A New Chapter, A Family Focus

Imagine Missions is writing a new chapter of our story - we are reunifying the children in our care with their biological families.

You may have seen communication about this online, in the mail or from conversations with our leadership. We are so fortunate to have supporters like you that bless us through donations, prayers, and love. We want to make sure that you have all the information you need as we go through this transition. Our Fall 2019 newsletter and subsequent blog posts were and will be dedicated to bringing everyone up to speed on changed elements of Imagine Missions and how you can continue to partner with us to change lives and create hope.

At our annual board meeting in May 2019, God guided us to reflect upon the quality of the lives of the very children we started this organization to support. We came to a common conviction: we must pivot the way we care for our children to more accurately reflect what children need. We have decided to do this by reunifying the children in our care with their biological families.

We presumed the best and safest thing is to keep children in the orphanage. However, we can see that in Haiti and worldwide there is a shift in orphan care, as well as abundant research explaining why.

Research demonstrates many ways institutions harm children in their development and their future chances of success. Studies have shown placement in an orphanage results in lower cognitive functions including learning capacity. Children more commonly demonstrate unhealthy attachment patterns, depression, and anxiety. Because they are contained within orphanage walls, youth growing up in orphanages are shown to have fewer social and survival skills, and are more prone to abuse.

There is a better way to set children up for success and to ultimately know the love of Jesus - to reunite them with family.

We are just beginning the process of reunification of our children with their families. This pivot in care will more accurately reflect children's needs - individual adult attention and parenting, trusted parental figures, and a family model that is far superior to group living. Currently, we are being mentored and finding resources on the ground in Haiti who specialize in reunification and strengthening families.

This isn’t happening overnight; reunification will require preparing both the child and their family members. There will be strong social work follow-up to ensure the root cause of surrendering children to our orphanage is addressed. We want to ensure success in every way we can. We believe God is leading us to empower whole families in both this process of reunification and in our future.