A good friend and member of the Alliance’s Church Orphan Ministry Advisory Council, Johnny Carr, has an op-ed on Ethiopian orphans in the Washington Post today.
The piece highlights the vast need, warning “the future of Ethiopia’s children is heading toward a crisis of epic proportion if measurable and immediate action is not taken.” But alongside this vast need, the article emphasizes where hope lies as well: not in big institutions, but in individual families and the local church.
The article describes a new project Bethany Christian Services is spearheading to care for orphans in-country. Like many of the very best orphan care initiatives of Alliance member organizations, this one is centered in local churches. As the article describes, “These are one-on-one relationships; essentially, the U.S. church provides the necessary financing for foster care and the Ethiopian partner inspires its members to help find families and develop loving, local communities. The two churches coordinate their efforts in a symbiotic fashion, working not only on adoption issues, but also any other missions projects that they wish.”
If this project proves successful, it will add one more vital model to the growing array of church-to-church partnerships that can be harnessed to address the global orphan crisis in a way that is both family-centered and saleable. In my view, response centered in the local church provides not only the best, but also the only, real promise of solution to the needs of orphans worldwide.