Archive for orphan

Orphan Care vs. Adoption

Posted in Adoption, Orphan Care, The Text with tags , , , , , on October 26, 2007 by len20

Not that the two ideas are adversarial, but I think there is a temptation to be for one or the other. I work for a ministry whose mission is focused on orphan care, so that seems to be what I think about most. But I also believe that if you want to hear the word of God and actually do what it says (James 1:22) in a radical way, I think adoption is the most radical way for us to obey God and take care of orphans. I have many friends who have either adopted already or are in the process (the grueling, heart-breaking, expensive process) of adopting. My wife and I have talked about adopting someday.

Now, consider this – for all of the orphaned children in the world to be taken care of through adoption, every man, woman , and child in Mexico, Canada, and some additional small country would have to adopt at least one child. UNICEF calculates the number to be around 143 million orphans (check it out-p.12). About every 14 seconds, another kid becomes an orphan. Let’s say 350,000 of them will be adopted this year. This is an optimistic guess – about 150,000 were adopted in 1992, the last time an accurate count was taken. Let me know if you have a better number. That’s .3% – not even half a percent! What happens to the other 99.7% of those kids? Whose looking after them?

Ok, I’m beginning to rant and this is where it can be easy to misconstrue the two ideas as being opposed to each other. But they are so not. We have to do both! [I love it by the way, when Jesus answers the “Which one should I do?” questions with “Both” (Mt 23: 23)] I think if we take care of the tree while ignoring the forest, we fail. And if we take care of the forest and forget about the tree, we fail.

Alright, that’s my show for today. You’re a great audience. Let me know what you think, where I’m wrong, and if I’ve completely missed the boat.

Check out Precious.org to find cool people working for adoption.

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From music teacher to orphan advocate

Posted in all about me, education with tags , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2007 by len20

I was a teacher not too long ago. I only taught for three years, but that doesn’t diminish my feeling that music teacher is atMe in Liberia the heart of my identity. I enjoyed being a teacher. I was – and still would be – good at it (depending on which former student you ask, of course).

I remember some of the relationships that I had with students, and I miss being an influence in their lives. When I left teaching to see what the rest of the world did from 7:00-4:30, I wasn’t sure I’d find a job or a career that would feel as important as teaching was to me. And I didn’t for about a year.

I went from writing freelance articles for the local newspaper to working in the customer service division of a giant computer software company run by a hermit who only showed his face on video-conferencing screens twice a year to update his minions on the health of the corporate machine. It was lovely. I was terrible at my job, and was fired before the end of my six month training program.

After this, God mercifully led me to ministry work. God’s Kids hired me as the Director of Marketing based on my experience in watching t.v. commercials and reading magazines with ads in them. It’s been the best job I could have possibly hoped for after leaving teaching. I’ve never been more excited about what I’m doing, or passionate about why I’m doing it.

Even though I don’t get to be an individual influence on the lives of the orphans that we work for around the world, I feel that I have some measure of influence as to the quality of life they live. So if anyone is reading this, you’ll have to pardon me when I start screaming about the state of the world’s most vulnerable children, especially orphaned children. I grew up with everything. They’re growing up with nothing, and I’m pretty sure that my life is no more worthy of entitlement than theirs.

Me in Burmese refugee campSo I’m determined to use whatever means God gives me to influence their lives for the good. If you’re reading this, I’m coming after you. I want your attention, I want your energy, I want your money and your influence, and I want your heart to be softened by the lives of broken kids.

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