On Saturday during one of the Together for Adoption conference breakouts Tom Davis made the remark “Building orphanages is like remodeling hell. That is not God’s plan.”
A small collective gasp went up from the audience. I think there were quite a few mouths open as well.
I tweeted the comment and it was obvious the shock carried over into the cyberworld.
It sounds kind of wild doesn’t it? But it is so true.
God’s design is not for hundreds of children to live in large institutional orphanages where rows of bunk beds line the room and paid staff dish out food and little else. Certainly not the nurturing that a mother and father can give.
Yesterday I shared Psalm 68:5 but that passage goes on to say
“God sets the lonely in families…” Ps 68:6
God’s plan for the orphan is a family. Not an orphanage.
That’s one of the reasons why I believe in and work for World Orphans.
Everything we do revolves around the church, the orphan and a family.
At the prevention stage our local church partners identify at-risk children and help keep them in their families by providing food, educational fees, medicines and whatever other needs there are.
If the church knows that the child’s orphaning is imminent (i.e. mom is dying of AIDS) they work diligently to find extended family that will be able to care for the child. If that isn’t available then the next step is to find foster parents from within the church or place the child in the children’s home on the church property. Even that home is a family – 8-12 kids living with houseparents who give them the long term love of a mom and a dad.
The indigenous church has heard God’s cry – maybe more so than the American church. They stand ready to help the orphans of their community but they lack what we have in abundance – resources.
My prayer is that the church as body will wake up and corporately decided that we are done remodeling hell, putting band-aids on wounds that need surgery.
We must help God put the lonely in families.