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Published on 07 May, 2012

2,000 believers grasp God’s heart for orphans at Summit VIII

USA (MNN) — Over 100 partners and 2,000 individuals gathered together last Thursday and Friday to discuss how to address one issue: orphan care.

Saddleback Church in southern California hosted the eighth annual Summit on May 3-4, conducted by the Christian Alliance for Orphans. Tiffany Taylor with Orphan Outreach says the entire conference was electrifying.

"The atmosphere was just so exciting with over 2,000 people from all across the nation gathered together, excited about helping orphans and making a difference for something that's so close to God's heart," notes Taylor, who came early to the Summit to conduct special orphan care sessions.

For Orphan Outreach in particular, says Taylor, the two-day Summit VIII was enough to re-energize the team. The rejuvenation was highly welcome for all orphan care groups in attendance, who have the weight of reaching the world's 153 million orphans on their shoulders. Work can get tiring, and the fellowship at the Summit along with the motivation of speakers like Francis Chan and Crawford Loritts were a breath of fresh air.

Much wider-reaching effects came from the Summit than just revitalization. Taylor says the urgency to help orphans grows every year in the hearts of those in attendance.

"As this conference has grown every year, we have really seen that more and more people are understanding about God's heart for the orphan," says Taylor.

"If you read the Bible and you want that to be your road map for life, it's very clear that God wants us to be involved in the orphan's life," she adds. "Whether that's adoption, whether that's foster care or global orphan care (working with the orphans on the ground), the church has really come alive with this mission."

As everyday believers and orphan ministries press on after the Summit–charged with God's heart for the fatherless, pray that their passion would transform into lives changed. Taylor reminds us, "These orphans may not have a father, but they can know and have a personal relationship with their heavenly Father."

If you missed the Summit, look for next year's conference, or head to OrphanOutreach.org, where you can explore your engagement with the fatherless through a number of short-term opportunities.

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