Saturday, May 5, 2012

Orphan Summit VIII

I've spent the past two days in sunny California (although it's been a little chilly :-) at Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church for the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit. What an inspiring, move you to action, make you laugh, make you cry, make you fight for the orphan even more, kind of Summit! It's been awesome!

 Love being in California!
 First time to Saddleback!
 Rick Warren is the man!!
 Such a heart for God at this conference to end the orphan crisis!
 Enjoyed seeing Francis Chan and hearing his heart for the orphan!
 Ran into some of my past mission trip friends, Alida and Brittany, my CA gals! I love having friends all over the US thanks to our mission trips!
I also ran into Phil and Shari Chapman from Illinois! Phil is leading an OH team to Ethiopia this summer. You guys traveling on Phil's team are in for a treat! He is gonna be a great team leader! They adopted two from ET themselves. Their older little buddy they adopted was one we advocated for and are so thrilled he now has his forever family. He's now a rockstar athlete too, btw. :-)

There is so much to share from this conference I will have to do another blog post to tell it all. Some key highlights are.....

Let's not build more orphanages....Let's EMPTY them!  (that really spoke to me)

Grace must be touchable! When we love the orphan we make the gospel visible. 

Touchable grace becomes costly, leaving the comforts of your daily life, reaching outside your comfort zone to help a life in need. 

Abstract grace spends most of it's time trying to get others to do good things and never has to make a moral decision. 

End the orphan crisis, don't work on it!

One HUGE thing I'm walking away from this conference with is a heart ready to do more to move those of us in America toward the foster care children who sit and wait for families. Be expecting more awareness to come from OH for the foster care children! They are out there, there are over 100,000 of them READY for adoption......and it's free and you get government support to care for them. Why are we not doing more? If we could ever end the orphan crisis anywhere, we can start in America. There are over 300,000 churches and 100,000 children needing to be adopted. Do the math! It's possible to find these children families if the church will step up and see God's heart for the orphan and children in need and do something to help. It's soooo possible! 

Is laying down you life for another easy? NO! Is it costly? YES! Is it worth it? YES! 

One other thing that spoke to me was talking about some of the hardships orphans and foster care kids go through before they reach their adoptive families. They come to us broken, sometimes with issues that need to be resolved. Sometimes we as parents get compassion fatigue. We must remember that We are called to LOVE THE MESS OUT OF CHILDREN. We as adults should be able to stand in the gap for them and absorb their trauma for them in order to start their healing process for them to walk in the destiny God has called them to. I will post more on compassion fatigue soon. It's real. We all get it at times. It's ok! We can press through!

I will leave you with this video about the life of Ryan Bomberger. He was one of the speakers. His life story speaks a million miles to women in crisis pregnancy, his love and appreciation for his birth mom whom he still has never met, and her choice for life!


  1. Another suggestion for you- advocate for refugee minors who come here displaced from their families. I don't know if there is a program in your area, but Bethany Christian Services in West Michigan works with unaccompanied refugee minors. They live in group homes & are largly "forgotten" kids. I just accepted a mentorship to an 18 year old girl from the congo. I'm soooo excited! It gives you the opportunity to become like family to them because they are completely disconected to their real family who may be out there somewhere in the world. ** Thank you OH for inspiring me!!!!

  2. I loved that video at the end and really want to hear more about foster care