The first Sunday of November is Orphan Sunday; a time for the church to collectively draw her eyes and heart to the plight of orphans at home & abroad.
God’s word speaks plainly to His concern for the welfare of the orphan, Isaiah 1:17 calls us to Defend the cause of the fatherless… a theme repeated in the James 1:27, which identifies pure religion as that which looks after the orphan and the widow in their distress. Our own salvation through Christ has allowed us, who were spiritually orphaned, to become the adopted sons and daughters of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Knowing this should lead us to appreciate His concern for those both spiritually and physically orphaned all the more.
Just over 2 years ago, our family embarked on a journey to be obedient to the call to care for just one, and then two orphans. As God has led us on this path, We have been privileged to watch two forgotten children blossom into beautiful, beloved daughters and sisters. God has expanded our physical family, and He’s expanded our community through relationships with other adoptive families. Within our family and within these community relationships, we have laughed and cried. We’ve met milestones and exceeded expectations. We’ve screamed with frustration, gone without sleep, drank coffee by the pot-full, and zeroed out bank accounts. We’ve experienced immense tangible blessing and felt the oppressive weight of intense spiritual attack. We’ve watched the restoration of that which the locust have stolen…and we’ve cried when we realized that which is gone and will never be restored until that day our children are whole & healed with the Lord. And we have held each other up when our children’s physical bodies could no longer bear the effects of the suffering they had endured, and they were released home to Christ’s loving arms, whole & healed. We’ve shared the Gospel. We have lived the Gospel. And while many try to paint us as extraordinary, daily we are emptied of our very ordinary selves, for the privilege of being filled by Christ. We are not extraordinary, only extraordinarily tired :) And blessed. So blessed are we, that no longer can our call be to one or two orphans. Though we may or may not ever individually adopt again, our eyes cannot turn from those who are left behind, and, as commanded in Isaiah, we can no longer cease to defend the cause of the fatherless.
So, if we may be so bold as to exhort you, please join us in praying. Praying for those children who wait. For those families called to them. For the authorities in positions at all levels of government with influence over their well-being. And for the Body of Christ, who may be outside these spheres, to recognize their ability to care for orphans without ever adopting, and thus fulfilling the command of God.