Deconstructing Idea Camp, Part 2

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Listening to the myriad of speakers at Idea Camp expounding on Orphan Care, I was struck by the fact that we live in a fallen world. An ugly, broken, fallen, world. And even the best of intentions can be distorted into well, evil.

It breaks my heart. Really.

Before Idea Camp I over-simplified the problem and the solutions.

There are under-resourced kids desperate for parental care. And there are over-resourced people who want to expand their families and follow God’s not so subtle commandment to look after the orphans. We just need to implement system that is a win-win. A system that matches the haves and the have-nots. And remove all that sticky-red-tape.

But sadly it is not that simple.

We are too used to getting what we want, when we want it, in just the right package. Money exchanges hands. Children are plucked out of their homelands to start a new life.

Sometimes beauty is made from ashes. But, the alarming reality is that, sometimes families are not just created in the process, families are broken.

There are difficult questions the Church needs to be asking about how we ethically “do” adoption (I do wholeheartedly believe in adoption) and other forms of orphan care, about how we help without hurting, and about how we leave everyone we encounter confident in the the hope of the Gospel.

We must refuse to accept ignorance because it is easier, because it is more convenient, and because we are afraid of what answers we will unearth. Our efforts on behalf of the orphans need to be clothed in knowledge and in Truth.

I left Northwest Arkansas with more questions, more ambiguity, and more confusion, than I had when I arrived. But I also left with an ignited passion to learn everything I can about how I can best serve this important group of children that God loves so fervently. I consider myself blessed to have been a part of such an incredible event, and of such an open and raw conversation.

Did you attend or follow along with Idea Camp: Orphan Care? What were some of your takeaways?

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • This is awesome Lindsey! I know that I was challenged in much the same way at #icorphan. In fact, now that I’m home, my wife and I have stepped up our game and are actively pursuing foster care. Not sure how all that will shake out right now, but we are starting to talk to an agency that works well with our state. The cool thing about it for me is that in some cases foster care may result in us becoming the full-time family, but there is also hope of restoring the child back to their birth family… but we would have had the opportunity to plant life and truth into that child while in our care.

    Thanks for continuing the conversation! You rock dude! #fistbump

  • This was a freaking solid post, Lindsey. All true. On an individual basis we need to slow, maybe stop, pray, and ask questions. As was said in one of Dan (bibledude’s) breakouts, “there are some things you don’t have to pray about.” I agree. However, adoption ain’t one of those things. We really need to bathe these decissions in prayer. Ask questions. Understand culture and context. The process to adopting a child, especially internationally, should be a long one.

    And when the children come home, all bathed in prayer, all situations vetted…

    We can all rightly rejoice!

    • Totally agree with the bathing in prayer comment… I think that IF we do something isn’t a matter of prayer. We should just DO something. But as you mention, each of those steps in the process (of whatever it is we do) should be covered completely in prayer… not only for our wisdom to do the right things, but for the children to be blessed.

      Great thoughts dude… #fistbump

      • Cash money, Bibledude.

        #fistbump to you and the Nobles lady. (do I smell offensive bbq?)

    • You are smart, Seth Haines.

  • @GarySchneider

    Great thoughts Lindsey! Caring for orphans requires someone to think through what it really means to restore a child to a whole life within a loving family.

    Maybe it’s as simple and as complicated as including one or two orphans in our circle of friends. Real friends, the ones we know deeply and who know us deeply and still we love one another. That might make it easier, right? Then we just do what Jesus said, we lay down our lives for our friends.

    Okay, it’s not so easy. I know. I’m still working on that myself. But together we can encourage one another to keep trying!

    • Loved meeting you Gary…And know I have a lot to learn from you and others who have been working in this space for years. We can’t go at this alone, we need each other to challenge and encourage us.

  • Lindsey, thanks so much for this post…it’s a weight-y and tension filled subject & it’s often easier to identify the wrong answers than the right questions.

    So often in “church” circles we want a nicely packaged answer/solution that we can slap a happy ending on and go about our day. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those areas.

    When we enter into the lives of these children and families, we truly begin to understand what it means to suffer with, to be interrupted, to not have all the answers and to rely on the only One that can really heal.

    So, grateful you came to Idea Camp & it appears that God is using this tension in you (as He has in so many) to move into the uncomfortable spaces where only He can reveal the answers. The space where hope emerges.

    Keep seeking…keep moving forward…you are not alone on this path. Grace & peace…

    • Mike, Thank you for everything. I so appreciate everything you did for Idea Camp.

  • Wink Rush

    Lindsey, this post was one of my favorites. Your heart for God is growing and it can be seen in your concern for those in need. As we know Him more, we become more and more away of those in need around us, especially children who have been left alone and are mostly forgotten. The church (Christ’s body) has been called/commanded to reach out our arms to orphans because we too were once orphans. Pray, seek His face, listen to His Spirit inside of you, read His Word…God is speaking to you, and all of us!
    The question is not do we believe His Word;
    the question is will we obey it?
    God bless you friend,
    Wink in West TN

  • Lindsey,
    Just that your heart is even tender to this epic problem and you are aware that there is a world that exists beyond your four walls is beautiful..
    truly God disturbs those that are comfortable and comforts those that are disturbed….I don’t think we should feel guilty for being blessed as a people, but my goodness our hearts should ache with responsibility…
    What that looks like I am not always sure, but God bless you for for raising your voice to understand…and to spur others to follow the trail of love which He has left us to blaze..
    lindsay

  • What you are saying about plucking children has been a fear in my gut since we began the journey to adopt. I still am not reconciled and we are weeks away from getting our Rwandan child. I just know God has called us to this. But someday I want to hear the rest of the thoughts expressed on that point. I have felt this but never heard much other discussion on that point. Thanks for the notes!

    • Jennie, An exciting but scary journey I’m sure. There is a lot of conversation going on about this post #icorphan. Especially now that news has surfaced that they are reducing the number of Ethiopian adoptions. For more information, I’d recommend this post I read today by Tom Davis. It seems fair and balanced. http://networkedblogs.com/faGtk

  • ah so agree! i too left hearing everything from #icorphan with so many more questions and the re-ignited passion to do something about…to pray, seek, wait, and yet not to let all the questions deter me from acting in the ways that i can now, in the ways God is showing now and letting Him bring it into part of the bigger dream. so much of it is still rolling around in my head… =)