For Courtney Hohenlohe Langenburg, Holt’s development officer, working on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children around the world is personal. And nowhere was she reminded of this more than in Mongolia…
It started in 2015. After a meeting, Paul Kim came to my desk and said, “You know, we should totally do a donor team to Mongolia.” I replied with what I can only imagine was a very blank stare, “Why?”
He sold me on the idea and two and a half years later a team of us were off. I didn’t know a lot about our programs in Mongolia. I just knew it as a small program that Paul had talked about from time to time and that I had a few donors specifically interested in. I left for Ulaanbaatar with an open heart and an open mind.
I want to highlight one day — a day that was particularly hard. After we went to visit the Red Stone School, we went out to visit families who were living near the landfill. The staff in Mongolia took us to find families who needed help — and hope. These families were literally living among the trash of the landfill. In on ger, they were surviving on moldy bread they had found in the garbage.
As an adoptee, it’s impossible not to see yourself in every child who seems to have a less fortunate outcome. That day I found myself asking, “Why me, God? Why was my outcome so different?”
One of my donors, a mother of two children from Mongolia, once told me that the hardest part for her was looking at the ones who would be left behind. The ones who would not go home with a family.
I understand so clearly that I’ve been blessed with the privilege to speak up for those who did not get to go home. And those who do not have anyone to advocate for them. After that I week I understood why Paul, for years, had been pushing me towards Mongolia. He knew that if he could get people to see the program we would understand the need. My heart is awake and ready to answer the call for these kids!
Courtney Hohenlohe Langenburg | Development Officer