For those who may not know, November is Orphan Awareness Month. As Christians, our call to care for orphans is pretty clear in the Bible. Here are just two examples:
"Learn to do good! Seek justice! Help the oppressed! Defend the orphan! Fight for the rights of widows!" Isaiah 1:17
"Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us." James 1:27
The mandate is clear. So why do we hesitate to help? (1) Helping orphans seems overwhelming and unending. (2) Helping orphans is a complex problem with complex solutions. However, here are some good ways to get started:
1. Pray. Sounds simple, but the most important thing we can do is intercede for others. Plus, as we pray, God will begin to give us his desires. Our hearts will begin to break for the things that break his.
2. Get educated. There is a lot of great information on blogs and in books. Here are a few suggestions:
"Orphanology" By Tony Merida and Rick Morton
"Orphan Justice" By Johnny Carr
"The Hole in Our Gospel"By Richard Stearns
3. Support others. Support and encourage foster parents. Get them gift cards for date nights and offer to babysit. Give monetary gifts to those who are adopting. Everyone is not called to adoption, but we should support those who are. Adoption is expensive and every gift helps!
4. Sponsor a child. Help support a child and their family through organizations like World Vision and Compassion International.
5. Consider becoming a foster parent. Consider adoption. Again, every family may not be able to foster or adopt, but every family should think about it.
The vast number of orphans can seem overwhelming. It can seem that no matter what we do, nothing will really help. However, as Christians we believe every life is worth fighting for. One adoption helps one child. It's worth it. One foster family provides a safe place for one child. It's worth it. I believe God can take the small things we do and multiply them in amazing ways. Never underestimate what our God can do! Never underestimate the power of love!