A special eleven post today on Orphan Sunday. For your consideration….
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…
At last night’s Show Hope fundraiser, Steven told a story about Stevie Joy. Stevie Joy is a talented gymnast. But one day she told her parents she wasn’t sure she wanted to go back. She was afraid of her new coach. This coach was pushing Stevie Joy and was more assertive than she was used to. She didn’t know what to do with this. So Steven offered to go talk with the coach. He explained Stevie’s fears to her. The coach was wonderful and very understanding.
Next day, when Stevie very reluctantly returned to gymnastics, the coach pulled Stevie aside and talked with her. By the time Steven came to pick her up she was all smiles. She told him she and the coach were now best friends. Then she said, “That’s why little girls have daddies. So they don’t have to be afraid.”
Yes, Stevie Joy. Yes
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. ~John 14:18
When Danielle Ballantyne was 5 years old, her parents took her to the market. They told her they were going to get some candy and that she should wait for them right there. They never came back. She wandered the streets for some time before being taken by a police officer to an orphanage. She would spend the next 8 years of her life here. She would listen to the jeers and taunts of school mates. She would steal to feed her hungry belly. And she would lock her heart up so that she would never be hurt again.
Then one day Dani came home from school to find a package waiting for her. A large package. Full of candy. And with pictures of a family. A family that was coming to get her. She blushed as she talked of diving into the candy. She had never seen abundance like this. She spoke candidly of the fear she felt in meeting this family. She had forgotten how to trust. She had been hurt so badly. But her parents were patient and kind, and she is learning to open herself more and more to people around her.
Today, 4 years after becoming part of a forever family, Dani is vivacious and strong. She believes God had His hand on her and that He has a purpose for her life. She talked about how she would help care for babies who were sick. Babies the orphanage staff had no time for. Do you know what this young woman wants to do with her life? She wants to go back to China and take care of other children like her. To tell her story. To give them hope. I am in awe of her. She is so brave.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! ~I John 3:1
Mike and I have not been called to adopt. But we have had the privilege of helping others financially, either directly or through Show Hope. And we have had the joy of being able to be part of their support team at home with encouragement, meals, etc… Not all of us are called to adopt. But all of us are called to love the fatherless. We ourselves have been chosen. We have not been left fatherless. We must share this with others.
If you are not sure where to start, may I commend to you the remarkable work of Show Hope. Steven and Mary Beth Chapman began this organization to assist families who had a heart for adoption but lacked the resources. This ministry is run with the utmost integrity and efficiency. And it is literally saving the world. One child at a time.
A final thought. From Andrew Peterson. On what matters. On what lasts.