The following blog was written by Frank Pass, the leader of our Chifeng, China team which just returned. It's so convicting!
Then those “sheep” are going to say, “Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?” Then the King will say, “I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.” Matthew 25:37-40 (The Message)
We had been in China for 7 days and it was day 5 of our time at the Chifeng Social Welfare Institute. This facility is primarily a special needs orphanage and we had been able to love on some very precious children. We had been there long enough that we knew them and they knew us and bonds were beginning to form. We definitely had developed a deep love for these kids.
For our morning devotional I read to our team from an article on “gendercide” in China. Gendercide is a term that has been coined to describe the practice of selective abortion based on the sex of the child. For years China has had a “one child” policy designed to stem overpopulation. This policy has led not only to the practice mentioned above but also to a deluge of girls being left in orphanages. In China a boy child will care for his family while a girl will become a part of the family of her husband. For this reason boys are much more valued as children.
As I read this article I was overcome with a sense of hopelessness. How could I make a difference in the face of such huge numbers? Regardless of what I do, millions of babies will still be aborted and millions of children will still be orphaned. It was with this sense of despair that I led our team to the orphanage that day.
It was a Monday. We had been at the orphanage since Thursday. The Chifeng SWI has about 100 children under their care. About half of these kids are “healthy” school age children who attend class at the orphanage but are cared for in foster homes. Most of the children who live at the orphanage have some pretty severe special needs. Over the weekend we had primarily been with the school children so it had been 2 days since we had been with the special needs kids.
When we arrived at the door of their room they screamed and ran to greet us. Their faces were alive with joy. They were so happy to see us and it was in that moment that a truth that I knew in my head, a truth that I had shared with our team, became alive and real to me. I could not make a difference in the lives of millions of children but I could make a difference in the lives of these kids.
Some people use the plight of children as an excuse for a lack of faith. How could a loving God let children suffer? Or maybe they say why should I serve a God that would allow such cruelty to exist? Such an attitude misses the truth about God’s heart for those who suffer. God does not leave orphans in their distress. God does not ignore the suffering of his children. God calls on us, His servants, to minister to those in need. When we let our anger over injustice stop us from serving or when we allow our inability to reach many keep us from reaching one then we have missed out on the calling that God has for us.
There are many ways that we can make a difference in the life of one. Groups like Compassion give us the opportunity to sponsor children, adoption is a real option and not God’s plan B, there are foster care programs in your community and Visiting Orphans sends teams all over the world to care for precious children. Scripture is clear that God cares for the orphan, He has a heart for the least of these and He calls on us to be His hands and His feet to reach out to them. What will you do and what will you say when you stand before the King?
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