HOUSTON, TX – Nearly 26 million of the 44 million vulnerable young girls in South Asia face an unparalleled existential crisis as orphans in one country alone. They have been fortunate to not have been victims of selective feticide (abortion) or infanticide. However, they lack parental protection and a carefree childhood. Their primary concern is survival. Every day.
Survival may include scavenging for food and shelter and, in many cases, avoiding predators who are perfectly willing to kidnap and traffic them as sex slaves or forced laborers. An education is out of the question, which only adds to the despair of a future that is already grim.
More than 30,000 girls are trafficked in the region annually. That is an average of 82 girls per day.
Ralph Borde, the founder and CEO of As Our Own, has witnessed this crisis first hand. He grew up in South Asian subcontinent, the son of a widowed mother who had been orphaned as a child.
Ralph’s journey led him to a successful corporate career in the U.S. Even so, he could not escape the memory of the harsh realities faced by the orphaned girls in his native land. He had to do something.
In 2007, he founded As Our Own, a Christ-centered, faith-based team dedicated to helping as many of these girls and young women as the Lord will allow them to. He wanted As Our Own to be different – and exceptional. He recognized the good works that others were doing, but he couldn’t help but wonder,
“It is one thing to care for orphans as orphans. But what if our care went beyond that . . . what if we cared for them as our own children?”
Thus, a ministry was born that is more than rescue and restoration. Children in the As Our Own program are welcomed into a forever family. They become permanent family members even through adulthood.
Quoting in part from the As Our Own website.
The rescued children are soothed through the steady, daily love of a family consisting of staff and counselors …
We help each one grow in emotional security through ongoing daily care, deepening family ties, emotional counsel, and physical care and security.
We provide a quality English education that is critical for giving our children the opportunity to become women of influence in society.
We provide opportunities for music, arts, sports, and drama that develop the unique gifting of each child.
Education is provided through college level and advanced degree programs.
Most importantly, in this writer’s opinion, is the pursuit of creating a new family for life, just as the Lord laid on Ralph Borde’s heart.
“Once a child is welcomed here, she becomes an irreplaceable member of our family. The girls are not up for adoption because they have a permanent place of belonging, right here with us. She’s ours to love, nurture, teach, and enjoy.
“Our children always have a place to call home. We’re family for keeps, connected and involved with our kids for life. We’re covering their tuition bills and paying for their weddings; we’re there when they dedicate their babies, and when they come home to celebrate holidays.”
The marvelous strategy of As Our Own generates sustainable relationships that reproduce themselves as the family grows. And, as the family grows, so does the capacity to adopt vulnerable children as their own.
Just as all children grow from one stage of maturity to another, so do ours. We’re right there with them as they complete their studies, take on new responsibilities, make mistakes, and grow into adulthood.
Through it all, just like any other parent would, we love and encourage our children and offer them support and advice. We discipline and correct them to help them grow. In this, there is great joy!
And just as all parents love their children for life, so we love ours. For life.
Missions Box News encourages readers to learn more about this visionary ministry by visiting the As Our Own website.
Source: As Our Own, Official Website