USA (MNN) — It’s an issue close to God’s heart: the problem orphans face each day. This could be abuse, poverty, loneliness, or worst of all, not knowing Christ. What are Christians supposed to do about it?
Orphan Outreach knows the key is to work together. Last week, The Christian Alliance for Orphans celebrated their tenth annual summit. This conference provides training and encouragement for those involved in orphan care, all the while raising awareness for the various situations orphans face around the world. Participants this year totaled over 2,500.
Tiffany Taylor of Orphan Outreach explains that they’ve participated in the summit since its beginning. “The Christian Alliance for Orphans was formed by a group of orphan care and adoption advocates who wanted to bring awareness to churches and individuals about the huge needs of orphans and vulnerable children around the world, and to also let them know about how important this issue is to God’s heart.”
Ten years ago, 38 orphan care workers met. This year, 35 different countries were represented by the 2500 participants.
“It has just been really exciting to see how God has moved among His people to bring awareness to this issue and to bring people together that are excited about making a difference for orphans and vulnerable children,” says Taylor.
Orphan Outreach president Mike Douris is serving on the board and leading a workshop. The organization is currently working in seven countries to minister to the orphans there.
Taylor explains that while God has blessed their work, there is need for the unity that is created through the summit. “What we have found is that there are so many orphans: no one organization can make a difference all on their own. We must work together, we must collaborate with other people who care for orphans if we’re going to truly make a difference to this huge problem.”
The difference can be made by people like you through adoption or foster care, church collections for needed items, or mission trips.
Taylor says, “I just encourage anyone who has thought about being involved in orphans in any of the steps from adoption, foster care, supporting foster graduates here in the United States, to going on a mission trip and holding the children and loving them and telling them about their heavenly Father. All of these are in critical need because there are literally millions of orphans around the world that have not heard about the love of Christ.”
The conference also functions to encourage the participants of the conference. “What’s always a big takeaway is that for those of us who are in orphan care, it’s a rejuvenating time. It’s a time where we really can understand and have people talk and share with us about how important the work is that we do.”
Taylor reminds us that there is great blessing in doing God’s work faithfully. “It’s very clear in the Word of God that caring for orphans and their needs is very near and dear to Him. I can just say from my experiences that when you work with orphans, you truly become so blessed when you see this immense problem, but it’s a problem that is so close to God’s heart, you can’t help but be blessed with it,” she says.
Here are some ways you can get involved with the work Orphan Outreach is doing.