Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Orphan Awareness Month

This week, the United States stops and focus on giving thanks. What happens when you have no one to celebrate this holiday with? Is your heart still grateful if your table isn't full of people and contains no turkey but only a bowl of cereal? These are hard questions, but children who are in the foster care system or who are orphaned don't find a family when they turn 18 years old. They still find themselves alone and jealous of those who do have families.

Here are some things to do to help support families in the adoption process or who are serving through foster care.

1) Bring a meal or gift card to a family serving in the foster care system
2) Write a letter to a child in the foster care system. This letter can be dropped off at the local foster care service in your town and then delivered to the children.
3) Make a donation to an orphanage or child care center.
4) Lend a hand to a family in the adoption process or faster care system. Shovel their driveway, clean their house, do their dishes, etc.
5) Pray. Pray for a family. Pray for belonging.
6) Educate yourself. Watch these videos and then pray and process what you learned.

Have a great thanksgiving.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Orphan Awareness Month

Hi all. Sorry for not blogging the last few days, I left Michigan Friday morning and spending the weekend with dear friends in Mississippi. In light of that fact, here are multiple ideas of how to support orphan and foster care ministries.

1. Make a donation to a family who is in the process of adopting. The costs are overwhelming and sometimes are the one reason people do not adopt. That is so hard to hear. Let's help people who want to grow their family.

2. Offer a date night to a family with is in the adoption process (or post adoption) or foster care.

3. Send a note to a child whose family is adopting. Being a child watching your family walk through the adoption is hard and at times hurtful. Make sure they know they have an important part to play in their family.

4. Educate yourself. Watch these videos and talk about them to people. http://vimeo.com/channels/833231

Have fun being Jesus to the families you reach out to.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Orphan Awareness Month - "Mother"

There are thousands of people around the world that work long hard days in Child Care Centers (orphanages) and care for children that are only temporarily theirs. To them, the children are theirs. They help them grow, give them love and say goodbye when the forever families come, sometimes never to hear an update from them again.

Today write a letter to an Child Care Center care giver. If you would like to send them to the care centers at Beautiful Gate, you can email them to me and I will pass them on. Let them know that there are people who see their endless love and appreciate what they do.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Orphan Awareness Month - Normalcy

To live on God's journey means to live in community. There are mounts when pursuing His call means the "normalcy" of the day gets put on hold. Today find a way to bring normalcy to a family who is in the adoption process.

Bring a meal or gift card to a restaurant to someone who is or has adopted a child.

We all have a part to play.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November Orphan Awareness - Foster Care

The fact that there are children around the world today without a warm place to go to, should not come as a surprise to you. But why are we always so shocked when we hear the number of children in our own communities that have no where to lay their head? The fact that you could wake up tomorrow and see a child sleeping in your swing set, because they found a shelter from the elements. Wherever you live there are children who need homes.

Being in foster care is a selfless way to serve. You give up your space, your time and your heart to and child, and you give them warmth, food and belonging. Foster care just like adoption is giving a child hope, but you never know how long that child will be with you. The emotions of children coming and go have to weigh heavy on the hearts of the families, but the joy they experience when they see a child succeed is priceless.

Today send a note to a family who serves through the foster care system. Let them know that you see how they are changing the world and that you appreciate it.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Orphan Awareness Month

School can be a very hard time for some students. Children in foster care and children who have been adopted may feel as though they stand out. Let's face it friends, kids can be mean.

Here is a great blog to read. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rachael-quinn-egan/teach-your-children-about-adoption-before-releasing-them-on-the-playground_b_6061714.html

Spend some time today praying for kids in who school is hard because of their journeys. Then spend some time tonight talking with your kids about it. Let them know how hurtful their words can be. Encourage them to reach out and make a friend with kids who are different from them.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Orphan Awareness Month post 6

Today plan a playdate for children whose family is serving thorough foster care. Giving "mom and dad" time to get projects down without "extra" help will be very appreciated. Your few hours of service will mean the world to these families.

Friday, November 7, 2014

National Orphan Awareness Month post 5

Educate yourself today!

Here is a great article to read http://frankpowell.me/what-church-needs-know-adoption?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=facebook_page&utm_medium=Frank%20Powell&utm_content=What%20The%20Church%20Needs%20To%20Know%20About%20Adoption

Read it.
Pray through it.
Do something for someone!

"At the end of the day, we are not heroes in a Marvel comic book. We are broken people striving to live in the footsteps of Jesus." Tiffani Powell

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Orphan Awareness Month Post 4

Today your task is to encourage those who care for children before they find their forever family. Send a note to a missionary working in an orphanage. The days get long and the things they experience are sometimes too hard to explain, so they would rather tell you that everything is fine. Their eyes see so many children that need a family, yet because of red tape they cannot provide that for them. Their hearts live in a new "normal" that most days is just plan hard.

Pray for them today. Pray they can find joy and laughter in their everyday lives and they know they are not alone in this. Also pray for teams of people to come around them in support on a regular basis. This work can be lonely, so having a team of people that email or call for no reason and invite you over when you are home, means the world to them.

ps. If you need names and contact info, I know a lot of missionaries that would love a note today.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Orphan month post 3

Today's task involves reaching out to the people behind the scenes. Everyday in every community there are people who are working hard to provide a home for children who do not have one. Their job consists of paperwork, meetings and lots of phone calls. It requires a lot of energy and strength as they serve. Find time today to bless those who work in an adoption/foster care organization. Bring flowers and a note to the office or send over some lunch. I ensure it will make their day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Orphan Month post 2

Today's task is upholding the cause of the orphan, abandoned or neglected child is simple yet very profound. For people walking through the adoption process there can be days of long waiting that is discouraging and agonizing. I am sure they would admit there are moments when they check their email about 20 times a day just to hear anything. When they walk through their day and people ask, "How is the adoption going?" it is difficult to say, "We are waiting" because in the wait there is absolutely nothing to do but pray.

Today's Task: Send a note to adults who are in the adoption process. Encourage them to keep their eyes focused on their heart's desire to grow their family through God's redemptive plan. Let them know you are praying for them through the waiting and are there for them if they need anything.

If you don't know of anyone adopting, let me know. I know of a few families who would love to get a note. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Orphan Sunday or Orphan Day?

Yesterday in churches across the world, followers of Christ came together to observe, pray and remember "Orphan Sunday," a day set aside in churches to remember the millions of children in orphanages  foster homes and living without families  As I sat in my home church, worshipping with God's family there, my heart was so encouraged by the "volume" of God's love and passion for fatherless children. This morning I woke up craving that same worship experience, but felt defeated that the same people who stood and prayed yesterday, have moved on with the normalcy in their life and haven't thought about praying or advocating for the million children around the world who long to call someone "mom or dad." As I sat and thought about that, I discovered maybe people don't understand the amazing role they could play in a child's journey or maybe they simply don't know how. 

Katie Davis once said, “The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children. And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians. The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left.” This fact terrifies me. Are we truly reaching out to the fatherless if 8% of Christians have not opened their hearts to God's call? Now I do know that by simply adopting all the children that need homes, the issue of children being abandoned will not end, because the root of this issue is sin and until Jesus comes back folks, we will have sin in our lives, but we DO need to do something!! 

So, for the next 27 days, check back to my blog each day for practical ways to reach out to children who have been abandoned, orphaned, who are in foster care and the families that reach out to them. A big part of orphan/foster care is adopting and fostering, but a even bigger part is supporting. Supporting the families, who are in the process. Supporting the children and give them hope. Supporting God's plan to reach out and show hope. 

Day 1: PRAY! Pray that God will break your heart to these kids. Pray that He will keep you focussed and ready to accepted the November challenge. Pray that every child today knows they are loved and has  father who gave up EVERYTHING for them. PRAY! 

Join me in changing the lives of children around the world without leaving your neighborhood.