International (MNN) — The Red Thread represents
Chinese folklore, which tells about the connection of family members. The United Nations estimates there are 210 million orphans around
the world without that family connection.
For many of these children, it's a struggle to survive
without the support and protection of parents or the love of a family
environment–a struggle that many don't survive.
Orphan Sunday is November 7. It's an event that coincides with the beginning of National Adoption
Month–both of which point to both the plight of children without forever
families and the solution.
The Christian Alliance for Orphans and the Cry of the Orphan
partners seek to add a unified voice and coordinated effort in order to help
raise awareness of the issues they face.
Bethany Christian Services
is an Alliance partner. Bethany's John VanValkenburg says they're
trying to encourage churches to participate because, "It's really a day for
Christians to answer the call because we are called to care for orphans in
On November 7, there will be sermons and small groups,
concerts and prayer gatherings–each rousing believers with God's call to care for
the orphan and to consider what each person can do in response. "Just a heightened awareness of the plight of
the orphan, that there are children in need, not only of parents, but just from
basic needs, that daily life is a struggle for orphans. We want people to
really answer the cry of the orphan."
Although the numbers are overwhelming and the needs seem
insurmountable, participants are encouraged to do what they can to affect one
life. One step at a time, one child at a
time, and suddenly, the task is not so frightening. This is
why Bethany participates. VanValkenburg says, "There are a lot of ways to
help an orphan, whether it's through programs in the country, or through
Although VanValkenburg readily admits that adoption isn't for everyone,
there are still ways to take an active role. Some of those include prayer or supporting a ministry with
time or funds. Why? It can be a life-changing moment for those on
both ends of the Red Thread. "It is a
mandate. If we look for answers in the Bible, how we can serve the Lord, we
really need to look to the Gospel for inspiration and motivation."