I am 34 years old. I left home at eighteen and never looked back. Yet still one of my greatest fears, one of the things that keeps me awake at night, is the thought of losing my parents. Their sheer presence on this planet offers me a strength and a confidence that I simply cannot fathom living without.
And when I think of one small helpless child out there who is going to sleep without a parent to care for their most basic needs or to assure them that everything is going to be alright KILLS me.
I remember when it first hit me. The fact that there is an orphan epidemic. The fact that I (single, unattached me) could do something to help. The fact that I was in no uncertain terms called to help. It was October 2009 and I was crowded into Gwinnett Center as Catalyst introduced the 143 Million Campaign.
Catalyst is recognizing our call to care for orphans and widows (James 1:27). As believers, we feel led and committed to respond to this call in the year ahead. If you do not know, there are 143 million orphans around the world. This statistic has gripped the Catalyst community and left a desire to be the hands and feet of Christ to those in need.
Catalyst introduced a problem and they offered a myriad of ways I could get activated to help. Ever since I have been doing what I can and trying to figure out what exactly my role is in solving this heart-breaking problem.
Am I supposed to adopt?
Am I supposed to bring one child into my family and love them like they are my own?
Am I supposed to extend my time and resources to help organizations that are bridging the gap between the haves and the have-nots?
Am I supposed to seek out the gaps in the faulty system and work to bridge them?
Am I supposed to go get my hands dirty working with orphans in a developing country?
Am I supposed to seek out ways to help the motherless and fatherless in my hometown?
As I seek answers to these questions, I am focused on learning more about the issues and opportunities surrounding orphan care. And trying to decipher where God has called me to step in and act. But I know this, He has called me to act.
If you are like me and interested in learning more about Orphan Care, check out the next Idea Camp, February 25th & 26th in Northwest Arkansas, which is focusing on Orphan Care and the Church.
The conference will facilitate fresh, honest and transformative conversations with leading thinkers and practitioners on topics including US & International care, community development, trafficking of orphans, adoption, foster care, child sponsorship, HIV/AIDS, special needs, cross-cultural & religious dynamics to care, and many more.