By: Shawna Miller
Eastside Christian Church in Jeffersonville, Indiana, is in a church what Louisville is in a city. It is either a big small church or a small big church. Which it is for you depends on when you’re there and for what.
On Orphan Sunday, November 3, at 4 p.m., I hope you will be there as Southern Indiana Adoption Groups (SIAG) partners with Eastside and its adoption support group, Adopted in Christ, to host the STUCK-unSTUCK event.
STUCK-unSTUCK includes a screening of the award-winning documentary STUCK and unSTUCK, an orphan care expo.
Produced by adoption reform organization Both Ends Burning, the STUCK film tracks three sets of parents and four children through their experiences of international adoption. Of course, Orphan Sunday isn’t only about adoption, international or otherwise. It‘s about raising awareness for orphans.
STUCK, which toured the U.S. earlier this year and culminated in a march in Washington, D.C., depicts children in orphanages all over the world, the conditions under which they live there and expert insight about what happens — physically, emotionally, and mentally — to children in such situations. These stark images make the orphan’s situation real in a special way. I can’t think of a better way to raise awareness.
While STUCK illustrates the reality of the orphan, the unSTUCK expo presents solutions.
God doesn’t call everyone to adopt, but He does call His people to care for the fatherless, the orphan. The unSTUCK expo will present tables staffed by representatives of local, regional, national and international organizations all prepared with information about how their organization – with your help – aids the orphan.
I hope the STUCK-unSTUCK Orphan Sunday event will help change lives. And I don’t mean only the lives of orphans. I hope the lives all who attend will be changed as they discover what they can do every day, (from buying a cup of coffee to forwarding an email or buying a gift for a loved one) to make a difference in the life of a child.
In talking with others it seems that, in many minds, “orphan care” means adoption and “orphans” only live in other countries. I hope that unSTUCK can help change this perspective by demonstrating many methods of caring for the orphan, the fatherless and the vulnerable — around the world and in the U.S. foster care system — by providing opportunities to get involved.
As the expo will show, orphan care is a spectrum of services that includes everything from:
- Food donations
- Water purification
- Anti-slavery/child trafficking programs
- Teaching life skills
- Prayer ministry
- Mentoring relationships
- Child sponsorship
- Foster care
- And much more!
You can learn more about STUCK-unSTUCK and the organizations and services that will attend on the event’s online information page (HERE). See this post on SIAG’s blog for more information about the event as a whole (HERE).
STUCK-unSTUCK is open to the local community and to all of the Church. In keeping with the event’s purpose of involving people in orphan care, admission for the event is the low, low price of used shoes. The shoes will be donated to EDGE Outreach/WaterStep to be “recycled” into clean drinking water around the world.
Adopted in Christ has marked Orphan Sunday at Eastside since 2008. Working with Adopted in Christ, SIAG has hosted Orphan Sunday events at Eastside for the last two years. The partnership seeks to bring awareness to orphan care and adoption support both within Eastside and in the community.
SIAG and Eastside’s Adopted in Christ would like to see 300 at the STUCK-unSTUCK Orphan Sunday event. Depending on your experience, that’s a big small group or a small big group. For both of our organizations that’s a big, big group! Will you come November 3 and be ONE of those 300?
Southern Indiana Adoption Groups helps build community among adoptive families through monthly events, e-newsletters, its website and social media (Twitter@SIAGforFamilies and Facebook/K-TAG-SIAG-Adoption-Support-Groups). Events are held the second Saturday of each month from September to May. Adoptedindiana.org provides information about local adoption support, resources and events. Families in all stages of the adoption journey are welcome. SIAG wants to provide lifelong friendships and support for our children, resources for their parents and to partner with local churches as they support adoptive families.
Eastside Christian Church is located at 2319 Veterans Parkway, Jeffersonville, Ind. It offers three services each week: Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 and 11 a.m. Dave Hastings is the senior minister. Adopted in Christ can be reached through the church. It is co-led by the Liechty and Miller families and seeks to support adoptive, waiting and perspective families in the Body at Eastside.