Monday, November 4, 2013

Orphan Sunday 2013

This past Sunday I presented about the need for orphan care at my church. Below is the speech that I gave.

Orphan care is not something that God asked us to do if we felt like it. He commanded us to care for the orphan and the widow in their distress (James 1:27). Caring for the orphan is one of the most heart breaking experiences because they are truly the least of the least and the cast away of society. In the United States alone there are over half a million children waiting for someone to tell them that they are loved and cared for. Worldwide there are over 149 million children classified as orphans. These number and statistic are heart wrenching but they are the reality
·         Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…
·         Every day about 5,800 more children become orphans
·         Each year over 14, 500, 000 children grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age sixteen
·         Each day over 38,000 orphans age out
·         Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home
·         Of those children that age out studies have shown that 10% – 15% of these children commit suicide before they reach age eighteen
·         These studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals

These are not statistics anyone wants to hear but the need for orphan care is great.
             Institutions are not places children are meant to grow up. They are dim and dull places where children are raised more like cattle then the children they are.  There is typically 15 or more children per adult worker and there is no individual care. In many cases the children that have special needs are left to die, In China alone one orphanage can have 4 or more dying rooms with 100 or more children in them and they are simply placed and forgot about as if their life does not matter. In Eastern Europe children with medical needs at the age of 4 are sent to adult mental institutions, heavily medicated and never given a chance at a life. The vast majority of them will die within 6 months of their arrival due to neglect.  No child asks to be born an orphan, God designed children to be in families not institutions. Institutions are places that diminish the hope of a child and steal away childhood, they are places where unthinkable abuses happen and the perpetrator goes unpunished. The majority of children who die in institution die from preventable causes. I have personally experienced the horrors of institutions and they are places I hope no one ever has to see. I have held a child who 6 hours later died from a virus that was 100% preventable and curable here in the states. They are places where 500 or more little ones look at you and their eyes are saying love me and tell me I am worth it. Institutions are the homes to so many children who are craving for the affection that is being denied to them. Imagine going to bed without a hug or being tucked in at the age of 3, no one checks for the monsters under you bed and no one tells you how loved you are, every tear hits the ground and no boo boo is kissed better, they are places where children grow up too fast and miss out on the importance of love.  However there is hope for the Orphan because God even says in the Bible that he will come to them. I truly believe that God’s heart is breaking when he looks and sees what is happening to his children and how so few individuals are doing anything to change their current situation.
            Adoption is the ultimate goal for every orphaned child, but it is not a reality nor is it for every family, but adoption is not the only way an individual or a family can care for the orphan. Giving to organizations that sponsor orphan care, sponsoring a child, hosting an orphaned child, volunteering with foster children here in NC, volunteering in institutions abroad, and praying are other examples of just how one person can make a difference in the life of a child. No one can do everything but everyone can do something to make the life of a child easier. No we cannot help every orphaned child in the world but everyone can help someone and those ones add up to a lot of children in the end. Adopting or helping one child will not change the world but for that one child their entire world will change. I am not asking all of us to save the world and adopt every orphan but we can change the life of one.
            I want to introduce you to Amanda De Lange, Amanda was a normal person like all of us, but she was vastly different. She gave up her life and the comfort she lived in to move to China and to care for the least of the least. She started out on her own caring for 6 babies and within 5 years she had founded a non-profit that was caring for 50 Chinese orphans at any given time. She lived on faith that the needs or her babies and herself would be provided and never saw her children as a burden but rather a blessing. She did not take the prettiest or the healthiest babies into her care but rather the children who everyone else had given up on. 90% of her children were days from dying had they stayed in the institution but with the help of the nannies and volunteers most of them were saved. She risked the heart ache to save the one because she knew that the one life she saved was worth it. Because Amanda believed and answered her calling there are 100 lives in the world today that would not be here without her and there are 60 families who have met their children because of her. Her children were the children that should not have survived because someone in an orphanage deemed that their life was not worth fighting for. Amanda was one person that changed 100 lives.  All it takes is one person to make a difference and to change the world
            Currently I work with 3 organizations that help orphan children in a verity of way and I know of several more. If you would like more information on adopting or helping these children please feel free to see me and I will be more than willing to talk to you. The sad news is that the majority of the orphaned children worldwide will never know the love of an earthy father, but they should not go an eternity without knowing the love of a heavenly father. The only way to truly care for the orphan is to love them like Jesus loves us and to spread his love to those who may never experience it. My goal of this message was to break your heart for what breaks God’s heart, and I know that seeing so many of his children without families or their basic needs being met is breaking his heart.

            To conclude my time up here I have a short personal video of the children that I have worked with over the last few years. These are children that I have watched grow and change and children in which I have seen the difference love can make. For these children all it takes is knowing that one person believes in you and your will to fight and live grows stronger. Most of these children were on the brink of death and a little bit of food and a lot of love brought them back. Now most of them are home with their forever families all because someone cared enough to help.

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