"A religion that is pure and stainless according to God the Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows who are suffering, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." - James 1:27
I love what Courtney has written in her latest post called "Blessed with a Burden", you can read it here . 143 million. Yes, 143 million children remain orphaned in this world. Today. Today there are babies lying out in the cold somewhere that haven't even been found yet. Today there are orphaned children of all ages roaming the streets looking for food, eating trash, and being abused. Today there are orphanages full of children, and only a few workers to tend to their needs. There are babies rocking themselves to sleep, screaming, crying for the warm arms of a mother to scoop them up. Today there are teens all over the world staring out of a window of the building that keeps them semi warm, as the walls crumble away around them. They have not known the love of a parent. Today there are children in orphanages who know nothing more than the abuse they are enduring at the hands of the people who are supposed to be keeping them safe. Today. Yes, today, all these things and more are happening at any given moment.
I too have been "blessed with a burden". A burden for the orphans of the world. I'm not exactly sure when I became aware of this blessing, but I do know it was sometime in my 20's, before I had any children. I remember looking in a mirror one day, and knowing somehow that my calling was to care for orphans, and go wherever that may lead. Not long after, I found myself living in an orphanage in russia. It was there that my burden became solid. I experienced everything I had hoped for, but saw and experienced much more than I ever really wanted to know. Or, I guess really wanted to face. The reality. I was broken. Seeing the reality of small children never knowing real love from a mommy and daddy hits you hard. The reality of the psychological damage that does was obvious. The reality of what a teenager brought up in an orphanage looks like. Hopeless. Empty. Sadness beyond explanation.
The truth is, as christians we are all called to care for orphans, as the scripture I have written above clearly states. If you don't feel you can actually care for one by adopting one, there are many ways you can help care for them. There are ways to help by sponsoring orphans, helping to support a missionary living in another country, or supporting a ministry, or by going there and helping in some way yourself. Here in the US, there is the foster care system, which can always use help. I have also heard that if every christian would adopt just one, they would all have homes. Pray, pray and ask that God would show you how you can help the orphans in our world. If each one of us did just one thing, the suffering of millions of children really would decrease!
I am burdened. But it truly is a blessing. Like Courtney, I still lie awake at night thinking of them, wondering how, how can it be done? I am praying and seeking the Lord with what I should do next-will it be through mission work-or will we foster-adopt? Will we be sent out again to bring home a child from a land far away? Or will a situation present itself and we will just know it is right? With God, all things are possible, and you just never know what He has planned next. I just hope we know soon...the children are waiting.
Adoption is a blessing, but also takes a lot of research and preparation, and work. It takes a willingness to help that child through difficulties and questions they will have. It takes patience, and love. I thank God that he has adopted me as His child, and is so patient and loving to me. I only hope I can be more and more like Him as I love and care for some of the children he has allowed me to parent and pray that he will entrust me with even more.
Children are a gift from God, they are his reward. Psalms 127:3
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