Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause. Isaiah 1:17

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

147 Million

Do you know that there are 147 million orphans in the world? In James (1:27)*, God instructs us to care for these orphans. So what do you think their greatest need is? A meal, sponsorship, a short term missions group coming in and sharing the love of Christ? All very good. But what do you think the greatest earthly need an orphan has is? It has to be the love of a parent. I once asked a young woman who was adopted when she was 13 if she would consider adopting when she became an adult. She replied "Of course. How could I not? I know what it feels like to be in limbo. To wonder if anyone will love you, and wonder if you'll ever have anyone to call Mom and Dad." I feel sick to my stomach to consider that feeling. To not not have the security and guidance of loving parents. My heart goes out to all the orphans in the world. What does an orphan look like? An orphan may be a child in a third world country, whose parents have died, and they have little to eat each day. An orphan may be a child right here in the US, for whom it has been determined, that their parents cannot care for them. An orphan may be 1 day old, or 18 years old. They may be white, brown, American, foreign, disabled, healthy--an orphan can look like any child in the world. What does an adoptive family look like? They might be in their 20’s 40’s or even 60’s. They may have no biological children, or a quiver full of bio kids. They might be poor or wealthy. They look exactly like you and me. The one thing I know about them, is that they are is past excuses. Many Christians tell me they would love to adopt, but….then come the excuses. One of the biggest I hear is that of finances. Yep, it’s overwhelming when you look at the cost. That’s when it time to step out in faith, confident that your heavenly father owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Many adoptive parents refer to the cost as “ransom”. They are not “paying” for a child, they are ransoming their child. This is where the church needs to step up and help with the ransom for these beloved children. Orphans should be one of the missions of each and every church. They should also be a big priority for each and every Christian. Why? God told us so. What can you do? You could bring this need before your church. Personally, you could look for little ways to sacrifice (like going on a fast food fast) and consider giving to a family who is scrambling to get together the ransom bring home a fatherless child to shower in love as beloved sons and daughters. Don’t know any families? Check this wonderful family out: http://amomentcherished.blogspot.com/p/our-journey-to-ethiopia.html Finally, you could consider bringing an orphan into your home as a part of your family. Sounds big, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what our heavenly father did for each of us. Even if you only read the first 2 sentences of my blog post, you are without excuse. I told you the problem (147 million orphans) and God’s solution (we are to care for them). So what are you going to do about it? "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’” Matthew 25:34-40 *James 1:27 is personally very important to me, but God's command to care for the orphans and His love for them is evident througout scripture...don't believe me? Check out: Exodus 22:22, Deuteronomy 10:18, Deuteronomy 14:29, Deuteronomy 16:11, Deuteronomy 24:17, Deuteronomy 26:12, Deuteronomy 26:13, Deuteronomy 26:19, Job 29:12, Psalm 10:14, Psalm 10:18, Psalm 68:5, Psalm 82:3, Psalm 146:9, Proverbs 23:10, Isaiah 1:17, Jeremiah 7:6, Jeremiah 22:3, Jeremiah 49:11, Zechariah 7:10, Malachi 3:5, Hosea 14:3--this is by no means an exhaustive list, it's just the passages I've run into in the past few months during my daily bible reading.

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