ONE Makes a Difference
What began with one girl, one conversation, one prayer, and one home is now, 20 years later, a multinational organization impacting the lives of hundreds of children and thousands more who are connected through love, prayers, and financial support. As you read the story of Homes of Love and watch the video below, we hope you are encouraged that one makes a difference - YOU make a difference!
In 1975, one girl in high school watched as the events of the Vietnam War unfolded on the news, and images of innocent children left abandoned were seared in her mind. In contrast to these devastating images, she had the opportunity to witness the redemptive journey of one of these children. A baby girl airlifted out of Vietnam at the very end of the war was adopted by this high schooler’s Young Life leader. Through these experiences, God planted one dream in her heart; to someday adopt a child from this very country.
Twenty years later, married with five biological children, Debbie Chesney and her husband Gary followed her dream to complete their family by adopting a baby girl from Vietnam. After staying in the country for a month to complete paperwork, they were thrilled to finally head home with their new daughter. As the plane wheels lifted off the tarmac, Debbie looked out the window and felt overcome by the number of children left behind. Her heart was broken for the magnitude of need of other abandoned or orphaned children without families to care for them.
In 2000, the Chesneys had one conversation with a pastor visiting from Vietnam, not realizing how this conversation would shape the rest of their lives. The pastor had a vision for how to help the many orphaned children of Vietnam. He spoke about his belief that children belong in families and his desire that they could grow up in the homes of Christians who would love and care for them for life. Debbie and Gary were drawn to this vision, as it brought to life the dream God had placed in their heart’s years before.
Half a world away, at the same time as the meeting with this pastor, a team from their church had traveled to pray blessing for the country of Vietnam. Through a series of circumstances, God, in his miraculous way, orchestrated one prayer to be prayed by someone on this team. God had burdened a team member named Sue to pray that Christians in this country would have a heart to open their homes to orphaned children and embrace these children as their own. Just as miraculously, this one prayer was prayed right in front of what would later become the first Homes of Love home!
Through one prayer and one partnership with this pastor and his church in Vietnam began Homes of Love, one home which welcomed five orphaned children into a loving family. And over these 20 years of Homes of Love, this dream has expanded to include children in Zimbabwe and Cambodia with over 246 children welcomed into homes across the three countries.
We celebrate not just the years, but the ways we have seen God move through one girl with one dream, through one conversation, through one prayer, and through one home to become so much more!