Today is “Orphan Sunday.” Among the many things that are impressed upon my heart to teach to my son, one of them is service to others – caring for the less fortunate:
“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
Notice how in the verse it is certainly important to “keep oneself from being polluted by the world” by knowing God’s commandments, etc., but that “keeping oneself from being polluted by the world” is listed AFTER “looking after orphans and widows in their distress.” The message to me is that I better take service seriously. And I better communicate its importance to my son if I want to shepherd him Biblically:
“…Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” – Isaiah 1:16-17
I am so thankful for the many people who have devoted their lives to orphans! There are countless people who have adopted, taken on roles as foster parents, or partnered with service organizations who support orphans. God has certainly called these people to something beautiful, marvelous, and HARD.
However, just because you may not be adopting an orphan, considering becoming a foster parent, or partnering with an orphan-support organization, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t calling you to support orphans in other ways (or to shepherd your children about the importance of caring for orphans)! There are so many easy ways that we can help these orphans (sponsor God’s children) and shepherd our children at the same time. A few easy things you can do to help:
Switch your coffee brand, and help reverse the epidemic that plagues over 167 million children:
We are so blessed to attend a church that takes missions and service very seriously! Though less than 10 years old, our church (All Soul’s Fellowship in Decatur, Georgia) has sent members to partner and serve communities in India, Guatemala, Uganda, Spain, Thailand, France, Cambodia, and Honduras. Our Honduras partnership is with Providence World Ministries, an organization that works to improve orphan and widow care around the world. By simply switching your current coffee brand to “Providence Coffee” you are able to provide funds to support orphans and widows who desperately need our help. 100% of the funds from the coffee sales support Providence…and the coffee is GOOD (they serve it at our church). I just bought some coffee from Providence today, will you join me in supporting these orphans and widows? If so, click on the link below and place an order (and when your package of delicious coffee arrives, take a moment to explain to your children why you aren’t buying coffee from the grocery store anymore!):
Sponsor the Adoption of a Child with the purchase of an “Adoption Cross” (makes a great Christmas ornament/gift!):
I am blessed with a sweet friend who feels called to adopt a child. She and her husband have started a unique project to help them fund the adoption. They create “adoption crosses” and use the funds from the sale of these adoption crosses to bring them one step closer to bringing home a precious child who needs a family. Here’s a picture of the adoption crosses:
These “adoption crosses” are lovingly handmade by Jenny and Brooks and come in two sizes – small (Christmas tree ornament size) and large (to hang in a home). You can place an order through their Facebook page (Jenny and Brooks’ Adoption Crosses) or shoot me an email at “firstname.lastname@example.org” for more information. If you place an order, when your “adoption cross” comes, make sure you take the time to explain to your children why you ordered the cross and how you are helping other children in need
Give your children the gift of reading while supporting the adoption of a baby girl from China:
Who doesn’t love ordering wonderful books for their children? As an “Usborne Books” customer, I have to say these books are some of the best on the market! Through midnight on November 29, you have the opportunity to order books from Usborne (great Christmas idea!) and support the adoption of a baby girl from China for a friend of mine. All proceeds go towards the Akers’ adoption of their little girl from China. This will be the family’s third adoption – seven years ago, they adopted two boys from the Ukraine and now they are getting ready to bring home their daughter. If you are interested in ordering books from Usborne while supporting this precious family, click on the link below:
When the books come, explain to your children why you purchased them online as opposed to buying at the local bookstore.
Give your children the gift of reading while supporting foster children (The Forgotten Initiative):
Similar to my friend who utilizes her proceeds from Usborne Books to support adoption, I also have a friend who utilizes her proceeds from Usborne books to support foster children. If you have a heart for foster children, please consider reaching out to my friend, precious Catie Finley Lumpkin, who is a foster parent and looks for people willing to host E-shows through Usborne to support “The Forgotten Initiative.” I recently purchased books from her latest E-show for “The Forgotten Initiative,” and it was such a blessing. If you are interested in hosting an Usborne E-show, you can email Catie through her Usborne link (see below):
Additionally, you can find out more about her foster parenting and Usborne journey on her blog:
Additionally, please check out The Forgotten Initiative and be praying for these orphans who need homes! If you decide to host an E-show for Catie and take the time to pray for The Forgotten Initiative children, explain to your children why you are doing it!
Lastly, as we are preparing to enter the Christmas season, there will be scores of opportunities for us to help orphans, widows, and other impoverished, needy souls. From “Angel Trees” to people ringing bells for spare change (through Salvation Army, etc.), make sure you take the time to not only help and serve this holiday season but to EXPLAIN to your children WHY we are serving. My precious friend, Catie, has put together a wonderful 3-day devotion that can be used with families who want to impress upon their children the importance of orphan care. Please prayerfully consider using this with your children – “Shepherd My Child, Support God’s Children.” Let’s make this a focus not only on “Orphan Sunday” but throughout the upcoming year:
Praise God for these precious souls who are working so hard to defend the orphans in our midst. And praise God for each of you who will take the time to support them through prayer or via one of the avenues listed above. God Bless You All!