The care for orphans and vulnerable children is part of our Church’s Special Needs Ministries*, but it is first part of what it means to be a Christian.
Says the apostle James, “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” (James 1:27).
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.
There are plenty of opportunities to help, with over two billion children worldwide. Approximately 150 to 200 million are orphans, with 17.7 million having lost one or both parents to AIDS (most in sub-Saharan Africa). And there are 21 million refugees of conflict, 10 million of whom are children.
Without you, these children don’t have much hope. But they can experience the same blessed hope as we do in the second coming, which includes fellowship in the family of God.
However, they cannot afford to wait.
Orphans are usually on their own with no one to look after them. They are often left at the mercy of their fate, and as a result of that, they end up becoming victims of human trafficking, child labour, prostitution, drug abuse, criminal gangs, or organ mafia, just to name a few. From 1987 to 2007, organ mafia kidnapped about one million children for their body parts. We need to do what we can to protect them.
November 14, 2016 is World Orphans Day. It’s a good day to start making a difference. The links below will take you to some supporting Adventist ministries where you can find out more about giving orphans a better life.
Funds projects caring for some 6000 impoverished children each year, many of whom are orphans, in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Philippines. To get involved, volunteer or sponsor an orphan, visit www.iccaustralia.org.
Over its 50-year history, Asian Aid has supported thousands of children, including many orphans who lived in extreme poverty. To get involved, volunteer or sponsor an orphan, go to www.asianaid.org.au.
* Christian Services for the Blind and Hearing Impaired is transitioning to a broader ministry—the Special Needs Ministry—which includes orphans and those with mental and physical challenges, in addition to the blind and Deaf.