This Sunday, November 12, has been set aside this year as Orphan Sunday. For the past few years, one Sunday in November (usually the first or second) has been recognized as a day to bring awareness to the global orphan crisis. Children who have lost their parents, who live in an orphanage, and/or live in the streets are some of the most vulnerable human beings on the planet. We have seen firsthand what can happen to children when they are left to care for themselves, or even worse when they are left to be cared for by people who care more about money and material things than anything else. I cannot even begin to tell you the number of stories that we have heard and even the stories we have seen firsthand that would make you sick just listening to them. Look at some of these statistics that pertain to the worldwide orphan crisis:
- 150 million orphans worldwide.
- 264 million children and youth are out of school
- There are 62.8 million children worldwide who suffer from acute malnutrition
- Nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 are attributable to undernutrition. This translates into the unnecessary loss of about 3 million young lives a year
- In 2015, there were about 16,000 deaths every day of children under the age of five
- Leading causes of death in under-5 children are preterm birth complications, pneumonia, birth asphyxia, diarrhea and malaria. About 45% of all child deaths are linked to malnutrition
- Children represent almost half of all people living in extreme poverty although they make up roughly a third of the world’s population
- There are roughly 400,000 children in the US foster care system. Of that number, approximately 100,000 are waiting to be adopted.
Let me try to make this a little more tangible. If you are still reading this, take the time to picture this scene…Someone has come to your city, church, or workplace and has made an announcement. They tell you that there are 150 children sitting in your church with no parents, no food, and no resources. They need people to come and provide meals, to love on them, and to make sure that they are taken care of. I am sure that within 30 minutes of that announcement, the church would have to start sending people away because they would have too much help and too many people wanting to provide for these kids. Just try and picture the scene. People would jump in to help immediately, without even thinking because they would know there are children who need them. Did you know that there are 150 million children in that same predicament (many actually in a much worse predicament than that) around the world? Look at that number written out to get a feel for how many children are in desperate need of our help: 150,000,000. The truth is, I cannot even come close to describing this problem with words.
With this blog, I am simply asking you to join in with churches and individuals around the globe in prayer this Sunday. Pray for children all over who do not and may not ever know what it means to have a Mom and a Dad. Pray for children all around the world who may not ever know what it means to be loved, to be taken care of, or to be cherished. Pray for children all over the world who are being exploited, trafficked, sold for sex, and even worse. Children are vulnerable and in our world that means they will be taken advantage of and it means they need people like you and me to stand up for them. To stand for them in prayer and to stand for them in action. I know what that action looks like for me right now, but if you don’t know what it looks like for you I would encourage you to figure it out. If you want to give a donation to All Things New in honor of Orphan Sunday and to stand with us here in Haiti, we would love for you to give to our GoFundMe campaign. Simply click here and you will be taken to the link. But please know that there are many other wonderful organizations out there who are doing wonderful things for children and for orphans. If it is not us, find someone else to give to and get involved with. You could also foster, adopt, or give money to others who are. The bottom line is this…GET INVOLVED! There are children everywhere who need our help and they are just waiting for you to stand up for them because they cannot yet stand up for themselves.