November is a big month for orphan care and adoption. This Sunday, at churches around the world, “Orphan Sunday” will be observed through worshipping God, praying for orphans, and focusing on this vulnerable part of our world’s population. You will see quotes, pictures, Bible verses, and other ways of reminding us of one of the biggest problems our world faces…Taking care of children who have nobody else.
I love Orphan Sunday and I love that November is recognized as National Adoption Month. Last year I had the honor of speaking at my home church on Orphan Sunday and challenging the congregation to step up in a world where children who cannot take care of themselves need someone to care for them. My point in this blog is this…
THAT SOMEONE IS DEFINITELY YOU!
I cannot say what aspect of orphan care you are called to, that’s not my job. But when I read through the Bible, it is clear that it is up to us to take care of the vulnerable groups of our society. Whether it be widows, orphans, aliens, the poor, etc. the Bible is clear.
I am not even asking you to get more involved with All Things New (though I also would not be against it). This problem is too big for one organization to be the “right” one to help. Across the world, including America, there are at least hundreds of millions of kids who do not know the answers to these simple questions:
- Where will my next meal come from?
- Is the water I am drinking clean and safe?
- Will I be safe when I go to sleep tonight?
- Will I be able to go to the doctor if I get sick?
- Who is going to take care of me today? Tonight? Tomorrow?
I remember not long after we brought the All Things New kids to Hope Rising back in 2015, there was a big thunder storm. The kids were sleeping in one of the big guest rooms at the time and Sophie was not even born yet. Jess and I were up watching television and about to go to sleep and it hit me. This was the first time in Gladine’s life that a thunderstorm came and she had an adult sleeping right next to her, no rain leaking through the roof, and no need to wonder if the food she was supposed to eat tomorrow would be ruined by the weather.
When Sophie was born, I remember very specifically knowing that, as long as it was within my power, nothing bad would ever happen to her. I knew that I would protect her if she was in danger, comfort her if she was sad, and shield her from the things that might scare her. When Elijah was born, I promised myself that I would be the same type of dad mine was to me. When Ezekyal came to live with us after the first five months of his life, I wanted to make sure he knew who his Dad was. I wanted to make sure that no matter what else he was going through, he was safe and he was loved…completely.
With Ezekyal, the plight of millions of children became even more real to me. With Sophie and Elijah, I never really pictured them alone or trying to figure out how to live in this world by themselves. With Ezekyal, it was different. That possibility was a lot more real. When we took in Babyson, Tilene, and most recently Stenia, the idea of them being left alone to fend for themselves was real.
So on Orphan Sunday, please do not think that protecting the vulnerable children in our world is not for you. Do not think it is some theoretical idea that has no practical application to your life. Please do not think that the person who comes and speaks to your church is on the front line and all you have to do is “support” them. That is not true for you and it is not true for me.
Over the next few days, we will post some statistics online about adoption and orphan care, and if you are a numbers guy like I am, they will break your heart. But my encouragement to you and to myself is to not be “heartbroken” without taking action. Foster, adopt, give, go, or do any combination of things that will help the millions of children in the world who are alone. What if you are their “somebody” and when you wait for someone else or you say “no” then instead of their “somebody” being there for them, they end up with “nobody?”