… to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless. … O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more. — Psalm 10:14,17-18
There are millions of children in the world who have been orphaned. This is a global issue that crosses international borders, racial divides, and economic classes. It impacts children from every walk of life, and something must be done about it.
In thinking about children, adoption, and foster care, it’s helpful to understand the gravity of the situation. There are an estimated 15 million children in the world who have lost both parents. Many children who have been orphaned encounter significant early challenges and trauma related to malnutrition, abuse, neglect, and/or unaddressed medical needs.
This need isn’t just far away—it also exists in your very own community. Today, there are more than 391,000 children being cared for in the U.S. foster care system. Of that number, more than 113,000 of those children have had parental rights terminated and are in need of a permanent family.
Just as it’s necessary to understand the scope of the need, it’s equally important to not let the need’s overwhelming size discourage you from taking action. Instead, let it move you to make a difference. Each number represents a face and a name—uniquely designed by God and carrying his image. God doesn’t ask us to individually solve the world’s problems, but he does invite us into his work, to experience his love in new ways, and to join him in caring for waiting children. Any action you decide to take—whether great or small—for the good of someone else matters.
Spend time reflecting on the verses from Psalm 10. We encourage you to pray for those children who are in afflicted and vulnerable situations, remembering, as you do, that God hears our cries, sees us in our pain, and is our ultimate shield and defender.
Knowledge is powerful. And with knowledge comes responsibility. William Wilberforce, who was instrumental in abolishing slavery in the 19th Century British Empire, once said, “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”
- Now that you are more aware about the needs of children who are vulnerable around the world, ask God to show you how you can begin to make a difference in adoption advocacy and orphan care.
- Connect with leaders in your church or faith community as well as leaders at your school to discuss ways to serve children and families in your own sphere of influence.
- To learn how you can make a difference now, do some research. Search online using terms like “adoption support” or “foster care support” + YOUR CITY, STATE. Share what you learn with your community.
This is the first devotional blog post in a series, adapted from Show Hope’s Pause Campaign. We invite you to learn more about how you can get involved in the work of Show Hope by visiting the “Your Part” section of our website.