As I return to the swing of things at the office after my first experience at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit, I remain captivated by one fact:
The Church is the only group of people on earth large enough to solve the worldwide orphan crisis.
Read that again. I didn’t say “address,” or “increase interest in,” or even “help quite a bit”–I said “solve.” The body of Christ, by virtue simply of its size, is capable of responding to the staggering number of orphans in our world in such a way and with such magnitude that it deals with the problem in its entirety.
As one Summit speaker put it, “it is mathematically possible and completely doable” for the church to take in every single orphan in the entire world.
But this is not just about the numbers. As it happens, Christians stand on perhaps the greatest ideological basis for this kind of action.
The heart of God has special compassion for those who are vulnerable and oppressed. And to love God is to share the heart of God.
The nature of God in his embrace of the fatherless is the very reason that we all have been adopted into his family. We all were orphans who were reached out to by God and scooped up into his care. And, as Paul shows us in Romans 8, this is just the part we share in the redemption and healing that God is bringing to the entire world.
Adoption is an absolutely pivotal and, I would say, perhaps the most beautiful of all the biblical images of how God relates to us.
But it’s not just about the basis we have to care for the orphan, either. The church is empowered for this very mission, which is extended to us in the gracious calling of God “to care for the orphan,” (James 1:27).
It’s for all these reasons that I’m so glad that Christ Church has a group of people who are tuned in to this most important need and glorious opportunity. They have founded and continue to grow the Orphan Care initiative. Check out cumcmemphis.org/orphancare for an overview of what care for the orphan at Christ Church involves. The first thing you’ll notice is that May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, and we are supporting two major events that you can be a part of:
- This Friday, May 9 at 6:00-9:00 in Beaty Gym, we are showing love and appreciation to the foster parents of Memphis by giving them the night off. We will provide dinner and fun & games for their children. I can attest from a conversation with a foster couple at the Summit that one of the greatest things we can do to support orphan/foster care is to provide this kind of help for parents. Click cumcmemphis.org/orphancare to participate. Aside from help at the event, donations for food, crafts, etc. are needed.
- Also, mark Saturday, May 31 on your calendars for the Walk Me Home 5K at Shelby Farms. This race provides Tennessee foster children the opportunity to receive financial assistance for a variety of special needs and activities. For more info and to join the Christ Church team, click cumcmemphis.org/orphancare.
I don’t know of any other justice issue in our world today that the global church can respond to with such promise as caring for the orphan. Please take the time to discover the best way you can join in this mission and calling from God.