Orphan Sunday is November 2, 2014 nationwide and is recognized in many countries around the world.
According to Christian Alliance for Orphans, “it is a day for Christians to stand for orphans”. Throughout history, Christians have been known as people who take care of the fatherless. The words “orphan” and “fatherless” can mean different things to different people depending on your frame of reference. We have all seen pictures on TV of the malnourished, destitute children in third world countries that desperately need so much. There are more than 15 million orphans in the world that have unfathomable needs. Missions work; donations to various organizations; and international adoption provide incredible opportunities to care for orphans overseas. Less often do we recognize that there are “orphans” and “fatherless” children right here in our own communities. We see them every day. There are over 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S. and countless children are being raised by single moms (or single dads). The number of vulnerable children is incomprehensible.
Families that provide foster care and who chose to adopt are missionaries that bring God’s love to orphan children temporarily or permanently by opening their homes to “the least of these”. Orphan Sunday reminds us that while we are not all called to be foster parents or to adopt; we are all called to care for orphans. Anyone can love and minister to an orphan in a practical and meaningful way by helping and supporting families who do open their homes to children that need temporary foster care or the forever family that adoption provides. In America, we have been led to believe that if what we do is not big enough it doesn’t really make a difference. Often we do nothing because we don’t have the time, the money or the energy to do something big. Sometimes we do nothing because we just don’t know what to do. The Bible does not command us to do something big, or expensive, or time consuming. We are however commanded to do something; to care for the orphans. Our abilities, our resources and the orphans we come in contact with are not the same. The orphans right here in our community; the children in foster homes; the youth who age out of foster care and have no permanent family to guide them thru the challenges of young adulthood; the children who are adopted; the children of struggling single parents and the adults who care for all of these vulnerable children need us to do something.
No single person, no single organization can care for the needs of the 145,000,000 orphans worldwide. You and I can each do one small, amazing, excellent something that will make a significant difference for one child and begin to answer the call to care for the orphans. On November 2, 2014 consider what you can do for the one orphan or the one family that is caring for that orphan in your community. It makes a difference!