I know it's Tuesday and I'm just now blogging about Orphan Sunday. The main reason for that is my church doesn't do Orphans Sunday. We don't have anything against it, but we always just plug right through chapter by chapter verse by verse through the Bible one book at a time. Orphans come up a LOT they just didn't come up in Acts 24. I have loved seeing, reading, and hearing about all the wonderful ideas, responsible education and passionate advocacy I have seen through Orphan Sunday experiences.
I have heard a few things though that made me want to cry and spin into a rage at the same time. I'm not going into detail because I have actually contacted the programs I have concerns about to make sure I understood correctly what they were doing.
The point? As believers PLEASE be responsible for the way you go about helping the fatherless. Abandonment and attachment issues are real problems, it really is easier than you think to exploit orphans under the guise of a "good cause". These children have been left over and over again. It is like a band aid the first time you rip it off it hurts really bad, a child hurts really bad. When strangers come and love on them constantly and then disappear never to be seen or heard from again it's like putting the band aid on and pulling it off over and over again. It may hurt less every time, but it also loses its ability to stick, in a child that looks like an empty shell. WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL HOW WE TREAT THESE CHILDREN.
Now I know that not everybody is called to make a lifelong commitment to these children, in fact most aren't. There are still responsible ways to help. So to put a positive spin on something that almost made me lose my mind I'm going to try to feature at least a few ways you can help orphans each week.
Here we go: Compassion International - This program allows you to sponsor a child almost anywhere in the world, but more than that they encourage you to be an active part in the child's life. They have made it beyond easy to send translated letters on a regular basis and even encourage you to visit your child if the opportunity is available. Mercy House- A huge part of orphan care is orphan prevention. Mercy House is a long term maternity home that educates women, gives them life skills, teaches them to care for their children and minster's to women in crisis pregnancy situations. Often these stigmatized pregnancies would end up with a child abandoned and a woman left on the streets. Don't like the idea of just sending a check? Want to do more? Shop Mercy, they have cute things and many are made by the women in the home as a way of making it on their own. Kirabo Seeds- My heart belongs to the orphans in Uganda obviously so I included this link. This is an adoptive mama that fell in love with the orphanage her daughter came from and adopted the whole orphanage. She is committed to integrity and constant involvement with the children. You can sponsor a child's education or you can give to provide things like food, mattresses, lights, tables, and clothing. CASA- This doesn't surprise most of you but we have a lot of orphans in this country as well that need our help. Many of them are social orphans which means that they do have a living parent, but because of circumstances are unable to be parented by them. Many of these children spend their life in and out of courts with no one really on their side. CASA provides advocates for hurting children right under our noses. Support their cause, or if you feel led then become an advocate yourself!