A CBN headline news story today opened a poignant window into last month’s Summit VI and the rising tide of Christian commitment to orphans. Commentary by Pat Robertson following the news segment, however, is likely to prod fierce discussion.
The news report by Charlene Israel captured well the spirit of Summit VI and the passion for orphans and adoption that surrounds it. (See here for a sampling of blog posts on Summit.) Along with other elements, it provided great snapshots of several of the adoptive families that attended Summit, including the Reynolds (the remarkable family interviewed on stage at Summit) and the Twietmeyer’s (another unforgettable clan, and the founders of Project Hopeful).
The report builds around the story of Tague and Lisa Harding of Lakeville, MN. The couple already had five children, the youngest ten, and had been anticipating the freedom of an empty nest. But on a mission trip to Africa, a concern for orphans budded into a sense of calling to adoption. A year and a half ago, they adopted two boys from Uganda, 3-year-old Phillip and 4-year-old Zachary.
Lisa Harding expresses what I’ve heard from so many adoptive parents in recent years: that the desire God stirred in them to care for orphans has most definitely not reached its completion in the adoption. Rather, they see adoption as one part of a life-long call to live out James 1:27. Speaking of their plans to attend Summit, Lisa expressed, “I’m excited about refueling what’s already a passion in us because this is not a period at the end of a sentence now that Philip and Zachary are in our house. Now, it’s what’s next?”
Just as significant, Harding’s words at the end of the interview capture the power of God’s intent in adoption and orphan care. It isn’t just about rescuing orphans; it is about rescuing self-absorbed Christian adults as well. Caring for orphans is a journey of root-level discipleship, because love for orphans transforms. As Lisa Harding concluded, “People have said, ‘Oh, aren’t they lucky, you rescued them from whatever. And I think, Are you kidding? I’m the lucky one. I get to be their mom. And I get to be daily rescued from my selfishness, and my impatience, and things that are just as disease-ridden in my soul.”
Controversy springs following the news report, however, as Pat Robertson adds personal commentary. See more in the next post…