John 10:10 (ESV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Abundant Life is the orphan/adoption ministry at Lifepoint Church. Abundant Life exists to glorify God by equipping local churches to fulfill the Biblical mandate to care for the fatherless through adoption, foster care & orphan care and to advocate for the sanctity of human life.
John 14:18 (ESV) I will not leave you as orphans;I will come to you.
There are so many ways to be involved in orphan care and adoption in our very own community. One way is to become a resource (foster) family in your county. A resource family is one that is willing to provide a loving and stable environment for a child in need of such for a period of time while the child's family undergoes a time of addressing issues and healing. During the time that the child is living in your home, you have the opportunity and privilege to minister to not only the child (or children) but you may also minister to the child's family. It is an opportunity to be a model and resource for the child's family and to build a relationship that will benefit that family for a lifetime.
Another way to be involved is by physically adopting a child. You can adopt domestically, internationally, privately, through the foster system, and I'm sure there are multiple other ways. One thing is for certain, there is an orphan crisis in the world. One of the saddest titles a child can have, in my opinion, is that of "waiting child". Currently there are approximately 147 million waiting children worldwide that are without the love and stability of a forever family. Maybe you could be a forever family for one of these. Possibly you have been burdened to adopt and give a child a chance to experience the love of Jesus. It is an overwhelming process, but one that is not impossible! Abundant Life is made up of families that have been through this process as well as families that are burdened to just do something. Our team would love to help you through the steps and be supportive of your journey!
A third way to be involved is by going on a short term mission trip to an orphanage. Currently our church partners with The Good Shepherd Children's Home in Honduras. Two times a year, Lifepoint Church, led by Kevin Freeland, takes a trip to visit the home and live with the children for a week. You have a week to be the physical representation of Jesus Christ to the fatherless. You may also sponsor one of the children each month for just $35. You will help to supply the food, shelter, clothing, education, medical and dental care they need. What a blessing to be able to meet a child's physical needs and to be able to go for a week to meet and love the child that you have committed to caring for financially.
Those are the three most physically and emotionally taxing ways to be involved in the orphan crisis. Not everyone is called to participate in each of those ways, but that does not excuse you from acting. Abundant Life invites each member of Lifepoint Church to prayerfully consider a way to become an advocate for the fatherless and an active participant in the fight for orphans. Maybe you do not feel led to adopt, but you would like to financially support a family as they go through the process. Or maybe you would like to donate money so that someone could go to Honduras for a week to the children's home. Perhaps you would like to coordinate a baby shower for the babies that come into custody of DHS. You may want to become a prayer intercessor for children that are fatherless, orphaned and waiting and an advocate for their well being. There are opportunities to buy school supplies for children in the system, provide Christmas for them, and also to help provide gifts for their birthday. You may not want to commit to fostering long term, but perhaps your family could go through the process for the purpose of being a respite care provider. That is a family that can provide temporary care for a child so that the resource family can have a break to renew and be refreshed.
The opportunities are endless, but so are the excuses. Please do not fall victim to excuse making which yields no results, but be an active participant in the fight for orphans and seizing opportunities as you pray and seek. We were not called to a life of luxury and comfort here on earth. We are called to "go and make disciples". I am so challenged by the fact that the Son of Man had no place to lay his head. He is our example, may we be found faithful. May we be a people known for missional living within our community and to the ends of the earth.
Adoption from Craig King on Vimeo.