In case you missed it, today was/is Orphan Sunday. I have to admit, it was a rough day. I've been looking forward to it for a few weeks, since I found out that we would be given time in the services today (for the first time!). And I got more excited when I volunteered to introduce the video we were showing. And then, this week we got some good news about our adoption (which I will share later), which made me even more excited! I knew I only had about 30 seconds to introduce the video (I hope you'll watch it when you finish reading, even if you saw it this morning, since it was cut by about 3 minutes), so I spend all week going over what I was going to say, trying to fit about an hour's worth of thoughts into half a minute. What I finally settled on was this: "Today is Orphan Sunday. But for me, everyday is Orphan Sunday. Because I know that right now, all over the world, millions of children wait. They wait for a family, for a sponsor, for someone to love them. All while most of us sit and do nothing. If you've never thought about adopting, fostering, or sponsoring a child for less than what you pay for your cell phone, or if you've thought about it and made excuses of why you can't, then I've been praying for you. And I believe that in the next 5 minutes, God is going to mess you up, to ruin you for normal. And you are going to leave here, and look outside of your comfortable life, see the need, and DO SOMETHING."
Truly, it was all I could do to contain myself, to get the words out through the emotions that were overwhelming me. Because what I really wanted to say was this: Today is Orphan Sunday. But for me, every Sunday is Orphan Sunday, and every Monday is Orphan Monday, and every Tuesday...you get the idea. Everything I see, hear, sing, read, think about, I do through the lens of adoption. It's always on my mind. Children who desperately need to be rescued, either through physical adoption, or through the adoption of child sponsorship with ministries such as Compassion International or Samaritan's Purse. Every dollar amount I hear that people spend on unnecessary things, I think, "That could feed this many children." Or, "Do you know how many children that could sponsor??!!" Sometimes I even drive myself crazy with it! But I can't help it. I can't get away from the fact that we, as Americans, as the church, have no qualms about spending outrageous amounts of money on our own comfort, entertainment, and convenience. But how many people balk at $40 a month to provide food, clean water, clothes, medicine, and education for a child who is otherwise going to die!! It keeps me awake at night.
And while I rejoice at the children who have been adopted and are being adopted, I grieve that so many people who could adopt, aren't. I am not in the "adoption is a calling" camp. I think that's just an excuse, and I wonder how many people who say they're "not called to adopt" have actually consulted God about it. Now, I understand that not everyone can adopt, maybe for health reasons, age, or legitimate financial reasons. And I understand that not everyone should adopt. But, it is my belief that if you can, then chances are good that you should. If you've ever (or never!) considered adopting (or fostering), and you have the ability, then please, ask God. I don't think He's going to say no! (to paraphrase Katie Davis) The devil is certainly not putting that idea into your head. And it's highly unlikely that your fleshly self is either. God loves the orphan! He commands us to care for them. That can happen in many different ways, yes, but I really believe adoption is God's favorite way. Not every child can be adopted, because of laws and circumstances, which is why sponsorship is so important. But if a child is available for adoption, they should be adopted. But too many children wait. And will continue to wait (in deplorable conditions you can't even begin to imagine, unless you've done some research) until someone, until YOU go and rescue them.
So please, I'm begging you, on behalf of those who can't beg for themselves, PRAY! Ask God what He wants you to do. And really listen. Put aside all your excuses, all your arguments, and listen. And then. Do. Something."
If you're still with me, watch the video. I dare you.