I know there is a lot of debate as to when Life begins. We are all fitfully and wonderfully made. God knew us before we were in the womb as our spirit comes from him to fellowship with Him. You might guess from that opening that I am not pro choice on that issue. There is a choice that God is in favor of and leaves up to us all and that is as to whether we will follow Him or not.
Life never has been the life of Riley or a bowl of cherries. Pick anytime in history and you will see the location might be different however life was not easy.
Farmers did not always have the large tractors, combines, other tools of today. They had their hands, their backs, and long days working in the fields for six days. Sundays were set aside for the worship of the one who gave them their life and crops.
The neighbors who were farmers, cattlemen, and shop keepers worked together and helped each other in time of need. There were no government programs waiting for them when they hit the shores of this new world and none in the old world from which they came. The first meeting houses were the churches. The locals came together to govern themselves. They fought the fires together and had barn raising events to build or rebuild helping their neighbor.
When our country expanded westward it took hardy souls to cross the vast open lands with few possessions in a covered wagon. Those hardy souls traveled in groups called wagon trains in order that they could help and receive help when needed.
We were designed to fellowship and part of the fellowship is helping each other.
We were designed to form and live in family units, a Dad, a Mom and children. The family unit is under attack however that is a subject for another time.
This time I want to focus on when Dad and Mom are longer in the picture, such as when they both have died and the children survive. Upon the parents death the children are left behind with the pain and trauma of the loss and rudderless. A ship without a rudder on the open seas is in grave danger.
We are called to care of widows and orphans. When that was written widows were defined as women over 60 who did not have children. At that time and often times today children take care of elderly parents. It was thought that younger widows could remarry.
That still leaves orphans.
Children left without parents or family members to take them in are on their on and vulnerable to perverts and slave masters who exploit them. Orphans who end up living on the streets may do anything to eat or obtain acceptance. Too many children are bought and sold by perverts and sex traffickers, sometimes multiple times a day.
Children with families are much more likely to have their medical and mental health issues taken care of. Orphans living on the street on the other hand could spread or die from various illnesses without the care they would receive through their family. Orphans living on the street could experience psychotic episodes as a result of untreated mental illnesses.
There are children who for various reasons end up in Foster Care. Children who are in Foster Care have more opportunities in life if the Foster Parents have a heart for the Foster Children. Sadly, there are reports of various abuses in the Foster Care program as well.
Unfortunately, some parents have been known to abuse their own children. In that case both the parents and the children need help with the issues resulting from that abuse.
I have notice that there are many adoption agencies, many of them private, who will endeavor to match eligible families with children waiting to be adopted. Some people have traveled to other countries to adopt children.
Where do those children come from?
With the economy getting worse we’ll see families getting into tougher straights than before. In the Great Depression some families offered to sell some of their children so the rest could survive. We know some people today ‘rent’ their children to pay for drug debts.
There are many successful people who had some pretty rough lives growing up. Some of those successful people who had rough lives were adopted into loving families. Yes, they did well despite circumstance beyond their control. Here is one example. There is the only one Eagle Scout to ascend to the Presidency. He is also the only future US President to tackle a future Heisman Trophy winner when he brought down running back Jay Berwanger. I am writing about the 38th US President, Gerald R. Ford.
What I don’t see many of is Orphanages who will take in children and provide them with their physical, medical, and spiritual needs. I have found Christian organizations that will provide support for adoptive families and Orphanages. I think is time that churches answer the call and open and operate Orphanages.
Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) http://www.narrowpathministries.org and http://www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org