On Why Hosting Matters

i-g3d6RZc-LToday is the last day to match children from Soccerboy and Sunshine’s country for hosting this summer. A few children have already lost their chance, as their deadline has passed. Another country only has three more days to match.

These days are always depressing. It means that some children won’t have the chance to build relationships with a family. And the relationships that are built through hosting matter.

They matter.

Sometimes it feels like the act of hosting itself is overlooked in importance. It’s just a few weeks. It’s temporary. It doesn’t make a difference.

Often people look and see the permanent things that come out of hosting—namely adoption—and elevate that as more worthy to celebrate. My friend Stacey hosted a boy two years ago, and he recently was adopted…by another family. A family who met him while she hosted. As Stacey says, “This adoption wouldn’t have happened without hosting.” Yet when she posts about hosting on Facebook, she barely gets a response.  I, too, have felt the palpable disappointment from others when I say that Sunshine is too old to adopt.  Usually, I get a sigh and a, “Well, it’s nice that you are giving her this experience.”1978666_10154057694795274_949514966920937510_n

That can be discouraging for those of us in this world. It can be frustrating to have these relationships brushed over as unimportant or not as crucial as other types of orphan care.

But I know it’s not true.

Hosting is short, but powerful. It is choosing to give up your comfort and desires a lot of times. It can be difficult. But so are many things that are worth doing. We have to give of ourselves in a sacrificial way. And that’s risky. Sometimes painful.

Olexey Luiov E0406I couldn’t say it any better than my friend Nicole, who still chose to host after two failed adoptions: “[I knew there were] so many others that needed to be chosen, loved, cherished, prayed over, introduced to Jesus. My heartache didn’t change that, my desire for quiet and peace and stability didn’t change that, and my desire to walk away and ignore those children didn’t change that. I had to choose obedience over wallowing in my own pit. God knows our pain and reluctance. He sent His own son, after all. He too lost a child.”

Many of us have pain and fear we have to fight through to do this. For me, it was a different kind of loss than Nicole’s. I know that I could have chosen to bury myself in it; no one would have faulted me. Instead, I chose to take that hurt and pain and love others who have lost things, too. Because that’s what Love does. That’s what it means to be able to drink from the Living Waters.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s not about the end result. It’s not about comfort or convenience. It’s not even about how we can help and make the world a better place. It’s not about us at all.

It’s about One who loved sacrificially and loved these little ones first.  It’s about following in His shadow. It’s about listening and following.

For you, this might be hosting. If so, click here to see available children. Some only have hours left. Many have large scholarships.  Be the tangible love that these children need.

Or perhaps you are meant to support those who host. I am still fundraising, as are many of my friends. Click on the link on the right or here to donate financially to me, or contact me about others who are also in need.

1911778_10153849328060274_1511704239_nOr, this might be encouraging someone you know to host. I never would have hosted if my friend Sara hadn’t believed in me and told me that I could do it. Be that voice for someone else. Sign up for the listing and tell your friends. Share posts and photos from New Horizons for Children’s Facebook page.

But most of all, pray. Pray that others would come forward in these last hours and give these children a home for the summer.

No matter what you do, please do something. The results will echo through eternity.

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