Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How does REAL change happen?

Today SOMEONE will feel compelled to care for needy orphans in distress. As a result they will give, go, serve, etc. to build an orphanage, sponsor a child, or any number of other worthy avenues of support. And yet every single year, the number of orphans in the world greatly increases. And every single day, over 38,000 orphaned children age out of orphanages with virtually no hope. With no family, no home, no job opportunities, no way to make a living….. over 70% of these kids end up in prostitution, crime or both. Additionally, as many as 10-20% take their own lives within 2 years of aging out.

Something is amiss. With so many caring people, so many sponsors, so many mission trips… why do these sad and horrible numbers continue to expand? And more importantly, what can YOU do about it?

How can YOU strategically make a difference? How can your efforts lead to real and lasting life change? The answer was revealed in the first century after Christ. In 60 short years, the entire world population went from knowing nothing of Christ to being completely affected by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The key was discipleship… for faith, for family, for education, and for business. How was this possible and could this same model be used today to transform our communities and genuinely care for orphans in distress?

The answer is YES! The successful paradigm used in the first century is centered around your own personal transformation. You aren’t going to change your world by throwing dollars alone at the problem, or even investing a week of your life to go on a mission trip. You and I must see the poverty in our own lives. We need to begin to view poverty as a lack of relationship more than a lack of resource. The needs of our brothers and sisters across the world are identical to ours. Relationship to God, relationship to family, relationship to community, relationship within yourself. What we all need is partnership, not social welfare. Understanding this transforms the way we think of ministry. For example, instead of going on a mission trip and bringing an extra bag full of clothes to pass out, we bring a used sewing machine, cloth, and thread. Working with the local church, we provide training and teach locals how to sew. They can then check out a time to use the sewing machine and make and sell their own clothes. The solution is teaching, through discipleship, how to fish instead of pulling up a truck and throwing fish out.

Something incredibly dynamic happens as you begin to understand God’s paradigm to transform orphans. You will no longer be satisfied with band-aid ministry and will become an agent of real change in the world. YOU are not just important in God’s plan to reach orphans.. YOU are vital, because in God’s paradigm.. orphan care begins with YOU!

Dave Wood
International Director