United States (MNN) — Deuteronomy 10:18 says of God, “He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing” (Deuteronomy 10:18 ESV).
Often God does His work through His children. Bethany Christian Services has been exemplifying what it means to give justice to the fatherless for 70 years.
Next month on April 25-26, they will be hosting the Northeast Adoption Summit in Lancaster, PA. This summit covers topics related to domestic and international adoption as well as adoption from foster care.
Bill Blacquiere of Bethany explains the four goals of the event. First, “It’s to raise awareness with the community–really the Christian community–of children who are waiting for a family. These are children who are orphaned and vulnerable children.”
According to Bethany in foster care alone, about 102,000 children are waiting to be adopted each year, and 23,000 age out before this happens.
“Secondly [this event] would be for advocacy,” Blacquiere continues. “What we’re hoping [with] these conferences [is] that people would consider adoption, or being a foster parent, or maybe being a mentor.”
Not only is the conference an informative meeting, but it provides helpful resources. “Third, the conference provides training for adoptive families,” Blacquiere says.
This includes teaching families how to raise and help their children who come from traumatized backgrounds.
The fourth reason for the summit is for encouragement: “Getting together as a group of Christians, focusing on what God’s commanding us to do is just very inspirational. It helps adoptive families, it helps social workers, it helps the church realize what’s going on.”
As for the background of the summit, Blacquiere says, “This conference is tied to the Christian Alliance for Orphans which is a national organization, and Bethany was one of the founding members of that organization as well. The whole idea was to raise awareness among churches in the Christian community about what our role should be in helping orphans. So these regional conferences help to do a local version of that, and they’re just very excellent.” The summit is sponsored by Adoption Learning Partners, Holt International Children’s Services, and Lifesong for Orphans.
There is still time to sign up for this conference. Click here for the link to register and see who is speaking.
Please be in prayer that the speakers would have clear and articulate messages that honor God. Pray that adoptive families that are struggling would be helped and encouraged by the event. Pray also that any nonbelievers who are concerned about the adoptive community would be inspired by the work God is doing on this earth. Blacquiere adds, “I would just pray that this would be a wonderful time to honor God, thank Him, and give Him glory for what the church is doing for orphans.”
Blacquiere points out that while only 2% of the general population adopts, 5% of people in the Christian community adopt. This fact is encouraging, but Blacquiere asks, why not 10%? Why not more?
“I would say to an individual person, as well as a church family: it’s very important that you hear information about orphans and vulnerable children…. We do something about that, and this conference will help you realize everything that the church is doing, but how much more the church could be doing, and what we could be doing as individuals.”