A Foster Care Failure

I had the privilege of speaking this week at a family camp. After one of the talks, an elderly couple approached me and asked if I had a moment for a story. The tale they shared began some three decades before. It was an account that made my heart hurt – a painful failed attempt […]

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Longing for Family

Family. It’s important to God. Family shows up throughout scripture. The story of creation ends with the foundation of a family, with Adam and Eve coming together to bear and raise children. Noah spent years building an ark to save his family. The census of Israel was recorded in Numbers by having the Israelites camp […]

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The Whole is Greater — From the Christian Leadership Alliance

The Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) blog this month carries an article on how well-coordinated partnership can multiply impact. I see this daily. As the organizations and churches that have become part of CAFO join together, the result goes far beyond what any organization could achieve alone.  This shared, synchronized effort has helped grow and guide […]

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One of Those Amazing Things You Never Could Have Planned

The most magical moments are those you never could have planned. At CAFO2014, that came with a remarkable young woman named Zhenya. Early this year, CAFO held its t-shirt design contest. The winning design was submitted by 20-year old Zhenya Reynolds. When we wrote to congratulate her, we learned Zhenya isn’t only a talented designer […]

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Who is More Likely to Change the World: A Wealthy Heir or an Orphan?

Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, David and Goliath, carries a fascinating section that reveals a remarkable reality: statistics strongly suggest that orphans are much more likely than the general population to become world changers. Gladwell describes how in the early 1960s, a psychologist named Marvin Eisenstadt began a project interviewing top “creatives” – innovators, artists, and […]

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Tunnels of Romania

The past two posts offer glimpses of both the desperation and glimmers of hope known by Romania’s orphans. I received another such glimpse today from a friend who leads the Board of Firm Foundations Romania.  While many of the details in all of these accounts are specific to this proud, beautiful, struggling nation, the realities […]

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Amidst the Tragedy of Romania’s Orphans Hope Glimmers

Yesterday’s blog post – The Tragedy of Orphan Public Policy in Romania – highlighted the terrible struggles of Romania’s orphans, and how they are often made worse by bad public policy. But that isn’t all there is to the story. Both within Romania and abroad, many orphans and former orphans are beacons to hope. I […]

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The Tragedy of Orphan Public Policy in Romania

Nowhere in the world has the tragic results of misguided government policy towards orphans been more evident than Romania. History rightly condemns the legacy of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Tragically, what’s happened since his fall in 1989 has been checkered at best. There’ve been some real successes, such as the Bucharest Early Intervention Project. But […]

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The Atlantic Magazine on Palmer Homes: “The Modern Orphans of Mississippi”

An article in The Atlantic this month highlights the work of CAFO member Palmer Homes, which provides group homes in Columbus, MS for children who’ve lost the care of parents. “The Modern Orphans of Mississippi” is more cheery and less cynical than one might expect from the often hard-edged journalism of The Atlantic. It offers […]

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What Keeps Us Going When Reality Grows Cold?

My friend leads an excellent micro-finance ministry in South Africa. He’s a bright soul, rarely down, but I could hear ache in his voice. “So often it feels like one step forward and two back.” We’d puffed our way up 3,000 feet to the top of South Africa’s majestic Table Mountain. Rolling hills, vineyards and […]

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