Saturday, November 5, 2011

Creative Love for Orphans

Tomorrow is Orphan Sunday.

What a great idea! Focus the people in the church to care for the millions of children around the world who would desperately love to join a family.

Oh Lord, please answer these sweet children's heartfelt prayers!

What can you do for orphans?

Become their forever family!

You are not ready to foster or adopt, you say.

That's okay.

Start where you are. You'll be surprised there are MANY ways to care for orphans that you never thought about!

You already know you can pray and give to organizations who are working with God's most precious children. And you can always donate directly to families who are adopting. That was a huge blessing in our own story.

But did you know you can do other things too?

Like what?

My dear friend is a foster mom with a heart of gold. She brainstormed this awesome and practical list of how to help a foster child and their family:

Pray: Choosing to foster is a decision that affects every member of the family. There are adjustments fro everyone. Additionally, the children in care have often only known abuse. But Jesus is bigger than any challenges that arise! Pray for healing for the children, for their biological parents to rehabilitate, the Holy Spirit's discernment for foster parents and God's covering over foster families.

Drive: Foster parents do a lot of driving to and from appointments: doctor, dental, and visits with the birth family, etc. Helping with transportation would really be a blessing!

Encourage: Gracious or encouraging words can be LIFE-giving! (Many foster moms are met with admonishing words to "be careful" rather than being lifted up and encouraged!)

Mentor: Take interest in a foster child. People of all ages can teach them a hobby, babysit, bake cookies together, offer to help with homework or teach life skills such as balancing a checkbook.

Serve: Many times accepting a new foster care placement is an emergency situation and families are harried. Offering to help with small tasks such as organizing a pantry, cooking, or laundry can really lighten the load and help the foster family and new child adjust.

Donate: Did you know that many children arrive at a foster home with their belongings thrown into trash bags? You can donate items such as suitcases, school supplies, clothes, shoes or even toys. Be sure that you are donating items in good repair. (If you wouldn't want your own children to wear it, don't send it to foster care agencies or foster families.)

Great ideas, friend!!

Did you know that you can do many of these for adoptive families as well? We were blessed so greatly by the people that brought us meals when we first came home. Coming over and handling laundry or grocery shopping for a family in their adjustment period is a BIG blessing!

Another "classic" way to help orphans is to find a trustworthy organization and sponsor a child. I am thrilled to begin my sponsorship of a 14 year old girl I met and fell in love with while in Uganda! She and I met while I visited one of the prisons that Sixty Feet works with...and she shared her story and I was broken for her. (If only I could have adopted her too!) Please consider SPONSORING A CHILD from the Sixty Feet site or Compassion or World Vision. Make an ongoing difference in the life of a child without leaving your living room!

Did you know you can also SHOP to benefit orphans?! I created a list of people selling online things that will have the proceeds benefit orphans. 

Shopping List to Help Orphans!
Handcrafted, personalized jewelry with all proceeds benefitting Joel and Lisa Bailey’s Ethiopian adoption! Now through November 25, 2011.
Glass Christmas ornaments. Benefit a family adopting 2 children who have been stuck in Uganda for 7 months without income.
Tee shirts of many varieties are sold and benefit individual adopting families. Here is a browsing list:
More jewelry! All benefiting the world’s orphans.
Ugandan made paper bead necklaces. Made by children in the prisons Sixty Feet works with...proceeds benefitting a family’s Ugandan adoption.
Bible study bags, adorable coffee sleeves that benefit a family adopting one of Zareb's friends from his orphanage!
Hats, gloves, scarves--FASHION that benefits the world’s orphans along with home items and jewelry!
Tee shirts, jackets, dolls, totes, bracelets that help bring home orphans from China! This is Stephen Curtis Chapman’s organization.
Buy the amazing book Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis and 50% of the proceeds benefit her incredible work with orphans in Uganda. This and so much more at (Book sales only during the month of November!)

“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.”                              James 1:27 

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