Hi, here's an update. It's long overdue, but thanks Brooke for lighting a fire under me :)
I was reading Brooke Sipek's blog and was touched by what she wrote about how a chance reading of our blog, linked through Elisa (my sister)'s DIY blog, led her to have an interest in the plight of orphans and helped spark her and her husband into their journey of adopting an orphan.
I was also touched myself, by people who were involved in work around the world to better impoverished children's conditions. As you are reading this, right now, there are people who are sweating, working, raising funds, laughing, hugging, and crying for orphans needs, all over the world. It's really amazing, but it gets dark fast, because there are so many needs, everywhere.
When my wife and I started ODO, we were Christians and ODO was a Christian mission. Our funding was almost 90% from Christians and churches. The motivation to go and help those children was dictated by the Christian god, through the words of the Bible. It was a wonderful time, and we brought two teams with over eight, nine people for two summers and helped to bring in over $10,000 worth of projects (new water tanks, gutters, buildings, fences, beds, and clothes). We helped to bring in 7 orphans who were abandoned in villages, without voice, without language, without intelligence. I'm glad to say that when we visited last summer, those seven orphans really grew and they knew their names, their ages, who they were, and who their friends were.
So - why isn't the ODO website up? Is ODO dead? What's going to happen to ODO?
In case you have not yet heard or learned of this, I no longer am a believer in the Christian religion, in fact, I'm an atheist. I made a video of that journey, you can see it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-yiaztfjvQ.
So - because ODO was married into the Christian religion and in the Deaf Missions organization, this meant that ODO couldn't continue within that context. What I did was to send out letters to our donors explaining this and encouraging them to keep on donating to the orphans' needs towards Lance's Deaf Orphans and their organization. Their website can be found here: http://www.lancesdeaforphans.com. The website's front page is not updated, but the links to donate and the newsletters are usually updated. If you donate to LDO, you will get a nice newsletter every month that will update how the orphans are doing.
We sent the rest of the money in ODO's account to LDO immediately, and for the express purpose of keeping LDO financially stable for a year, so that there would not be an immediate drop-off from ODO's donations. ODO had donated between $150 to $200 a month to LDO to help with the staff's needs for several months then.
Because of the change in religious beliefs, I had to restructure, rebuild my life, and it's been a journey, and many have been asking about ODO and whether this beautiful work would continue. I'm very happy to see that there are people out there that believe in this mission regardless of religious affiliation, and I'm happy to say that it is my desire to get back on the ODO horse and do some work.
Exactly what, when, where, how - those are questions are important, and when those questions can be answered, we will be sharing them on this blog.
For now, if you still want to help, to donate, to make a difference, you can do so through supporting Brooke Sipek's journey to adopt a child. You can also donate towards LDO and their needs. The world is such a big place, and there is such a huge discrepancy in living conditions. If each of us took the time and the money necessary to make a difference, the world would be a beautiful place for everyone.
- Alex n Alexa