Are Jesus and I really interested in the same thing? Are we passionate about what God is passionate about? Widows, orphans, sojourners — scripture mentions the responsibility believers have to care for these folks more than 60 times!
Do you think God is trying to give us a hint into a priority of His heart? I do — the Body of Christ is invited to value what He values. God’s heart resonates with the needs and feelings of the fatherless (Psalm 10:17,18) and calls us as Christians to live out our faith by relieving the orphans’ distress (James 1:27).
Do you or I understand their distress? Here is a little window into their daily lives:
- 143,000 orphans/vulnerable children around the world
- 25,000 children who die of starvation everyday
- Over 1 million girls were abducted into the child sex trade last year
- 500,000 children in the U.S. foster care system today
These injustices and preventable situations are occurring daily, but, for most of us, these things don’t affect our typical day. Often our daily lives are completely removed from this kind of suffering — we don’t see it as we do life.
How can these orphaned and vulnerable children really ever believe God is good or that He loves them, unless we share our food, money, time, family, and relationships?
When vulnerable children see the Body of Christ actually show up and care for them in tangible ways, only then does it become believable that God is who He says He is — God! A Father to the fatherless.
Have you ever thought you are too small to make a difference?
“There’s a young boy over here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” (John 6:9).
One 14 year old girl, Addisyn, thought differently after traveling to a preschool for orphans in Ethiopia. At the end of the trip as they were leaving in the van, she turned around seeing the children as they waved good-bye. Addisyn turned to her mom and said “What are we going to do mom now that we know?” and her mom thought to herself “I have no idea. What could we possibly do — the problem seemed so big? We are a family of 11 and we have bills to pay and mouths to feed, we didn’t have much extra to be able to help …” Addisyn had faith like a child. She knew one thing she could do, share what God had given her each day … her lunch!
One hundred days! That’s how often Addisyn ate a small bowl of soup and piece of bread for lunch, like the children at the feeding program receive. Addisyn decided to do this so that she can donate her lunch money! She ended up raising $3,620.13.
Often we are guilty of doing nothing, because we can’t do it all. Addisyn’s testimony encourages all of us to offer up what we DO have instead of worrying about what we are lacking.
God is inviting us to be part of something BIG. God loves to work through His people. People just like you, and I … and little boys with a small fish & bread!
More Ways Kids Can Love Orphans:
1. Youth Groups or Kids ministry can participate in Both Hands projects (to help widows + orphans)
2. Assemble Journey Bags for children in foster care
3. Hold an “Orphan Sunday” event
4. Start An Orphan Ministry @ Your Church
Andy Lehman is Vice President of Lifesong for Orphans. He’s an orphan advocate, developing partnerships, growing church relationships, launching new initiatives, speaking & global advocacy for Lifesong for Orphans.