Did you know that there are over 127,000 legal orphans in the Foster Care systems of the United States? That number is even larger when you consider children being cared for and adopted through private organizations. From infants less than a year old to teenagers close to high school graduation, they have been placed into such systems because they were either unwanted or because their birth parents were not able to properly care for them. Some of them have been there only a few weeks, and some have been in foster care for years.
Why does this matter to us? Because God’s Word says that God is concerned for orphans. Psalm 68:5 says, “A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation.” Deuteronomy 10:17-18 says, “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality, nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.” And James 1:27 says, “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
The biblical perspective of orphan care takes on even greater significance when we consider our own status as spiritual orphans prior to our salvation. Galatians 4:4-7 says, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.”
This Sunday, we will be observing Orphan Care Sunday for the first time in my tenure as pastor. This observance is congruent with our vision to manifest a gospel presence in our community and, more specifically, to obey the Scriptures that instruct us to care for the fatherless. Even now, we have families that are completing foster care training and pursuing adoptions with the assistance of our Lifesong partnership. As we embrace the blessing of having foster care and adoptive families in our midst, we want to pray for them, encourage them, and provide a loving example of Christ to the children entrusted to them.
I hope all of you will plan to be here Sunday, and that God will use the special testimonies and the proclamation of His Word to develop your heart for orphan ministry in our community. I love you all dearly!