Friday, May 2, 2014

Another rewarding trip...

Congo… It’s becoming our Home away from Home

As difficult as it is to leave our own families and friends when we head to Congo, we feel the beautiful children of Congo are becoming our own.  The children are now calling us Mama Debra and Mama Robin!  We have spent 8 weeks in the Congo over the last 4 months.  It has provided us an opportunity to implement some amazing programs for your children.  It is so rewarding to see how the children have flourished in our care.  Children who seemingly walked around in despair now display personalities that rip at your heart strings!  Don’t take our word for it… just look at the photos!

Think they are adapting well?
 We arrived in Congo this time with renewed excitement... we can see and feel the light at the end of the tunnel.  Although we were disappointed to hear the Congolese delegations had canceled their trip to the U.S., we respect their reasons to stay and work on the issues.  The Notice issued by the Department of State is concerning regarding the U.S. based families (none of which were EAC families) who took inappropriate actions to bring their children home.  We know it is frustrating but we ask that you avoid the temptation to do something similar.  That being said, we remain optimistic the situation regarding exit letters will be resolved and your children will be home soon.    

As we said, over the last 4 months we have been extremely busy providing first class care for the children.  Our new foster care facility is incredible – full of love and support for the kiddos.  Again on this trip, we were blessed to have a number of families travel with us, meet with their children and witness firsthand the care all the children are receiving.  Just so you know, the children are not aware of the suspension of exit letters, they only know they are in a good place being well cared for.  They dance, love, laugh, eat and pray.  They are doing all the things children should be doing.  They are being children.  

On this trip we were also blessed to have Father Bob Stec, a priest from a church near our main office in Strongsville OH, travel with us, along with his Mission Director, Jake Bihari.  Father Bob and Jake share the same passion for helping children in need.  We had explained to them the situations the orphaned children of Congo face on a daily basis and they were called to visit Congo and see what if anything their congregation could do to assist.  Needless to say, what they saw was heartbreaking.  What they saw were children in need of faith, hope, love, and food.

We are excited to announce we will be working in partnership with Father Bob and his congregation to sponsor as many children as possible through a program called “Project Chosen”.  As you can imagine, this is a huge undertaking to insure the money gets to where it is most needed.  Please spread the word to your churches, schools, civic groups, etc who may be interested in sponsoring children of Congo.  We will keep you posted on details of the program, but we are anticipating sponsorship of a child to be about $40/month for nutrition and schooling.  Stay tuned, this is amazingly exciting! 

 ***As a side note, Father Bob heads a wonderful annual event, in Cleveland OH, each summer called “The Fest” – a day of worship, fellowship, and fun. Oh, and there’s music! (scheduled to perform: Third Day, Mandisa, Colton Dixon, For King and Country)  EAC is proud to be a sponsor of this incredible FREE event.  If you are in the area check it out, with 35,000+ of your closest friends, you won’t be disappointed!  And you can bet "Project Chosen" will be promoted BIG TIME, so much so that the theme for this year's festival is "Chosen"!

Nearly 37,000 enjoyed last year's Festival!
In addition to Father Bob and his efforts, we have 2 additional churches who have committed to sponsoring nearly 60 children!  Thank you to our EAC families who have been coordinating with their contacts in providing for these children.

As you can see, EAC is making every effort to provide the children with opportunity.  Opportunity to thrive, Opportunity to grow, Opportunity to be children.  As a by-product, we are showing the Congolese officials we are committed to the children of Congo.

EAC has positioned itself, not just as an adoption agency, but as an organization who truly cares for the children of Congo.  Of course, our goal is to assist children in finding their forever families – we are positioned to do just that – better than any other organization!

Thanks for being a part of this amazing journey!  Enjoy the wonderful photos provided by Curtis and Ashley Pepe!

Debra and Robin


 God bless you all - we'll see you soon!!!