Why give toward orphan care?
For several years, our family has faithfully and generously given to several organizations, ministries and individuals. First and foremost, we faithfully give to our local church above and beyond any other organization. We believe this is a Biblical mandate originating in the Old Testament and once again, taking precedence in the lives of New Testament believers. Beyond this, for several years, we have targeted other para-church ministries, organizations and individuals to assist financially. These have included Lydia’s Fund, LifeSong for Orphans, On Goal Soccer, families who are adopting, various missionaries and mission endeavors, Lansing City Rescue Mission, American Cancer Society, March of Dimes along with our Alma-maters – Liberty University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. We have given and continue to give to these organizations, institutions and individuals not only because of what they stand for, but for the work they are doing.
Since we began our journey of adoption in 2006, I have heard several times those people who have said, “We are not going to support [financially] this family or that family, not because we are unable, but because this is what they’ve chosen to do.” While this is certainly true, please understand each person is commanded to do their part in taking care of the orphan. The repeated command threaded throughout Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, is to look after or to take care of orphans and widows. And, although prayer is vital, don’t use the phrase, “I’ll pray for the orphan!” as a scapegoat. If this is your plight toward the orphan, it is a sad commentary on the kind of compassion you display to others who are in dire need and long for hope, and no less these are young children we are talking about. While you may not be willing to go, you might be able and capable of giving. Perhaps you are one of those who have made such a statement as the above. Here are some thoughts to think about. What you are doing when you help another family bring a child into their home is you are freeing that child from their present environment and situation, giving them a new hope and fresh start in life. When we support other families, there are a number of questions we ask and areas we look at. These are the same questions and standards we lived by when we adopted our three children: what have they done in this adoption process; what have they sacrificed, if anything, to bring this child home; what is their standard of living and what have they given up to make this happen? We are more than generous when it comes to adoption, however, we want to make sure the adopting family is doing their part. We are well aware, there are people who want the prize without the effort. There are people who want the end goal without breaking a sweat. Take a family who has gone the extra mile, who has given up and sacrificed in order to make adoption happen and yet, they simply may not have the total financial resources available. When people give to another family, what you are giving toward is bringing this child home. It’s as plain and simple as this. Let me say it again, you are giving toward bringing the child home. You are not contributing toward their future financially; you are not giving monetarily to raise them to the tune of $400,000 dollars for each young life they bring into their home [for our family, it is an increased cost of 1.2 million dollars!]; you are giving in order that they would have hope and a future in front of them.
Last year, the C.E.O. of the American Cancer Society, an organization we supported in the past and will support again this year through their Relay for Life, grossed more than $1,000,000 in salary alone not to mention the added financial benefits. The C.E.O. of the March of Dimes earned almost $700,000 dollars not including additional benefits. The C.E.O. of Compassion International, an organization we have partnered with and worked for, and an organization which collects and distributes almost one-third of a billion dollars each year, their C.E.O. made $306,244 – comparatively speaking, a more meager income. My question is this…if we are willing to drop another penny into the pockets of these C.E.O.’s and give to their organizations and ministries, who have extensive networks and seemingly unlimited resources, why wouldn’t we be willing to contribute even a little in order for these orphaned children to gain so much? The simple answer is, we should.
Of our three children, Chloe is the one who had the biggest adjustment from where she came from to where she lives life today. She lived four and a half years in a very underfunded orphanage. The area in which she lived was so impoverished, the Chinese government allowed an American organization called Half the Sky to come and offer additional care and support to the children. Today, through our own sacrifice as a family and the generosity of others, Chloe’s life is forever changed – to which we are forever grateful. The next time you are presented with an opportunity to give in the area of orphan care – with all things considered, there really should be no second guessing what your role could be or should be. Do the right thing in giving a child hope and a brand new life.
[Pictures: #1: Chloe at the orphanage in Bahai, China at the age of 3. #2: Chloe at Lake Michigan eighteen months after returning home. A life FOREVER changed!]