Friday, June 17, 2011

Time to Redefine?

I told Jamie today that maybe we should not raise money for our adoption of an orphan in West Africa.  After all, it does not really seem to be working.  Yes, we have had $240 gifted to us for the adoption expenses...5 donors in 12 days.  And we are thankful!!

And we still need a lot more.  There are lots of adoptive families who also need a lot more.  I see blogs of fellow adoptive families pursuing the "ransom" for an orphan, and struggling to raise the money.  Struggling to find the support of their fellow Christians in the pursuit of obeying God's command to "look after the widows and orphans in their distress".  We are just one of many families trying to find the resources and the help to bring an orphan into our lives so that we can be blessed by his/her presence and be a part of God's purpose for that child.

Very few churches have an orphan ministry, a plan to help families in their congregation with the costs of adoption.  Yet most churches have a missions budget.  Most Christians are very aware of the need to support missionaries.

So maybe we should call our journey a short-term missions trip to West Africa.  After all, we do need to take donations over with us.  And we will be a witness to those who see our love for the orphans there and our desire to share God's love with a little girl.  Our agency uses a portion of the adoption costs to have programs that help families stay intact...more mission work. The fact that our "missions trip" will have the incredible bonus of bringing home a child?  Maybe we should not mention that too loudly, because it seems that adoption is looked on more as a personal decision, as opposed to a command from God...

There is an African proverb made very well known by a former First Lady.  "It takes a village."  I thought most villages have a church?  A body of Believers?

Please, support our mission.  Even $5 or $10 when given by everyone who visits will soon become the amount we need.


Anonymous said...

"because it seems that adoption is looked on more as a personal decision, as opposed to a command from God..."

James 1:27
King James Version (KJV)
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

I understand your heart in this, but I don't feel we are all *commanded* to adopt. We are told in James 1:27 to visit the fatherless and the widows. In Romans 12:4-8, we are told to exercise our different gifts. Your gift may be a ministry to the orphans while mine is a ministry to help the widows, which it is, along with the aged in the nursing homes. I don't see the churches as intentionally ignoring orphans and their plight. Many churches do support Compassion and other ministries in this area.

I am also a wife and mother and my first ministry, after my relationship with God, is my husband and children I do have, then my extended family, etc. I only have four children at home, but discipling them is a full time job! We homeschool, minister to the elderly and serve in our church and keep a clean home so we can comfortably practice hospitality, those are our callings and my husband's vision for our family.

While I agree more attention needs to be paid to the fatherless, I feel your being a bit judgmental regarding those in the church not helping families achieve the monies to adopt. We are all commanded to go out into the world spreading the gospel and making disciples of others, the church follows this mandate by supporting missionaries and planting sister churches. Right now my children need to be discipled by myself and my husband. I almost feel selfish for saying that as I may come off as not caring about the orphans, but I will one day stand before God and give an account of how I raised the blessings he entrusted me with--scares me to death sometimes as I feel I could be doing so much better!

Perhaps your family will be the change in your church to have an adoption support fund.

I'll be praying for you and your family.

In Christ,


The Feasters said...

I agree with you 100% Kelly. The church needs to step it up big time. We need to be His hands and feet and help care for these precious children. Caring for our biological children is not enough. God calls us to help the fatherless and so many people just don't think about the plight of orphans because it's not right in their backyards. Praying God meets all your needs for this adoption!! We are in the midst of the same thing right now and hoping for the Show Hope grant to come through this month.

Amy said...

Caring for orphans through the act of adoption is not merely a "personal decision", & it is not a unique calling for some of us. We are ALL called to respond! I find it interesting when others give a long list of the "why's" they are not responsible. I would be far more concerned with my heavenly father asking me why I allowed an orphan to perish when I could do something, rather than why I wasn't a "perfect" parent to my biological children. Kelly, I don't think what you said is judgmental, I think it is convicting the hearts of those who don't want to leave their comfort zone & perhaps acknowledge what the Lord is asking of THEM personally. Praying for God's provision, & for the Lord's blessing on those who help ransom another priceless treasure!

Anonymous said...

I think we are missing Kelly's point if we think that she is suggesting that all Christians must themselves adopt. Not everyone is called to do that anymore than everyone is called to street ministry or becoming a monk. We are all, however, called to save the orphans in their distress. Everyone can give money, regardless of how much. It adds up. What if everyone in your church gave 10 dollars to adoptive families? How much would that be? We do not like to say that because it seems so crass, yet it is undeniably true that you must have money in order to save these children. Kelly asks why the church does not target this area of need. I do not know, but a serious sin of omission is at work here. It is in our power to help these children be adopted by the many families who are called to do this. Why don't we?

Anonymous said...

Oh dear Kelly, I hope with my comment I don't have sisters debating and getting nasty with one another. That was not my intent. I was just trying to point out that some are called to 'adopt" and others aren't and we are not biblically commanded to adopt. I am not trying to be a perfect parent, but I am trying to follow Deutoronomy 6 and anyone with a large family can attest to the time that takes. I am not making a list of reasons why I am not responsible. My first priority is the childen I already do have and to support, as a Titus 2 lady and keeper of the home, the vision my husband has for our family, that was all I was trying to say, in regards to Amy's comment. I do not feel convicted to adopt , but I do feel convicted to help the widows and the aged and that is a ministry I am called to. It takes me "out of my comfort zone" each time I minister in a nursing home or help an elderly woman in the projects. Me and the kids visit elderly patients in the nursing home who have no family and haven't had a visit in years! They are lonely and in need of love, just as orphans are. I hope everyone who comments can be respectful of others views, even if our passions do not line up with one another.

All done, zipping my lip:-)

In Christ,


~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

I can't recall where the scriptures say to hole up with our immediate family and make sure our own needs are met first, before considering others. I always got a clear theme of 'love God, love others' when I've poured over the word. Loving and caring for orphans is a selfless act... it leaves no room for I/me/mine. My own children are precious, and every other child is equally precious. We are not to be a 'respecter of persons' by believing our own children have priority over any other child.

I absolutely detected no judgement on your part, Kelly; only speaking truth in love, with some humor added :)

KellyL said...

I don't think there has been any nastiness, just some good sharing. I do not think we are all called to adopt, but we are all commanded to care for the widows AND orphans.

The main point I was trying to express is that the support for adoption is a VERY necessary way of caring for the orphans. Samaritan's Purse sends great Christmas gifts, Compassion sends monthly money--- but when that orphan turns 16 in Eastern Europe he is suddenly a homeless man given a suitcase and a bus ticket to the nearest city. Or the special needs child who is institutionalized at age 5. I don't think the shoeboxes make it to their cribs.

We do all have gifts, and we do all have charities that receive our donations. But too few churches even has adoption support as an option. The families who are called to adopt MUST be supported by fellow Christians if they are to follow God's will, just like a missionary needs to raise money in order to follow God's call.

rachel, kyle, and levi anderson said...

I totally agree, Kelly! It is time to redefine. There is soooo much the church (being the body of believers and not the institution) needs to do to step up and help the orphan. Whether that involves actually adopting or just giving money to another family in the process of adopting or going to an orphanage and loving on the kids there or running an orphanage or fostering or the list could go on and on. BUT everyone is called to in some way, shape or form to help the orphan!
Just like missions in the church - not everyone is called to be a missionary overseas but we are called to help support those who go. So why not the same for those willing to adopt? I don't know how big your church is but if say for instance there are 500 people and everyone gave just $10 then you would have $5000 already!
And I would challenge any mom who is trying to raise their kids to love and cherish Christ to get their kids involved too! For instance they could do chores around the house or hold a lemonade stand, etc. to raise a few dollars to give to a family trying to bring an orphan home. Bet it would do wonders in their small hearts to get them involved and what a discipleship opportunity it would be for them to see YOU as their parent helping to support the orphan! We just had a bunch of people give donations and threw a huge garage sale for my sister who is adopting and I let my 3 year old help out at the sale and give away some of his stuff so he could be a part of bringing home his little cousin. (By the way, God totally made the fish and loaves multiply bringing in $3600 at the sale)!