When we have eyes to see, we realize every child deserves a chance.
“Without the Door of Hope Village, there’s no place for the children who aren’t adopted to go,” said Paul Langston, missions mobilization consultant for North Carolina Baptists on Mission.
In the South African city of Johannesburg, up to 50 babies are abandoned each month on the streets, in garbage cans, rivers, fields and landfills.
Through a partnership with a ministry called the Door of Hope, Baptists on Mission (also known as North Carolina Baptist Men; NCBM) has helped rescue as many of these children as possible. Since 1999, the Door of Hope has rescued more than 1,500 infants.
Now the partnership is expanding to include a village where children who are not adopted through the Door of Hope can grow up in a safe and loving Christian environment.
On a farm just outside of Johannesburg, the Door of Hope Village is taking shape.
Over the next several years, volunteers, including many North Carolina Baptists, will be constructing cottages that will house up to six rescued children and house parents at the village.
The Door of Hope Village will be a place where children can live free from the chaos and pain they would normally experience. The village will be a place where love is on display and encounters with Jesus are a reality.
“The No. 1 priority is for a child to be adopted into a forever family,” says Paul Langston, NCBM missions mobilization consultant.
“The village is for the children who aren’t chosen for adoption. Without the Door of Hope Village, there’s no place for the children who aren’t adopted to go.”
Langston oversees the ministry partnership between NCBM and the Door of Hope. Part of his role includes coordinating and facilitating the logistics for missions teams from North Carolina to serve at the Door of Hope Village and other places around the world.
In February of this year, a team from North Carolina was one of the first to begin work at the site where the Door of Hope Village is taking shape. Since then, four other teams from North Carolina have traveled to Johannesburg to work at the village.
In May, a team began making the concrete blocks that will form the walls and structure of the first cottage for house parents and orphans.
Making the bricks is a time-intensive process, Langston said. The concrete is poured into a mold where it must sit for about a day or two. Then it must be left to cure for about a month.
Langston plans to lead a team to the village in November that should see the completion of the first cottage at the village.
The long-term vision is for the village to include about 70 cottages, as well as a school and a child development center. Children living at the village will be able to receive an education and learn various life skills and occupational trades. Plus, they’ll be brought up in a nurturing Christian environment by their house parents.
Ministry partnerships like the one between NCBM and Door of Hope are possible thanks to the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO). This offering is typically received in September, and it supports a variety of ministries including disaster relief, church planting and missions mobilization projects with various ministry partners in North America and around the world.
The theme for this year’s offering is “Eyes to See,” based upon John 4:35.
“NCMO gifts are making an eternal impact on lives that were literally discarded,” Langston said.
As a former pastor and director of missions, Langston said he has seen firsthand how God has used missions to revitalize churches and their members.
“I’ve seen God use missions involvement to bring new life and renewal to local churches,” Langston said. “Having an external focus is critical for a local church to be the church that God intends it to be.”
N.C. Baptists can support the NCMO by praying, giving and going. Langston encourages those who feel called to go on a short-term missions trip to trust that God will use them, even if they don’t know how.
“Trust that God will use you and your gifts, whatever they are,” Langston says. “You may not even know how God will use you until you are there, but you can rest assured that He will.”
Langston said there will be plenty of opportunities to serve in Johannesburg with the Door of Hope Village in the future, and many diverse skills will be needed. And the work and ministry being done there is a picture of what Christ has done for us, Langston says.
“You’re taking a child who had no hope because they had literally been discarded, and you’re giving them hope and a brand new life,” Langston said. “That’s a metaphor for what Jesus Christ does for us.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Watch a video about the Door of Hope Village by visiting vimeo.com/channels/ncmo. To learn more about the North Carolina Missions Offering, visit ncmissionsoffering.org.)