Speaking of November, did you know November is National Adoption Month? I'm sure it is also a month for a bunch of other (way lamer) stuff.
James 1:27 says "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." Pure and faultless ... does it get any better than that? In our churches we spend lots of time, energy and money on FAR less important things. So, in honor of National Adoption Month, let's brainstorm some ways we could all "look after orphans in their distress." I certainly don't believe everyone is called to adopt an orphan. But, we ARE all called to, in some form or fashion, look after orphans. How can we do this? I'd love for folks to chime in, as I'm sure I'm just barely scratching the surface of ideas.
- Adoption. Obviously, one awesome way to look after an orphan is to make one (or two or three) less. Praise God, Joseph is no longer an orphan. Can I get an amen?
- Sponsor a child. There are lots of great programs, like Compassion International and World Vision (and I'm sure lots of others that I'm not familiar with) who address the issue of orphans in one of the most crucial points ... before they become orphans. Programs like these help with the needs of kids while they are still with their parents. Due to some of these sponsorship programs, good parents are able to continue to parent their dearly loved kiddos because they are getting assistance with basic needs (needs we cannot even fathom here in the good ol USA).
- Become a foster parent. Our country needs good, loving foster parents BAD.
- PRAY for the orphans. BEWARE, sometimes God does crazy things with your heart when you do this.
- Help a family trying to adopt. I know lots and lots and lots of amazing adoptive families that would never have been able to adopt had it not been for people to come along side them with generous donations. Don't know anyone trying to adopt? Donate to an organization like Show Hope who helps adoptive families pay for some of the costs along the way
- Educate yourself. Did you know there are an estimated 150 million orphans in the world? Did you know there is a horrible outbreak of Cholera in Haiti right now, probably creating many more orphans? Americans spend more time talking (and reading) about one drug-crazed, in and out of jail, 20-something, used-to-be movie star than they do about 150 MILLION orphans! If this is you (been there, done that), change your news source. Read about missionaries like this (and support them).
- Be an advocate in your church. Don't know how? Check out some of these great websites: