To many of us, they have no name, no face. They’re a statistic, a number, an uneasy feeling to be brushed aside. Orphans are a shocking and heart-rending reminder of the broken world we live in, and in an effort to quiet our conscience, we turn away, shielding our eyes from the horrors and closing our ears to their cries. But what if we allowed ourselves – if only for a moment – to look at them, see their faces, hear their beautiful names, and listen to their stories? What if we were bold enough to step out of our comfort zone and into their world?
Orphans have a special place in God’s heart, and He has much to say to the Church about them. From cover to cover, there are dozens of verses that instruct us to care for them, remember them, defend them, speak up for them, and not take advantage of them. Both in the Old and New Testament alike, the same commandment is made.
In Isaiah 1:17, God instructs us to “defend the cause of the fatherless.”
In James we find: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (Jas 1:27)
Maybe you feel the Holy Spirit urging you to take action, but you don’t know where to begin. Maybe you have been sponsoring a child in a third-world country, but you would like to do more. God is inviting you to join Him in His fight for the most vulnerable people on earth – will you accept His call?
Begin by praying and studying what the Word of God has to say about the issue. Surround yourself with people who are involved in and passionate about orphan care. And as you listen to the Spirit, He will direct you in the way that you personally can serve “the least of these”. But beware, it will never seem convenient or easy. Helping orphans is a spiritual battle. Whatever God cares deeply about, Satan will try to destroy – be prepared! To become involved in God’s work is not for the faint of heart. But it is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do!
November 12, 2017 is Global Orphan Sunday. Take this opportunity to join in with the countless other Christians around the world to remember the little Forgotten Treasures.
- Pray for the millions of orphans worldwide. Pray for the thousands of orphans in your own country. Pray by yourself; pray with your family, with your friends, your church.
- Pray for the many foster and adoptive families who have stepped forward to embrace some of these children.
- Raise awareness in your sphere of influence. Maybe even organize a fundraiser or information session.
- Research good and reputable organizations who are involved in orphan care and begin supporting them. Find a good child sponsorship program and become involved.
- Consider visiting an orphanage and helping with their needs.
- Help out at your local Child Protection Agency, or a good local Christian Adoption agency. They always seem to be looking for volunteers.
- Open your heart to the possibility that God may be calling you to foster or adopt.
Fifteen years ago, Orphan Sunday had its humble beginnings in a small native church in Zambia, and it has since opened the eyes and changed the hearts of many Christians worldwide. Church of Christ, let us arise and defend the cause of the fatherless!
https://cafo.org/orphansunday/ (scroll down to 2017 Orphan Sunday video & click “play”)
https://cafo.org/orphansunday/broadcast/ (watch Zambia’s gift to the world for more information on the beginnings of Orphan Sunday)