Hope for the Hopeless
Our own Tiffany Taylor Wines has been nominated as part of the #SheIsNoble project. #SheIsNoble is inspired by the story of Christina Noble, a contemporary Irish heroine who escaped the slums of Dublin to rescue a million lives on the streets of Vietnam (learn more about the project). Larisa Kline shares her story:
In 1996, Tiffany Wines and her husband travelled to Russia to adopt their first child. Two years later, they returned to adopt their second child. Although it’s been almost twenty years, Wines says there are faces that still haunt her. “When I look in the faces of my two kids,” she explains, “and see their lives and opportunity and friends, I just think of the children who were left behind and don’t have all that.”
These children have given her hope and driven her motivation ever since. In 1999, Wines became the Marketing Director for Buckner International and the first Director of Shoes for Orphan Souls (SOS). Under her leadership, the program grew to provide over one million shoes to orphans in fifty countries. Her experience led her to help found Orphan Outreach, a ministry dedicated to serving orphans and vulnerable children worldwide.
Wines and the other founders noticed that the biggest way they could help transform the lives of orphan children was through empowering them with a future. “We work to help develop plans so that orphans can have a plan for their future. We support them with education, spiritual help, and psychological help. We want them to become independent and substantial members of their own community,” she says.
In 2009, Wines co-created Women for Orphans Worldwide (WOW), an auxiliary to Orphan Outreach, which raises money and allows families to go abroad and serve together. The idea for WOW came after Wines and a few of her friends took their daughters to Guatemala for missions work. After the trip, they all came together to share pictures and debrief. “Our girls said, ‘What are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do for those kids we saw?’”
“Just that day I had heard that they needed scholarship money to send kids to private Christian school,” she continues. “I said to the girls, ‘I know it’s a lot of money, but that’s what we need to do.’ And they said, ‘Okay, let’s do it.” She and her friends watched as their daughters, all 7th graders, brainstormed ideas and quickly raised $9,000 to send sixty orphans to school.
The young girls who inspired the creation of WOW are now in college. For Wines, it’s the dedication of those who work in the ministry alongside her and the success stories that keep her going. “Seeing my children smile when they serve. Their smiles light up my world that I know that they know they are loved, and understand the joy of loving others. You don’t need anymore inspiration than that to keep going.”
Although Wines knows she can’t adopt every orphan she meets or change every child’s life, she is aware of the impact she’s creating. “We all can do something individually, but if you can inspire others—wow—who knows what’s in store,” she says. Inspiring others creates hope and for Wines, hope is what her ministry is all about. As Wines says, “There’s nothing more powerful than a child who finally has hope.”