Category Archives: Radio Show

Celebrating Our 200th Episode of Orphans No More!!!

We are so excited to celebrate the 200th episode of our radio program, Orphans No More!  It amazes us that we’ve been on the air for 4 years now.  As JFO was being birthed our mission was clear:  defend the cause of the fatherless by advocating for Christians to adopt, foster and care for orphans & families.  Almost immediately the Lord opened the door to this radio show opportunity.   Our team realized that Christian radio combined with social media would be an effective way to inspire, educate and equip the body of Christ to walk out James 1:27.  With virtually no experience in broadcasting or communications, we stepped through the door by faith and here we are 200 shows later.

Our show director and host, Sandra Flach (executive director of JFO), has had the privilege of interviewing  foster and adoptive families, agency professionals,  and orphan ministry leaders locally and nationwide.  Thanks to technology and the creative skills of WDCD producer, Kenneth Burns, the team has interviewed guests from around the globe as well.

In honor of the 200th show former cohost and cofounder of JFO, Mary Slager, joins Flach for the celebratory episode.  Slager stepped down from the show 3 years ago but hasn’t retired.  At age 72 she and her husband still have a houseful of children.  They recently adopted a boy they had been fostering and continue to foster and provide respite.

Orphans No More airs Fridays at 1:30pm EST on The New Light WDCD 96.7fm or 1540am Albany, NY, and can also be streamed live from the station website.  The station also rebroadcasts each show Sundays at 10:30am and Wednesdays at 1:30pm.  Past episodes of the broadcast, including the 200th show from August 11, 2017, can be found right on this website by clicking on “Radio Show” and then “Orphans No More.”  Give a listen and let us know what you think!

 

Feeding The Orphans

“Why should we eat like kings and queens when they have nothing?”  – Sydney O’Leary age 10

Recently we had the opportunity to chat with Sydney O’Leary, now age 14, and her dad, Righ (rhee) founders of Feeding The Orphans.  Sydney is a glowing example of how anyone, no matter their age, can walk out God’s mandate in James 1:27 to care for orphans and widows.  

When Sydney was just 7 she began pestering her parents to adopt a sister for her since she already had 2 brothers.  After much prayerful perseverance Sydney’s parents, Righ & Kristie, began to hear God’s call to adopt.  In the process Sydney spent much time reading blogs and watching videos about orphans and adoption.  As a result, not only did her parents adopt from Ghana, Africa, but Sydney’s heart was ruined for the orphaned.

She was moved to design and sell t-shirts to raise money so her parents could by food for the street kids in Ghana when they traveled to complete their adoption.  Sydney’s goal was to raise $500 but incredibly $8,000 came in and Feeding The Orphans was birthed out of that first step of faith by a 10 year old girl.

Today, not only have the O’Leary’s adopted 4 children from Ghana, but Feeding The Orphans has established several different programs in Ghana and Togo from orphan care through child sponsorship, to family preservation initiatives, to Water For Life.  What God planted in a little girl’s heart, He is continuing to grow, and the fruit is evident in the lives of orphans who are touched by the O’Leary’s and their ministry.  To learn more visit Feedingtheorphans.org.

Coming Full Circle

Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives Him who sent me.  For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.  Luke 9:48

In 1999 Pastor Stan & Mary Slager adopted a sibling group of 4 children from Ukraine.  The oldest child, 9 year old Sergey barely spoke and was labeled by a doctor in Ukraine as being retarded.  Fast forward 15 years and Sergey, towering over 6 ft., has proven that diagnosis wrong.  After graduating high school and attending community college, Sergey is a man after God’s own heart.

Having been adopted into a Christian family and accepting Christ at age 16, Sergey has been walking with the Lord and even served as youth leader at his home church, Gospel Community Church in Coxsackie, NY.  But God has bigger plans for Serg.  Sensing God’s leading, Sergey recently spent 6 months in Ukraine attending a Discipleship Training School at the YWAM (Youth With a Mission) base in Vinnitsa, Ukraine.  This base has a special ministry to older orphans who age-out of the orphanage system.  This trip even included ministry outreach in neighboring Moldova which has a huge orphan and human trafficking epidemic.

Upon Sergey’s return home he shared with us that God was calling him back to Ukraine for full time ministry to Ukraine’s orphans.  The next step for him is a YWAM Leardership School in Ternopil, Ukraine, beginning in mid-July.  He will return to the States after 7 weeks of training to begin raising support to enter the  mission field back in his birth country.

Sergey’s story is a full-circle testimony of obedience.  Pastor Stan and Mary walked in obedience as the Lord called them to adopt internationally.  Sergey walks in obedience to God’s call to return to his county of birth to minister to children who are in the same place he once was – a Ukrainian orphanage.

To learn more about Sergey’s plans or to make a financial contribution to help Serg, call 518-731-6735.

Orphans No More – Part 1 Spirit of Adoption

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.  In love He predestined us for adoption to Sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.  Ephesians 1:4-5

According to the above Scripture we have been adopted by our Heavenly Father, but are you living like a son or daughter or are you living like an orphan?

The whole idea of adoption was created by God and modeled for us in the Gospel.  I’ve been a Christian for almost 30 years and today I understand my salvation better than ever as a result of having physically adopted 5 children.  Before God adopted us – we were orphans.  We did not belong to the family of God.  When we come to Christ and receive salvation in God’s merciful love, He didn’t stop there.  It would have been enough just to have been saved from sin, but He gave us so much more.  He gave us a new name, a new family, and a new life.  We became sons and daughters with a hope, a future, and an inheritance.

God didn’t adopt us because He needed kids.  He wanted kids but He didn’t need them.  He adopted us because we needed a Father.  John 1:12 says Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.  We became His children.  And 1 John 3:1 says See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!  

When my husband Wayne and I traveled to Ukraine 7 years ago to adopt, we didn’t go because we needed kids; we already had 4.  But God put an ache in our hearts for orphans who had no family.  We adopted 3 siblings who became our children.  They had living birth parents whose parental rights had been removed due to neglect, alcoholism, and abandonment.  When we adopted our kids they got a new family – a mom and dad, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins.  They got everything our biological kids were entitled to.  To us there is no difference because there is no difference.

Spiritual adoption does the same thing.  In Christ we get a new family, a Heavenly Father, a church family – brothers and sisters in Christ.  We become joint-heirs with Christ the Son of God.  Romans 8:17 says Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ the Son of God.  

When we accept Christ as our Savior we begin using a new name – Christian.  “Christian” is the family name.  It’s our identity.  The same thing happens with physical adoption.  When we adopted our Ukrainian-born kids they became Flachs.  They literally got new birth certificates with their new names and our names as parents.  And after they arrived in the United States, they got new citizenship papers declaring them U.S. citizens.  As Christians our name gets listed in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  We get new citizenship papers too – to the Kingdom of God.

Adoption gives a child a new life.  They go from mere existence in an orphanage to living in a family.  They get freedom and new life.  As Christians we get a new life too.  We become new creations in Christ.

Adoption is the Gospel and it’s also warfare.  When Christians adopt a child they are taking that child out of the darkness and bringing him into the Light of a Christian home, a place where they can learn about their Heavenly Father and Jesus their Savior.  Our adopted kids have all accepted Christ.  That is a huge threat to the kingdom of darkness just as when a sinner becomes a son.  1 Peter 2:9 says But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s chosen possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.  

Adoption is not natural.  Adoption is divine.  We have been adopted.  Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter which is the first recorded adoption.  Esther was adopted by her cousin Mordecai.  And Jesus was adopted by Joseph the carpenter.  Adoption is the heartbeat of the Father.  He adopted us into His family.  He gave us a new name, a new identity.  He gave us a new future and an inheritance.  Physical adoption of children models the Gospel.  We are no longer orphans.  

The Lord rescues and redeems.  Physical adoption is a model of what God does for us in the spiritual.  Left in our sinful state we would be headed to death and hell.  I know what future my adopted kids would have faced if they’d remained in a Ukrainian orphanage.  Death and hell about sums it up.

Another way physical adoption reflects spiritual adoption is in the ransom paid.  Adoption is ridiculously expensive.  That’s because the enemy opposes it.  When we were in Ukraine 4 years ago for our 2nd adoption, I felt like we were being held for ransom.  We were there for 4 weeks (I know that’s short for Ukrainian adoption) and just wanted to bring our son home.  But everyday there was some document that needed to be processed and some fee that needed to be paid.  I was really struggling with the process and spent some time in prayer.  The Lord reminded me that He paid the ultimate price for me – the life of His Son.  And let’s not forget that Jesus was ransomed for 30 pieces of silver.  It’s not pretty – it’s warfare!

Adoption also requires sacrifice.  God sacrificed His only Son to adopt us.  Physical adoption also requires sacrifice.  Adoptive families sacrifice time, money, and most of all – self.  It’s true die-to-self living.

In closing, I’ll leave you with 1 John 3:16-18 – This is how we know what love is:  Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with action and in truth.  Sounds like adoption to me.

Orphans No More – Part 1:  Spirit of Adoption, by Sandra Flach.

Fostering by Faith

No unbelief made him (Abraham) waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised.  Romans 4:20

Just as God promised Abraham and Sarah children and they waited in faith for God to fulfill that promise, foster parenting is also a walk of faith.  And just like any walk of faith, as we walk and wait on God, our faith grows and He gets the glory.

As JFO continues to celebrate Foster Care Month we recently talked with foster and adoptive mom, Deana Zoeller.  Deana and her husband, Doug, of the Capital Region in NY, have fostered by faith 10 children, adopting 2 of them.  They currently are fostering a 3 year old with special needs as well.  Deana shared with us that she and Doug take God’s call to care for orphans in James 1:27 seriously.  In God’s perfect timing He brought biological brothers, Jadiel age 5 and Jadin age 6, into their home 4 years ago.  The boys came, as most foster children do, having suffered much trauma in their young lives.  Today though, they are both doing spectacularly.  Deana talked about how, as foster parents, we have to deal with the child’s past but we also get to call out who God created them to be.  Foster care is truly a saving a generation ministry!

To hear the Zoeller’s story from this website click on “Events” then “Radio Show” and choose the 5/23/14 episode of Orphans No More.  

Amazing Adoption Adventures

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.  

These verses from Ephesians 3 perfectly describe many of the amazing adoption stories we’ve heard.  Since adoption was God’s idea, when we are willing and obedient to answer God’s call to adopt, it releases God’s power into our lives.  God does do more than we can ask or imagine – we experience Him greater than every before, children are rescued, and God gets all the glory!

Recently we chatted with Sherrie Wixtrom from Orange County, NY.  Sherrie and her husband, Karl, had desired to adopt from the time they were teenagers.  As a married couple pursuing parenthood and experiencing infertility, they began their adoption adventure with the 2 separate adoptions of their sons through open domestic adoption.  Open adoption is when one or both biological parents have some contact with the adoptive family.  Though some families might feel threatened by maintaining some type of relationship with the bio parents, the Wixtroms shared that is has worked for their family.  Though the birth moms are not involved in the day to day lives of the children and even live in different states, it has been a blessing for everyone involved.

The Wixtrom’s next adoption experience came through the foster care system in Atlanta where they eventually adopted 4 children (3 of them siblings) all of whom have a diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  As the family settled into the hubbub of life with 6 kids, they relocated to Orange County, NY.  It was in NY that God called them again to “jump off the faith cliff” as Sherrie stated.  This time they felt led to adopt 2 teenage boys from China.  This adventure was nothing short of a miracle as the boys were 8 months away from aging out of the Chinese adoption system.  International adoption is a process that can take a year or more depending on the country, age, and gender of the child.  And since China is a Hague country, the paperwork process is much more lengthy.  God always accomplishes His purposes and everything from the paperwork to the finances came together in record time.

If you are interested in adoption but think it’s impossible, remember that God does do immeasurably more than we can ask or think.  To hear the Wixtrom’s adoption story from our Orphans No More radio show just click on “Events” then “Radio Show” right here on this website and choose the 5/16/14 episode.

Ministering to the Least of These Through Foster Care

Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me….Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  Matthew 25:34-40

Eric and Sandy Besenfelder are an upstate NY family who’ve been fostering for the past 4 years.  Foster care was nothing new to Sandy, who grew up in a family who fostered dozens of children throughout her childhood.  Sandy’s heart was open to fostering, but since they already had 5 daughters of their own (ages 5-17) Eric wasn’t so sure.  His heart was changed though after hearing an Orphan Sunday message Pastor Stan Slager brought to his congregation at Gospel Community Church in Coxsackie, NY.  That was over 4 years ago, and since then, the Besenfelder’s have fostered 2 dozen children and presently are fostering a precious 2 year old that they’ve had since she was 5 weeks old.  The Besenfelders believe that we are called to care for the least of these and foster care is a way to do just that.  To hear more of the Besenfelder’s story you can listen to it on this website by clicking “Events” and “Radio Show” and choose the May 2, 2014 episode of Orphans No More.

Orphans No More Radio Show

Orphans No More Show for 10.25.13

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