Today, we are facing a global tragedy so vast that it boggles the mind. In 2009 we passed over the threshold of 200 million orphaned and abandoned children in our world. The shocking reality is that these precious millions are so much like the three children who live in my home. Each of them has a name, a unique personality, hurts, and dreams. They also have a God who is crazy about them. What they don’t have is a mommy and daddy to hug and kiss them, to tuck them into bed at night, to comfort them when they skin a knee or have a tummy ache.. to make them feel like the most special creation in the world! Almost all of these children will spend their entire lives wrestling with famine, unsanitary water supply, abuse, and societal devaluation. Many will be afflicted with chronic disease.
And the numbers keep growing. In the past hour another..
-1,625 girls and boys were forced to live on the streets by the death or abuse of an adult.
-1,667 girls and boys under the age of five died from malnutrition and vaccine-preventable diseases
-115 girls and boys became prostitutes
-66 girls and boys under 15 were infected with HIV
-257 girls and boys were orphaned because of HIV/AIDS
How can Christian families come to grips with these numbers?
The story is told of a grandfather walking along the beach with his grandson the morning after a horrible storm. One of the results of the storm was that numberless numbers of starfish had been displaced from the surf and washed ashore. As the two walked along the grandson continued to stop, reach down, grab a starfish, and thrown it back into the ocean. Finally the grandfather turned and said, “What are you doing? As far as you can see there are starfish washed up on the beach. Don’t you know that what you’re doing isn’t making any difference!” The young boy, holding a starfish in his hand, looked up into his grandfather’s eyes and said, “Granddaddy, I’m making a difference for this one!” And he threw the starfish into the ocean.
As Christians we can make a difference! Last year almost 17,000 of us did just that by personally adopting a precious child. Another option is to support a family who is willing to adopt. Over 60% of Christian families are open to adoption, but the number one reason a family doesn’t follow through and adopt is the cost involved. Usually families are just a few thousand dollars away from being able to say “yes”.. you could make an incredible difference with your support! Another way that many Lifeline families are making a difference is traveling to an orphanage and launching a life/job skills program for the 99% of children who will never be adopted (our next “Camp” is scheduled in June to Ukraine.. we would love for you to join us). Finally, we all can pray. We could do that right now. Just stop for a few minutes and contemplate the plight of the orphan and what we can do to make a difference. May God richly bless your family!