At the end of fourth chapter of Exodus we see that God declares Israel as His adopted firstborn son (Exodus 4:22). Through Jesus we are adopted into the family of God (Galatians 3:25-26, Romans 8:14) as His sons and daughters. Jesus does not leave us as orphans (John 14:18). Just as God stepped into the suffering of Israel while they were in Egypt, Jesus stepped into our suffering and took of flesh. Jesus came into our suffering, experienced suffering, and rose to defeat it as our deliverer. Jesus coming to be our Savior and Lord was more than a snatch and grab rescue mission. He walked among us, He was tempted, He faced persecution, threats, and suffering. He died. It’s safe to say He didn’t swoop in to save, but stepped in to our world for 33 years to know us and dwell among us.
Foster care and adoption are more than a rescue mission. In orphan care you step into the distress and suffering of those orphans. Sometimes it’s stepping into the distress and suffering of their families as well. Everyone can do something that’s needed in this missional effort.
Here are four reasons why caring for orphans is something that all Christians can do:
- God is Pro-Adoption: Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter, Esther was adopted by Mordecai, and King David adopted Mephibosheth. These examples, plus Scriptures like Ephesians 1:5, Romans 8:15, and John 1:12-13, make the case that God is pro-adoption.
- The Gospel is Why we care for Orphans: Why serve orphans? The gospel is our why. We care for the orphaned and vulnerable because we were orphans, vulnerable, and Jesus cared for us. We care because we have been greatly cared for in Jesus.
- Caring for orphans is an Issue of Discipleship and Mission: True discipleship will always lead to mission. This is clear in James 1:27 where James tells us that the truest form of religion is caring for orphans and widows in their distress. This verse means that the way that your faith is seen outwardly is by stepping into the distress of others. The examples James gives are orphans and widows. When we are walking with Jesus we will imitate Him by walking with people in their brokenness. For many that will mean caring for orphans.
- Everyone can do something: You may not be called by God to become adoptive or foster care parents, but you can do something to serve orphans. Babysit, take a family receiving a child in their home a meal, send encouraging text messages, pray and check in, listen, and give hugs. You can give a designated offering to your church’s orphan ministry to help with the cost of adoptions. You can volunteer to help clean someone’s home who has received new children. You can volunteer to buy the family groceries. You can donate supplies to organizations like the Moses Basket or Heartland Church’s Acts Ministry or to a family directly.