Nothing can make me break down and cry faster than seeing, meeting, praying for, or thinking about the orphans in this world. They've always held a special place in my heart and I think God placed it their because they hold a special place in His heart as well. He says this:
"Religion that is pure and undefiled
before God, the Father, is this:
to visit orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
"Father to the fatherless, defender of the widow-
this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families."
"Learn to do good;
seek justice, correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow's cause."
"O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart;
you will incline your ear
to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may
strike terror no more."
Clearly God cares about the orphan. He commands us to visit them, defend them, and work to end their oppression. With an estimated 143 million orphans in the world today it can seem like an impossible task, but God has a plan and that plan includes you and me reaching out to care for them. If we all woke up to the plight of the orphan and did what was in our power to do, can you imagine how many more happy and joyous children there would be in this world? Can you imagine the impact it would make?
Here are some practical suggestions that you can do to impact the lives of orphans:
Pray For Them: Intercede to God on their behalf. Pray for their well being. Pray that God would move more people to adopt. Pray that more people would visit them and show them the love of God. Pray that they would come to know Him and have hope for the future. Pray whatever you feel moved to, just talk to God about it.
Give Financially: With the care of children comes lots of monetary needs. There are several organizations that deal specifically with orphans. Do your research and find one that you are confident is making an impact and consider making a contribution. Here is one such ministry: Show Hope
Use Your Skills: God has given us all a specific set of skills. How can you use what he's given you to make a difference in the lives of orphans? Watch this video to see how six woman are doing just that:
Visit Them: Consider going on a trip (long or short term) to visit, volunteer or work for an orphanage. (This could also include a children's shelter in your area.) Many churches and non profit organizations do this on a regular basis. Find one that interests you and take the plunge! I promise you will never be the same!
Consider Adoption: Pray and see if God is calling you to adopt. This is a life long commitment that should be thought through carefully, but if you feel God is calling you to do it then you should go for it!
I think we can all do something to help alleviate the pain of the fatherless. What will you do?