Sunday, November 4, 2012
Orphan Sunday: Let's Get Moving!
Today is Orphan Sunday, and at Mosaic Church, we'll spend the entire morning highlighting the needs of orphans in our country and around the world.
The statistics are staggering: there are more than 150 million orphans in the world. In the United States alone, 100,000 children are languishing in the foster care system, while waiting to be adopted. Many are older children. Some have physical or mental disabilities. Most have deep emotional scars.
Few are in their situations because of their own fault.
Almost all have been grossly neglected or abused by the adults in their lives -- the very people they have trusted to feed, clothe and care for them.
This problem can seem so overwhelming, you might be asking, "What can I do?" There are several things YOU can do for orphans around the world.
1. Pray for orphans in this country and around the world
Psalm 68:5 calls God "a father to the fatherless." If He is their true Father -- and ours too -- we must trust Him to ultimately protect these precious children. Even as an adoptive mother and someone who works diligently on behalf of foster care children in my state, I can't possibly touch every sweet little orphan girl in China or every abandoned baby boy in Ethiopia or every teenager right here in the U.S. that will soon "age out" of the foster care system.
But I can pray.
And so can you.
2. Consider foster care or adoption
I believe every Christian should at least pray about adopting or fostering a child. For many of us, God will call us to engage directly. For others He won't. Not every Christian is called to foster or adopt, but every Christian is called to consider it.
Today I stumbled upon "I Care About Orphans", a ministry of "Focus on the Family." This website presents an easy-to-read chart with the number of foster children waiting to be adopted in each U.S. state in one column and the number of churches in another column.
For instance, while my current state of Arkansas has 1414 waiting children, we also have 6343 churches. In my hometown of Maryland, there are only 718 waiting children, yet there are 5,816 churches. In the huge state of Texas, a staggering 13,481 foster children are waiting to be adopted. But get this: there are 27,505 churches in the "Lone Star State".
The obvious conclusion? If just one person from every church adopts just one of these waiting children, the U.S. would have no more waiting children. Imagine that.
3. Give financial support
There are so many ways we can give financially to the orphan crisis. One would be to find a reputable, God-focused organization working to solve this crisis and give monthly or at least once a year. I currently volunteer for The CALL (Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime), which trains prospective foster parents recruited from local churches, and we are forever in need of donors to help us continue God's mission.
Another way to give financially is to find families that are struggling to raise adoption fees. These fees can be overwhelming for sure (I know from experience), but the burden can be eased by monetary gifts from friends and loved ones. If Anthony and I hadn't been blessed in this way, there's no way we could have adopted my sweet Christian.
On Orphan Sunday, please pray about what you can do. And let's get moving!