By: Heather Sewell
Tomorrow will kick off the 30-day count down to this year’s Orphan Sunday all over the globe. This year, nearly 51 countries are already represented on the map. The map is a resource to use for finding Orphan Sunday events in your local area. If you have never heard of this widespread event, don’t feel like you are out of the game for this year’s celebration. Thirty days is plenty of time to prepare for a day of prayer, service, and even fasting for orphans around the world.
Over the next 30 days, I will post a week’s worth of daily prayers each Monday, to guide you into a season of life-changing quiet time. The prayer guide came into my life when I discovered Hope Unlimited. This ministry began helping street children in 1971 and still provides expanded assistance to nearly 10,000 children in 32 sites. Hope Unlimited is fully indigenous and self-sustaining in countries around the world.
I do hope that you will join OCA this month as we dedicate time each day to pray for orphans in our community, state, nation, and world.
On Orphan Sunday, November 3, there are many ways to join forces with thousands of Christians around the globe. If this is your first year, don’t feel obligated to throw a church-wide event. You can start small with your community and family. I will share many ways to impact your local church, community and family on this day. But first, let’s look at the facts:
When I think of adoption, my mind used to go straight to my friends who have adopted from Guatemala or Kenya. Did you know that in the United States there are 104,000 children in the foster care system that are legally free and currently waiting for an adoptive home?
So many faces.
Meet them HERE.
When we step out of the U.S. and look at the globe as a whole could you guess the amount of children orphaned?
Nearly 18 million children are orphaned by their mother and father in our world today. That would equate to the population of Montana, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Hawaii, Idaho, West Virginia, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Kansas. If you grew up in one of those states, this may change your point of view a little bit. Imagine not growing up with the protection of your parents. More than that, imagine having to fend for yourself at the age of 10, the average age of a child living on the streets in Ethiopia, according to streetchildren.org.
So now, can we agree that we must start paying attention to the needs, the real needs of God’s children, wonderfully and fearfully made?
Here are some things you can plan for the upcoming Orphan Sunday on November 3.
- Ask your pastor if the Orphan Sunday video (3min) could be shown during the weekend services and pray for orphans after.
- Print off the bulletin insert: Front Back
- Get your bible study engaged by discussing one of the Bible Study Guides
- Share the Orphan Sunday sermon notes and resources with your pastor or family ministry leader
- Ask Orphan Care Alliance to set up a table on Orphan Sunday to answer any questions about engaging with the local community for opportunities to serve the fatherless and families in crisis.
- Host an Orphan’s Table meal at your house on Orphan Sunday. For only $5 (s&h) you will be able to share an orphan’s meal with 6 people. Consider fasting Orphan Sunday and breaking the fast with an orphan’s meal – most children who are living in orphanages around the world only eat once a day. This would be a great way to engage your children and teach them about the need for prayer and God’s help.
- Show a video that highlights your personal calling to caring for the orphan. You can find resources, nearly anywhere.
- Read through and meditate on the 30-day prayer guide posted on the OCA blog every Monday.
- Post about Orphan Sunday on your Facebook and Twitter accounts
- Call the OCA office today and pick up flyers and plaster this city with Orphan Care literature, events, and most importantly…Hope.
If you haven’t already signed up for the Together for Adoption Conference this weekend at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, please, don’t miss out.