Saturday, March 17, 2012

We Can All Make a Difference!

(Buy this art print at Red Letter Words)

Sometimes, when I think about the orphan crisis, I just feel so overwhelmed.  There are so many children all over the world living in unbelievably terrible conditions.  They may lack food, clean water, adequate clothing, medical care, or education (and all of these at once).  But one thing they all have in common is that they need a family to love them.  Many of these children have spent their whole lives in an institution, not receiving any love or tenderness from anyone.  

My first introduction to the plight of orphans was about six years ago when my husband found a book at the used book store called, The Seed from the East.  My heart became so wrapped up in this true story that I would lie awake at night and think about those sweet little children and wonder what became of them after they grew up.  I had just given birth to my fourth child, and right then I started dreaming of adopting a child.  

As the years have gone by, adopting a child has always been in my heart.  But after looking into the details and requirements, I found that we do not qualify for adoption and are not likely to in the near future.  I wondered why God would put this on my heart if it wasn't something we would be able to do.  I felt discouraged, and like there was no way for us to make a difference and fulfill James 1:27 ("Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this:  to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.").

I have been so thankful to realize that there are many ways we can help, even if we are not able or called to adopt a child.  We can:
  1. Sponsor a family who is adopting.  Adoption is expensive!
  2. Donate to a child's adoption fund, which helps a prospective family pay for their adoption of that child.
  3. Donate to a ministry that supports and ministers to orphans.
  4. Sponsor a child (some of these children are orphans, and some may have a family, but they all live lives of extreme deprivation).
  5. Buy from a shop that donates part or all of its proceeds to help orphans or to help fund an adoption.  Here are a few shops I have found: Amazima, The Adopt Shoppe, and 147 Million Orphans (if you know about other places that donate to help orphans or fund an adoption, let me know).
  6. Pray.  This is such an important and often overlooked way to help.  "Prayer is FREE and can be even more powerful than an adoption grant in finding an adoptive family, helping with fundraising, and seeking God's favor in the health and well-being of each child as they wait...for their forever family." (Excerpted from the Reece's Rainbow "Be a Prayer Warrior" page.)
  7. Donate to help the orphans in Pleven (Bulgaria), who have been severely neglected and are in dire need of medical attention.  You can read more about them here, here, and here.  You can donate directly and securely through the ChipIn button below: 

And lastly, here's a major way you can help!  Stop by the Micah Six Eight blog to enter the Mulligan Stew Giveaway:

This is a HUGE giveaway with 83 items available to win, including an iPad, two Kindle Fires, a $250 gift certificate to Bed Bath & Beyond, $250 gift card to Best Buy, $100 gift card to The Vintage Pearl, $100 iTunes gift card, and so much more!  Go check it out, and help these precious children come home! 


Together, we can all make a difference in the life of a child who is precious in God's sight!

8 comments:

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Joy, for sharing this post and the one that you did previously about the orphans! Your last post broke my heart to read and especially as I visited and read the links that you shared. I ended up on the blog "Blessing of Verity" and have read all of Katie's story . . . what an incredible story! I cried, ached and also rejoiced as I read post after post. How clearly God's merciful and loving hand is seen in precious Katie's life. I am so glad that her family found her!!

    These children of Pleven (and all of the other orphans as well) have really been on my heart and in my prayers lately. It is wonderful to see what God is doing already at Pleven!

    Orphans and adoption hold a very special place in my heart, and the posts that you shared were really a blessing. Thank you so much for sharing them!

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  2. Oh, Sarah, I love you! Your comment made me so happy when I saw it!

    This whole situation has been such a burden on my heart, and I feel so helpless to do much about it (other than donating money to help others adopt and care for these precious children, and praying). It really encourages me to know that others are lifting them and their lives up in prayer as well.

    When I first read about the orphans that are left in "lying rooms," and given drugs so that they will just sleep their lives away, I was totally shocked. I had never heard of such a thing before. I cried, and cried, and cried, and cried. Then I began praying, and talking to my family about how we might be able to help.

    After hearing about Katie's story, I, too, began reading the whole "Blessing of Verity" blog, from start to finish. I wanted to know the whole story. I have been so blessed learning about her beautiful family and their sacrificial lifestyle.

    I am so thankful for all the ladies who are sharing about orphans. People need to know, and as their story is shared, I hope more and more people are led to take action to rescue them.

    Thank you, thank you, thank YOU for caring, Sarah! Just knowing you care about this as I do makes me love you even more than I already did. :)

    And I don't know why, but just writing this comment has made me cry. You're a dear sister in Christ. ♥

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  3. I am humbled that you included my little shop in your post. You are a blessing to us!

    ~Kate
    www.TheAdoptShoppe.etsy.com
    www.facebook.com/ShoppeAdopt

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  4. Hi Kate!

    Your shop is lovely! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment. :)

    Many blessings to you and your beautiful family!

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  5. Thank you so very much, Joy, for your sweet reply to my comment! It meant so much to me to read.

    I agree wholeheartedly with what you shared about the children . . . and how important it is to pray for them and to get the word out about what is taking place in so many children's lives around the world.

    All that has taken place with Pleven has led me further and further into reading about adoption and all, and it is something that I would love to do someday, Lord willing, whether married or unmarried. So many precious children are in need of homes and people to love them and care for them!

    Thank you once again for sharing about these children and again for your very sweet comment!

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  6. Sarah, thank you so much. I love hearing about your heart for adoption. It is so encouraging to me that you have a desire to help rescue these precious children who are near to God's heart.

    May the Lord bless you!

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  7. Hello fellow LR consultant! Love this post - orphans are ever on my heart as well. A ministry that I love and support is Pearl Ministries - they run an orphanage and child sponsorship program in Uganda and the founders are wonderful people & friends. http://www.pearlministries.org/ - they have a jewelry shop (Kanzi) and a Christmas program (ornaments4orphans) - both linked to the bottom of that page.

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    1. Hello, Anjanette!

      Nice to "meet" you! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, and thanks for letting me know about Pearl Ministries...I've never heard of them before, but I'll have to check it out. Sounds like a great ministry.

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