Orphan Sunday

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beth_africa Today, on Orphan Sunday,  we have the chance to celebrate all the ways God is reaching his kids!  Circumstances of relational brokenness, financial poverty, natural disasters and widespread illnesses have brought them to this point, but God doesn’t leave them there. He is coming for them, lifting them up, defending their cause, making them a home, inclining his ear, and executing the dozens of promises he has written for them.

Here are twenty-two ways you can celebrate Orphan Sunday in your home this year:

  1. Pray. Pray for a country, an age group, or a gender. Pray for their health, their friendships, and their futures.
  2. Sponsor a child. Consider our child sponsorship program and bring a child into your extended family. As Andy Stanley says, “Do for one what you wish you could do for all.”
  3. Study. What is the latest on the orphan crisis? Google it. How many kids are there in the world without a family? What are their current challenges?
  4. Consider investing an hour or two in a “Lemonade stand”. Whether you have a bake sale, a car wash, or a garage sale, think how you might be able to use your sweat equity to benefit the fatherless?
  5. Have a conversation with your family, what does it mean to live in a world with orphans? What is God asking of us? Create some questions to discuss at dinner.
  6. Look up an adoption agency online. Most agencies have a waiting child photo listing. Scroll past the pictures and pray for the waiting children. Is there anyone you might be able to forward the link?
  7. Talk to an adoptive family. What are their needs? Are they waiting for their child? How is their funding coming along? Is their child home? How might your family gift them with needed resources? Prayer? Babysitting? A meal?
  8. Take a meal to a foster family; there are 400,000 kids currently in foster care. You might not be able to care for their child, but you can always bring them a meal.
  9. Contact your county’s local children’s services, and ask what it is they need. It might be networking, a professional service, advocacy or a particular item. You’ll never know until you ask.
  10. Take fifteen minutes and look up God’s promises to orphans. As you read God’s word, ask him to share with you how you participate with him in this mission.
  11. Make a special financial gift to either your local church to support their efforts for the orphan or to Back2Back. Share your resources with fatherless children.
  12. Think about the upcoming Christmas season, how might your family bring some Christmas cheer to kids? Use our gift catalog to find needed tangible items you can share with kids around the world. Link to gift catalog.
  13. Reach out to a missionary and encourage them on this day. Send an email, a message over social media or a care package. They would love to know you are thinking of them!
  14. Post, tweet, and activate your social networks, let them know how you are using this day to pray and sacrifice for the fatherless. Should we offer them something here to re-tweet?
  15. Read a book, about orphan care. We have several recommendations. Send us a message at info@back2back.org and we’ll shoot you a bibliography.
  16. Sign up for a mission’s trip. We have openings in 2015 in Mexico, Nigeria, Haiti and India. Link to missions trip page.
  17. Ask your church if you could put something in your bulletin, a sign in the bathroom, or something on your church website, raising awareness of the plight of the orphan. Download some samples here.
  18. Volunteer to share in your church’s children ministry, it’s a great opportunity to sow seeds into the next generation. Here are some ideas of things to talk about.
  19. Contact your local school and ask what school supply or clothing needs your local foster kids might have. Can you sponsor an upcoming field trip?
  20. Watch the fifteen-minute film, 163,000,000 and discuss it as a family. (Link)
  21. Many counties link foster youth with a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). A CASA serves as advocate and ally for the child as the courts determine what is best for him or her. Learn more at www.casaforchildren.org.
  22. There is an all-volunteer alternative to the foster system, volunteers can provide temporary homes, support these host families, and also aid birth families. More at www.safe-families.org.

However you spend this day, please know we are grateful for your joining in this work!

Blessings,

Beth Guckenberger

Beth Guckenberger

Beth and her husband, Todd, live with their family in Cincinnati, Ohio where they serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. After graduating from Indiana University with degrees in education, the Guckenbergers moved to Monterrey, Mexico. Since founding the international arm of Back2Back in 1997, they have hosted thousands of guests on the ministry campus. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, they have raised ten children. Beth is the author of Reckless Faith (Zondervan, 2008), Relentless Hope (Standard Publishing, 2010), Tales of the Not Forgotten (Standard Publishing, 2012), Tales of the Defended Ones (Standard Publishing, 2013),Tales of the Ones Led Out (Standard Publishing, 2014) and Tales of the Ones He Won’t Let Go (Standard Publishing, 2014). Beth is the author of Reckless Faith (Zondervan, 2008), Relentless Hope (Standard Publishing, 2010), Tales of the Not Forgotten (Standard Publishing, 2012), Tales of the Defended Ones (Standard Publishing, 2013),Tales of the Ones Led Out (Standard Publishing, 2014) and Tales of the Ones He Won’t Let Go (Standard Publishing, 2014).Beth is the recipient of the the 2013 International Network of Children’s Ministry Legacy Award and the Cincinnati Christian University Salute to Leaders Award for her and Back2Back’s impact on children internationally. She travels and speaks regularly at conferences, youth gatherings and church services. Her style is based in story-telling and she draws from her vast field experience as a missionary and parent of nine children for illustrations of biblical concepts.