In June 2009 my wife, Staci, and I found ourselves in an orphanage in Guatemala.
We were both teachers at the time and wanted to spend our summer in a “far away land” helping others. Little did we know that this 4-week experience would change our life forever.
During this time we came face to face with the reality of the severity of the orphan crisis around the world. At this time there was an estimated 147 million orphans around the world, and in 2014 this number only continues to increase to an estimated 153 orphans and vulnerable children in the world.
Day after day we looked into the eyes of children who were abandoned, neglected or had a special need all without a permanent family to call their own. The reality that this was just a small picture of what was happening around the world forced our family to make a choice.
Would we go back to suburban America and live our lives as if we had not met them? Or would we choose to obey the command of James 1:27?
New International Version
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.
For our family we chose obedience… We immediately started the process to adopt. In 2011 our son came home, and now in 2014, we find ourselves in the adoption process again.
Our prayer for your family is that you will choose obedience to the command of James 1:27, as well.
This command, to look after orphans, can look different in so many ways. For some it is adoption…for others it is prayer or orphan ministry in your church.
Below are some ways your family can live out James 1:27:
- Pray for the fatherless
- Give to a project that supports the fatherless
- Go on a mission trip to support a local church working with the fatherless
- Consider Adoption
- Engage your church in starting an orphan care team