As a people of God, made in His image, we are called to care for the orphan. Most of us automatically think of adoption and foster care as [THE] means of doing so; however, allow me to further the pressure on you, it is but [A] means of caring for the fatherless. God, in His sovereignty, has created a multitude of avenues for you to be obedient to his call to care for the orphans.
“God, in His sovereignty, has created a multitude of avenues for you to be obedient to his call to care for the orphans.”
We must not function out of obligation, Church. But, instead, we should function out of the adoration of a good Father who has given us the ultimate gift, Jesus, and made a way for us to become His children forever—chosen, redeemed, and justified. We have been adopted as sons and daughters, cared for, brought to justice, and made right with God through Christ and His resurrection. We are never alone, never forgotten, never in dire need of love because we have been shown the GREATEST love. And so, for “the least of these,” we are to pour out abundantly the grace that we have been shown through our own adoption stories. This story, your story, equips you to care for the orphan. God cared for us, as orphans, by giving us Himself. This tells us that we care for the orphan best by giving them the Gospel.
In Scripture, we see many calling out to God for justice, provision, and to bring the fatherless out of the darkness. This picture of compassion for others coming from the mouths of God’s people is but a glimpse of the compassion God has for us in our darkest, most vulnerable places. This is what it looks like to pursue the needy—to have compassion for them where they are, and giving them a hope that will not fail. Actively loving the needy should be a response to the salvation that God has lavished on us. He invites us into the brokenness, to enter in with them and give them rescue (not ours, God’s!), and to give them hope that He has not and will not leave them in darkness.
Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”
Deuteronomy 1:17-18 “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.”
Psalm 82:3-4 “Give justice to the weak and fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
Psalm 146:5-9 “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever;
Who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.”
These Scriptures not only call us blatantly to care for the needy, the fatherless, the widow, the afflicted, but also let us know that we don’t do this on our own! We do this ONLY by the power of God. He does all the work! Our only job is walk in obedience. These sentiments continue throughout scripture in Psalms, John, James, Jeremiah, Acts, Isaiah, etc.
Ultimately, His grace should move us into life-giving action. He has called you to this. Pray for direction and quick obedience. Nothing is too big or too small, and all is done within His power and not our own. Be open-handed with what He’s given you, and may it be used to the glory of God.
What does it look like to care for the orphan practically?
- Bring a child into your home. Adoption, foster care, and respite are all important and needed. If God is calling you to this, obey and get started. Remember that He did not hesitate to adopt you; you were not his plan B. Trust Him. Please walk this process out in community. If the Lord has NOT called you to foster or adopt or do respite, rest assured that it is okay and seek wisdom on where to serve the orphan elsewhere. Do not be ashamed or guilty—surrender that to the Lord and be obedient in the ways He HAS called you to care for the fatherless.
- Pray. Follow the example of those in Scripture. Pray on behalf of the fatherless, the needy, the vulnerable, the exploited. Pray for justice, safety, nearness, uplifting out of darkness, birth families, current caretakers, etc.
- Use your time and resources. Volunteer at adoption agencies, hospitals, pregnancy centers, and the like. These are valuable places that need willing hands all the time. Donations of big items (computers,curriculum for programs) to small items (office supplies, diapers) are also needed. Call these places directly and ask how you can help. Please see the list below of ways to care for the orphan in Fort Worth.
- Be a resource. Skill sets (educational, occupational), special training (behavioral, counseling, special needs), and giftings (hospitality, encouragement, prayer) are all valuable in caring for others.
- Steward your approach to adoption. Talk about adoption positively (blog post on this alone coming soon!). Normalize the conversation around adoption by talking about it, not being afraid to offend others but humbling yourself and being open to learning. Walk with others going through this process—they need you and they won’t always tell you, so enter in and support them.
- This is not a “one and done” scenario. Just because we adopt a child, or sit at a pregnancy center booth passing out fliers on a Saturday, or buy a computer for an agency, does not mean you are finished and your pursuit of the fatherless stops. God did not stop with death on a cross, therefore we don’t check a box and move on. We continue to progress and move forward, asking the Lord what He would have us do next.
Ways to care for the orphan in Fort Worth (Please note: these were the specific places mentioned in the class and is not an exhaustive list.)
- ACH Child and Family Services: a nonprofit organization in FW that was established 102 years ago to meet the needs of children and families. There are 14 programs including group homes for children in foster care.
- Alliance for Children: a nonprofit child advocacy center in FW that works to protect Tarrant County children from child abuse through teamed investigations, healing services, and community education. This organization also partners with Cooks Children’s, which needs volunteers to sit and hold babies admitted to the hospital for physical abuse.
- CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates): CASA supports and promotes court-appointed advocacy so every abused or neglected child in the United States can be safe, have a permanent home, and the opportunity to thrive. They provide a voice for children in court and care for children while they are in foster care through home visits.
- Justin’s Place: a nonprofit organization in Stop 6 with a mission to enhance the life of a child by empowering mothers to grow spiritually, mentally, and physically in order to live a life free of crisis and walk out of generational poverty.
Paradox Orphan Care Team
If you’d like to volunteer with the Paradox Orphan Care Team or you have questions about this topic, please email us and we will connect you with one of our team members.
Paradox Partner & Co-Leader of the PRDX Orphan Care Team