I attended the Together for Adoption conference this past weekend in Austin. I love orphan care conferences...Well, most of the time.
I compare them to mission trips...at first you are timid, yet excited to go. Then, you get there, you become emotionally overwhelmed, but you always return home more fired up to help end this orphan crisis then when you arrived!
I met many people I have only met through Facebook or email and got to network for the sake of the orphan like you would not believe! The first day for me was very emotional and heavy as each presenter and break out session brought me back to the center of the heart of why I am doing what I'm doing. They reminded me with overwhelming statistics and thankfully, God's word. But they also provided solutions, ideas and equipping.
One speaker was from Colorado and started the Project 127 movement which helped get about 400 orphaned children in America into Christian foster homes and out of the "system". He was by far my favorite.
Here was an awesome revelation he shared with us:
If God is the Father to the fatherless, then there must be a mother to the fatherless. Who then is the mother to the fatherless? Well, that would be the Bride of Christ, the Church. So, God also must be a Husband. He is OUR Husband. As His bride, when we doubt that He'll provide for His children, the orphans, we essentially call Him a "Deadbeat Dad"! Can you imagine calling God, our Husband, a "Deadbeat Dad"?! Yet, we do it every time we start an adoption or sign up for a mission trip to visit orphans and start doubting that He will provide the finances we need!
This was SO convicting to me.
Simon and I are getting ready to start our adoption process!!! YAY! And even though I've been in orphan care and adoption for years, when it hit home, literally, both of us began to doubt but Simon, as the husband and provider really struggled at first.
See, Simon works at the Dave Ramsey office. As you may know, Dave Ramsey believes in 3 months worth of a salary being saved for an "emergency". Although this is very wise, it seems to lack faith and a dependence on God, in my opinion. I believe there are always exceptions to this "rule". Also, once I had a couple visit me when I was working at an adoption agency and they told me that they had been saving up 3 months of their emergency fund according to this plan. However, they now wanted to adopt and didn't know if they should take this "emergency" fund to do so.
My response was, "Is 147 million orphans not an emergency? Is your wife's longing for a child not more important that an "emergency" fund?" I realize this is a controversial subject and many people who travel on our trips are diligently trying to get out of debt, as are we! But I think there is a balance between faith and fear when it comes to fundraising for the care of an orphan.
Simon's fear was that we may have to dip into our emergency fund (which I have to tell you is NO where near 3 months salary) if we get close to the completion of our adoption and don't have the last few dollars needed to bring our child home. But isn't that an emergency? Gwen Oatsvall of 147 Million Orphans stated it beautifully when she said, 'we like to view it as a ransom". If your child is being held captive by an enemy, would you do everything you could to find the money to pay their ransom?! Or would you hold tightly to all your savings and allow them to languish in the paws of the enemy?!" NO! You would sell absolutely everything you had, you would lose it all for this child to be home in your loving arms. It's what Christ did for us, isn't it?! He laid down His life, lost it ALL, paying our ransom, so we could be adopted into His Kingdom and be free from the claws of the evil one who held us captive in sin and death.
With this reminder, let's walk out in faith, believing that God HAS called us through James 1:27 to VISIT (care for) orphans in their distress. He's not a deadbeat dad. He's a faithful Husband to His bride and Father to the children He has called us to. We can believe that He will provide.
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