I am part of a group of people at our church who are starting a ministry aimed at orphaned and vulnerable children. In our meeting last night we spent some time discussing where we were initially going to put our energy and focus and it was decided that we needed to start locally and in ways that didn't seem overwhelming. To that end, we are going to be working on bringing Safe Families to our church and encourage the membership to go through the training to participate. (Fellow church members... consider yourselves warned about what you're going to hear me talking about. A lot.) We are also going to look into where we can help serve the many teenage mothers in our community because we all agreed that this population is the modern day widow of Scripture.
We decided to go in this direction for the moment because sometimes looking at the big picture can just be too overwhelming. And an overwhelmed person cannot make good decisions or sometimes even act to make things better. We want people to see where problems are and also offer tangible ways that they can act and help.
And recently, I have been too well acquainted with feeling overwhelmed. Not with raising my own family and making my own home (though I wouldn't be honest if I didn't have those feelings some of the time), but I have been so consumed with the plight of children in desperate circumstances that it sometimes makes it difficult to focus on my family's immediate needs.
I have shared before about the children in the orphanage in Pleven, Bulgaria. Children who have warehoused and starved and neglected to such an extent that we find it virtually unimaginable (how can a 14 year old be just 12 pounds?!), all because they either were born with an extra chromosome or because they have a physical problem such as CP. These were children who were born as healthy as anyone else except for their special need, and the extreme disability they each face was brought on by either the inaction or mistreatment by the adults in their lives. No child deserves to live like that.
And part of the feeling of being overwhelmed by it all is that fact that I don't feel I can do a thing about it. I can pray for them, and I know that is no small thing, but it doesn't quite fit the 'doing' bill. (Probably it should, but we'll save that deep theological discussion for another time.) I can also badger all of you about these children in the hopes that people will decide to adopt one of these children. A home and a family is their best hope of ever knowing what love is. So I will provide the links again. If you haven't clicked on them, please do so now. Read about these children, pray for them, and see if God is moving in you to showing one of these children the love of a mother and father for the very first time.
The Blessing of Verity. The blog of a family who adopted a daughter (look for posts about Katie) from this orphanage is and now working on bringing home a son.
No Greater Joy Mom - children who desperately need families. Look at these children. There are three on the list who have a family working to bring them home, but there still others who need a mother and father. Please, won't someone adopt little Kramer?
No Greater Joy Mom - Zach - This little boy is in a different orphanage in Bulgaria and desperately wants a family to love him.
Eric Ludy calls knowing about the plight of the poor and helpless and then going about our lives depraved indifference and it's not how God would have us live. Rise up and say, "No More!"