James 1:26-27 (NIV): Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
In light of the verses above, how is the Christian church doing? Is there enough exposure to orphans and widows in distress? Is there enough education within the Christian church to lead people in how to care for the least of these? If we don’t know how to lead in these areas, are we asking those who do to come alongside and help?
My opinion is that I don’t think we are. And if we truly want to do something about the orphan crisis in our own country and around the world, then we wouldn’t have an orphan crisis. There are enough loving Christian families in the world to help in these matters. So why aren’t we stepping up to the plate? It’s hard work, it takes sacrifice and costs something. We also aren’t exposing people to the need and educating them how bad it truly is.
I’ve been asked many times, “Why did you adopt?”. The easy answer is that I was called to adopt. I realize that not everyone is called to adopt, but as you see in our text above…we are all called to do something. There is an earlier blog post I wrote regarding things you can do to help others if you weren’t specifically called to adopt and everyone can do something. I was called to adopt on a mission trip where I worked in an orphanage and was exposed to needy children…hundreds of them. I wanted to do more than just hang out with them every day for a week and teach them Bible stories and color. I had room at my house and in my family to do more so I did. I don’t want to shame you if you’re not in that situation, but I do want to cause you to think about helping those who are and have a calling and desire to adopt or even foster. They need support so much and that doesn’t just mean financial (again, reference the other blog post here for ideas).
I’ve been in church as long as I can remember and I’m almost 50 years old, but I wasn’t exposed to the need of orphan care until my late 30’s. There’s something wrong with that! Let’s be a catalyst for change. Talk to your church leadership about having someone come speak at your church regarding this topic. We would be happy to help in this area or can direct you to others who are qualified. Go on a mission trip and get exposed to opportunities outside our country regarding the orphan crisis. Talk to a foster care parent or organization who can talk to you about their challenges and needs and bring them back to your church or small group.
President Ronald Reagan once said, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” I think that can help steer us into what we are called to do in James 1:27.
Michele Willis joined as the Development Director at The Adoption Law Firm in 2020. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Church Ed/Music, but went into the marketing field after college. She has 20 years of experience in marketing, development, media buying and public relations.
Michele is the mother of 3 children…2 boys the “conventional way” and a daughter through the miracle of international adoption. Her oldest son is a college student at Troy University, her other son is in high school and her daughter is in middle school. She also wears many other hats when it comes to career and volunteerism.
Michele is passionate about Jesus, her children, ministry through music and adoption. She enjoys singing. a fitness enthusiast who also loves Alabama and Packers football and can actually hang in a football conversation with most guys.