Sunday, November 03, 2013

ORPHAN SUNDAY

This year we welcomed home two precious babies that did not grow inside of me.  Two years ago, if you had told me that was in our future, I would not have believed it.  I didn't think it would be possible to love children that I had not birthed the same as the ones that I had.  I wasn't one of those people that had always imagined themselves adopting.

God changed all of that, and I am forever changed and blessed because of it.

The past several months have been such a blur that I was telling John last night that it feels like I was at the pool just last week.  But, I wasn't.  We did Halloween last week, and Thanksgiving is lurking around the corner.  One of the tasks that has occupied some of my time and emotional energy is helping to coordinate the Immerse AR fundraising banquet again that is coming up oh so soon.

And the truth is, several times this fall, I have thought things like, "This feels like a lot of work" or "This adds stress to my already stressful life."  But, as I have looked at the things I would fill my time with if I were to drop serving in this way, I am convicted all over again that I am in the right place for now.

The stress that I feel in my life does not compare to the stress that is constant in the life of the orphan - the child who doesn't know if they will ever belong in a permanent family - the teenager who has aged out of care with no one to help them manage life - the child who has suffered abuse and doesn't know how to trust adults.  These are real life problems.  These are the things that grieve God's heart.  These are things that we, as the Church, can do something about.

We can be God's hands and feet to the orphan.  But - will we?

I do not believe that all people are called to foster care or to adoption.  God moves everyone's hearts and families in different ways, and it would be presumptuous of me to imagine that everyone should do what God has compelled our family to.

That being said - we are all called to do something for the poor, the alien, the orphan in our communities and around the world.  God's word is screaming this to us over and over again.  (If you want to read for yourself, you can start with James 1:27, Isaiah 1:17,  James 2:14-17)

So - this Orphan Sunday, I am praying that God will move in more hearts to open more homes and families to more children who need it.  Stepping out in faith and moving towards the Lord always promises great rewards.  There is hardship and heartache as well, but those are coming to us no matter what.  We live in a world that is not meant to be our home.  When I think of the blessings that we would have missed out on if we had not walked down these paths, well - I'm just so thankful that God opened our eyes.

If you are in Central Arkansas - here are some great organizations you can partner with!

The CALL - Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime (focuses on finding Christian foster families)
Project Zero (focuses on finding adoptive families for waiting children)
Immerse AR (focuses on supporting youth that are aging out of care)

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