Friday, June 29, 2012

What Are You Doing?

J*dd M*defind, President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, is quoted in R*levant (my favorite mag) saying ,"As we (the Church) rise to meet the need of the orphan, God meets our profound need to escape flabby, self-centered Christianity and slowly see our character changed to reflect Jesus.  The truth is, if you go into this work (orphan care) motivated solely by duty, guilt or even idealism, you'll eventually run dry.  The vastness of the problems will always outstrip your enthusiasm to solve them.  We must be nourished by a profound sense of grace - God's great love for us, as well as for each orphan - if we hope to continue to esrve even when the need is so big and dark and tangled."

Wow - so much in that one paragraph!  Can I shout an "Amen!"


I think I can so enthusiastically shout AMEN because I have been in this orphan care world for 4 years now.  And I even laugh as I write that...only 4 years!  But, in reality, I think God has been breaking my heart for orphans since the day I was born.  I wasn't looking for a cause to jump on the bandwagon with.  I wasn't looking for a ministry work that was trendy or getting a lot of attention. 

All I did was listen to the Lord.  And His word is clear.  HE CARES FOR THE FATHERLESS.  HE CARES FOR THE POOR.  HE CARES FOR THE WIDOW.



And I heard God clearly ask me, "What are you doing about the people I care about ?"

But my "flabby, self-centered Christianity" replied, "But you are asking me to do something that is not easy."

And God replied, "Yea...so?"



And so I jumped into this world like jumping into a pool with a giant splash-producing cannon-ball.  If God is asking me to go...then I am totally going!  I realize people get tired of my orphan statistics, my Safe Families stories, my pictures of my hand-picked children...but...I just can't help it.  I am so motivated to see children in loving homes!

When Joe and I made the decision to adopt, we made it because the Bible is crystal clear.  It is not optional to care for the fatherless.  Please don't say, "I am not called....."  Really?  Have you read your Bible?

Everyone who says they follow Jesus is called to do something for the fatherless and the widows and the poor.  Adoption, child sponsorship, mentoring, foster care, Safe Families, mission trips, financially supporting those who want to adopt, supporting those who have adopted and are having a hard time...the list goes on and on.  Conventional wisdom makes it too easy to say, "I am not called...", but does the Kingdom of God and the way of Jesus have much to do with conventional wisdom?



And the cool thing is that we are in an amazing time in history where God is blowing open doors for this work!  R*bin J*nes, director of OK Office of Faith Based and Community Iniatives, says, "Regardless of your worldview, it cannot be denied that something greater than all of us is creating the environment for incredible movment and preparing the way for change.  Even with the major systems and political reform around foster care taking place, I am convinced it is the Church who is going to change the face of foster care."



Here in South Carolina...oh my....I get excited just thinking about it!  I just got a call this week by the "darling of all things foster care reform" (as I lovingly call her), and the state is wanting a small group to come together and work on how the Church can solve the foster care problem in SC.  Did you see that?  The state has realized they need the Church.  And so, Church...time to rise up!  Obviously, I will be working on the Safe Families aspects..preventing kids from entering the system...but the state is welcoming us, asking us for help, encouraging us to take over.  Don't miss that!  Now is the time to rise up!  A door that has been shut tight for decades has just been opened!



Don't you think it is time to put the needs of children above the conveninces of adults? 

Where did we get so far off the track of what a life following after Jesus looks like?  When did we decide that being a good Christian meant a nice suburban house, 2.3 kids, two cars in the garage, a savings account, a pantry full of food, and church attendance on the weekends?  That is how so many of us are living!

And yet...we are called to so much more! 

I have a new phrase I am using when people say, "Wow!  I don't know how you do it all....blah, blah, blah." 

I answer simply, "I want to leave this earth exhausted."

There are children....in your own city, in your state, in your country, and in your world...who don't know the love of a forever family, who have been broken, hurt, left alone.....and there is God who says in His word that He will not forsake them or leave them.  And He calls...yes calls us all...to go to them. 

What are you doing?

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