Good morning, Friends! I hope you are enjoying your day. I have some things I need to share with EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE.
Last night I listened to a talk given by Lindsy Wallace through the Influence Network. The class was on caring for orphans outside of adoption. So, it was basically about how to follow God’s command to care for orphans when you are in a place where you don’t feel like you can adopt. I’m sure anyone who knows me knows that I consider pre-born children who are unwanted by their parents to be orphans just like older children. Many of the verses Lindsy referenced on caring for orphans are ones that I use to understand why we must defend the pre-born (loving your neighbor, caring for orphans, caring for the least of these) and I feel like I can sense something being built, something about to come full-circle for me.
Lindsy’s talk was so helpful and I would encourage everyone to check it out because it will be available in the Influence Network shop at some point for only $10. But, in case you don’t check it out, I’ll share some things I learned from her.
First of all, I really agreed with her on basically everything she said. I think we would “get” each other. So many people have this either/or mentality about the sanctity of human life and, really, we need to have an all-encompassing, holistic approach. When you have the worldview that Jesus loves and cares for every single person, you realize it doesn’t matter if they are pre-born, older, American or African. We should be defending life AND caring for children in orphanages (group homes). We should be helping children at home AND abroad.
Lindsy also pointed out that orphans do not exist in a vacuum. Something happens in a child’s family that leads to them becoming an orphan. If we can begin to look at supporting families and specifically moms, (crisis pregnancy centers do this well for pre-born children) we can help to keep children from becoming orphans in the first place.
She opened my eyes to some issues I had no idea about. Did you know that there are ministries to help refugees all over the US? I had no idea that there was a need to help refugees- or even that there were refugees- in Oklahoma City! For information on that, check out The Spero Project or just Google “refugee ministry” in your local area.
Another thing I noted was that you can become a mentor to an older child in foster care who is getting close to aging out of the system. Often, when these kids turn 18, they are sent out on their own and they literally have no one in life. You could become a friend to them and give them somewhere to go on Thanksgiving! (Edited to add: Each state offers its own services and I suggest searching online or calling your own state’s offices. In Oklahoma, you can follow this link to go to the volunteer page of Oklahoma DHS.)
My favorite thing I learned from Lindsy was that there are actually programs where you can sponsor families just like you can sponsor individual kids. There are moms who want to parent their children but they don’t have the resources they need. We can help them. Have you heard about microfinancing? It’s a loan program to help vulnerable families get on their feet. While we are on the subject of moms who want to keep their kids, awhile back I learned about adoption ethics. I think it’s an important issue for everyone to think about. I’m not telling you what to think, I’m just saying everyone should be aware.
Orphan Sunday is the first Sunday of November. Go here for resources on that.
I know that a lot of times we aren’t even aware of the needs around us. And sometimes when we are, it just seems so overwhelming and we don’t know what we can do. I hope you will look into some of the links here.
Everyone can do something. And Christians are commanded to.
The last thing I want to say on this topic is that we all need to be praying for orphans and their families. We need to be asking God to show us and help us to do our part. And the devil isn’t going to like it so we better cover it all in prayer.