While traveling for the Alliance Board meeting, several other experiences added to my ever-growing sense that God is stirring hearts across the country to reflect His heart for orphans. I had the privilege of joining a gathering of the Middle Tennessee Alliance for Orphans. The group brings together a dozen or so churches in the region, each seeking to grow Gospel-centered orphan ministries, with emphases ranging from caring for orphans overseas to working with the state of Tennessee to engage Christians in foster care. The enthusiasm in the room was tangible as grassroots leaders shared their current initiatives and a huge diversity of plans for Orphan Sunday: from sermons and prayer gatherings, to recruiting of foster parents, to “Burritos for Beds” to raise funds awareness and funds for quality beds for overseas orphans, to the launch of a new church-based ministry.
Two days prior, I’d had the privilege of spending 24 hours with Michael and Amy Monroe. Between Michael’s work as a corporate lawyer and four energetic kids at home, the Monroes have every excuse to spend free moments hunkered down to relax or feathering their own nest. Instead, they’ve made their primary “leisure” activity leading together the Tapestry Adoption and Orphan Ministry at Irving Bible Church. They also help guide the Dallas-Fort Worth Alliance, which is a potent picture of what a regional Alliance can be—sharing not only information, resources and joint events, but also seeking to complement the work and services each other provides.
Finally, I enjoyed breakfast with an entrepreneur who seems to have squeezed 100 years of achievement into half that in both the business and political realms. Although he could likely sell his thriving business and live comfortably for the rest of his life, he shared his sense that God may be inviting him to devote his time and talent to serving Christ in the cause of the orphan. “Just retiring and playing golf would be a purposeless tragedy,” he expressed. “But there’s not much more compelling than harnessing everything I’ve learned to serve God in orphan work.”