I am so excited to have Jamie guest posting today and sharing her heart for orphans. I know you are going to be so blessed….
I met Jennifer at She Speaks this year. And it was at She Speaks that I brought a book proposal on orphans and God’s adoption. Every time I try to figure out where to begin my story, I fail miserably. I feel like I’ve told my story a million times, and it seems so small and trivial, and yet this is the year God’s had me in the midst of a major re-write. He’s editing my story, my past, shedding light on things I used to not understand. Not only is He rewriting the story, but it’s not finished yet, and I’m not sure how it will end.
“Once upon a time there was a girl. She lived with a mom, dad, and a sister. She was sheltered and spoiled. She was taught to be good and went to church. Physically she was well fed and cared for. Spiritually, emotionally, and even relationally, she was malnourished and dehydrated and under cared for, but she did not know that. All she knew was that as she got older her home become more and more unstable. When it was time for her to leave home, she was ready to leave the nest and fly away. She had no idea that the lack of nourishment had left her wings crippled and unable to fully extend. When she left home however, she found spiritual nourishment. She grew and matured, but she could still not fully fly.
The whole time she was struggling and even from her first moments with her mom, dad, and sister, she was under the care of a great King. He watched her struggling to fly, and He knew that it was time to set her free from the cage she’d been in – the cages that had kept her locked tight and unable to learn to use her crippled wings. As He set her free from the cages she’d lived in all her life, she fell into a dark and weary place.
Unknowingly, she had made idols of the people in her life – idols that needed to be torn down. And just when she was the whiniest biggest baby ever, everyone walked away. No one made a conscious choice to abandon her, to leave her alone to fend for herself, like a baby crying in the night alone in her crib, but each one for their sake, were fighting for their own lives and could no longer shoulder the burden that she was becoming. She must have been like a crippled special needs baby in a Chinese orphanage, who was not going to survive.
She was abandoned and alone and felt neglected and lost. She hungered and ached for someone to find her, to care for her, to bring her back into the light. As she struggled, He gave her what she needed. He alone knew that this process was bringing her closer to Him and healing her wings and making her ready to soar. She was cared for by a King even in these dark places, and she didn’t know He called her child and looked at her with love in His eyes.”
She is me, and I was an orphan who has been adopted by a King. Today of all days, I am timidly but assuredly meeting with my church pastor and interested parties in how to start a widows and orphans ministry in our church because as He rewrote my story, He reawakened my passion for the lost, orphaned, outcast, and alien. Perhaps you have a similar story – a story of being lost, alone, abandoned, needy, hungry, and God the Father rescued you. I believe that when God provides something to you spiritually, He also calls you to give the same blessing physically or vice versa. Our faith must be living and active! Won’t you consider the 147 Million orphans in the world? Perhaps He wants to soften your heart to adopt a child? Maybe He wants you to consider sponsoring a child through Compassion? There are a million ways you can get involved, but there is at least one easy way. I am proud to be an advocate for Pearl Ministries and their Ornaments of Orphans initiative. You can simply buy a Christmas ornament, decorate your tree, and aid an orphan at the same time! Watch this video:
You can support someone you know is adopting, has adopted, or fosters children. The ways to get involved in caring for orphans are endless. Maybe, just maybe, He is calling you to start a orphan specific ministry in your church. One of my facebook friends posted a statistic that said that if only 7% of people who call themselves Christians would care for only one, the crisis would be over! Astounding, isn’t it?
I challenge you to think of one way to get involved in reaching out to an orphan or a widow. Let’s help those who cannot help themselves. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow (Isaiah 1:17)!!
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:
“He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 6-15
Check out more from Jamie at her blog www.brownpaperandstrings.com