As I sit on a plane leaving Austin, I have a few minutes to reflect on the past few days at Together For Adoption conference…
One thing that is absolutely clear is the heart of the American church is reawakening to the cause of the fatherless. This gathering and these people (literally from all over the world) are claiming God’s promise as true. Specifically, that He is a “Father to the Fatherless” (Psalm 68:5).
Deep within this movement there is a passion burning. It is a flame that feels like it is just moments away from igniting into a full blown wildfire within the global church. The call of the church to care for the fatherless, the orphan and the vulnerable child is clear, and there are so many who take this very very seriously.
So, it is from this perspective that I have a few observations of why it is so important to gather from time to time along this path of “igniting the wildfire.”
1. Gathering around a common cause produces action…
It is impossible to stand among a group of people like those at Together for Adoption and not be compelled to act.
Corrie & I were in Tom Davis’s sex trafficking breakout session when at the end of the session, one man from the audience stood up a said one simple fact.
“If the 80 of us in this room all gave $30 right now, we could cover the cost for one rescue operation. That will mean at least one girl & maybe more will be free of being a sex slave!”
And then he offered to double whatever was given.
Twenty minutes later not one but TWO rescue operations were paid for. Two rescue operations means that 6 girls (who were orphans) will be free of being forced to have sex 40 to 50 times a day.
My friends…that is the power of God alive in the hearts of His people.
2. Organizational Mission Statements are refined to produce maximum benefit…
Exposure is so critical as leaders move forward in their work. Exposure provides clarity of mission, knowledge of what works & what doesn’t, prevents redundancy of effort and exposes the gaps that exist. Next to God, our gathering together is one of the greatest tools we have in our mutual efforts to rescue the orphan. It simply makes us more effective.
3. People & Relationships are the heart of any movement…
Movements are not institutions. Movements are people bound together in relationship in motion towards a greater good. People & relationships are the fuel to this flame because we simply can’t accomplish the greater mission alone.
Along the way a cycle is created where movements form communities and communities form movements. I believe this is the context of relationships & relationships are where God moves in His people.
4. Community strengthens our resolve and moves us forward…
I had the honor of meeting Helen Parker & Bec Gebert of The Babes Project. Both ladies are from Australia and are trying to turn the heart of a nation toward the value of life & the beauty of choosing adoption over abortion (est. 90,000 year in Australia).
Their mission is impossible, but their calling is clear. We are now a part of their story & our community is now their community. They are not alone.
I guess you could say that “we’ve got their back”.
5. We Don’t Give Up…
Walking among so many people who have dedicated their lives to caring for the orphan causes that still small quiet voice inside to turn from “are you sure you can do this?” to “if they won’t quit, either will I!”.
I think one twitter post this morning captured this tension in a way that allows us all to say “we won’t quit!”
“Today is the day that decides whether more happened in my life at #t4acon than just buying cool t-shirts” (via @4milkmoney)
Tomorrow we will ask this same question and we pray our answer is a movement forward into the tension, into the dim horizons and into a purpose so great that James calls it a part of “true religion”.
Organizations to Follow Closely…
- The Babes Project
- Mercy House Kenya
- Into The Streets
- Esther Havens Watoto Project
- Help End Local Poverty
Don’t let the conversation stop…
…join us at Idea Camp Orphan (website is transitioning from Vegas) on February 25th & 26th in NW Arkansas as we work through
- the state of the global orphan crisis
- causes, issues & symptoms of the orphan crisis
- adoption, foster care & special needs orphan care
- global development (or as we call it preemptive orphan care)