The Paralyzing Effect of Orphan Care
We all know that orphan care is extremely complex.
It is often so complex that it becomes paralyzing. We may even end up doing nothing. For that very reason, we need great resources to help us navigate this challenging space.
We have to equip the Global Church if we are going to turn the tide in this orphan crisis and inspire others to follow in our wake. Patch Our Planet has customized resources available on our website for every church to take advantage of, but we also want to refer you to many of the other great resources that exist outside of our organization. We don’t simply exist to raise support for our non profit, although it is a necessary part. We want to end the orphan crisis. To do that, we must have a Kingdom outlook and provide resources to that end.
One of the books on my reading list for the last several months has been “Becoming Home” by Jedd Medefind. This book is filled with wise insights and useful statistics. It is a powerful resource that I keep within arms reach on my desk at all times.
Below is a very illuminating excerpt from the book that I hope you will take a moment to read:“Children are never a ’cause’. Each one is a person of matchless worth, utterly unique. They need to know they are embraced not as a ‘noble undertaking’ but because someone is truly crazy about them. Whether as adoptive or foster parents or advocates for orphan care, both our language and our actions must keep this truth foremost. Thankfully, Christians have no need to find our identity in being ‘the rescuer’. We are the rescued. Even our best efforts are simply small, imperfect reflections of the way we have first been loved. This truth frees us from the compulsion to charge out to solve the world’s problems alone. Rather, we are released to begin by listening and learning – from those who’ve gone before and from those we desire to serve. If we start here, we will rarely go wrong. Choosing to Act Despite Dangers Anyone who dares to engage the world at its most hurting must know this: The results of even our best efforts will often be much less than we’d hope. We’ll likely be disappointed by those we seek to serve – and they will be disappointed by us too. At countless crossroads along the way, we will face vexing dilemmas to which there are no good answers. To act at all, we’ll have to choose among imperfect options that threaten heartbreaking side effects. From risks of corruption in adoption processes to abusive foster homes, we’ll ache at unintended consequences. Even a glimpse of all this complexity can be paralyzing. Like the risk-averse investor in Jesus’ parable of the talents, we may be tempted to bury what we have to offer and not get involved at all. But Jesus minced no words in condemning that approach. He called it ‘wicked and lazy’. Instead, God calls us to act despite the risks. Understanding that helping can hurt gives us much-needed caution and humility. So we begin with learning, listening, planning, and only then, finally, action – always ready to recalibrate when we discover the mistakes we’ll inevitably make. Here, in humility and listening, is where a truly transformative journey begins.”
Now that’s something to consider! It’s past time to heal the paralysis that has existed in too many of our churches. We can all make a difference. And we’ll be sure to help you and your church along the way…..
For the sake of church and child,Steve Gillis Founder | Exec. Director www.patchourplanet.org P.S. – Just so you know, no one asked me to review the book or gave me an incentive to review it. I did it because I believe it is a great resource – that simple.