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Posted by April O’Neil

When most of us think about the intrinsic meaning behind the word “movement”, we imagine something shifting from one place to another.  A car moves in one direction, and reaches it’s final destination.  A dancer creates movements with her body that tell a story.  The reality is that movement demands change, and change implies that whatever is happening in this moment will transform and be different in the next.  If we the Church are truly committed to creating a movement that ends the Orphan crisis, then we must orchestrate the changes that are fundamental to fulfilling the movement’s mission.  We can’t continue to approach this emergency with the same hesitant posture has stifled real progress.

Elizabeth Styffe, Director of the Orphan Care Ministry at Saddleback Church, believes that we own God’s prescription to end the Orphan crisis.  It is written in Ephesians 5:29: For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.  As the body of Christ we are equipped to love the fatherless just as Christ loved the Church. There are two ingredients in this prescription: the church and the family.  

If the 436,000 churches in the U.S. embraced the heart of the gospel and God’s command in James 1:27, the 113,000 orphans in America would come home and have a family to call their own.  Not one child would be left behind.  Just as an intern practices what they have learned, the dedicated believer is called to become a doer of the word.  Pastor Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Church, describes this commission as a process that requires a dual commitment: personal purity aligned with public charity.   If every believer embraces this biblical intention, the Orphan crisis would transform into a divine victory.

Dr. Crawford Loritts, Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church, has witnessed what he calls a “viral adoption movement” in his congregation.  Imagine if every church in America went viral on this issue and created an unstoppable momentum that instantaneously resolved the Orphan crisis?  Can we, the creative body of Christ, leverage the viral concept we witness daily on YouTube as videos capture millions of viewers?  Are we ready to change the way we think, abandon fear, call upon God for courage, and inspire the world?

Pastor Loritts believes that Christians must become bondage breakers and burden bearers.  He explains that as we loosen the grip of wickedness, and erase the burdens of the suffering, the church becomes the standard for hope.

Ryan Bomberger, was adopted in 1971.  Although his birth mother was raped, she pushed through her pain and fear and chose life for her child.  She is on the top of Ryan’s list of hero’s, and the lyrics of he wrote capture his gratitude:  “I’m meant to be, this life was meant for me, though you went through so much pain, your tears were not in vain.  Although you could not see what God had planned for me, I know I was meant to be.”  

Every child of God has been created with intention.  Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God planned for us to prosper; He never intended for us to be harmed.  Membership in the movement to end the orphan crisis requires that we extinguish the cravings of self, while becoming consumed with the desire to silence the cry of the orphan with the soothing comfort of belonging.  Are you ready to join a movement that goes viral?  With 163 million orphans worldwide, and over 2 billion believers equipped with the ammunition to launch a crusade of compassion, the church is poised to set the captives free.  

Will you share your thoughts?  Send us an email: orphans@saddleback.com



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