Orphan Care

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 in Books, Orphan Care

There has been much written about and conferences focused on orphan care over the past few years. I am thankful for the emphasis, though one must be careful not to misinterpret and/or misapply biblical texts in the effort. I have read about orphan care and our family has been involved in foster care through our state convention.

This Thursday  I will begin devoting each Thursday’s blog to orphan care. Beforehand, I would highly recommend you consider reading Orphan Justice by Johnny Carr. It is one of the more profitable books I have read on the subject of orphan care, offering a balanced approach both biblically and practically. There are two things that are great strengths of the book.

1) Each chapter provides ample statistics and examples of the effects and/or ends of the orphan system in many countries, the USA included. Carr demonstrates the cyclical effect of those left as orphans: human trafficking; HIV/AIDS; orphanages; poverty; foster care; racism; abortion. You heart will be broken as you read the stats and the stories.

2) Each chapter offers three levels of challenge/engagement for the reader to consider implementing in relation to orphan care in each of the aforementioned areas. Carr’s challenge is presented this way”

Choose at least one action step you can take from each chapter and implement it within the next year. You will discover many ideas throughout these pages, and at the end of each chapter, under the ‘What You Can Do’ section, you will find even more suggestions for how to help in three different levels of involvement. The first level includes areas where anyone can serve. These activities will require very little commitment. The second type of action step will describe steps many people can take, though these will require some commitment. Finally, the third level of engagement will suggest a lifestyle change that a few people can do. These tasks will require a lot of commitment, and are not feasible in some cases. As you prayerfully consider these options, remember that each level is just as important as the others. How you choose to become involved may be influenced by a number of factors, including your stage of life, the amount of time you can feasibly commit, the resources you have available, the leading of the Holy Spirit, and even your locale.

I think you sense Carr’s compassion and empathy. He knows that no one can do it all. But as I think you will see if you read the book – doing nothing is not an option. And that comes from the book — God’s Word. My prayer, and I think Carr’s as well, is that you will be genuinely moved, not manipulated, towards your involvement in orphan care, whatever the level.

On Thursday I will post how you can know you are called to orphan care. The primary focus will be on foster care but applicable to adoption as well.

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