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Setting the Lonely in Families

     Sometimes we think that it takes a long life and a few miracles to make someone a Hero of the Faith.  In reality, James 1:27 gives us a much more accessible example of faith in action.  James writes, “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 (James 1:27).

     God’s heart for orphans is clearly evident in Scripture and caring for them is something He takes personally.  As the Psalmist says in Psalms 68:5-6, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.  God sets the lonely in families” (NIV).  As far as God is concerned, caring for orphans is a basic part of living out our faith.

     It’s easy to think that God has called someone else to “defend the fatherless” Isaiah 1:17 (NKJV).  We think we’re too busy, it costs too much, it’s too much of a hassle, we have kids already, our kids are grown and gone and we don’t want to start over again.  Those excuses become empty and hollow, though, when you weigh them against the needs of hurting children.

     We have a family in our church that is modeling for us some of the ways we can be involved in caring for orphans.  John and Andrea Anderson are the parents of three active and fun boys, ages five to eight.  They are certainly already busy enough with their sons and they aren’t wealthy people with money to spare on other children.  But, as God has called them to first foster care and now adoption, He has also provided for them.

     The Andersons began by becoming foster parents.  You may think, “I could never love a child and then have the child leave me.  It would break my heart.”  Consider, though, how heartbreaking it is for these kids to have no place to go.  There are over 500,000 children in US foster care and every child that cannot be placed in foster care has to be placed in a group home or institutional-like facility.  You don’t need to have a huge house, a massive bank account or be perfect!  You just need to love these hurting kids.  For more information about becoming a foster parent, you can contact your local Department of Social Services.   Isn’t it better to say, “It would break my heart NOT to provide them with time in a loving and stable home?”

     Another option is domestic adoption, which is the process that John and Andrea Anderson are now involved in.  Many of us think of adoptions as private arrangements that match up potential parents with newborns.  But, there are between 115,000 and 123,000 kids ranging in age from zero to 18 awaiting adoption in the United States right now.  Some of these “waiting children” have special medical or emotional needs, but others do not.  You can visit www.adoptuskids.org to learn more about the options for adopting waiting children.

     Other families pursue international adoption, which is more involved financially and logistically. However, adopting families often testify that they started their adoption process with no money, and God provided every penny needed to bring home their son or daughter.  We can trust God to supply everything needed to fulfill His call for us.  There are also numerous resources for grants and information on adoption tax refunds and other assistance available to adopting families.  Some of the best web sites are:

     Finally, if God hasn’t called your family to foster parent or adopt, you can still be involved in caring for orphans.  Organizations such as www.showhope.org allow you to donate time and money to help others adopt, and they also give you specific ways you can pray for orphans throughout the world with periodic updates and a prayer calendar. 

    In your church, you can become an advocate and resource for Orphan Sunday, which will be held on November 6, 2011.  This is an annual Sunday dedicated to engaging the church in orphan care.  You can learn more information at their web site: http://www.orphansunday.org/ .  

     You can also personally help in the fundraising efforts of families who are adopting.  Buy their t-shirts, donate to their adoption fund, pray for them, and spread the word.  As a church and community, we can all participate in bringing one more orphan home to a forever family, making us all Heroes of the Faith.

To keep up with Heather King, check out her blog at

Copyright © 2008-2015 Heather King

Reader Comments...
2011-03-01 19:19:03
"What a nice article for the cause. And what nice words you had for my daughter and son-in-law. I can't wait to see who GOD has waiting for them."
        - Nancy

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