As we are learning about the world wide orphan crisis, God's heart for the orphan, God's call to the church, adoption, and more, we want to also share that information with you. Come back to visit our site for more posts, links, and opportunities to learn with us.
1. LEARN AND UNDERSTAND.
Isaiah 1:17 "Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow."
To whom does the word "orphan" really apply? An orphan, by UNICEF definition is: "UNICEF and numerous international organizations adopted the broader definition of orphan in the mid-1990s as the AIDS pandemic began leading to the death of millions of parents worldwide, leaving an ever increasing number of children growing up without one or more parents. So the terminology of a ‘single orphan’ – the loss of one parent – and a ‘double orphan’ – the loss of both parents – was born to convey this growing crisis." (www.unicef.org)
An orphan can also be one who has been abandoned by one or both parents due to the desperate circumstances where the parents can not provide for the child's needs vital to their life and well being: food needs, medical needs, clothing, shelter, and education.
Did you know there are at very least approximately 153 million* orphans world wide? 153 million. That's a big number. Almost too big to really comprehend. So let's back up. What is one million? What does that look like? Let's explore. Click here.
* 143 million, 153 million, 210 million or more? Note that these numbers do not include the vast number of children who are living on the streets, exploited for child labor, victims of human trafficking, or participating in armed groups. So, global orphan statistics ranging from 143-153+ million actually underestimates the number of orphans worldwide missing most of the children that are the most vulnerable and most in need of a family.
Every day 5,760 more children become orphans
Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…
Each year 14, 505, 000 children grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age sixteen
Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home
Studies have shown that 10% – 15% of these children commit suicide before they reach age eighteen
These studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals... see more here. (www.orphanhopeintl.org)
The words hopeless, lost, and lack of self-worth ring to me when I read these statistics. It breaks my heart to think that these are God's children - they are hurting and they don't know His love, they don't know any LOVE. How can one understand the love of God if one has no experience, no action, no representation of love? (Pray for the missionaries who strive to show this love to the children and tell then tell them how God loves them more. Pray for those who go, for those who do, and for their support. Pray for ways in which you can help.)
2. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. THE POVERTY REALITY.
Did you know almost half the world's people struggle to live on less than $2 a day? One billion people are trying to survive on less than $1 buck a day. Read more here.
3. GOD'S HEART FOR THE ORPHAN.
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."
This video was recommended to me by a friend. It deeply moved our hearts and tells more clearly the gospel in adoption than I ever could. Please watch.
Faces of the Forgotten
Loving Shepard Ministries
Christian Alliance for Orphans
Cry Of the Orphan
Hope for Orphans