What are our intentions for NEHBC and orphan care? We get this question from two different perspectives. The first group, with a God-given passion for orphan care, wants to know how far we are willing to go practically in ministering to defenseless, hurting children. The second group, concerned because they’ve seen the legitimate danger of a local church become consumed with a single social justice ministry, is trying to ensure NEHBC is not sliding down a slippery slope. The one group’s passion and the other’s concern are both legitimate. Here is how I think through this matter.
It is clear in the bible that children are near to the heart of our God. For example, we see it in the gospels in Christ’s response to the disciples who were trying to keep children away from Him, and in James’ instruction to minister to the defenseless, widows and orphans. We see it in God’s choice to describe our relationship in terms of Father and children. Children are very near to the heart of our God. Therefore, the nearer we get to Him, the nearer children will be to the hearts of all Christians.
As a result, we will all be provoked when we see the continuing devaluation of children in our culture: parents routinely decide how many children to have based on career and hobby pursuits. Parents commonly consider their own children to be an inconvenience to their personal pursuits. Parents considering divorce do so relative to their own happiness and not that of their children. Adults intentionally bring children into this world without the covenant commitment of marriage that guarantees a child their father and mother in the home with them. Roe vs. Wade. Evidence abounds that children are of little value in our culture. Like “innocent civilians” are collateral damage in a war, millions of children are the collateral damage of the war on marriage and human life in our culture. Over fifty-five million have been murdered by their own parents. Millions are growing up in single parent homes. Hundreds of thousands are in foster care systems. Untold numbers literally raise themselves because both dad and mom are gone from the home for long hours.
Every disciple of Jesus Christ who understands the nature of our God and observes the condition of children in our culture will be provoked…to compassion…to righteous anger…to action. This is what I’d expect of every single NEHBCer. So, when it comes to orphan care, what I would expect of every NEHBCer is that we are all aware and genuinely concerned about the plight of children in our culture.
But, at this point in the conversation, there are many forks in the road and what this looks like practically for each NEHBCer is different. There is no expectation nor pressure to any particular action on your part. I do not know what the Holy Spirit might ask of you. A family might be called by the Holy Spirit to become a foster home. Another might feel called to adopt. Another may feel called to sacrifice financially even more and fund an adoption by another family. A family might feel called to volunteer at the pregnancy clinic in Farrington Mission or at an adoption agency. Someone might call their state representative and urge them to take action against abortion or to do more to help the foster care system. A family might pray and fast for orphans. A man in our church might see a boy being raised by a single mom and become somewhat of a surrogate dad to the boy, or a woman to a daughter raised by a single dad. More men in our church might feel led to serve in the preschool or children’s ministry, or the student ministry, because we have so many single moms raising boys and the young men do not have Godly male figures in their lives. You might provide biblical counseling to a couple in a troubled marriage in order to help facilitate restoration of the marriage for the sake of their children. You can speak out publicly against Planned Parenthood and abortion. A Christian school teacher could look out for children functionally raising them self. A LifeGroup might decide to provide after-school tutoring at a local school. These are just a few of the ways a Christian might act on their compassion for the children of our nation.
To help families in our church who are prayerfully considering fostering or adoption, or who would like to network with other members who are passionate about foster care and adoption, we have a ministry called Mosaic. These families are available to you for prayer, encouragement, advice, and guidance. They are passionate and Godly. If Nicole and I are ever called to foster or adopt, we will rely heavily on these members.
Would you take a moment to pray right now for the children of our nation? Our Heavenly Father designed them and brought them into existence. He intended for them to have a dad and a mom lovingly raising them in the home. Consider the thoughts of our Father when He sees the plight of children in our country. Consider the children. Would you just take a moment to pray?
Tags: orphan care