Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Caring for Orphans ...

James 1:27 NIV

27Religion 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.

There's a certain boy that lives far, far away whom my heart both loves and breaks for. His legal status is orphan .... but his love status is son. In my heart, he is my son .... no different than the sons who reside here in my home with me. It was over two years ago now that I met him in an orphanage in Ethiopia. He's been there many years. No doubt he went to bed many nights over the years wondering if he'd ever have family again.

He has dreams and ambitions. He longs to make a difference for his people. He works hard to flee from the immorality that surrounds him. At times he finds a way to write to me. One morning this week after talking with our kids at VBS about orphans I got one of those emails. Part of it reads ... "you are not like Ethiopian mother you are from somewhere that God only sent to me. I swear to God,Mom you are so special to me." Oh how TRUE, my son ... only God could have brought us together. He wanted me to know he's waiting on his testing scores which determines if he can get into the university .... his only hope for a future there.

We're called to care for orphans. That will look a little differently for each of us. Caring for orphans doesn't give you some "warm and fuzzy" feeling. Caring for orphans breaks your heart .... it shatters you ... it leaves you feeling like you can never do enough. We can't do enough. We can't solve the orphan crisis over-night. What we CAN do is obey what God gives us to do EACH day.

There is so much I want to do for Getahun. I want to provide a home for him. I want to hug him goodnight. I want to wash his clothes. I want to cook him a meal and provide enough food for him to feel full. I want to hold him in my arms. I may never get to do any of these things this side of heaven. There are times I lose heart and wonder why God ever had me meet Getahun if I cannot do these things. If I cannot fix his situation.

The painfully hard reality is that not all orphans will be adopted. (at least not yet!) Will I trust God to show me HOW to CARE for ORPHANS? Will I trade in my fleshly desire to have a heart that feels content and warm and fuzzy ..... for one that BREAKS? Oh Lord that I might TRUST you more and understand more clearly HOW to CARE for orphans. Caring for orphans is not to be about ME ... it's to be about HIM! Because of what Christ did for ME ... how can I not care about His children?

This last week we had the amazing privilege of sharing with our VBS kids about orphans. Their questions and interest were so awesome. I smile just thinking about how God was honored as they gave sacrificially to make a difference.

My heart is so grateful that this precious one is no longer in an orphan bed. Yet so many still are.

I would love to hear about how "caring for orphans" is being lived out in your life. Link your blog in the comments below. :) Maybe you've never given much thought to your responsibility in caring for orphans. What do you think God is asking you to do?


~Heart 2 Home~ said...

I can't hardly see to type through the tears...it is so true that caring for orphans breaks your heart...I want my heart to break for what breaks God's heart! We have been on a looooong journey to adopt a sibling group. Don't know how I can love someone so much and miss them so much that I have never met! Thank you for your post! Not sure if this is how I link my blog or not... http://Heart2HomeAdoption.blogspot.com

The Roberts Family said...

Thank you, Heart2Home!! :) Are you on FB? There are many adoptive families on there if you aren't already. Wonderful spot for encouragement/updates/prayer! If you are, you can find me at "Shelly Roberts". Blessings to your fam as you keep following your Father!!! :)

The Linn Family said...

Roberts Family,
Thanks for sharing this perspective. Caring for orphans is definitely heart-breaking, and must be 100% for Christ. This is difficult in a world that is all about the ME MONSTER ;) We're in the process of adopting a little one from Thailand. There are not many other adoptive families in the community where we live, let alone those who love Christ and have a genuine Biblical perspective on adoption.
I truly appreciate and relish blogs like this! It's neat to see believers from all over the place carrying out the Great Commission and heeding the call to care for widows and orphans. I pray that God will guide and protect your "son" in Ethiopia. Take care.

The Heaton Family said...

I don't know how I found your blog - maybe from a Facebok friend. But reading this post of yours was a soothing balm and a tremendous confirmation to me of what the Father has been telling me lately. I wrote about it here:

thank you for your heart for the orphan!