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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Orphan Sunday---Lessons Learned

Did you know today is Orphan Sunday? It is the day that churches across the world observe the plight of the "least of these."

Sadly, when inquiring at my church, I learned that being a small church, no one has ever done anything for Orphan Sunday. When talking to my friend Vickie, she suggested I speak to the pastors and see if we can start something for next year! The cool thing is that there is already a website devoted to this special day, and it includes sermon notes, posters, videos, tshirts, and tons of other resources!
Check it out:
Yippee! A project!!!

So today my plan was to escape to the mountains and be still. Our agency called us to pray for the orphans today and even go a step further and fast. I decided to fast from sunset yesterday to sunset today. and oh was I weary and weak! I'm one of those people who has to eat every 2-3 hours to keep my blood sugar even. This was a LONG time and I quickly realized that hiking was out of the question (due to hunger, shakiness and snow on the trail). So I retreated to a secluded spot where I planned to journal, read scripture and pray.

My spot

Well, I lasted about 20 minutes. It was FREEZING, windy and just plain miserable. I was hungry and weary and shaky and I opted to come home and finish at home. The entire drive home I beat myself up. Since I was so hungry and all I could think of was food so concentrating on prayer was difficult. I got home, completed my study in my warm bed and felt the hunger pangs so strong that I had to ask God to quiet them!

However, I was able to pray, read, reflect and write in my "baby journal" that I have been keeping for our child. I want him/her to know every detail of this journey. And, luckily I was able to pen a few pages before leaving the woods
(thankful for gloves!)

So, in conclusion, I'm a pansy when it comes to this. I had this great day built up in my mind and didn't succeed (by my standards). I ate again at 5 pm and thought I would pass out just opening the fridge. And yet, I prayed with each hunger pain that God would remind me that orphans don't just miss meals, they miss DAYS of meals. They are cold, hot, dirty, hungry, tired, sickly, weary, weak and shaky EVERY DAY. I felt like a complete failure and yet, I got a small glimpse of what an orphan experiences.

And I prayed that God would care for our child and other's children and that the adoptions in progress would go smoothly, quickly and that He would finance them. I prayed that our agency would continue to do its amazing work and keep prayerfully matching children with forever families. I prayed God would hold each child in His arms, safe, warm and fed. I prayed that God would use us to touch other families to consider adoption. I prayed that there would be a SURGE of families coming forward to support orphans financially, support families who are adopting financially, foster children without homes and even adopt themselves.

I found these amazing verses to share with you. Sprinkled through out the Bible are unending passages about adoption. We're ALL adopted you know! Before Jesus, we were living a life of sin and destitution. We were all lost as an orphan is lost. We had no father, families or anyone to care for us. THEN came the savior of the world, who adopted us into His keeping, into His family. Don't we OWE it to him to care for the orphans and widows of the world?

"Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."

James 1:27

"I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you..."

John 14:18

"Do not oppress the widows of the fatherless, the alien or the poor..."

Zechariah 7:10

"For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear but you received the spirit of adoption by whom we cry out 'Abba Father'"

Romans 8:15

One lesson I have learned is that caring for orphans is NOT an OPTION. It is a COMMANDMENT. NO CHOICES. NO EXCUSES! There are 147 million orphans. That's enough to fill the Denver Mile High stadium to capacity 8,823 times! But if only 7% of all Christians adopted, there would be

Another lesson I have learned is that God has no "Plan B." I've said it before but its worth saying again and again and again. God only has "Plan A." I would URGE you, if you are considering starting a family or expanding yours, to prayerfully consider adoption. Don't be afraid. Its so much easier to live in denial of those 147 million orphans. It is so much easier to live in our bubble of life in America, thinking we have it so hard, without realizing that there are SO MANY who are in need of so much more. So don't live in DENIAL.

We ALL have to meet our Lord face to face one day. Do you want HIM to ask YOU
"Why didn't you do more to care for MY orphans?"


I want to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done my daughter."

Can you imagine?

That thought sends shivers down my spine!

So, could you throw up a little prayer today for the orphans of the world?

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