Our Ohana Sanctuary
A place of refuge, safety and love for children
As Papa and I rolled around different phrases for our foster care page, we found ourselves searching for something that truly expressed our hearts. We wanted it to represent who we are, why we are doing what we do, and what passions the Lord has placed on our hearts in this foster care journey.
This is how we came up with Our Ohana Sanctuary.
Whenever I hear the word, “Ohana”, I can’t help but remember THIS CLIP from Disney’s movie, “Lilo and Stitch.”
“Ohana means, ‘family.’ Family means, ‘nobody gets left behind, or forgotten’.”
In learning about the Hawaiian culture, one of the first things people may notice is that FAMILY is very important. The OHANA is important. There is intense loyalty in one’s Ohana. They stand firm with one another. Adults, in general, are often called “Auntie” or “Uncle” out of respect, even if there is no blood relation. The concept of “family” is vital and strong.
Unfortunately, the reality is, some Ohanas need a little (or a lot of) extra help and support from time-to-time. They need help so they can be strong again. This is where we come into the picture. Our family welcomes children through the Foster Care System into our home. Moms and Dads work on bettering themselves and their situations while we come alongside and help care for their children during the process.
In helping other families be families again, we recognize our Ohanas, our families, join together in some capacity. By making ourselves available to them, we are essentially letting them know,
“Ohana means, ‘family’ … and none of you will be left behind, or forgotten.”
The parents are important to the Ohana.
The children are important to the Ohana.
No one will be left behind or forgotten.
Through various Bible studies, I have come to love the meaning and significance behind a “Sanctuary.” It is a place where the Lord resides and is also a place of safety.
One definition, in particular, stands out as we become a sanctuary to children in need. A sanctuary is …
“A place of refuge or safety.”
THAT is what we desire to be for the children who come from tough and unsafe situations. Their home is not safe, for whatever reason. We are to be their sanctuary, their safe place. A place where they can learn to trust again, be loved unconditionally, cared for completely, and protected from harm, neglect or abuse.
This is our hope in our foster care journey.
In essence, Our Ohana Sanctuary is our heart and our home. It’s where children can be part of a family and be protected, safe and loved.
To God be the Glory!