Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘orphan’

This week, Hope for Orphans’ Executive Director, Paul Pennington, will be delivering one of the keynote addresses at The Baby Conference: A Historic Family Summit on the Triumph of Life over the Culture of Death.

The Baby Conference, sponsored by Vision Forum Ministries, will bring to light issues that are pervasive in today’s pro-choice world.  Is it excessive to have 4 children in today’s world?  Is it right to bring a child into this world without being able to provide a $150,000 college fund?  Are children indeed a blessing from the Lord?  The Bible says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3).  The next two verses continue, “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

The Baby Conference is centered on the celebration of life — the life that we are called, as followers of Christ, to enjoy and cherish and honor.  All life is to be valued.  All of us — the orphan, the widow, the stranger – are fearfully and wonderfully made, in the image of God.  This conference will take a hard look at Scripture and will demonstrate, among other things, how adoption and orphan care fit within the church’s responsibility to what God has called us to do.

Join us, along with Doug Phillips and Jim Bob Duggar, on July 8 -10 in San Antonio for this challenging, yet fresh perspective on how we to look at human life biblically, in a post-modern, pro-choice world.

To learn more about the issues and topics that will be discussed, or to register for this event, please click here.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

(The following comes from our June 2010 E-Newsletter. You may subscribe to our bi-monthly e-newsletter by clicking here.)

Some of the very best things in my life have happened as a result of some of the hardest things in my life. There was a day that Robin and I learned that we had lost a baby and the ability to ever have a biological child short of in-vitro fertilization. It was a hard day. It was hard to pray or understand. But little did we know that as this was happening a little girl was soon to be born. This little girl was our daughter Kit whom God brought to us just 6 months later. Not only was she a gift we could not have imagined, but also through her, the Lord led us to more of our children, some born on the other side of the world, and ultimately to this ministry.

In his new book about Ruth, A Sweet and Bitter Providence, Pastor John Piper shares a quote from William Cowper, an 18th century poet and hymn writer:

“Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.”

Joseph experienced this frowning providence when his brothers sold him into slavery. But as you know, God knew this very act would bring about the rescue of those same brothers from famine and His grace would be demonstrated through the centuries like a chain in His word to us in the 21st century.

Every adoption begins in hurt of some kind. Sometimes being the parent of a child through adoption involves a lot of hurt. We all come from a hard place because of the first Adam’s fateful choice in the garden. Thankfully, the second Adam also made a choice in a garden, a choice not to save Himself, a choice made so that we might receive adoption as sons of God through Him.

As we consider with eyes wide open the road of adoption and loving the fatherless, let us remember why Ruth the Moabitess was able to say to Naomi in Ruth 1:16-17 that she would follow her from all that was familiar and safe…how she committed herself to this widow to the point of saying that Naomi’s God would be her God and Naomi’s people her people.

Ruth was grafted into this family and met her kinsman redeemer because as Piper says, “Here we have a picture of…faith in God that sees beyond present bitter setbacks. Freedom from the securities and comforts of the world. Courage to venture into the unknown and the strange. Radical commitment in the relationships appointed by God”. In this case, a relationship that led to line of David and The Messiah.

May those called to adopt, or to love a foster child, or to serve churches overseas in loving orphans be likewise radically committed to the relationships appointed by God for them. May we see the world as the work of God, and that we are privileged and blessed to be invited to join Him in His work. May we see God who sometimes uses frowning providence in bringing about His will, as the very One in whom we will very soon see His smiling face.

Read Full Post »

Summertime.  The very word conjures up images of parks and pools, baseball and barbeques.  Summer is a season when we allow ourselves just a bit more laziness…a time in which we seek relaxation, and family vacations.  The fact is, it seems that everyone loves summer.

In the midst of summer, though, we need to pause and think of those who might not welcome summer as robustly we do.  For the orphan, summer doesn’t bring to mind all those thoughts that make it a favorite season for many of us.  No, for many orphans, summer is simply 92 more days to survive the dangers of life, to wait for rescue, to long for love, to hope for a better future.  In the midst of our summertime content, we must remember the orphan’s year-round discontent.  We also need to remember that God has not forgotten the orphan, and that we must remember them too.

In our June E-Newsletter, which came out today, we highlight the story of some schoolchildren in Birmingham, Alabama, who were touched by the orphan crisis in Haiti and decided to do something about it.  They raised nearly $4000 to help bring much needed relief to children suffering in the aftermath of January’s devastating earthquake.

It’s always exciting when we meet others who “get it”.  It’s even more exciting when we see children “get it”.  When we see kids gripped with God’s heart for orphans at a young age, we can only imagine what God will do through them later in life.  Kids loving orphans are infectious and inspiring.

What might God want to do through your children in reaching the least of these?  Dads, would you be willing to set aside a portion of your free time with your kids this summer and look at what God’s word says about orphans, and what His expectations are for us in relation to them?  Moms, would you be willing to take on a project serving orphans with your kids this summer?  Perhaps you could collect shoes for orphans overseas.  Perhaps you could pray for the children in your local foster care system.  Perhaps you could collect money to help offset the cost of adoption for a family in your church.

At Hope for Orphans, our job is to serve the church as it serve orphans.  That includes your children.  We have developed two tools that we hope will better serve you as you seek to educate your children of the mandate from God, and the needs to be met among the tens of millions of orphans in the world.

The first tool is our website for children, which can be found here.  At the website you will learn more about God’s heart, you will find ideas of how your kids can serve orphans, you will read about what other kids have done to address the orphan crisis, and much more.

We have also developed a curriculum for children, called God’s Heart for the Orphan…and Me!.  The curriculum is designed to be used in Sunday school classes, Vacation Bible Schools, or even in your own home with your family.  It is an interactive children’s Bible study that exposes children to God’s passion for orphans and waiting children.  You and your kids will talk about what God wants us to do for orphans, and you will be given the tools to take action and start making a difference in children’s lives right away.

If you have ideas of how you and your children will serve orphans this summer, or perhaps have served together in the past, please share them by commenting below.

Would you consider making this a summer in which your children and family become more closely aligned with God’s heart for orphans?  Imagine what God might do in you and through you if you commit yourselves to just that.

Read Full Post »

On Monday May 10th, from 7 to 9 PM (PST), Rick Warren at Saddleback Church, is hosting a one night LIVE CIVIL FORUM focusing on Orphan Care and Adoption. The keynote speakers include, Dr. Russell Moore, Dr. Susan Hills, Mike Ryan, and Saddleback’s own Elizabeth Styffe.  Speakers will be discussing how to tackle the “Global Goliath” issue of 143 million orphans. With 15,000 children becoming orphans every day, the Church is the only answer for this global crisis.

Hope for Orphan’s Executive Director, Paul Pennington, will be hosting the LIVE WEB CAST of this event. Paul will be fielding questions from around the country.   If you live outside of Southern California, but still want to join in this important event,  please join in on the web at:  www.saddlebackcivilforum.com

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

In my ten years in the foster system I’ve had many occasions where I’ve witnessed injustice toward children in my home, in friends’ homes, toward birth families, and foster families as well.  Each time I’ve been faced with a decision to speak up and fight against that injustice, or to step back and let things fall where they may.

As a Christian, if I take God’s word seriously, and if I understand His character, I’m really not left with much of a choice.  I have to speak up.  God is a God of justice and He tells us to seek justice as well.  God defends the fatherless, and He tells us to do the same.

Of course, His calls for justice extend to others in the system as well.  We need to speak up anytime we see others denied justice, whether it be the children, the workers, the birth families, or the foster families.

Some friends from my church are in the middle of such a situation right now.  They recently stepped up for two children on very short notice, taking them into their home and loving and caring for them as their own.

They quickly found themselves in the middle of a difficult situation in which they were faced with a choice.  They could retreat and take the safe and easy road, or they could take God’s word seriously and seek justice for these little ones that He had placed in their home.  They chose the latter.  Not only are they seeking justice for these two little ones, but for their birth relatives as well.

It’s been amazing to watch as our church has rallied around this cause.  We have had two times of intensive prayer and we have others praying constantly in their own homes as well.  My friends and others have seen the love of Christ throughout as people come alongside to support them and the children.  They have also witnessed the work of God in other ways as He moves hearts and minds and puts people in place to accomplish His purposes.

I stand back and I watch in awe as my friends serve God faithfully in pursuing justice for two children they haven’t even known for two months.  They are compelled because they know what God’s word says and they take Him at His word.  How many of us would do the same?  Would you?  Would I?  I pray that we will when given the opportunity.  Every orphan in every nation deserves no less.

Read Full Post »

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.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »