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Posts Tagged ‘Christian Alliance for Orphans’

We were so blessed to be with so many of you at last week’s Summit.  It was amazing to see God working in so many ways in and through His church to reach the children He loves so much.  It has taken a few days, but we are starting to settle back into our routines at work and home.  We decided to take this opportunity to reflect a little on our time at Summit VI and to write about the most exciting thing we experienced there.  As you read our thoughts, we would ask that you spend some time asking yourself what the most exciting or impactful thing was for you.

Jason Weber:

At the very beginning of the first session, I was overwhelmed with seeing over 1200 orphan advocates fill the sanctuary.  My mind immediately drifted back to Summit I when 30 something folks gathered together to ask God what could be accomplished together that couldn’t be accomplished individually.  Then, Maridel Sandberg, the MC for Summit VI, asked how many were there for the first time.  The enormous number of hands raised was shocking.  What blew me away was thinking about just how many children each of those hands will come to represent in the months and years ahead as they go out and “vindicate the weak and fatherless . . . ” (Psalm 82:3).

David Leventhal:

There were so many things about Summit VI that were encouraging for me.  I think the one that stands out the most is getting to see and hug friends from around the country whose hearts beat for the orphan.  So often, when you talk to people about orphan care, you get the “glassy stare” – people who love me & love Jesus but just don’t “get” the whole orphan thing.  It’s nice to be able to pull out of town for a couple of days and be around other like-minded people who “get it” in a way that I do.  Listening to the stories & seeing the faithfulness of others spurs me on to continue to engage in the battle.

Shane McBride:

As my role at Hope for Orphans is centered around equipping orphan advocates with the tools and resources needed to start orphans ministries, I was absolutely floored by the number of individuals that wanted to start an orphan/adoption/foster care ministry. A countless number of churches, that up until this conference did not have an orphans ministry, were represented by lay people impassioned to get involved. That means, churches from coast to coast, who did not have orphans ministries, will now have the ability to be mobilized. I am truly excited to see how many of these local champions will have success stories to tell at next year’s Summit VII!!

John Moore:

As always, it was energizing and invigorating to see old friends, and to meet new ones, who are engaged in this ministry.  I think the thing that impacted me most, though, was the constant reminder, as I listened to speaker after speaker, that orphan ministry is not just the latest thing to try out for a while before moving on to something else that lets me feel good about myself.  Rather, this is nothing less than a war over the earthly and eternal fates of 145 million children…and as the church responds more and more to God’s call, the enemy will ramp up the attacks more and more in response.  If this is a fad, we will not withstand those attacks.  If this is a calling to join God in battle, which it is, we have to continue to lift each other up in prayer, we have to continue to arm ourselves with everything God has for us, and we have to stay the course no matter how difficult and painful it might be.  The stakes are simply way too high to take this call lightly.

As you can see, God used our time at Summit VI in varied ways among our team members.  For those of you who were able to attend, we trust that God used it to impact you as well.  If you feel so led, please respond to this post with your own thoughts and reflections on what God showed you at Summit VI.

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Danish Fishermen taking Jews to Sweden

On September 28, 1943, in Nazi occupied Denmark, something amazing happened. Orders came from Berlin to arrest all 8,000 Jews living in Denmark and send them to concentration camps in mainland Europe. The plan was to begin on the night of October 1st and to round up every Jewish person in the country within 48 hours. Werner Best (the Nazi leader in Denmark) leaked the plan to a confidant, who told Danish leaders.

What happened next was a demonstration of what happens when good people who believe in the sanctity of human life DO SOMETHING.  Danes did not just do something however; they risked their very lives because their worldview said that human beings have value as made in the image of the living God.

Christians and ordinary people began offering the keys to their homes to Jewish strangers on the street. They hid Jews in attics, churches, country homes and they even hid 1000 in Copenhagen hospitals.  Hans Fuglsang-Damgaard, the Bishop of Copenhagen, issued a defiant ecumenical letter, which was read in almost every church in the nation. After negotiations with Danish leaders such as physicist Niels Bohr, Sweden announced it would accept refugees.

The Germans only found 284 Jews out of 8000. Within weeks, Danes smuggled almost 95% of all the Danish Jews to safety in Sweden.

Six years ago, 38 leaders gathered in Little Rock, as those who treasure the value and sanctity of life, to deal with a similar emergency. They met to ask the question, “How can the Church be the hands and feet of Christ to orphans, most of whom are threatened by evil forces far greater than perhaps than even the Jews of Denmark?”

This week, over 1000 people will gather in Minneapolis for Summit VI, to consider how God might use them as The Body to lay their churches, organizations and lives on the line for perhaps the largest unreached people group in the world. Because of the magnitude and reach of The Church (through the Local Church), the potential for rescue and hope is staggering. The opportunities for the Gospel and the Glory of God revealed in orphan ministry are breathtaking.  But unless we understand that Faith without Action is not living faith, we will have missed the opportunity. If you are coming to Summit VI….pray for the filling of the Spirit that you will learn God’s invitation for you in this emergency to join Him and step forward just like the Christians of Denmark in 1943.  For those not attending Summit IV, won’t you take time to ask God how He wants to use you to reach and serve the least of these among us?

One of my favorite parts of the Danish Solution story, is how on the night before the round up, Lutheran ministers, knowing the greatest treasures of the Rabbis were their Torahs, came to them and offered help. Rabbis and Followers of Christ, their arms full of Torahs, walked in the middle of the night through the dark streets of Copenhagen and hid those scriptures in the alters of Lutheran Churches. These Christians, who put their lives and money where their mouths were, then led these men and their families to safe places.

Grace is usually not convenient but when we lose ourselves in loving those who have nothing to give us in return, we experience the reality of Yeshua Mashiah…Jesus the Messiah.

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One month from today, hundreds of believers (including the Hope for Orphans team!) will gather in a church in the Minneapolis area to meet, network with, learn from, and encourage one another as they seek to be Christ’s hands and feet to the tens of millions of orphans in the world.  The Christian Alliance for Orphans’ sixth annual Summit promises to be a refreshing time during which Christians will hear from prominent speakers (including John Piper, Tom Davis, Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman, and Al Mohler), worship together, attend breakout sessions that are specific to their areas of orphans ministry, and meet representatives from agencies, church orphans ministries, parachurch ministries, and more…all aimed at equipping them to do all that God has called them to do on behalf of orphans and waiting children.  If you’re interested in learning more about attending this year’s Summit, please visit http://www.christian-alliance-for-orphans.org/summit

Dr. John Piper would like to invite you to join him at the Christian Alliance for Orphans’ Summit VI in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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