Knowing Hope, by Cindy Morrison
Seventeen years ago I embarked on a journey of faith which forever changed my life. I had received a beckon to follow boldly in His lead, even though it would mean living a very non traditional life. Despite being a bit terrified, the resulting yes to that call enabled family for five former orphans (including three with life threatening medical diagnoses) and full time work with the establishment of a ministry called Knowing Hope Inc.
Knowing Hope was established officially as a 501 © (3) in 2016 after 11 years of volunteer work in Chinese orphanages using my skills as a pediatric occupational therapist. The work began with the education of caregivers regarding children with medical and developmental/special needs. Over the course of my experience in orphanages, I noticed the culture had shifted from healthy, primarily female babies due to enforcement of the one child policy to children of all ages with significant medical and developmental needs. I soon began to discover the reasons behind this shift: the inability of impoverished families to afford medical care for their children with chronic or catastrophic diagnoses. Because the healthcare system is accessed through up front payment for services and medications, those families who are unable to pay are turned away. The result is that many impoverished families are faced with the horrific decision of choosing health care and life by sending their children to the orphanage, or parenting their children knowing that in doing so the children will die prematurely. God had seen to it that I had experienced the global orphan crisis first hand, and received a glimpse into part of the solution: addressing this crisis at it’s root by keeping families together whenever possible.
The mission of Knowing Hope is simple: to serve the most vulnerable children in China through orphan prevention, orphan care, and teaching.
Orphan prevention/family preservation is the largest aspect of our work where we partner emotionally and financially with impoverished families to enable access to medical care for children with ongoing medical needs. These children have diagnoses such as leukemia, brain tumors, transfusion dependent thalassemia, burns, hemophilia, and liver failure which require sustained medical treatment.
Through our orphan care program, we seek to reach the sickest of the sick by providing palliative care and hospice programs so that the children will feel love and care during times of suffering. When possible, we help to identify adoptive families for orphans through advocacy. In addition, we provide medical and therapeutic supplies for orphans as well as consultative support to facilitate child development.
Finally, Knowing Hope brings medical and therapeutic experts to China to provide teaching to both orphanage caregivers and parent groups. We believe that empowering others through education is a fundamental way to promote change. Knowing Hope has offered free health care clinics for families to share the most updated standards of care for specific diseases. We have been fortunate to develop relationships with Chinese nationals, allowing us to partner with native speakers to best deliver information.
Many times I am asked how I am able to do this. How can a single mother of 5 also do the full time work of establishing Knowing Hope. The answer is actually quite simple. This is not me. It is not humanly possible. It is only through a weak yes to a call and trusting an almighty God to take care of the rest that this life has become a reality.
For more information about Knowing Hope, please visit our website at www.knowinghope.org