Saturday, August 28, 2010

God's Heart for Orphans (part 3)

This continues a series of posts highlighting what God’s word has to say about caring for orphans (see parts 1& 2 - May 28 and June 5, respectively).

(Princess Bink, Tatiana and Gigglebox on the day they became ours. The girls are standing in the director's office in Tatiana and Gigglebox's orphanage. The photo captures the reunion of the three sisters after having been separated in different orphanages for 11 months. We had picked up Princess Bink first early that morning. She was so frightened by all the change and sobbed quietly for about two hours. April 2005)

In parts 1&2, we saw that God’s heart for the orphan is unmistakable. He views them as very important, and worthy of His special care and attention. He sees them as naturally vulnerable, and warns us not to take advantage of them or oppress them. And He warns us that He will be their care-taker and father, defending them against us if we fail to heed His warnings. (Ps 68:5-6a, Ps 146:9, Ex 22:22-24, Deut 10:17-18, Deut 27:19, Zech 7:10a)

God tells us in His word of many specific ways we should care for orphans. And, by principled extension of His word, we can imagine many more ways that would likely fit with His instruction to care for them. everyone can do something to care for orphans. This is just a short list of ideas based mostly on some work done through the Christian Alliance for Orphans:
  1. Pray for them – Matt 7:7-8, Phil 4:6-7 - Tape a waiting child’s picture up and pray for the child every time you see it (get picture at or a prayer vigil at your church to pray for children in foster and orphanage care.
  2. Speak up for them – Prov 31:8-9 - Carry a waiting child’s picture and ask believers you know if they or someone they know would give the child a home. Use every means at your disposal to spread the word of waiting children (email, phone calls, etc.)… you never know who God has in mind for them.
  3. Provide for their needs – James 2:15-16, 2 Cor 9:6-7 - Give sacrificially to a reputable orphanage ( efforts in church to collect school supplies, shoes, etc. for orphans overseas (,, we particularly love the ‘Both Hands’ concept that helps both orphans and widows!)
  4. Support those who support them – Heb 10:24 - Mow, babysit, organize meals, pray for foster or adoptive parents. Encourage a family adopting older children – they face special challenges. Stick with them… their needs don’t go away after the first couple of weeks… or years.
  5. Protect them from harm – Ps 146:9, Isaiah 1:16-17 - Become a foster parent or emergency foster parent. Raise money to build a children’s home to help kids stay off the streets (
  6. Visit them where they are – James 1:27 - Go on a short-term mission trip to an orphanage (, Take dinner to a foster group-home on a regular basis.
  7. Give sacrificially to them – 2 Cor 9:7 - Support reputable orphan care organizations on a regular basis. Contribute to an adoptive family to help offset their costs (,, Katelyn’s Fund, your own church).
  8. Encourage them – 1 Thess 5:14 - Sponsor a child and encourage them through letters ( Become a mentor or tutor to a teenager in a foster group-home.
  9. Mobilize your church for them – Matt 28:18-20 - Be a catalyst in the church for starting a sustained orphans ministry (
  10. Brainstorm other ways – ‘crawl’, then ‘walk’, then ‘run’ for the Lord!
The range of options we have to participate in God’s plan to care for the orphans is limitless. Some options are easy… some are difficult. Some of them come at no cost… some come at a high cost.

But let me ask the question you probably don’t want to consider… what challenge is too difficult and what price is too high? Consider the One who gave His all to reconcile us to Himself? It is He who commands us to care for the vulnerable. It is He whose heart breaks for them.

(Speedy on the day we met him, as well as his sisters Jaynie and Cassandra, in his orphanage in western Russia in July 2001; he was 5-1/2. We were eating our second meal together in the "apartment" in which the two of us stayed on the orphanage grounds. Speedy was just determined to cut an apple with his butter knife. The activity kept him busy for about 30 minutes.)

Yes, everyone can help care for the orphan. The impact of even our tiniest steps will be multiplied by His grace and power. The list of ways we can step up and participate in God’s plan to care for the orphans is limited only by the hardness of our hearts. Will you pray for a soft heart?

In part 4, we’ll extend our learning to see how adoption fits into God’s thinking about these special little ones.

~ Mr. Beaver


The Nordstroms said...

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and your heart.

the johnson crew said...

i can't help but spill tears (joylful, thankful tears) when i see pictures and hear the stories of when you first met and adopted your children. i praise God for His working through you.