• Open Your Eyes

    Date: 2013.03.09 | Category: Adoption | Tags:

    “While not everyone is called to adopt, everyone can get involved through volunteering and sponsoring.”  Amy Eldridge, Love Without Boundaries.  10 years ago Amy wanted to help a little boy, with a heart defect that she saw while visiting her daughter’s orphanage, get his much needed surgery. Today LWB helps children in 21 provinces in China with surgery, foster care, education, and nutrition.    Love Without Boundaries

    “Not all of us are called to the same ministry, but all of us must do something.”  Katie Davis, author of Kisses from Katie.   At the age of 24, Katie is the mother of 14, lives in Uganda and has a program that sponsors 600 children with education and nutrition.   Amazima

    “I just kept thinking, ‘if I don’t do something, who will?'” Andrea Pauline, executive director, Musana Community Development Organization.  As a college student, Andrea saw the living conditions of the orphans and couldn’t just walk away.  She talked the Ugandan government into closing the orphanage down and she took responsibility for those 40 orphans.  Today she runs the home for 80 children.  Musana Community Development Organization

    “It was like God was sitting there saying, ‘There, that’s what I’m asking you. Do you want to do it?”  Rob Hill    In 2000, the Hills decided to give up everything and stay in China to care for the very least of these.  Their mission statement is “To comfort always, to relieve often, and to save sometimes.”   New Hope Foundation China

    Do these people have some special knowledge that we don’t know?  Do they have special gifts and insight that the rest of us just don’t have?  Have they been called in ways that we can’t even imagine?  Maybe.  Or is the bigger truth that they saw a need and decided to fill it.  Did they decide to not only listen to God but to follow His lead?   The Bible contains over 300 verses about the poor, the widow, the orphan, etc.  Do you believe the Bible contains commands or merely suggests?  These verses are commanding us to take care of the weak, the fatherless, the widow, the poor, the needy.  The Bible states these commands over and over again.  What does it mean to “pick up your cross and follow Christ”?  Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

    Are you paying attention or do you show up on Sunday and maybe even Wednesday night and say hello to God only to forget what He is asking of you throughout the rest of the week?  Do you believe that you give your 10% and the rest is taken care of?  Do you think that maybe someday you will do something when everything is paid off or you retire or the kids leave home or when life isn’t so hectic?  Do you believe by just being a good person that you are doing enough?  Well, what is good enough?  What is doing enough?  What does God expect of you?  Believe me when we started to adopt I wasn’t thinking about following God’s mandates in the Bible.  I was just following His lead.  He said, “Here’s your daughter and son.  Go get them.”  So I went.

    I now feel the need to continue to talk about adoption because my heart was moved.  I realized that I didn’t have a clue what was going on in the world around me which means others might not know too.  I’m telling you that you would be doing something too if you had seen what I’ve seen.  If you traveled half-way around the world to get your child, only to undress them and sob uncontrollably.   Crying tears over the fact that he is just so skinny (21 pounds at 3 1/2).  Crying tears over the way he won’t talk and is so afraid, but even then he holds your hand and cringes every time you leave the hotel room for fear you are taking him back.  Crying tears over the way he ate for hours straight.  Tears because his teeth are rotting.  Tears because had you not stepped in he would have died alone, in a cold orphanage, with no one to comfort him or care.  Tears because when he falls asleep he holds tight to his spoon and a bowl and his food.  Tears because he cries if you move his food out of sight.  Tears because he climbs in your arms and doesn’t want to be put down because he just wants to be loved.  An orphanage is not a home….it’s an institution.  There are no loving caregivers tucking him in at night.  There are no kisses on the cheek and blankets being pulled up.  It is NOT a home!  Don’t kid yourself.  There are too many children sleeping a couple kids to a bed.  There is NOT enough food. There are too many kids that are constantly hungry.  There is not enough help to give extra attention.  This is our problem.   Why? Because God says to care for the fatherless.  (If you’d like to know more, grab the book Orphan Justice.)

    I have heard……It’s better to be left in an orphanage, in their own country, then to be adopted and taken away to live in a strange place, especially if the child is older.   Fact: “out of the 167 million orphans, 120 million will never receive any education whatsoever. About 60% of these orphaned girls will become prostitutes, and 70% of these boys will become criminals by the age of 18. 10-15% of these children will commit suicide before the age of eighteen. Every year, 1.8 million are forced into human trafficking, prostitution, or the pornography industry, and 11 million will die of a preventable or treatable disease. These children have no chance at improvement. While orphans here are struggling, orphans oversees are dying.”

    I’ve heard…..Others are stepping up to take care of this problem. Isn’t the church doing something about the orphan problem as is commanded in James 1:27  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.     Fact:  Most churches may talk about the “orphan” on Orphan Sunday but many do not openly encourage adoption or fostering.  Most do not have programs set up to help families adopt and to encourage and support families.  Most just give it lip service once a year.  My proof?  There are  around 125,000 kids waiting to be adopted in the United States and according to The Washington Post, there were over 600,000 women in America waiting to adopt in August 2008.   In 2007, there were estimated to be 236 million Christians in the U.S. and still we have an orphan problem.  That tells me that, we as Christians, aren’t doing enough.   That tells me we aren’t wanting to do the “hard” .  We want the perfect little baby.  That’s not an orphan problem.  That is a fertility problem.  We need to care for the orphan.  Those hurting and left alone.  Those that require a little more attention and a lot more patience.  We need to be the hands of Christ.

    I have heard…..There is nothing that I can do.  I don’t have the money.  I don’t have the time.  I don’t want to disrupt my perfect life.   If only I was older.  If only I was younger. Someone else will do something.   Fact:    There are some that are doing something, but adoptions dropped to the lowest point in 20 years this year.   Not enough “someone” else’s are doing something.  You don’t have to adopt.  I know not everyone is called to adopt, but there are thousands of ways to help.  You can sponsor children.  You can sponsor surgeries, education, nutrition.  I’m telling you that you need to do something and you don’t have to go overseas to help.  There is poverty right here in our own country.  There are children who go to bed hungry.  There are children living on the street.  Don’t turn your back.  Open your eyes and do something!  Pray that God would open your eyes and then pay attention.

    Take a moment and really ask yourself the question, “Am I doing something?”   I know for years I believed there was nothing I could do, but I am showing you the options.  You can do something.  Volunteer at a food bank, homeless shelter, mow your widowed neighbors lawn, sponsor a child.  I have read stories of people doing great big things and I have been moved, but at the same time I think “I haven’t been called to move to China or Uganda or sell everything and be a missionary.”  What can I do sitting in my own home?  What could I possibly do that would make a difference?  Well, I recently watched a bunch of people come forward for a little boy who needed surgery.  Over $100,000 was raised in just a week.  Lots of little somethings adding up to one really big something.  So I’m telling you, “Do something!”    Don’t let another week go by.  Don’t say I will do it when….   Do it now.  God is commanding you.  I am nudging you.  You can make a difference.  Proverbs 29:7 The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.