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One on One with our HOL Parents

At Homes of Love, we believe God intends for every child to grow up in a family. We know that living in the love of a family helps children gain a deeper awareness and understanding of the Father’s love for them. We are grateful for the Lord’s provision of godly parents who are helping their Homes of Love children grow in their love of the Lord -- and into thriving adults!

We talked to Nelson Bhasa, our newest Homes of Love dad in Zimbabwe, and Tran Thi Phong, Homes of Love mom to 12 boys in Vietnam. They shared with us some of their personal stories, their desire to help children in need, and their feelings about being HOL parents.

Homes of Love: Nelson, your father passed away when you were a child and you were raised by an uncle. How did your experience influence your decision to become a Homes of Love parent?

Nelson: The environment I grew up in was very bad. We were often ill-treated.The way we were treated was different from what [my uncle] did to his children. I wanted to be a Homes of Love parent so that these vulnerable children would be given a chance to experience real family life where God is thought of first and the child’s safety and health is a priority.

HOL: Phong, your past also influences the way you parent but in a different way. Can you tell us about it?

Phong: I had both parents, so I experienced peace and bonds of affection. We also had trust in God, which was a great comfort to us. These children without parents have a great void in their heart and life. Many of my boys did not know God when they came into our home.

I teach [the boys] about God and how to lead a moral life, like my parents taught me. I also encourage them to pursue education as much as they can. I did not have this chance due to my family’s poverty.

HOL: Welcoming these children into your home and family is very counter-cultural in your countries. Why did you decide to do it anyway?

Nelson: At first, we thought the best thing for an at-risk child or orphan was to be in an orphange. After meeting Shadreck, HOL’s director in Zimbabwe, and his wife Millie, it dawned on us that having those children live in a home where they experience family love and are being nurtured is the best. We have the conviction of the Holy Spirit in our hearts to take up the challenge.

Phong: In 2005, our pastor suggested we become parents for some orphaned boys. We taught one of them in Sunday School and really loved him, but his suggestion was a surprise and we rejected it! After we thought about it, we decided to take the boys into our home. The task was from God and in His calling. At first, I thought the job was mainly to be responsible for the boys rather than love. Day by day, [God] has given me much more love for [the boys]. They are our family.

HOL: What is your greatest challenge as an HOL parent?

Nelson: Our only challenge is to cope with the child’s behavior and angry outbursts when we try to correct misbehavior with love.

Phong: For me, the greatest challenge is that each child has their own personality and background that sometimes makes me feel helpless as matters come up. As we come to the Lord and pray to Him, He helps us in solving the problems.

HOL: And what would you say is your greatest joy?

Nelson: Our greatest joy is we are doing what we feel is God’s will for us and HOL is empowering us to do so effectively. 

Phong: It is seeing these children grow up, making progress in their studies and living and serving the Lord in the church, teaching other HOL children God’s way. 

At Homes of Love, we believe God intends for every child to grow up in a family. We know that living in the love of a family helps children gain a deeper awareness and understanding of the Father’s love for them. We are grateful for the Lord’s provision of godly parents who are helping their Homes of Love children grow in their love of the Lord -- and into thriving adults!

We talked to Nelson Bhasa, our newest Homes of Love dad in Zimbabwe, and Tran Thi Phong, Homes of Love mom to 12 boys in Vietnam. They shared with us some of their personal stories, their desire to help children in need, and their feelings about being HOL parents.

Homes of Love: Nelson, your father passed away when you were a child and you were raised by an uncle. How did your experience influence your decision to become a Homes of Love parent?

Nelson: The environment I grew up in was very bad. We were often ill-treated.The way we were treated was different from what [my uncle] did to his children. I wanted to be a Homes of Love parent so that these vulnerable children would be given a chance to experience real family life where God is thought of first and the child’s safety and health is a priority.

HOL: Phong, your past also influences the way you parent but in a different way. Can you tell us about it?

Phong: I had both parents, so I experienced peace and bonds of affection. We also had trust in God, which was a great comfort to us. These children without parents have a great void in their heart and life. Many of my boys did not know God when they came into our home.

I teach [the boys] about God and how to lead a moral life, like my parents taught me. I also encourage them to pursue education as much as they can. I did not have this chance due to my family’s poverty.

HOL: Welcoming these children into your home and family is very counter-cultural in your countries. Why did you decide to do it anyway?

Nelson: At first, we thought the best thing for an at-risk child or orphan was to be in an orphange. After meeting Shadreck, HOL’s director in Zimbabwe, and his wife Millie, it dawned on us that having those children live in a home where they experience family love and are being nurtured is the best. We have the conviction of the Holy Spirit in our hearts to take up the challenge.

Phong: In 2005, our pastor suggested we become parents for some orphaned boys. We taught one of them in Sunday School and really loved him, but his suggestion was a surprise and we rejected it! After we thought about it, we decided to take the boys into our home. The task was from God and in His calling. At first, I thought the job was mainly to be responsible for the boys rather than love. Day by day, [God] has given me much more love for [the boys]. They are our family.

HOL: What is your greatest challenge as an HOL parent?

Nelson: Our only challenge is to cope with the child’s behavior and angry outbursts when we try to correct misbehavior with love.

Phong: For me, the greatest challenge is that each child has their own personality and background that sometimes makes me feel helpless as matters come up. As we come to the Lord and pray to Him, He helps us in solving the problems.

HOL: And what would you say is your greatest joy?

Nelson: Our greatest joy is we are doing what we feel is God’s will for us and HOL is empowering us to do so effectively. 

Phong: It is seeing these children grow up, making progress in their studies and living and serving the Lord in the church, teaching other HOL children God’s way.