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When Rescue Smells Like Lavender
by Ronne Rock
Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2014
The scent of lavender and hibiscus fills the air of the hallway, and laughter and conversation breaks the silence of the otherwise quiet hillside building. It’s afternoon in Xela at Little House of Refuge, and while the younger children enjoy playtime outside, a group of young women are hard at work taking care of special guests who have come to visit. And the fragrance and laughter and care might just be what saves their lives in years to come.


Lourdes and Teresa, the two women who run Little House, have never viewed simple basic care to the children as an option. The women want to ensure the girls and boys are also well-educated and vocationally trained. With help from Orphan Outreach partners and donors, the school at the children’s home now features a computer lab, sewing room, bakery, and beauty school. For the young women learning to cut, color and style hair - and for their guests from the United States who participate in the training – the vocational classes inspire dreams of working in a salon or resort. The students are attentive to every moment of coaching and direction, and even the most shy of students can’t help but smile as she sees the work of her hands.

But there is an even more profound purpose at work in the classroom. Rescue.

The odds are stacked against an orphan who ages out. Those at highest risk for human trafficking are the uneducated and unskilled. But with every computer program learned, cake baked, apron sewn, or French braid mastered, the children at Little House become less vulnerable to slave trade, gang activity, and prostitution.

“So often, we think of rescue as going into brothels or sweatshops and saving the innocent,” says Mike Douris, Orphan Outreach Founder and President. “We believe that’s absolutely necessary. But we also believe rescue can be preventative – and that’s why we come alongside national ministries that have a passion for providing complete care for the orphaned and the poor.”


For Madison Rock (pictured above), an Orphan Outreach mission trip participant, the time spent having her hair styled was powerful. “To think about the eternal impact of a simple afternoon in a classroom – that allowing someone to shampoo and dry my hair could mean a great job and a safe future? That’s overwhelming and beautiful.”

From child sponsorship to offering vocational training on mission trips and investing in educators and much-needed resources, you can be part of a bright future for orphans.

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