I am a proud member of The Influence Network.
"The Influence Network is for creatively minded women, who are looking for an uplifting community where they can be encouraged and also resourced to make their online lives mean something"
I have so enjoyed my first couple months of membership, and have been so encouraged by the classes I have had the opportunity to attend.
Last night I attended a class taught by Lindsy at Light Breaks Forth about Caring for Orphans in ways outside of Adoption.
Lindsy's story touched my life in so many ways, the similarity of themes, of interrupted adoptions and her husband's cancer connected to my heart.
I was impacted by the numbers that Lindsy shared:
- there are 163 Million 'Vulnerable" children world wide where one of both of their parents are gone, and remaining family is at risk.
- Of those 18.5 million are double orphans with no parents or family, with no home.
- 1/2 a million children are orphans here in the United States.
She shared Biblical Truth around Orphan Care:
James 1:27 - Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Deuteronomy 10:18 - He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.
Matthew 18:5 - And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Lindsy pointed out that Orphan care although could be considered a social justice issue, is really as simple as "Loving your neighbor". This thought really impacted my view on Orphan care. With Ryan's cancer diagnosis and surgery as this year began we put a hold on proceeding with adoption, but my heart still longs for an opportunity to help this cause.
A couple quotes from Lindsy that captured me:
"The Need and Gospel Compel us to practically do something....let this point be now!!"
"There is something Glorious and Holy about Getting Dirty"
"Relationship changes people, be in the mess"
She shared some options for Caring for Orphans outside of Adoption.
- Blog for Organizations that are involved with Orphan Care such as World Help and Lifesong for Orphans
- Help with Orphan Sunday - First Sunday in November
- Orphan Care Ministry at Church
- Volunteering at a Pregnancy Resource Center
- Safe Family Programs
Another interesting area of discussion was around the Unborn Orphan, or Unwanted Babies. This wounded my heart. I have seen so many stories in the news lately around women who have left their newly born babies in trash cans or parks. These sweet lives cut short, when Our Family and other couples like us would give almost anything to love and care for them.
Two books she mentioned as wonderful resources are Orphanology and Orphan Justice - which can be found here.
Sarah , one of the ladies in the class is currently raising funds for an Adoption with a T-shirt sale. Visit her blog Here to learn about her journey.