JD and I returned home from the Mid-Atlantic Orphan Summit last night to all in good order. My sister is such a blessing! She has to be one of the few people on the planet who tells me that all is great when I call (and actually considers it so,) when in reality she dealt with an enormous nose-bleed all over the carpet, a serious peed-mattress, a two year old that didn't want to sleep without his Momma, a little fender bender and other "normal" happenings in our crazy life. The really cool thing is that after living with and around our family, she will be the calmest, laid-back first time mother the world has ever seen!
So, while my sister was handling my real life, JD and I were being blessed in unimaginable ways. We had the opportunity to hear the most amazing people tell the most amazing stories. We learned about non-profit micro-financing from a Harvard business graduate. We learned about the statistics of Ukrainian orphans from a CDC PhD that has personally adopted eight Ukrainian orphans. We met the wonderful ladies that run 147 Million Orphans that support Katie from Amazima. We learned about the Christian Orphan Alliance that bands together people and churches, across any denominational lines, to actually make a difference in the world. We were blessed with the opportunity to learn from Project Hopeful about the HIV adoption world. Tom Davis who has written the books Fields of the Fatherless and Red Letters: Living the Life that Bleeds spoke as did Russell Moore who wrote Adopted for Life. We listened to a Chinese man that grew up on the streets and now runs homes and schools for Chinese street children. In the beginning, the government would only let his children live in a room connected to the public toilets, now they are so successful that the model is moving to Central America to help street children there. I honestly feel so blessed that we are able to connect with these people to work towards being the hands and feet of Jesus in this desperate world be live.
The most distressing fact of the weekend is that there are already 10 million children in slavery, millions of little girls are in the sex slave industry. Did you know that human trafficking is almost surpassing drugs as the biggest illegal money maker? All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing, and ladies and gentlemen, for the most part, the church of America has done nothing! We have the smarts, the prosperity and the ability to whip the orphan crisis into shape, but we spend more time on our own passions and luxuries.
I have been told by people that orphan concerns and adoption are just not their thing. If you follow the God of the Bible, the orphan cause needs to be your thing! Pastoring, music, etc, etc, etc, are callings and those called should obey, but Jesus says in James 1:27 that pure religion is caring for the widow and orphan. That verse goes on to talk about not allowing yourself to be polluted from the world. We, the American church, are polluted - which is exactly why Jesus says it is harder for the rich man to get into Heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. We have a choice to focus our time, energy and money on personal pleasures or to focus then on the things that God is passionate about. There are verses galore about the heart of God being bent to the widow and orphan.
If you aren't currently doing something to make a difference in the life of the orphan, I urge you to begin now. There are 100's of unbelievable things to sink your time and money into; if you don't know where to start, start by sponsoring an orphan. For about $1 a day, you can feed, clothe and educate a child living in desperate poverty.
I'll leave with Matthew 25: 31-40:
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. " Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you , or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, "I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, WHATEVER YOU DID FOR ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE BROTHERS OF MINE, YOU DID FOR ME."