Did you know that globally there are over 150 million orphans?
My story of connection to orphan care began in 2012 when my husband, Kevin became President of Feed the Children. Over the course of three years, my life within this organization became immersed in the stories of children caught in cycles of poverty and abuse. Kevin has a different job now. But, the children we met, the need we saw and the bonds we forged with kids living in orphanages remained a big part of our lives. I wanted to keep doing more.
I’m a communal person so of course my next step was to try to find other likeminded churches, pastors, leaders, anyone really from the progressive world that were engaged in orphan care. In my search, I encountered dead end after dead end.
But, in contrast, I found hundreds of more conservative churches and groups with elaborate conferences, ministries and networks solely focused on orphan, foster care and adoption.
When I investigated all of this evangelical interest in orphan care, I found some of it stemmed from a true humanitarian desire to be good neighbors, to love as Jesus asked them to do—but some said adoption/ foster was a practice meant for Christian church because it helped to save souls alone (without concern for the whole child!). Gasp.
So this is what I want to most tell you today: the work of orphan care needs us. Especially those of us in the progressive church. We can’t be silent anymore.
Would be adopted children.
Kids living in international orphanages need us to know their stories, connect with their stories and share our family life with them.
This is why I started Our Courageous Kids– this foundation with the mission of helping more orphaned children be able to go to college, high school or share in other life enrichment experiences.
Orphan Care can be an overwhelming calling, I know. 150 million children feels like a huge number.
But, I believe one easy way to plant the seeds of such in your congregation would be to observe Orphan Sunday. We can all do something for ONE child.
On Sunday, I’ll be preaching at Broadneck Baptist Church in Annapolis, MD an Alliance of Baptist affiliated congregation. The children will be helping to lead worship and the congregation will take up a special offering to support an orphanage in Zimbabwe through Alliance partner, Journey Partners.
Orphan Sunday is always on the second Sunday of November and a national emphasis sponsored by the Christian Alliance of Orphans geared toward helping churches remember the calling of James 1:27 which says, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress.”
If you observe it, it’s a great day to share statistics about the need for foster parents in your community. It’s a great day to have folks who have adopted domestically or internationally share stories about this faith journey in their lives. It’s a great day to speak to God’s heart for the vulnerable children in the children’s time or in the sermon.
The vulnerable children of our nation and around the world need more champions. We can be those people!