My wife and I went to an adoption conference a few weeks ago as I wanted to investigate what an Orphan Care Ministry could look like at County Line. The conference as the first of its kind for me, so I didn’t know what to expect. However, I came away with some information and ideas that I think can help the local church in caring for orphans. Here are some of the things I learned:
- There are 153 million orphans in the world.
- About 17 million of them are “double” orphans meaning that both parents are deceased.
- About the same number, 17 million, are adoptable for a variety of reasons.
- Several other factors such as HIV/Aids, Human and Sex Trafficking, and Poverty are causes for parents and children to become separated.
- Adoption is only one of the answers to ending the orphan crisis.
- Many agencies that can provide information and help parents discern if and how they can adopt. (Loving Shepherd Ministries is a great organization that will help families get started in the right direction.)
- Foster Care and preventative programs, such as Safe Families for Children, are other options if families do not or cannot adopt.
- The local church can serve in many ways, either directly or indirectly.
- They can start an Adoption Fund with Lifesong for Orphans.
- Raise awareness through Orphan Sunday and other events.
- Partner with an orphanage such as Village of Hope in Guatemala.
- Host an Adoption/Orphan Care Conference.
- Collect and study resources such as Christian Alliance for Orphans, Both Ends Burning, Orphan Justice, The Global Orphan Crisis, and Giving Wisely.
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.