A Consequence of 'Yes'
You’ve seen us post a lot about the financial crisis we’re living through here at Sarah’s Covenant Homes. You’ve read blogs and Facebook updates explaining the what and how much of SCH’s current debt ($54,208). But what I haven’t discussed yet is the how or the why. How did an organization that is about to celebrate its 10th birthday accrue this debt? How do we continue to provide the best care possible for our children and young adults while carrying such a burden? Why did we let it go on for so long before asking for help? Why are we pushing so hard now, less than one month away from the New Year, to clear this debt?
How did SCH accrue $54,208 of debt over the last several years? By continuing to say YES! Yes to God when He calls. Yes to the government when they have a child they’d like to transfer to our care. Yes to foster moms who found tiny, neglected children lying on a dirty floor. Yes to enrolling our children in school when their needs exceed what we can provide at home. Yes to quality medical care. Yes to love. Yes to family. Yes. Yes. YES.
Our debt is 100% the consequence of saying YES. 100% the consequence of following His command to care for the orphans in their distress. 100% the consequence of loving with our whole entire selves. 100% the consequence of finding value and worth in EVERY LIFE. 100% the consequence of being fully, abundantly committed to the holistic care of each and every person at SCH. 100% the consequence of following in the faithful footsteps of our founder.
SCH originated as a tremendous act of obedience in 2008 when Sarah petitioned a local government institute for the custody of 5 children with disabilities. Being stretched beyond SCH’s capacities even then, 10 children were taken into our care that day. This simple act of obedience, of stretching beyond our resources, of saying yes to the improbable was repeated over and over again. In many ways it is repeated still today. We take children into our care when the numbers say we shouldn’t. When the numbers say our doors should close, our hope is lost. When the numbers say no, our hearts say yes. We remember the number of children who have healed and thrived in our care. The number of children who have experienced miraculous growth while with SCH. The number of children we have helped usher home into the arms of The Father. The number of children we have seen taken into families as precious sons and daughters. We remember all the numbers that matter in the light of eternity, setting aside the numbers defined by this world.
How do we continue to provide our children and young adults with the best lives possible? By giving wholly of ourselves and our resources. By working our hardest to make sure that every single dollar spent has purpose. Biblical purpose. Quality of life purpose. Over this last year we have tried tenaciously to decrease our expenditure in every conceivable way. We’ve reduced the number of staff in our Indian office. We’ve reduced the number of staff in our homes. We’ve moved our stable adults to less expensive rental properties in Ongole. We’ve moved some children in Hyderabad to a more economical home. We’ve changed provisions vendors, hospitals. We started seeing a pediatrician who provides care for our children without charge. We’ve taken quotes from various pharmacies only to realize that our current medication vendor provides the best for our needs. We’ve combined (and subsequently separated) the kitchens for various homes. We’ve worked to look at each and every facet of our current budget and see where pieces could be trimmed, slimmed down.
Fortunately, we’re governed by a higher purpose, ruled by a higher calling. While we could cut our homes down to reflect the most cost efficient, institutional type care, we won’t. Our leaders are strong, Biblicaly minded. They know the truth of the Word, see the worth of our children. Our children and young adults warrant so much more than even we can offer. While we can’t give them more, we are committed to never giving them less. Less than they deserve. Less than they need. Less than God’s goodness can provide. While we will continue to look at ways that we can lower our expenses as an organization in the coming year, our commitment, our covenant with these children means that we will never let them go without. Without food. Without shelter. Without respect. Without love. Our covenant to these children will be upheld even in the tough times, even in this financial drought.
Why did we let it go this far before asking for help? Honestly, we weren’t sure that we needed it. We see our call to care for these children and adults so distinctly, feel it so viscerally, that we never thought we’d have to fight for it. Never thought it’d be a daily, uphill battle to connect with like-minded people and corporations. Never thought we’d be continuously put in a place to justify the worth, the significance of those in our care.
We also never thought we’d be so busy. Consumed by the tasks, the mundane moments of daily care. We never thought we’d love so much, be so invested that we’d lose sight of everything else. From the outside it seems crazy, chaotic, disastrous. From the inside, it’s just life. We’ve learned to do more with less. Learned to live through the lean times. Learned to stretch and bend and compromise in ways we never thought we would. Ultimately these times have made us stronger, more resilient, more passionate. Ultimately these times will lead us to be the exact organization we were meant to be.
Why are we working so hard to clear our debt after all this time? So that we can head into our 11th year of service with a clear slate, clear minds, and clear hearts. We want to start our next decade on solid footing, moving only forward and not tethered to the past. As the ideals of orphan care, abandonment prevention, and family empowerment change SCH hopes to adapt to these new standards. While we continue to care for the children and adults in our care, while we continue to hold our covenant with them close to our hearts, we desire to work toward family preservation whenever possible. As some of our focus shifts from caring for children after abandonment toward keeping children with their birth families whenever possible, we need to have those already in our care completely and utterly provided for. Without worry. Without anxiety. Without debt.
Because our debt is a consequence of our faithfulness, I have no doubt that God will eventually see it cleared. The God of every good thing is behind us, backing us. He’s been laying the foundation for the last year to have this debt paid. Softening our hearts. Humbling our spirits. Imbuing us with wisdom. We ask you to join us in this effort. To stand beside us. To lift us up in prayer. To love our children. To clear our debt.
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