Couple devoted to orphans
Rick and Karie Beauchamp, of Paris, started traveling the country in a recreational vehicle 19 months ago for a serious purpose.
They are traveling the entire country, going to various churches and talking to anyone who will listen, to spread the word and gather support for the ministry they are pursuing in Romania. The former Soviet-bloc country is wracked with poverty, and with poverty tends to come an overabundance of orphans. Romania is no exception. The Beauchamps, along with two other couples and Vital Link Ministries International, are working to make a difference for Romanian children.
“How the Lord loves us is how we need to love these children,” says Rick Beauchamp.
There are currently 70,000 documented orphans in Romania. It is estimated 15 to 20 percent of Romanian girls, some as young as nine, are sold into human trafficking and never seen or heard from again. Families give their children away or sell them into slavery because they cannot afford them. The winters are harsh, and the drug abuse is rampant. Fifteen percent of orphans in Romania don’t make it to their 20th birthday.
In August 2014, after speaking with other missionaries who had experience in Romania, the Beauchamps took a survey trip and got an idea of what needs done in Romania. They’ve known since 2002 this is what they are called to do.
“While we were there in 2014, we felt strongly compelled to take action seeing the need,” says Beauchamp. “There were children wandering the streets with no one to love them and care for them. We realized this is an actual problem.”
There are a few orphanages operating in Romania already, but they are far from caring organizations. Children are handcuffed to their cribs with rags and not given the physical or adequate nutritional care they need. Beyond getting children off the streets, these orphanages do little to care for the children of Romania.
Making the decision to commit to ministering in Romania feels natural to the couple.
“We’re investing in people, in the very heartbeat of God, which is people,” says Rick Beauchamp. “He died for all of their crimes and wants to reach as much of mankind as possible. We’re going to show the compassion God has showed us, and show that in Romania.”
Their goal is to raise enough funding and support to sustain them in Romania without requiring them to come home in a year seeking more donations, as many missionaries do.
“Our desire is to take a little extra time now to raise proper funds so we don’t have to come back and raise funds again,” says Rick Beauchamp. “This isn’t stuff we can walk away from. This is our life calling.”
They plan to become dual citizens and live in Romania for the rest of their lives.
The Beauchamps are working with two other couples, Clayton and Vickie Morris of Alabama and Catalin and Georgiana Stanica of Romania. The friends will live at the orphanage with the children once it is completed.
“We’re going to be with them around the clock,” said Rick Beauchamp. “We’re essentially going to raise them as our own, and be their moms and dads.”
Not only will the orphanage provide a place for unwanted children to live off the streets, it will be a place for them to get a godly education. In addition to learning basic arithmetic and other typical school subjects, the children will be mentored in how to live honorably, how to earn a living so they don’t have to resort to crime and how to represent the Lord in everything they do.
“They’ll be working to be productive citizens who have their lives reflective of what Christians ought to be,” he said.
Cristina’s House, named after the first orphan rescued and currently being cared for by the Morris family in Romania, is due to be fully operational three years from now. The Beauchamps hope to be in Romania full time in the summer of 2018.
The boys dormitory is 90 percent built, and money is being saved for the girls dormitory, with an estimated cost of $200,000.
“We just lay it down to the Lord for everything,” Rick Beauchamp said.
The biggest challenge for the orphanage is not having enough room to take in all the children.
The Beauchamps want to reach as many children as possible, but their goal is to start out with a dozen boys and a dozen girls. Down the road, they hope to purchase more land and put up more buildings.
While in Romania, the couple will help with church planting ministries, but their main focus is the orphanage.
“We’re investing in the future of Romania, and the future is those children,” said Rick Beauchamp. “We want to build up their trust not only in us but in the Lord.”
Born and raised in Paris and both graduates of Paris High School, the Beauchamps are excited about making a stop in Paris near the end of September or early October.
The visit will last approximately one month, and they are looking forward to interacting with churches and people from their hometown and making new friends.
While in Paris, they will collect donations for their Romania orphanage project. Donors can specify how they want the money spent, whether it be for dormitories, purchasing a bed, clothing or other materials for the children.
To get in touch with the Beauchamps, support their ministry or keep up to date on what they’re doing, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They send out a monthly prayer letter to let people know where they are on the road and accomplishing great things for Christ.