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God’s Heart for the Orphan

January 17, 2012
by

When Mike and I first heard the calling of Christ for this journey of our lives, it started with an unquenchable hunger for Him. Seeking His Word and spending our Quiet Times desperately seeking Him and His will. For 2 years, we did this, every day…desperately seeking Him. We had no idea what we were asking for or what His plans were, we just heard Him calling us.

In the beginning, I was ready to sell everything and GO wherever He called us to go. I knew it had something to do with orphans, but I had no idea where, and I was ready to go where He led us.

But as I dug deeper into His Word, and spent more time with Him in prayer, He spoke very plainly to my heart:

You don’t have to GO anywhere, you have that right here where you live.

We do not have orphanages here in the United States like we think of orphanages in other countries. We have a foster care system and we have Children’s Homes. (Coincidentally, Mike and I were houseparents for the Children’s Home in Owasso in 2003.) However, sadly, our foster care system, and those that foster these children, have gotten a bad reputation…whether rightly earned or not.

I believe it’s time to change this.  God called Mike and I specifically to foster children.  We did not go into this to add children to our family, only to be obedient to Christ and care for the “fatherless”.  We also had no idea we would be getting a sibling group of 3 children, we only know that God sent them specifically to us.  So, we have gone from 3 children to 6.  What God holds in the future for our family, we have no idea.  We are only obedient now to the calling of raising Warriors for Him.

The Bible speaks very plainly on the heart of God towards the orphaned and fatherless:

Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Psalm 82:3

You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more. Ps 10:17, 18

He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?”
declares the LORD. Jeremiah 22:16

Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this. Deuteronomy 24:17,18

learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17

When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. Deuteronomy 24:19

But the one that God put on my heart was James 1:27:

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

God’s heart is for the orphan. I believe that as a church, we need to take up this call and step forward in defense and love for these orphans through the foster care system (or in whatever capacity God has called you. I think of the Dreeson’s). I believe those that can, should foster.

Does this mean that everyone should foster? No. Most assuredly not. However, God gives us all several ideas or calls-to-action in His Word. Here are a few ideas for those that cannot foster themselves:

  1. Support those that can. This is a hard job. We are dealing with broken children. We need the support of our church. Some days are difficult to parent, encourage them. We support our Missionaries in many different ways all over the world. Missionaries are here as well and need our love and support just as much. Fostering is also a Mission if you are doing it from a call from Christ.
  2. Lend a hand: God gave us all individual talents:
  3. a.) those that can babysit, offer a night out for the foster parents.b.) offer a meal occasionally to give the foster mom a little break from cooking and a little extra time to enjoy the family.c.) have a skill that can used to help out? Offer to help the foster family by using the skill you possess: ei: plumbing services, electrical services, building bunk beds, or better yet, adding additional room onto their house, photography services, financial advice, home repair, lawn mowing, cooking, etc.

    d.) Send clothes or shoes that your kids have outgrown

  4. Adopt a child to pray for and support. Some foster families do not have close family for the foster children to learn how the family dynamic works. Their view of family is already skewed, be a “grandmother” or a “grandfather”, “aunt” or “uncle” to that particular child. Send birthday cards and Christmas cards to that child. Take them out for a day of fishing or a day of baking cookies. Encourage them in their school activities. Be a mentor to them.
  5. Have your Sunday School class adopt the family for Christmas!
  6. Help to fill a pantry with groceries. Someone having a sale on milk? Buy an extra gallon and offer it to the foster family. Someone having a big meat sale? Buy a little extra! Every little bit helps.
  7. PRAY. Pray for these foster children. Pray for their emotional and spiritual needs. Pray for the foster parents. Pray for patience and provision, as well as their emotional and spiritual needs as well. And don’t forget the other children in the home. Lift them up in prayer as well. Pray WITH them. Above all else, PRAY. Pray with them, pray for them.

I believe that we, as a church, as Christians, can make a big difference to the foster care system, and to the lives of these foster children. No, not all of them are orphans, however, they still need that solid foundation that Christ can and will give them.

I don’t believe God only called the professional clergy to the Mission field. I believe He’s called ALL of us. Sometimes, God sends us on Mission trips to far away countries, and sometimes He calls us to Missions closer to home. Fostering can be that Mission for most of us, whether directly or indirectly. And, God’s already called us. All of us. Every one.

Please consider accepting that Call in whatever capacity God lays on your heart.

In 2011, the State of Oklahoma had 8,712 children in the foster care system. For information on how you can help directly through the State of Oklahoma, contact Department of Human Services at 1-866-612-2565.

For more information call (918) 272-4418 or 918-836-8686

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tammy Work permalink
    January 17, 2012 6:12 pm

    beautifully written Dana!! Great ideas on how to help. It is a hard job and not all of us are called to it or can do it. Thanks for the ideas! God bless YOU!!

  2. beckywrightsongs permalink
    February 13, 2012 6:09 pm

    What can I say, Dana, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!! This is JUST what God’s been dealing with me about over the last 5 yrs or so!! We adopted two siblings from foster care (adding to our 7, plus the niece we raised for 18 months). NOT our plan— but certainly God’s plan! All of our lives are changed forever, and I know that the future these children had is also changed forever– and I do mean for “eternity”! I want to share that joy, that hope, that potential to change the FUTURE, with other families (especially Christian families) by urging them to seek God’s heart for the orphan, and respond in kind. (That’s what my music is about, lol!) I guess we’re both preaching to the choir on this forum, but praying that our “boundaries” and scope of influence will be enlarged so that the message can spread to MANY others!! Love to meet you, sister! Becky Wright (Tahlequah, OK, originally from Tulsa) http://www.beckywrightsongs.com

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