November 2, 2011

Called to The Orphan

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans..." -James 1:27
In case you hadn't gotten the memo, November is Orphan Awareness month. In past years I've written on the great need for us church folk to get more involved in orphan and foster care, so I'm probably not repeating anything that hasn't already been said. But, sometimes I think we get so consumed by the overwhelming need, that we sorta just become numb or paralysed to the whole situation. I'm not sure what I'm about to say is going to make much sense, but spitting out statistics and showing heartbreaking footage or photos isn't doing it. Sure they make people feel guilty and they'll give a little. I'm not saying that we should stop showing those images, because even God uses them and whatever people give based off of that... I'm just saying that it's got to go deeper than that. People have to really gain a vision for orphan care and figure out how God wants to uses them in this. We have to start coming before the Father and asking Him to give our hearts a desire to serve the fatherless in whatever way He'd have us. Then we have to make it practical. How can we care for the orphan and fatherless in this moment with where we are and what we have? We often tend to think that going overseas on a missions trip or actually adopting a child is the only way we can help, and because of this, orphan care simply isn't even on our radar. But there are other ways to help. Here are a couple of ideas a few friends of mine and I brainstormed...
  1. Pray. Often this is the last thing we think to do, because we don't think of prayer making an impact, when according to God it does, and it should be the first thing we do. When was the last time you prayed for the orphaned? Or those in foster care? Or a family who is going through the adoption process? During those prayer times ask God to lay on your heart what your role is to be in this bigger story.
  2. Take inventory with what you have. Maybe you do have the funds to go on a missions trip and can get a first hands experience with working with orphans. If so, go! (Or as a friend of mine always says, "If you have the money and are not willing to go, you better be willing to send someone!") Or maybe you feel lead to actually consider adopting yourself... I don't know, but that could be something the Lord wants you to be open to. (And if you're single now, that may mean gaining a vision for adoption now, that may possibly be in the cards with your future family. Just saying...) Is there a family in your local church who's going through the adoption process, how could you help them? My point is take a look around see what's right before you. How can you support, give, and care for what's in your path at this moment?
  3. Let's go with the obvious: Blog. I know the majority of people who come on here have blogs of their own. Maybe taking one day this month to blog about adoption is something you could do. Maybe you've been on a missions trip and have had the opportunity to spend time with orphans that you could share about, which if you do that, let me know so I can read it ;)
Just some things to ponder this month perhaps. Having said all that though, I wanted to share with you this awesome story of one of the families in our church that recently adopted this past year. I don't know about you, but putting real faces to the numbers captures my heart more than anything else does.


Favorite Orphan and Adoption Resources (Feel free to share your own in the comments!)...

4 comments :

  1. My aunt adopted two orphan girls from China. I love them so much.

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  2. Hi Natalie! I'm so glad you posted this :) I am blessed with 10 adopted siblings, but there's so many other ways to care for the vulnerable and needy as well! I love this poster from Christian Alliance for Orphans on 10 practical ideas for orphan care:
    http://524hosting.com/os_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/10WaysPoster.pdf
    God bless!

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  3. Natalie,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your post. It does my heart such good! You see, I'm the mom of ten adopted children. My oldest, Anna, did a guest post for you a couple of weeks ago about the things that inspire her. Our other nine were older adoptees from Russia. My husband and I share the passion for seeing the church rise up in every country that the world's 163,000,000 orphans might be adopted into Christian families.

    Thanks for speaking up for those who have no voice!

    Denise
    www.untohimwelive.blogspot.com
    www.adeepbreathofhope.blogspot.com

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  4. Thank you for sharing your story. My family is in the process of adopting 2 children from Russia. We are trying hard to raise the finances necessary to bring them home quickly. We have many of the same emotions that you speak about. We pray that the outcome for our family will be as blessed as yours.
    Cheryl

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