Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27 ESV)
This is deep on my heart right now. It's the essence of Living Little! Giving Big! We want to follow the command to live out our faith by taking care of widows, orphans, and much, much more. To open our hearts and homes to those with nothing. To give in faith above what might seem reasonable. To go against the grain in how we manage and spend our money because our first world emergencies are not nearly as bad as the third world emergency of starving and orphaned children. To deny ourselves so that we don't have to deny a child their next meal. To give of ourselves until it hurts. Isn't that what the Savior did for us? He opened His heart and has led us home. He had faith in His Heavenly Father to go to the cross despite what He knew was there. He didn't have a place to lay His head at night in order to be an example to us and what the opposite of excess looks like. He denied Himself. He bore the cross for us. He gave until it hurt. I want to be like my Savior.
The following DVD preview is a reflection of the changes the Lord is making in our lives and the heart for the orphan He is growing within us. We have such a burden for the orphan. I often feel so frustrated and overwhelmed by how massive the population of orphans is and how I can barely crack a dent in the surface. I heard a statistic recently that said that those who proclaim to be Christians out number the orphans in the world. I was blown away. How can that be when we are clearly directed to take care of children?
Perhaps not all need to be adopted. The mission of Jesus in Haiti is to keep the children in Haiti in the loving homes they currently have. They give them food, shelter, and make sure all of them are educated. The hope is that these children will grow to love their country and be able to take their faith to the people as well as use their education to possibly make the changes necessary to bring Haiti out of the pit. God is the Father of these children but we need to giving up alot of Starbucks to make sure those children have their next meal and can go to school tomorrow. (Remember, when we take care of the least of these we are taking care of Jesus.)
What of the orphans with no hope? What of the children abandoned because they are sick and mom can't afford to take care of them? What of the children whose parents were crushed under the buildings in Haiti over 2 years ago? What of the thousands of abandoned girls in China whose mommy and daddy could not keep them because of the cruelty of a dictatorial regime? What about the over 10,000 children in the state of Texas alone that are moved from home to home because they were emotionally and sometimes physical abused and abandoned? Who will love these children? Isn't this our call?
Christians, let us rise up. Let us take the reins and begin to move into this sphere with the genuine love of Christ. Pray about your role in taking care of widows and orphans. I do not believe that all people are called to adopt. But I do believe that it should at least be a conversation between a husband and wife. Why do we think we aren't called to adopt? Money? Space? Popularity or reputation? Isn't God bigger than our bank account? Isn't the size of our home a first world problem that God can move on behalf to solve? Do we really want to worry more about what people will think of us in this life time or the questions our Father will ask when we face Him and have to answer for why we didn't do more? All of our fears and doubts can be overcome. Just ask the many numerous people who have begun to more into this realm and are seeing God perform miracles on their behalf.
There are so many ways to get involved in orphan care as a church and as a family. For instance, there are ministries that work with children in the foster system about to age out of it. These children often have no where to go and no help getting there. Have a heart for these kids? Find out from your state how you might be able to help mentor these young adults and get them off to the right start. Better yet, open your home and adopt one. One of my favorite adoption stories was from a family that used to be in my homeschool group. She met a young lady working at Starbucks and found out she had no family to go to over Christmas. So they invited her over. Several months later, this family and the young woman signed papers with the state of Texas for her to become their daughter. I get chills every time I think about their story. This family has adopted all of their children.
I loved the quote in the following preview. "God didn't say natural born children are a blessing. God said children are a blessing." That is a powerful statement. We MUST take a stand against the current view of our world. The vision of this world is that children are a burden and are to be discarded. This is never the Holy Father's view of these precious creatures. And He's got a plan for you, dear follower of Christ. He's got a plan. He wants to write your adoption story. Will you seek Him to find it? What does He want to
One final thing. Underdog has been talking alot recently around the concept of how we cannot waste our lives. Neither one of us really believe that we'll retire, at least not in the normal sense of the word. His idea is that we live to the fullest extent we've got for the glory of Christ NOW and the true reward will be in heaven. Isn't that a beautiful idea? Adoption is hard, no doubt. I have never experienced the process personally (not yet) but I have read the stories and heard the reports. Scripture talks about how our lives are the grass of the fields. We grow up quickly and then we die. We can't fathom the idea of how short life is. In the scope of eternity, we last but seconds. What will be have to say in the end that we did with our lives? How are we going to explain the excessive materialism that we daily spend our lives chasing? How we will explain the daily $5 coffee from Starbucks when there are children who don't get to eat today? How will we explain the lost opportunity to bring love into our homes in ways of which we never dreamed. But God did dream. . .we just weren't listening? Oh people, lay down your lives. Die to yourself and all the fleeting excesses this of this generation. Live Little!! GIVE BIG!!!!