About Us

Our Ethos

 Our Statement of Faith

OUR MISSION

Interhope is a group of Christian believers from many denominations determined to know Christ and to make Him known among the nations of the earth through the rescue and care of abandoned and orphaned children. We provide for them safe, loving, Christ-centered homes where they can grow, learn, and prosper to become future men and women of God who will profoundly influence their culture. In this way we seek to be humble participants in the Great Commission of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who said on the day of His ascension into heaven, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation”.

Interhope is a nonprofit organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Code under section 501(c)3.

100 MILLION

Most Americans are surprised to learn that there are more than 100 million abandoned and orphaned children in our world today.[1] Most of these children do not live in institutions or foster care homes, but struggle to survive on the streets of the world’s cities. They sleep under bridges and in abandoned vehicles or buildings. They drink contaminated water and eat discarded food from waste containers and garbage dumps. Because of this, their bodies are sickened by parasites. In their endless search for food, water, safety and warmth they acquire slow-to-heal injuries that further weaken their bodies.

These children—exceedingly precious in the eyes of our Lord—are preyed upon by those who seek to destroy them in various ways. Drug gangs recruit them for crime and addiction. Islamic militants find an abandoned child to be easily converted to hate-filled violence and extremism. The police, pressured to keep begging children away from the tourist, often brutally beat them back into hiding places. The child sex industry thrives wherever abandoned children can be found. In the developing world sweat shops employ children and even enslave them. These are the means by which the abandoned children of the world are destroyed. But worse than all of these is the constant, penetrating pain of loneliness, despair, and abandonment for children that have never heard a father’s encouraging words or felt a mother’s tender hug.

TRAFFICKING, CHILD LABOR, AND SLAVERY

India is one of the places where Interhope is active. There are more slaves today than ever before in human history.[2] Millions of children in India are given up by their families into slavery as laborers. Despite a ban on employing children under 14, India’s labor ministry recently said there are 12.6 million children aged between 5 and 14 working, the largest number of child laborers in the world. According to the UN there are 218 million child laborers globally.[3] Many are abandoned or orphaned or have been sold by their families. This is a common, shared history among many of the children of Interhope’s orphan homes.

EXPLOITATION BY EXTREMISTS OR MILITANTS

An abandoned child, alone on the streets becomes an easy tar- get for militants and extremists. They need to belong. They desperately want a family. They often fall prey to the manipula- tion and indoctrination of Islamic extremists. The Associated Press recently reported the plight of thousands of African children being kept as slaves by Islamic schools. The children are sent to beg in the streets and return their earnings to the school. Interhope staff have witnessed this disturbing trend first hand. The infamous Darfur genocide is actually driven by the Arab/Islamic slave-trade. Children are the tragic victims of this evil.[4]

THE SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN

In Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia the horror of child prostitution thrives mostly unchecked by authorities. In India, one third of sex workers are children.[5] In Cambodia children are sold to brothels by their own parents. Abandoned or street children are often simply kidnapped. Interhope is regularly involved in the rescue of young girls and boys from this destructive abuse. According to recent reports from the UN, the numbers of children being exploited in this way are dramatically increasing while the average age of the children involved is falling with each new survey. In addition to provid- ing a safe home for these children, Interhope actively seeks to rescue children from their captors and bring such criminals to justice. This work is heartbreaking and often dangerous. Chil- dren as young as 5 years old have been found in brothels. Please help us rescue as many as we can and pray with us that these beautiful treasures of God, so severely wounded, will be healed in time. Pray that their tender hearts will be healed by the Great Physician. Pray also for those who have yet to be rescued for they suffer in ways no person was ever meant to suffer. Pray that God will help the staff of Interhope and other organizations and all the authorities involved to remove this scourge from our world.

TREASURES IN THE TRASH

It is almost impossible for Americans to imagine it, but in the developing world abandoned or orphaned children often live on the streets, under bridges, in abandoned buildings or drain pipes, and even in garbage dumps. Some of the children of Interhope’s orphanages were rescued from living inside the mountains of garbage which are typically located outside a city like Calcutta or Manila. Along with household garbage there is also industrial and medical waste, the corpses of dead animals, and all the refuse that a Third World city can produce. From this awful source, street children eat and drink. Here they sometimes even sleep, carving out small caves in the trash. Their bodies are infected with parasites and often covered with infected or slow-to-heal cuts. These are the “least” of whom Jesus spoke when he said, “when you feed or clothe, or help one of the least of these… you have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:31-46 (Paraphrased)

Interhope is actively involved in rescuing street children who can be found in and around garbage dumps in India and Southeast Asia.

STREET GANGS, CHILD SOLDIERS, AND DRUG ADDICTION

One of the most insidious dangers faced by street children is the coercion to violence that takes many forms. Drug gangs prey on street children and actually “help” them get addicted to solvents or hard drugs. Street children are also recruited into armed gangs of rebels or insurgents. Boys as young as seven are taught to use weapons and even to kill. Their recruitment often leaves them physically and emotionally scarred, if they survive at all. “I’ve seen people get their hands cut off, a ten- year-old girl raped and then die, and so many men and women burned alive… So many times I just cried inside my heart be- cause I didn’t dare cry out loud,” said a 14 year-old girl, ab- ducted in January 2000 by the Revolutionary United Front, an armed group in Sierra Leone.5

WHY ORPHANAGES?

Orphanages are often portrayed in movies and books as dark, sinister places where children suffer abuse or neglect. Interhope staff members consider it a sacred charge and a holy profession to create beautiful, loving homes where children can blossom into their full potential.

Our posture is not institutional but familial; our approach is not rigid or perfunctory but tender and parental. We are guided at all times by the awareness that these children— each one of them with their unique challenges and gifts— are treasures to God. We raise them as we raise our own children. We do not allow any standard of care to become lax.

An Interhope orphanage is a household of faith where Christ is the central animating force of the family. Chil- dren have devotionals every morning, often led by older children, their teachers, or visiting pastoral figures. Making Christ the center is pivotal because each child brings his or her own painful history of abuse or abandonment. In hundreds of cases we have seen that the practice of grace, forgiveness, unconditional love, and sonship which are foundational to Christian belief help bring chil- dren to the Lord’s healing and wholeness. Counselors, teachers, and pastoral figures are also available daily to the children. In cases where clinical expertise is needed, these services are made available to the children.

WHAT ABOUT ADOPTION?

In most cases it would be infinitely better for any child 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 mo- ment, 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 though we continually try to do that. A loving, safe, clean orphanage, though an im- perfect family, is a far better solution than the streets afford.

WHAT WE DO

CHILD RESCUE—Interhope field personnel actively seek to rescue children in crisis. Millions of abandoned and orphaned children are at risk on the streets, in garbage dumps, sweat shops, brothels, gangs, militant/extremists groups. This is the most dangerous aspect of our mission. Wherever possible we work in collaboration with local officials including the police or Interpol (International Police). Security considerations prevent a more specific description. Hundreds of children at risk have already been rescued. This work is on -going at this time.

ORPHANAGE DEVELOPMENT—Interhope develops orphanages in many different ways. In rare cases we found, build, staff, or operate the orphanage under the aus- pices 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. 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 builds and 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 excel- lent partners whose dedication and integrity are so inspiring that we are humbled and privileged to participate in their orphanage ministries.

SHIPMENT OF GOODS—We also provide the shipment of clothing, food, medicine, toys, books, school supplies, and various needful things. These ship- ments 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.

Evangelism— Interhope exists to respond in obedience to the Great Commission of Christ found in Matthew 28:16-20:

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Je- sus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 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 every- thing I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Everything we do as an organization is designed to increase the knowledge of God in every country and region where we operate.

The Caribbean

In the Caribbean we have seen our evangelistic efforts yield transfor- mative results. Broken families and one-parent households have eroded the fabric of society there. In some places 90% of children are born into homes where the father is not present. Through our evangelistic efforts we saw measurable evidence that large numbers of fami- lies remained intact when both parents responded to Christ’s call and became active members of a local church.

The Balkans

In a Muslim region of Bosnia we initiated church planting projects that have been incredibly successful at raising up local leaders to minister to their own people.

Cambodia, Myanmar, and Southeast Asia

A brutal Communist regime destroyed churches, murdered pastors and Christians, and all but obliterated the church from the beautiful land of Cambodia. Today hundreds of thousands of Cambodians are turning to Christ. Our mission is to be His hands and feet among the poorest of the poor through the development of Christ centered or- phanages.

India

The great country of India has a billion souls but only 2-3% of them are Christian believers. Our outreach to the orphans of India plants the knowledge and love of Christ in their hearts. In this way we raise a generation to influence their own culture.

1 Source: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) http://www.unicef.org/
2 Source: National Geographic Magazine http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ ngm/0309/feature1/
3 Source: UNICEF www.freetheslaves.netand http:// www.associatedcontent.com/article/1585972/ modern_day_african_slave_trade.html
4 http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/ nationworld/2001970382_slavery02.html
5 Source: Global March.org

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