Many months ago, in My Little Chocolate Russian, I blogged about my son Christian that my husband Anthony and I adopted from Russia in 2003. This coming December, the story of how we all became a family post-adoption will be published in a national publication. But you'll have to wait for more details on that!
Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm passionate about caring for orphans. And I don't think I'm anything special for that. I've simply taken God at His Word.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27And I've also taken the other forty-some scriptures about believers caring for the fatherless literally too. I'm just taking God's Word at face value. When He says we must care for orphans, I believe He means that we must care for orphans. Pretty simple stuff to me.
You may be asking, what if I don't feel called to adopt a child? What if I don't feel called to do foster care? Trust me, those are fair questions. If you're a Christian, you must examine your heart and truly seek God about whether He's calling you to adopt or be a foster parent. You may be surprised at His answer.
However, I certainly don't believe that every single Christian should adopt or foster. Yet, we're all called to care for orphans. So how else can we care for orphans? I've got a few ideas. They're certainly not original, and my list is not exhaustive. But here goes:
- Support couples that are adopting or fostering: pray for them, babysit so they can get out for dates and nurture their marriage, bless them financially (especially when they're raising their fees for adoption, which can be very high), speak encouraging words to them (they will have some difficult days ahead of them)
- Sponsor a child through a reputable ministry like World Vision or Compassion International. They may not all be orphans, but they are all living in dismal circumstances (By the way, I've heard the founders of each of these ministries speak, and these men both have a true heart for the Lord and for children)
- Support a local, national or international ministry specifically dedicated to caring for orphans, by volunteering and/or giving financially. (I recently joined the statewide board of The C.A.L.L., a ministry here in Arkansas with the vision to provide loving, Christian homes to every foster child in the state)
- Begin an orphan ministry in your church (Hope For Orphans has resources to help you get started)
- Plan an "Orphan Sunday" in your local church on November 6 (Click here for ideas and resources)
- Pray often for orphans in your state, in the U.S. and around the world
- Put at least as much energy into your fight for orphans as you do against abortion. As I heard Dennis Rainey of Family Life Ministries say, God is pro-life and pro-orphan. Amen to that!
After all, imagine if God, our Father had left us as orphans?
Walking In Justice and Mercy,