The Heart and History of Frontier Horizon
Eugene Rosini grew up in Brooklyn and remained in his beloved community for all his days. He married his high school sweetheart, June in 1954 and soon thereafter added two children, Vincent, and Joanne to their clan. They were a traditional Italian family that valued hard work, good food, enthusiastic debate, and family. At the age of 25, Eugene joined the NYPD and spent his entire professional life serving his community in this capacity. Vincent, who would go on to secure his PhD, and found Frontier Horizon in 2000, recalls his childhood with great fondness and a bit of hilarity. “I love you” may have never been uttered in his family home, but its qualities were demonstrated in a thousand ways throughout Vincent’s formative years. Dr. Rosini loves to tell the story of the day he said to his father, “Dad, you have never told me that you love me, but I know that you love me so much that you would take a bullet for me.” With a bit of a chuckle Dr. Rosini continues, “my dad looked at me and said, you’re a smart kid, and walked away.” Dr. Rosini, affectionately known by his friends as Vinny, never drifted far from the axiom embodied by his father, that actions speak louder than words.
As a typical young adult in the late 60’s and early 70’s Vinny was not immune from the many indulgences of the era. Eager to make new friends, see the world, and serve his country, he enlisted in the Marines. He served honorably until his discharge in 1977. Vinny’s life was deeply impacted by the people and experiences he had while serving as a Marine. It was during this time that his faith became his own and began to compel him to live his life for something more than his own personal gain. In 1991 he would go on a mission trip to Nicaragua that would shape his life and work in profound ways. What he witnessed among the impoverished people he visited was hard to imagine and impossible to forget. Many more trips would follow, and a lifetime of service would be focused on elevating the plight of the poor among those in a position to help.
An excerpt from a recent interview captures Dr. Rosini’s compulsion to serve. “In spite of the amount of time spent there, I still cannot get used to the level of poverty in which these children live. Malnutrition, rats nibbling at their feet while they sleep, filthy, unsanitary bathrooms, and a life of sheer boredom without finances to incorporate social activities – these are all unfortunate realities of the kids’ lives today. I think of children in America with healthy lives and loving families and the constant reality that children down there have neither. Yet, for me, these kids are not statistics. When I look into the eyes of ten-year-old Rebecca and she looks back at me with her bright beautiful smile, I am convinced I could not love her anymore if she was my own child. I often think of eleven-year-old Andre in Ukraine whose mother committed suicide and father abandoned him in the orphanage and wish there was a way to take away his pain and loneliness… I am often overwhelmed with the inability to meet so much need, like my work was only applying a ‘Band-Aid to a bullet hole’. I’ve got my finger in the dike of a world of suffering and dying and I don’t know what to do about it. I’m often overwhelmed by the needs of these children, but I’ve got to do something. Frontier Horizon was created with this goal in mind. Alleviating some of this suffering is the hope and the dream behind Frontier Horizon”.
Frontier Horizon (FH) is a faith-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization that exists to bridge the gap between vulnerable children and those in a position to help. Frontier Horizon is convinced that compassionate action changes lives. It is also convinced that those who experience the beauty and suffering of the poor firsthand, will be compelled to help. Presently FH serves children living in Ukraine, Nicaragua, and Colombia. After many years of taking teams abroad to experience the desperate need that exists in so many regions of the world, the idea of international child hosting began to develop. In the year 2000 Frontier Horizon was officially launched. Since those early days thousands of children and families have been served. Hundreds of children engage the international child hosting programs each year. Hundreds more are served in country through a myriad of humanitarian and development programs.
Why a Hosting Program?
Frontier Horizon is forever seeking new ways to connect vulnerable children with those in a position to help. It is a relatively small segment of the population that can take a couple of weeks off to travel to a foreign land and serve children in need. Thus, FH sought to find a way to bring the world to them. The international hosting program of Frontier Horizon was simply one more way to expose the world to the need, beauty and possibility of the worlds children. Orphan hosting provides a brief snap shot in time that is seeded with a world of opportunities that bear fruit for a lifetime.
The weeks children and their host families spend together are profound and deeply transformative. What results from these formative experience is as unique as the children and families that engage them. Many host families go on to pursue the adoptions of the children they host. Many others form surrogate families of sorts that establish deep and empowering relationships that carry children into adulthood. For nearly every family, hosting is the beginning of their compassionate journey not the end. At Frontier Horizon we bring orphans home, the steps that follow are yours to determine.
Frontier Horizon is an international child hosting agency. Frontier Horizon is NOT an adoption agency. Hosting a child with Frontier Horizon does NOT provide any guarantee of adoption. While Frontier Horizon is NOT an adoption agency, many families do decide to adopt the children they host. While this is a wonderful benefit to our program, adoption is not the priority of our work. Frontier Horizon is not directly involved in any subsequent adoption proceedings. Should you choose to pursue adoption at the close of hosting you will be directed to connect with the appropriate agencies to navigate the adoption process.
What is a Hosting Program?
International child hosting with Frontier Horizon can be simply understood as a means to create a visceral connection between vulnerable children and those with a sincere desire to help. The hosting program occurs twice each year—once in the summer and once in the winter. Program duration varies by country and season but typically ranges from 4 to 9 weeks in the summer and approximately 4 weeks in the winter. The summer programs generally take place between late June through the end of August. Winter programs are typically executed from mid-December to mid-January. Specifics dates for each program are established each year and will be clearly communicated once established.
The process is straight forward and is clearly delineated in the Hosting Steps List document that can be access on the “Resources” page on the Frontier Horizon website. Having completed all the necessary steps to qualify for hosting the child/children, the children are then hosted in your home for the duration of the program. Families need not construct extravagant experience for the children being hosted, rather simply be yourself, do what you do and share it with them. If you go to the lake for a week in the summer, then they get to experience that with you. If you like sports, they get to engage them with you. If movie nights and BBQ is your thing, great, they will love it. The goal is simply to create a safe and loving environment where trust can grow, and relationship thrive.
At the close of the hosting session all kids are returned to the international airport for the journey back home. However, this in no way needs to be the end of the relationship and most often is not. As previously mentioned, the creative ways in which families go on to love and support their hosted children are as unique as the kids and families that engage the experience.
Frontier Horizon has been facilitating the hosting of international orphans for decades and we are delighted to serve you in any way we can. The journey will not be easy, but it will be worth every challenge you might face. We are here to serve as your guide and will support you in the journey in any way we can. Thank you for your consideration of partnering with Frontier Horizon, we are grateful!