Don't Forget about Haiti's Orphans
- Tuesday, February 23, 2010
"Where is God?" Christian or not, in times of disaster we look to heaven for answers.
Where is God when the ground moves beneath Haiti and kills 150,000 people? Where is God when Haiti's orphan population triples? When women are raped in the camps set up to protect them? When children are sold into slavery in a country that has no way to stop it.
God, where are you?
I've asked that question many times. I've also asked it on behalf of one of the members of our church, David Hames, who died in the quake at the Hotel Montana. I've prayed and wept for his wife and two children.
God, where are you?
It's been a popular question these past weeks. And it brought a range of interesting — and completely useless — answers.
Personally, I believe God asks that same question of us. "Tom, where are you?" Call me crazy, but I think God wants us to run toward the sound of the guns — to the fiercest part of the battle. He asks this of us because He has given us His spirit to do His work. God always works through His people. His blessings flow directly through us — followers of Jesus Christ — and into the people around us. Nowhere have I seen this more than in ministry to orphans.
The unfortunate truth is that Haiti's orphan population is now a lot larger -- maybe even three times larger. Anecdotally, I've heard that some orphanages have taken in 5-10 times more kids with hundreds waiting outside the gates hungry for food, shelter, and family. Predators abound. Reports of armed gangs robbing orphanages of their food are part of our regular news headlines.
Caring for Haiti's orphans is a priority for me and many others in the Christian orphan ministry movement. If you want to join us, all you have to do is learn your ABCs.
A. Always Start with Prayer
Prayer is active. Search for scripture about orphans, and pray through the promises of God. God says He is the Father to the Fatherless. God promises to "take up the case in court" against anyone who harms an orphan. God declares he will set the lonely in families and defines Himself as a "defender of orphans." Pray these promises back to God, and ask Him to show you exactly where in the battle He wants you to run. We might not all be able to go but anyone can pray.
B. Bring Relief to the Hungry & Thirsty
Jesus tells a startling parable in Matthew 25. It's surprising because it is one of those times where He lays out the criteria for the judgment day. And He says God will judge us based on how we fed the hungry, clothed naked, and gave water to the thirsty. He says when we do this non-spiritual stuff we're actually helping Jesus. Do some research, and select a group that is helping meet needs on the ground. Then give them as much money as God tells you to give.
C. Consider Going to Haiti on a Trip
Very soon the media will leave, and Haiti will try to develop some kind of normalcy in their country. Amidst the rubble, there will be thousands of short-term mission trip opportunities. Consider joining a short-term team to help Haiti out of this mess. A list of reputable organizations is listed on my blog at http://www.cthomasdavis.com
D. Develop Long-Term Relationships
The key to transformation is time. For the past 13 years I have been directly involved at Children's HopeChest, and I've seen the power of long-term relationships to create a two-way transformation. There are hundreds of ways you can establish a long-term relationship. Find a US organization with missionaries in Haiti or local Haitian pastors. Encourage these individuals with letters and emails. Consider a long-term sponsorship of a child in Haiti, or a make a large pledged gift to a Haiti charity — one that will take you years to pay down.
E. Evangelize Others to Join with You
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