I am so thankful and excited to see so many churches and Christian communities responding to God's mandate to care for orphans. Sometimes it seems like people can get caught up in what Christians say is "the call" to adopt. But it's not about a calling, it's about responding to God's mandate in the Bible to care for orphans and vulnerable children. This is not a mandate only geared towards the few families in one's church who have chosen adoption, and it isn't a mandate left to those in the church who have a soft spot for kids. This is different. It's a Biblical mandate given to all believers who claim Jesus Christ.
What does this mandate actually mean? This does not mean every Christian is supposed to adopt children into their home, and bring them to their dinner table as sons and daughters. (Although, by all means, I think way more Christians need to consider and explore that possibility). But every Christian is supposed to care for orphans and vulnerable children. In the Bible, in the book of James, the wording used in the original language about caring for orphans is "face to "face," "to be responsible for." It's an intimate, personal interaction. That doesn't always include adoption, but it does involve something.
What is that something? That "something" is what you need to determine in your heart, between you and the Lord, and within your family. Some of those things might be:
- foster care
- very short term foster care such as Safe Families
- child sponsorship, such as Compassion International
- the pursuit of and care of single moms and their children
- reaching out to the child in your neighborhood who comes from a rough, broken home, and inviting them to be part of your family, experiencing what a godly family looks like, and having influences they otherwise would not have
- look for local non-profits and Christian ministries in your city, or a nearby city, in which you can be involved "face-to-face" with orphans and children at risk. For example, here in Indy we have a Christian ministry that ministers to homeless teenagers called Outreach Inc, and there are many shelters who care for mothers and their children. These ministries are always looking for volunteers and simply just looking for people to love on others