to create a loving, modern home for children. Our standards of care are the highest, most stringent, and detailed we have found among Third World orphanages. We are determined to make—in every case—a home worthy of God’s own children, these special treasures rescued from the streets. In some cases Interhope has build and sponsors a wing or suite of rooms specifically designated for girls who have been rescued brothels and sex trafficking situations.  In other cases Interhope sponsors the work of our excellent partners whose dedication and integrity are so inspiring that we are humbled and privileged to participate in their orphanage ministries generally through orphan sponsorship.

             6. Wouldn’t it be better for the children to be with a family rather than in an orphanage?

In most cases it would be infinitely better for the children to be raised by a family. This understanding guides every aspect of our approach to orphanage development. We try to make the life of every one of our children as normal as possible while at the same time exploring every possible avenue to adoption. Still, there are millions more orphans than there are potential adoptive parents. At this very moment, all over the world, homeless children are hurting, suffering alone, struggling with abuse, or addiction, their bodies wasting away due to hunger or illness. There is no time to find the perfect solution. A loving, safe, clean orphanage, though an imperfect family, is a far better solution than the streets afford.

             7. Are the children available for adoption?

Each country and the case of each child is unique in this respect. In some cases, the children are legally available for adoption but only within the home country to nationals of that country. Interhope does not handle adoptions due to the expertise required of the constantly changing local regulations that govern the process. We recognize the indescribable benefit for the child that adoption affords and we work very closely with reputable adoption agencies wherever possible. If adoption is available in a given case, then we do everything we can to see that the child is adopted into a Christian family. This happens occasionally, but in most cases, there are far more abandoned or orphaned children than there are possible adoption opportunities.

             8. What happens when a child in an IH orphanage reaches adulthood?

Something unquestionably beautiful happens when our children reach adulthood; fine young men and women of faith and vision, better educated than most, seek God’s will for their lives. They graduate from the orphanage and go into a trade or to a university. They become doctors, nurses, preachers, teachers, politicians, shopkeepers, farmers, and workers of all kinds who influence their culture for Christ for generations to come. It is a process of exponential evangelism as each one reached, reaches many.

            9. Why do your orphanages need extra support, don’t they receive government funds?

In most cases the orphanages of Interhope do not receive government funding. Our orphanages exist in countries where the government would not subsidize a Christian orphanage. Any government involvement would essentially secularize the mission and approach of the orphanage. It is important to note that Interhope has a strict Policy of Sustainability. This policy states that an orphanage must receive most of its support from local sources, raised by in-country nationals. Interhope provides staff and expertise to help orphanages find sources of local funding for the bulk of their monthly expenses. In this way, sponsorship funds can be used to meet the needs of individual children.

             10. Can I send gifts?

Gifts come in many forms. The most important gift you can give is to lift up your child in prayer daily as they grow into young men and women of God. They are, each one, a witness to their own culture of the reality and presence of Jesus Christ. As for toys or books, we ask that you remember the enormous expense involved in shipping such items to remote locations. For reasons regarding security and customs regulations all gifts must come through our U.S. office. IH orphanages exist in remote places. It is often difficult to get a small parcel to the orphanage site intact. Each orphanage has an on-site social worker who knows the area and is well aware of the needs and proclivities of each child. For this reason we ask that you send your gift in monetary form with specific instructions of what you want purchased or if it should be used for the greatest need that the child has at the moment. Always, 100% of a special gift to a specific child is given to that child.

                     11. How do I know my support reaches the child?

Interhope is governed by an independent board of directors. Each orphanage is governed by a board of national directors that meet the criteria of both the US Internal Revenue Service Code and the requirements of the country where the home is located. There are redundant layers of checks to make sure that at every stage of the process the interests of the child is protected and the intention of both Interhope and its donors is honored. We highly value frugality, modesty, accountability, and efficiency in all financial matters. All staff and employees of Interhope live simply and at times sacrificially according to the model Christ set for us. It is very expensive to raise children, as most of us know, so we are constantly working to provide a home, a family, a future, and a destiny for each child in the same way we would provide for our own children. This is the ethos that guides our organization. Orphanage directors have been screened, background checked, and are known to us for many years. Still, their use of the funds received from Interhope is closely accounted for to the dollar. We are determined to be careful stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us for the care of His children.

                    12. What is a faith-promise?

Ultimately it is an act of worship. But it is also a way for God’s people to change the world in dynamic ways through their prayers and regular support. It is my promise to God that if He will supply the means then I will send my support to the mission field. It is a promise made in faith.  Interhope is an organization based on faith. We are a community of faith seeking to build faith within the least of these of many nations. This purpose is shared and supported by communities of faith in the United States who reach out believing that God will expand and enlarge His Kingdom on the mission field.

                   13. Why would one make a faith-promise to give monthly gifts rather than just a one-time donation?

Truly, all gifts are deeply appreciated, but it is the regular monthly support that keeps the lights on in remote mission stations and orphanages on the field. Monthly commitments continue long after the missionary speaker leaves your church. Those back home who support in prayer and through donations are the lifeline for our teams in Cambodia and India who are actively engaged in child rescues. This support provides the funds to actually “purchase” young girls from brothels and young boys from sweat shops. When lives are changed and the love of Christ advances one more step into a desperately needy part of the world it is because of the partnership between those working on the field and those praying and giving back home.  This is the Great Commission at work today.

                14. What if I cannot pay my pledge?

The scriptures tell us “the Lord loves a cheerful giver.” (II Corinthians 9:6) and we believe that giving to the Lord should be a delight and an act of worship. If your personal financial circumstances are such that fulfilling your Faith Promise becomes a burden then we encourage you to feel free to suspend it for a temporary period until you are able to continue or discontinue it altogether as God leads you. Giving to the Lord is a joy and should never become a burden. Always feel free to let us know that you would like to make a change in your commitment.

             15. What if I am blessed and want to do more?

All of our orphanages and individual children fall into the category of the poorest of the poor or in biblical terms, “the least of these.” Any special gifts are welcome, needed, and important. At any given time there are unmet needs including upgrades to buildings, furniture, and appliances; some orphanages need, books, bedding, playground equipment or vehicles; often repairs go unfixed or rigged temporarily until funds become available. The process of rescuing new children from the streets is also expensive though a pittance relative to the amazing fruit that is borne. New rooms are needed to bless more children. Some people feel especially blessed and choose to remember our work in their last will and testament, others give special gifts, large and small. Within days of receipt, such gifts are put to work.

            16. What time period is associated with the Faith Promise?

A Faith Promise is a promise made to support a mission in faith that God will provide for you to do so.  If at any time you become unable to send your Faith Promise then you are released from it until you are able to continue.  The Faith Promise lasts as long as you are willing, able, and led to continue changing the lives of children on the mission field.

           17. Will I be billed for my Faith Promise?

No, you will not be billed. Missions outreach is not a utility bill; it is an act of worship. Billing consumes funds and staff hours that are better used elsewhere. After you begin your sponsorship, you will receive, each month, a receipt and a tear-off return slip with a return envelope. We do offer a monthly auto pay option so that support can be deducted directly from your checking account each month and a growing number of our friends choose this option.

             18. How do I make a Faith Promise?

It is largely between you and the Lord. If God has led you to be a regular partner to the children of Interhope then we urge you to send your donation to the address below:

 

Interhope

P. O. Box 700788

Wabasso, FL 32970

                          You will receive a receipt and a donation envelope in the mail for future gifts. You will also receive regular updates about the dynamic effect of your involvement and that of other Christians. Your contributions are fully tax-deductible. Interhope is recognized as an official non-profit charity under the Internal Revenue Code number 501(c)3.

             20. Can I be set up for Auto Pay?

Yes, we have a simple form available so that your sponsorship contribution can be deducted automatically on the date you specify from your checking account. This is an electronic transaction between our bank and your bank similar to using a debit card. Because there are no intermediates involved, we have found this to be a safe, secure, and efficient method of payment. If you are interested in this option please let us know and we will send you the form.

           21. Are your orphanages like child sponsorship I’ve seen advertised on TV?

No, this is not like sponsorship programs you’ve seen. Nearly all of the well-known child sponsorship agencies work with children who have parents and homes. The benefit they receive from sponsorship is often nominal or sporadic. In many cases, most of the sponsorship dollars are used to fund the broader regional or community based programs of the organization without a direct impact on the specific child being sponsored. Interhope does not agree with this practice. Interhope exists to transform the lives of abandoned and orphaned children. The children of Interhope are abandoned or orphaned and need every single thing that a child needs to live and grow, including: clothes, food, medicine, schooling, books and toys, a home, a bed, love and a family. All of these things are provided with great care and oversight by the orphanage staff where the child lives. The children range in age from newborn to eighteen. A typical orphanage is home to 20-40 children. Many orphanages remain underfunded.

           22. Don’t you think that we should reach the needy here in our own backyard before we go to those in foreign lands?

Outreach to those is need is always important, but we must act in accordance with scriptural mandates rather than what seems logical or more culturally acceptable. One of the last commands given by Jesus Christ before His ascension into heaven is the driving force behind all that we do at Interhope.  The scripture found in Matthew 28:18-20 reads Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Clearly He did not mean that the followers of Jesus should stay until every possible resident of one’s “backyard” is reached.  The message is quite the opposite, in fact. The command is to “Go!” The command is necessarily intercultural as it involves making disciples of foreign nations. This is our mission as followers of Jesus Christ.

                23. I already support the American Red Cross and UNICEF. Don’t they do what you do?

There are many worthy organizations that do important work to make the world a better place. Many Christians choose to support these organizations. But it is crucial that we exercise wisdom and deploy our giving in a strategic manner to be as effective as possible. Secular corporations, flush wish billions in cash, like Microsoft and Coca-cola support the Cancer Society of America and the American Red Cross and UNICEF and many others. Government agencies also make lucrative grants to those organizations. Do corporations and governments support the work of faith-based Christian mission organizations like Interhope? The certainly do not and they have strict prohibitions against doing so. God’s people—both individually and through their churches—are the only group which will ever support Great Commission organizations like Interhope. That’s why we must strategic as Christians when we reach out through charitable giving. One large American charity spends more on executive travel and entertainment than the entire budget of a dozen mission agencies. Only God’s people—and truth be told, only a small portion of these—will ever support the work of sending missionaries to the needy and lost in the name of Jesus Christ.

Secular organizations like UNICEF may operate orphanages but they are not Christ-centered homes for children. They are institutions that have been purposefully established without religious instruction or guidance for the children. That Christ, His Word and His Church are central to the life of our orphanages is no accident or incidental add-on. He is the dynamic impetus behind all that we do.

               24. Is this really an effective way to spread the Gospel?

Absolutely!  Since Christ first gave the command to “go into all the world” the Gospel has advanced in this same way.  The USA is filled with churches today partly because missionaries came long ago to North America (John Wesley was among them.) In so many dark and needy corners of the world people just like you are reaching out through their missionaries to minister the love of Christ to the lost.

The developing world is gripped by crippling poverty, abuse, and corrupt governments, yet in every country where missionaries are allowed there are hospitals, schools, churches, orphanages and feeding centers established by missionaries who minister in Christ’s name. Missions can and does change the world.

              25. What if I just want more information?

The best way to learn about, follow, and pray for Interhope’s mission to abandoned and orphaned children is by signing up to receive our free bi-monthly newsletter entitled Lost and Found. The newsletter often features news of dramatic child rescues on the front lines of the mission field. Here is the link to sign up:

                         26. Will I be barraged with junk mail if I get on your mailing list?

Interhope has never and will never sell or share our mailing list with any other organizations.

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