USA (MNN) — Caring for orphans and widows isn’t just for individuals or mission groups. We all need to work together; that’s why it’s called the Body of Christ.
Julie Boyd of Orphan’s Heart says they’re inviting churches to join them in carrying out the directive outlined by James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
“We are looking for churches everywhere to help us with the needs of orphans,” says Boyd.
“Physically, there are needs, and then spiritually, of course, there are needs, and we’re asking churches to come alongside us and share the love of Christ by meeting [those] needs.”
Orphans in the developing world are more likely to suffer neglect, discrimination, and malnutrition than children who are living under the care of their parents. That’s why Orphan’s Heart provides Christ-centered services to meet the physical, spiritual, emotional, and medical needs of children and families throughout the developing world.
Currently, Orphan’s Heart is caring for orphans in 11 different nations through indigenous ministry partners.
“Our plan is to come alongside the nationals and equip them to take care of the orphans in their community” explains Boyd.
Caring for orphans: meeting physical needs
According to UNICEF, over 150 million children worldwide have lost at least one parent, and 18 million of those have lost both parents. There are also more orphans living with foster parents or in an institution than being adopted.
The degree to which orphans’ basic physical needs are met in these situations varies greatly.
“Basic things that we take for granted here in the United States are great needs around the world, ” Boyd says, “everything from diapers to medical supplies to food.”
Collecting supplies is one way your church can partner with Orphan’s Heart in caring for orphans worldwide. Click here to see what kind of items are needed on a regular basis.
Caring for orphans: sharing Christ’s love
Perhaps the most important need to meet in an orphan’s life is the need to know Christ as Savior. The in-country partners that Orphan’s Heart works with share the Gospel with kids on a regular basis, and church members get to talk with orphans one-on-one about Jesus when they join Orphan’s Heart trips.
“Orphan’s Heart takes care of everything, from the time you get on the plane to the time you get back,” Boyd says. “We’ve done the research and all the planning to make sure that the mission trip goes well.
“Last year alone, we took over 1,000 people on mission trips with us.”
“What it does for them and what it does for the children is of immediate value, but also eternal value,” notes Boyd.
Caring for orphans: your turn
James 1:27 clearly implies we are each to “look after widows and orphans in their distress.” If your church isn’t already involved in orphan ministry, would you consider working alongside Orphan’s Heart?
“From Mississippi to Minnesota to Florida, all over the United States, individuals and churches are partnering with us,” Boyd shares. “We look forward to partnering with churches everywhere.”
Click here for the Orphan’s Heart phone number and e-mail address.
“Research, selecting a date, and speaking directly with an Orphan’s Heart staff member are the steps that I would recommend,” says Boyd.