While our family was in Mexico over Spring Break I was surprised to have the opportunity to speak in two different churches there about my passion for adoption (through an interpreter, of course)
Here is the gist of what I prepared to share with those lovely people.
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 one self from being polluted by the world.
It is estimated that there are 143,000,000 orphans in our world today.
*God created every one of them in His image
*God personally knows and loves each one
*Jesus died for each and every one
But to me, 143,000,000 is a number I can't truly comprehend. Maybe this will help: if you were to read the names of each of these precious children at the rate of one per second it would take over 4 1/2 years just to list each one one time--and that is assuming that no more children were orphaned during that time.
So what do we as followers of Jesus do?
First, I plead that we not do nothing. Sometimes when we are faced with such an overwhelming need, we just want to throw up our hands in despair, but we must not do that. Orphans are among the most vulnerable people on the planet subject to terrible abuses of many kinds as children and as adults much more prone to lack of education, difficulty finding a job, owning no property, poverty, resorting to prostitution, drug abuse, criminal activity or suicide.
143,000,000 IS a huge number but it is estimated there are at least 2 billion Christians in the world. Imagine what we could do if we ALL looked after orphans in their distress.
There are many good things we can do for orphans: build an orphanage, work in an orphanage, send money, send food, send clothes. These are all good things and if this is what God is calling you to do--do it. But I would like to challenge you to consider the adoption option. I believe adoption best mirrors what God has done for us.
God could have remained very neat and sanitary up in Heaven and just dropped money and food and clothes on our heads from time to time. He could even have packed up the money and food and clothes in a pretty gift box, tied a big bow on top and had angels deliver the box . . . but instead God sent his Son so that through the cross we might receive forgiveness of our sins and be brought into his family.
Ephesians 1:35 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will . . . .
Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law that we might receive the adoption of sons, and because ye are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Romans 8:14-17 . . . because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. (KJV "adoption") And by him we cry, Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ . . . .
We who were spiritual orphans have been adopted into the family of God. We can call the Mighty God--the Creator of the Universe, "Abba" which is a child's name for his father like "Daddy" We are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, given all the rights and privileges of sons and daughters.
Now hear what God does for those who are physically orphans:
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widow, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families
. . ."
I believe that God calls us as his kids to provide those families for the fatherless.