Caring for Orphans

James 1:27:

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Several friends of mine as well as family have enjoyed the privilege of adopting kids.  From nations in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Haiti, Georgia and even here through the Los Angeles Foster System.

There is an anticipation like no other as they wait, holding their breath until a judge finalizes the adoption or a dossier is stamped with approval.  Faith is grown as families raise the necessary funds to bring their kids home from far away countries.  Trust is built as parents learn before they even hold their children that they are not their own and that God the Father is holding them, watching them caring for them as they wait in an orphanage or foster home. There is also the heart ache of losing a child that you have loved and cared for over the first year of his life.

Adoption rates and awareness seem to be increasing as more and more people are recognizing and living out the truth that to be pro-life means a lot more than being against abortion.  There is a responsibility we have to not only keep life and save lives but to sustain life by nourishing souls, bodies, minds and hearts.

While not all of us are called to adopt, according to the passage above, we are called to care and look after orphans and widows in their distress.  There are so many ways we can care for orphans now through wonderful organizations such as Compassion International, World Vision, Child Hope International.  We can also support families we know who have adopted through prayer, giving, baby showers, child care, etc.

As any parent knows, raising a child is much more fruitful with the help and support of a community.  The same goes for adoption.  Our family has not been led to adopt thus far, but we are committed to supporting those who have as well as doing what we can to care for orphans now.

Today, the opportunity comes as our church welcomes home a team of people who have given themselves to serve children in the LA County Foster Care system for one week through Royal Family Kids Camp.  One week of saying “yes” to kids who rarely get opportunities to have the kind of fun they had at camp this week.  One week of doing whatever it takes to send a message to a child that they are loved… wanted… planned for with a hope that springs eternal.  One week of being the hands, feet and heart of Jesus who happens to think they should not be hindered because the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them.   As they load the buses to come home they will be worn out. Sad. Emptied. And the kids will return to their foster homes a little more full but sad that every day can’t be the way it was at camp.  They will leave with a greater longing in their heart for a place to call home.  But hopefully some of them will leave knowing their home is in Jesus.

Will you join me in praying for them? 

Let us pray that God will continue to give us all unique opportunities and show us how to care for orphans and widows in their distress?

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