Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Forty-Seven Times

God calls...no scratch that...God commands us 47 times to care for the orphaned and the widow. Why so many times? I believe it is because it is so easy to forget them. It is easy to forget the widow living in a nursing home with no family there to be their voice of need. It is easy to look the other way than to see the look of desperation for food, clothing and love in the eyes of an orphan. Believe me I know. Orphaned children living on the streets of Ethiopia were at every turn. It was so overwhelming I had to look away. But the image of the boy covered with scabs on his face begging not for money but for food to eat still haunts me.

God...how? How can I make a difference? It is just me. How many of us say this? How many of us truly don't know what to do? The low estimate of orphans worldwide is approximately 20 million. The high estimate is 100 million. With the aids epidemic in Africa and natural disasters in other parts of the world, this number grows at a rapid rate. How do you make a difference? I hope to share an idea with you every day this week. Each one simple...each idea will be something all of us are capable of doing.

So how can there be a simple way when there are so many in need? Here is one very simple idea. There are over 300 million people living in the United States. If 100 million Americans gave only $5 one time, it would fund over 16,670 adoptions. One of the biggest hurdles families face is the financial cost. Many families don't adopt because they don't know how to fund the adoption. Our adoption cost around $37,000 and we still need to re-adopt them here in the US for them to be citizens which will cost an additional $1,000 - $2,000. If it wasn't for the generosity of friends, family, employers, grants and the grace of God, we would not have been able to bring our sweet peas home.

Can you imagine? It would only take $5 given one time by a 1/3 of America to change the lives of 16,670 children. How simple is that? If a 1/3 of all Americans would commit to $5 a month for a year, it would change the lives of over 200,000 orphans. If the money donated only funded 1/2 of the cost of an adoption you would be able to double the number. So a year of $5 a month would change the lives of over 400,000 orphans. Isn't that amazing?! It doesn't seem so overwhelming does it? Are you ready to make a difference in the life of an orphan?

One organization that stands out in supporting families through adoption is Lifesong for Orphans. They even took the time to pray over us several times when we hit some rough spots in our adoption. They are a phenomenal organization with amazing integrity. If you are looking to help an organization that aids families in adoption visit their website at www.lifesongfororphans.org.

Are you looking to donate your $5 directly to a family? I know a family in Monroe Washington working feverishly to fund their adoption. Maybe you would like to help them directly. You can visit their blog and contact them there if you would like to "adopt" them in your effort to change the life of an orphan. Their blog is called Worth the Wait at www.nystrandfamily.blogspot.com.

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