Today I read several different things about orphans. And today it has rocked my world a little more than normal. Maybe that's because it's that time of the month. Maybe it's because God continues to bid me venture out of my comfort zone. But today, my thoughts are overwhelming.
Did you know that the bible calls the church to care for the orphans yet there is said to be twice as many churches in America as there are orphans.
I read about the wake-up that is occuring in some churches - one small town of 300 has adopted 130 children. Local churches in Colorado are working to reduce the number of kids in the system to zero. I think those efforts are amazing. But then I struggle as I sit in judgement on my own church family. What are we doing? I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they're supporting the oppressed and the orphans financially. Maybe they're praying for those orphans. All I know is that I see a church full of people and children and only one of them is adopted. Am I really wanting to pass judgement? No! Am I wanting to know how to encourage them to open their eyes to the need both locally and internationally? Yes.
This was one post I read today that grabbed at my heart:
http://www.owlhaven.net/2010/10/07/james-127-and-the-church/. I love how the speaker talked about Pharoah's daughter: maybe she knew what her dad was doing and went to save one of the babies in the basket. And since I can't manage to spit out what I want to say, I'm just going to copy Mary's text below so you can read her post in part:
And then, after telling his story, Robert Gelinas had a question for us: How do you live in America, a country with a half a million children in foster care, and not do something?
He said, maybe Pharaoh’s daughter didn’t just go to the Nile for a bath? Maybe she knew what her daddy was doing to all those boy babies. Maybe she went to save one. Maybe she wanted her life to make a difference. She couldn’t save all the baskets floating by. But she could save one.
These days baskets are still going down the river in the U.S. foster care system. Most of them are safe for now. But they’re floating down the river, growing up, 19,000 of them aging out of the system every year without ever getting chosen by someone. Without ever having a family to call their own.
We the Church are letting those baskets go right on by. Psalm 68 says God is the Father to the fatherless, placing the lonely into families. He claims them all.
If He is the father to the fatherless, who is His bride?
The church is. We are. We are to be the mothers of these children. We can’t let those baskets keep going by us. If only the church would come together.
God has been waking up the body of Christ. Churches all over are getting more serious about caring for orphans. Possom Trot, TX is a town of 300. Pastor Martin’s wife said there are kids in foster care. We should do something about it. He said, we can’t. She said, I know we ‘can’t’ but it’s the right thing to do. He knew she was right and he told the need to his church. There are fifty families in his whole church and they took the message to heart. In that little church they adopted and fostered 130 kids.
The bride of Christ is waking up.
Six years ago Robert Gelinas took a challenge to the 1500 churches in the Denver area. At that time there were 875 kids legally free to be adopted in the Colorado foster care system. He challenged the Denver churches to commit to adopt 10% of those kids. So began Project 1:27.
Money should never get in the way of getting families for kids. When we say we can’t afford adoption, we’re saying the Father won’t provide for the fatherless, that He’s a deadbeat dad. Untrue. Our daddy is a really good daddy.
Project 1:27 set out to find families for orphans. Families would pay no more than the $50 it cost to fill out the application. For every one family willing to adopt, 3-5 other families were needed to come around that family and help out.
Right away amazing things began to happen. One man said he couldn’t adopt, but he pledged to buy bunk beds for every family that did. Another man finished basements at cost. Another person started college funds. You see, not everyone can adopt. But everyone can help. Everyone can be part of the solution. That is the body of Christ in action.
Since 1:27 started, 136 children have been adopted. 71 children have been placed in families working towards finalization. There are currently 163 more families lined up applying to be part of this program.
The number of kids in foster care in Colorado right now? 365.
The eventual goal? Zero.
They are well on their way.