Friday, November 5, 2010
World Orphan's Day - November 8
It is amazing how many official days there are. Every day seems to be the official day of something. Nov 8th is World Orphans Day, it is also Aid and Abet Punsters Day and Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day, but World Orphans Day is much more important.
The purpose of World Orphan’s Day is to facilitate public awareness of social issues surrounding orphans and displaced children’s social issues, and to engage community support for the causes.
Here are some facts about orphans.
1. It would take 80,000 orphanages with 500 children each to house all the orphans in Sub Sahara Africa left behind by the pandemic of AIDS.
2. Over 60 million orphans go to bed hungry every night.
3. 143 million children are suffering from malnutrition, and 400 thousand of those will die this year.
4. HIV and AIDS is devastating global communities, and millions are facing the horror of war and abuse EVERY day.
5. Nearly 144 million children across the world are orphans.
6. Every 2 seconds, another child becomes an orphan.
7. 6,000 children are orphaned by AIDS every day. That is a newly orphaned child every 14 seconds.
8. Malnutrition plays a part in more than half of all child deaths worldwide. Every year, malnutrition is associated with the deaths of five million children under the age of five.
In our comfy little corner of America it is hard for us to realize what these facts really tell us. Why should I as a Christian worry about these problems that have been brought on by the sinful behavior of others? Are orphans any of my concern?
God’s word tells us in James 1:27 “Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us”.
How can we help? Pray! Pray specifically for those organizations whose mission it is to help the orphans. Trust God to impress upon your heart what you might do or give. I can recommend Reaching Hearts For Kids as a charity with a passion for helping orphans.
Take, for instance, George Müller, who was born in Prussia in 1805. He didn’t care about anything other than pursuing his own pleasures. His future looked bleak, but God was working in George’s life. In 1825, he became a Christian and changed from a drunken con man to a humble man who depended on God for everything.
In 1832 he became the pastor of a Brethren congregation in Bristol, England. Bristol would be the center of his ministry for the next sixty-six years. As his work among the poor in Bristol grew, Mueller saw the need for an orphanage. He read the scripture in Psalms 68:5 that says “God is a father of the fatherless”. He believed that if God was truly the father to orphans, all he had to do was to make himself available to care for the orphans and God would supply every need. So that’s what he did.
As God increased his faith Mr. Mueller built homes and cared for more and more children. The orphanage he operated had five mammoth buildings, and over the years took care of the needs of over 10,000 orphans. At his death, he was caring for over 2,000 children everyday!
Mr. Mueller never told anyone of his needs for his orphanage, his church, or his own personal needs. During his ministry he took in the equivalent of 250 million dollars for the support of the orphanages without ever asking for a dime.
Do you think that God cares about the orphans? What has he asked us as Christians to do about it? The Bible tells us in Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Rebuke the oppressor. Help the orphans. Stand up for the rights of widows.”
I think that the Bible makes it clear that we as Christians have a duty to help. We need to take the focus off of ourselves and become more concerned for all of those who need our help like the 143 million children who are suffering from malnutrition. A child under the age of 5 dies every 3 seconds from neglect, starvation, or exposure. That is 30 thousand every day, 11 million every year.
With the economic downturn here in America a lot of Christians, myself included, expend a lot of emotional energy worrying about conditions and how they will affect us. We need to take our focus off of ourselves and focus on the task that God has given those of us who have more than enough to sustain us.
1 John 3:17 tells us “If anyone has enough money to live well, and sees someone in need and refuses to help—how can God's love be in that person?
Is God’s love in you? We certainly don’t want to hear the words that Jesus spoke in Matthew 25:45,46 “I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers, you were refusing to help me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
My friend Richie Owens has written a song that addresses this issue
Somewhere In Time
By Richie Owens
A newborn baby cries as
Tears filled his mother’s eyes
Her joy is eclipsed by her fear as
Men on drugs with guns and knives
Run up and down the streets outside
And there’s no future for this baby here
Somewhere a child is safely playing
Somewhere there’s plenty all the time
Somewhere life is pure and perfect
She cries why can’t that somewhere be mine
Are we not called to lend a hand
Glad to do all we can
To save the drowning in the sea of life
We cannot win this world by might
By corporate power or legal fight
But by His spirit reaching out
And turning on the light
Somewhere a little girl is hurting
Somewhere a mans crossed the line
Somewhere hopes and dreams are shattered
And we need to find somewhere in time
We claim to love Jesus
Live our lives at his feet
While he scours the dump
In search of something to eat
Somewhere there’s no help or guidance
Somewhere no one sees the signs
Somewhere lifes just too busy
And we need to find somewhere in time.