People are driven by different things. For siblings David Richardson and Charlotte Parrack, and her husband Roy, it is that burning desire to answer God’s call to help the orphans of Colombia.
There are about one million orphans in Colombia: half of them in institutions, while the rest are on the streets. Many end up becoming victims of violence and exploitation.
“It is said 60 times in the Bible to take care of orphans,” Charlotte said.
Having been to Colombia for mission trips many times in the past, Richardson and the Parracks have found it in their hearts to form Crusaders for the Fatherless, a nonprofit organization. It ministers to Colombian orphans through “Christ-centered” mission trips and paves a way for them to experience meaningful family life through the Padrino Program, Adoption Awareness, and the Family Vacation Host Program, which all provide opportunities for adoption.
The Padrino/Madrina (Godfather/Godmother), not only supports the child financially every month, he/she also strives to build a relationship with his/her godchild through constant communication.
The Family Vacation Host Program, meanwhile, allows an orphan to spend three weeks with a host family, letting him experience family structure and activities, such as regular meals around the table.
“It is an experience unlike any other, the most heartwarming experience I’ve ever had,” Charlotte said. Her goddaughter, and her brother’s, from Colombia, spent last Christmas in the Parrack home. They were able to share with them the Christmas tradition.
The program’s latest goal is to bring over at least seven children next summer, and encourage more families in Brown County to open their homes to these children.
Knowing the wide reach of social media, the Crusaders decided to raise funds and awareness by setting up a Facebook page for the organization and a separate one for the Crusaders for the Fatherless Online Auction.
You can find them at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crusaders-for-the-Fatherless/1431410Av85779028.
The Online Auction will go on until December 15. Ornaments and other donated items are already up for bidding on their Facebook page. Winners will pay for the items and the shipping. Items that cannot be shipped, such as “cows or cars,” need to be picked up. All forms of donation are accepted, and may be dropped off with Charlotte Parrack at the Heartland Mall, or picked up at preferred location.
The Crusaders for the Fatherless is the only orphan ministry in the United States allowed to spend time with the children inside Colombian orphanages. It follows rules and procedures set by U.S. and Colombian government agencies to safeguard the welfare of the orphans and ensure sound process in ministering, hosting, and adoption. It does not use donations for administrative costs, and all donations are tax-deductible. Excess donations are put into future missionary trips.
Since the Crusaders for the Fatherless was founded in September 2011, it has helped 25 children from Colombia to be adopted by loving families in Texas.
“God has a sense of humor,” said Charlotte. The Parracks, now in their late 50’s, have always thought themselves too old to adopt. Now, they are going to be parents again to their two goddaughters, aged 12 and 15. They are both coming home in March 2013.
“They are more a blessing to our family than we are to them,” added Charlotte. “Everyone is very excited.”