Restore Tour

After 20 years of civil war, approximately 30,000 children have been abducted and forced to become child soldiers and sex slaves.

2 million people have been displaced and thousands brutally slaughtered by their own children.

Our friends at Watoto will be touring this fall to bring awareness to the great needs of Uganda.

Visit here for more information.

Announcing: Together for Haiti

If the people of Haiti had to sleep on the ground, so would she.

So, on Wednesday afternoon, January 20th, Britney and others (mostly college students and young adults from the area) set up Cité Lespwa (Creole for “City of Hope”) on the campus of Centenary College. Their goal was to raise awareness and $1 million for Haiti’s orphans. Britney blogged about their experience here.

The Shreveport Times published two stories about Cité Lespwa:

Shreveport tent city to raise money for Haiti relief
Tent city short of $1M goal but could go national

We are pleased to announce that Together for Adoption will be partnering with Britney Winn with the goal of seeing Cité Lespwa duplicated all across the country. Our plan is to host the next tent city in Greenville, South Carolina the first Friday-Saturday (12 noon to 12 noon) in March, with other cities signing up for successive Friday-Saturday dates. We hope to see Cité Lespwas hosted by cities throughout the country well into the spring and summer months.

Every dollar raised through Cité Lespwa will go to support Haiti’s orphans through our Church-Centered Haitian Orphan Initiative. Details are forthcoming.

If your church would like information about hosting a Cité Lespwa in your city, please contact Jon Evans (Community Manger for Cité Lespwa):

Become a Facebook Fan of Cité Lespwa.

[via: Together for Adoption]

Updated Global Orphan Numbers

Update from the Christian Alliance blog:

Our friend Dr. Susan Hillis of the CDC is one of the world’s top researchers on the relationship between HIV/AIDS and a host of issues facing orphans.  (Incidentally, she’ll be presenting at Summit VI on this topic in April.)  Yesterday, Dr. Hillis shared with us the just-released U.S. government assessment on orphans and vulnerability children, which was delivered to Congress Wednesday.

If you aren’t tripped up by its 17-word title, the report delivers highly-important data and analysis of the global orphan crisis.  No doubt, there will be some debate regarding how and why the U.S. government numbers differ from UNICEF projections.  (Ultimately, both the U.S. and the U.N. numbers are simply thoughtful, well-informed estimates.)  What remains indubitable is that the need remains extreme.

Key data points from the report include:

  • Total global orphan estimates for 2008 are 163 million (Children having lost one or both parents).
  • Of these, an estimated 55.3 million have lost a mother and 126 million have lost a father.
  • An estimated 18.3 million children have lost both parents.

As explored in prior blog posts, numbers like these will rarely inspire individuals to action.  If anything, they are paralyzing.  But it is still vital that those leading efforts to address the needs of orphans understand the scope of global need…even as we focus motivational messages and our own actions on specific situations and children.  Ultimately, one statistic looms above all the others:  it only takes one caring individual to make a life-long difference for an orphan.

What Does the Bible Say About Orphans

The Bible is full of references to orphans, the fatherless, and adoption. God’s heart and passion for them is clear. Here are just a few references:

God Adopts

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ (Romans 8:15)

So that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:5)

He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ. (Eph 1:5)

God Commands
Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. (Deuteronomy 24:17)

Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. (Isaiah 1:17)

God Promises He Knows Them
For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . . When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. (Psalm 139:13-15)

He Sees Them
But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you: you are the helper of the fatherless. (Psalm 10:14)

The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. (Psalm 10:14)

He Has Compassion on Them
A father of the fatherless and a judge and protector of the widows is God in His holy habitation. God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home in which to dwell. Ps. 68:5-6a.

He Defends Them
Do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more. (Psalm 10:18)

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. (Psalm 68:5)

He Will Come to Them
I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you. (John 14:18)

[HT: Bethlehem Baptist Church]