Friday, December 22, 2006

225 orphans find homes

Wisconsin couple build new dream with Acres of Hope Orphanage
Freelance, Cynthia. Louisville Courier-Journal, Dec. 28, pg. J1.

Patty and Harold Anglin have 16 children - nine of them adopted and some with special needs - from the United States, India, Nigeria and Liberia.

They built their dream house in Mason, Wisc., in 2003, but it burned to the ground. So they made a life-changing decision: Instead of using the insurance money to rebuild, they opened the Acres of Hope Orphanage in Paynesville, Liberia, outside the capital of Monrovia.

"I grew up in Africa," said Patty Anglin, 54, whose parents were missionaries in the Congo.

The Anglins' mission was to save babies who were dying of malnutrition and malaria. Today, the couple's humanitarian organization operates two orphanages and is about to open a third. It's also building a hospital.

Besides arranging adoptions, Acres of Hope runs schools and food programs as a way to "help rebuild the country," said its secretary, Donna Barber.

Anglin also has written a book about the plight of the children that bears the same name as the orphanages, where there is no running water or electricity and as many as 300 diapers are scrubbed daily by hand.

"God tugged at my heart," said Patty Anglin, speaking by phone recently from her home in Mason, Wisc., just before leaving for Liberia. She goes there every six weeks to keep up with her mission. Outside the orphanages, thousands of children live in displaced camps in mud huts. The lucky ones may eat one meal every other day.

Acres of Hope completed adoptions for about 225 orphans who have gone to families in the United States, Canada and Belgium, Anglin said. "God has truly blessed us."

Anglin said the U.S. adoption process begins with a "complete home study from the state you are living in. Then contact our office and fill out an application and we will walk you through the steps."

Anglin said Liberia's $6,000 adoption fee is one of the lowest for international adoptions.More than 1 million children die before their first birthday each year in Liberia, one third of its 3 million population, Anglin said. And many mothers die during childbirth.

Anglin quotes a Scripture that says "take care of the widows and orphans."

"I have buried many babies," said said. "I'm tired of burying babies."


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