Sunday, November 4, 2012

Orphan Sunday 2012

17 years ago President Clinton designated November as National Adoption/Orphan Awareness month. 
Nine years ago the Christian Alliance for Orphans joined with Every Orphan's Hope to create Orphan Sunday.  Today, November 4, marks orphan Sunday.

This year's Orphan Sunday video being shown in churches, community centers and homes all over the world today:

Did you watch it?  Did it make you want to do something to help the orphan, to ensure each and every child knows they are loved by a mom and dad, a family, God?

Not sure yet?  I understand it's easy to look past the orphan crisis when it doesn't affect you personally.  It's easy to skim over verses in the Bible that don't apply to you.  I do it, we all do it.  But it doesn't make it okay. 

Four years ago I was made aware of Orphan Sunday.  I knew the world had a lot of orphans, Matt and I were at the end of our home study phase of the foster-adopt program and growing up I always knew I wanted to adopt.  But I didn't realize the severity of the problem.  I grew up with a mom and dad and never once had to wonder if they loved me, if they would provide for me.  An estimated 163 million orphans worldwide do not have that luxury.

After Gabriel came home, Matt and I continued to feel God's leading to adopt again, internationally this time.  We chose an agency, applied and began the process to bring home the little one we're currently waiting for.

Up late one night I found this video by Eric Lundy:

Watching this video, even now, evokes so many strong emotions.  I believe the Depraved Indifference video needs to be shown at every Orphan Sunday, in homes where our children are cared for and loved, at Life Groups and Bible studies....

Have you watched it?  Still not sure that God wants you to care for the fatherless? 

Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.  -Psalm 68:5

He executed justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner giving to him food and clothing  -Deuteronomy 10:18

Asher shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses; neither will we say any more to work of our hands,  Ye are our gods; for in the the fatherless find mercy.  -Hosea 14:3

But do you see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless.  -Psalm 10:14

To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that the man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.  -Psalm 10:18

Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan.  -Exodus 22:22

And my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and you wives shall become widows and your children fatherless   -Exodus 22:24

Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees,
and the writers who keep writing oppression,
to turn aside the needy from justice
and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
that the widows may be their spoil,
and that they make the fatherless their prey.   -Isaiah 10:14

 So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the Lord Almighty.  -Malachi 3:5

We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows.   -Lamentations 5:3

Cursed by anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, that fatherless and the widow.  And all the people shall say Amen.  -Deuteronomy 27:19 

Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves.  Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts.  They do not bring justice to the fatherless, and the widows cause does not come to them.  -Isiah 1:23

They kill the widow and the sojourner, and murder the fatherless.  -Psalm 94:6

This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right.  Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed.  Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed blood in his place.   -Jeremiah 22:3 

because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him.  -Job 29:12
Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.  -Zechariah 7:10
Leave your orphans; I will protect their lives. Your widows too can trust in me.  -Jeremiah 49:11
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.   -Psalm 82:13
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.  -Isaiah 1:17
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.   -James 1:27
20 verses regarding the orphans in the Bible and there are plenty more! 
So two videos, 20 scripture verses.... what's my point? 
My point is simple.
God commands us to care for the orphans.  And by caring for the orphans, I don't mean adoption.  While adoption is a wonderful way to live out God's redemptive love for us, not everyone is called to adopt.  And adoption is not the answer for the orphan crisis (more on that, later)
We are the answer. 

How that looks is different for everyone but there is something for everyone to do.  Foster children, join an orphan ministry, shop fair trade products that benefit orphans, volunteer at your local pregnancy crisis center or with a big brother/ big sister program, join Feed the Children and help provide food for hungry children or donate to Water Missions International and help provide clean water to 3rd world countries.   There are so many options, we all just need to join together and do something. 

One of my favorite Bible verses is Micah 6:8.  It may not specifically mention caring for the orphans but for me, this verse couldn't be any more clear. 

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

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