Can We End the Orphan Crisis?
I must say, I am more convinced than ever before that we CAN see the global orphan crisis come to an end. It will not happen quickly and it will not be with out sacrifice, but it WILL be worth it!
A few dear friends and I just returned from the Summit VIII Conference in California. Before arriving, I heard that we would be informed on How to end the orphan crisis. Believe me, I had my notepad and pen, and I was ready for the answer.
So, what is the answer to the orphan crisis?
The CHURCH and FAMILY
Let me give a brief explanation. We, the local church in the United States, are responsible for the half a million children currently placed in the foster care system. There are more than enough Christians in the United States to adopt every child in the system, into a family. In addition, it’s time for us to stop just caring for orphans globally, and instead, we should be empowering the local church in every country to adopt their own orphans.
Now, if you are in the middle of an international adoption OR you are prayerfully considering that for your family; please don’t think I’m implying you should not continue that process. My family is in the process of bringing home an internationally adopted child right now. This new way of addressing orphan care will be a process that will take many years before the need for international adoption is not so great. Remember, the goal is to empty every single orphanage. We do, however, want to encourage the local church (globally) to be responsible for their own orphans. The local church in the United States has the knowledge and resources to link arms and empower the local church all over the world to provide families for every child.
That leads to the second part of the answer. FAMILY. Children were not intended to live in orphanages. They don’t need a home, children need a family. Why wouldn’t we do for orphans what God did for us? If you are a believer, then you have been adopted by God. Matthew Henry once said,“God did not adopt us because He needed a family, but because we needed a father“. We were created to be in a family and that means every child that is currently orphaned, was also created to be part of a family. Kay Warren challenged us, while at Summit, with this thought:
“If I were having to ask myself who would take care of my children today, I would not be okay with them living in an institution. So why in the world would I allow that for others”.
Friends, if we could no longer take care of our own children, we would want them to be in a loving, Christian family. There are over 2 billion Christians in the world and 168 million orphans….. Every single one of them deserves a family.
I want to share the 8 reasons why we can’t solve the orphan crisis without the local church, according to Rick Warren.
1. We have the largest participation – the church is the largest organization on the planet.
2. We have the widest distribution – the church is in more nations than any other organization.
3. We have the longest track record – the church has been caring for orphans for 2000 years longer than any other organization.
4. We have the fastest expansion – the church is growing faster than anything else, with 6000 people coming to Christ daily.
5. We have the highest motivation – the church is motivated by LOVE, as the Bible tells us to Love our neighbors as ourselves.
6. We have the strongest authorization – the church has authority from Jesus and HE doesn’t sponsor “flops”
7. We have the simplest administration – the church has received spiritual gifts from God.
8. We have the greatest conclusion – we know how the story ends.
The answer is not: BUILD more orphanages. Instead, the goal is: CLOSE every orphanage.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” – Isaiah 58:6
Church, this responsibility is ours! What an honor it is to be allowed the privilege and given the authority by God, to make sure that every child in the world is set free and set into a family. We have our work cut out for us; but what is more worthy of our time, talent and resources? NOTHING!
Until there’s No more,