USA (MNN) — There more than 143 million orphans worldwide.
Every 14 seconds, an AIDS death creates another orphan. And more than 800,000
children pass through America's foster care system each year.
It's time for the body of Christ to step up. When asked how one group can effectively paint
the picture of need to overcome the overwhelming statistics, Bethany Christian
Services' John VanValkenberg says that's why they're a part of an awareness
campaign called "Cry of the Orphan."
The call to action is clear. "It's the Lord's Word that
calls us to help the situation with the orphan and calls the church to get
involved. It is 'pure religion' to help
the least of these and help the widows and orphans."
The coalition encourages participants to investigate avenues
of response that include child sponsorship, advocacy, fostering, or adoption.
The campaign kicked off a week ago and is encouraging
Christians to take action. It's the
response to the rapidly-growing movement of
churches who have made orphan ministry an integral part of what they do.
The potential for influence is
staggering. If churches respond to the
needs, what could happen if every orphan knew someone who loved Jesus? The
impact of change, one person, one church, one child, at a time.
VanValkenberg explains, "We at Bethany Christian
Services are glad to be involved in many different levels with nternational
adoption and adoption of children in foster care, which can be considered today's
'orphan' here in the United States. We're talking about churches coming
together in a number of different ways that they can help with orphan
Cry of the Orphan has led to the creation of the Christian
Alliance for Orphans–a formal coalition of more than 75 churches, ministries
and orphan-related organizations working together to make an impact on the
orphan crisis. Click here to find
out what you can do.