Orphan Sunday in Guatemala, A Movement in Ukraine

Although this blog often notes how robustly God is stirring hearts for adoption and orphan care among American churches, this phenomenon isn’t bound by U.S. borders.  From Eastern Europe to Africa, expressions of a renewed awareness of the biblical call to “defend the fatherless” are taking light in the local church.

One of the most exciting expressions of Orphan Sunday 2010 came from Guatemala.   Lourdes de Morataya attended Summit in 2010 and was inspired by the breakout session on how local advocates can harness Orphan Sunday to raise awareness and action in their own church and community.  She took the vision back with her to Guatemala and ran with it.She translated many of the Orphan Sunday materials and designs into Spanish, then led a region-wide effort to challenge local believers to consider and act upon God’s call to care for orphans in their midst.   She wrote to us, “Orphan Sunday was an instrument of God to start a discussion among hundreds of Guatemalans of the need [for God to make us] into the voice of the voiceless.”  More than ten churches joined in hosting Orphan Sunday activities and Lourdes is already laying plans to expand efforts next year.

About the same time on the other side of the globe, pastors from across Ukraine gathered for a “Ukraine without Orphans” conference.  Alliance members Commission for Children at Risk and Compassion International, as well as one of Summit VI’s keynote speakers, Sergey Demidovoich, played key roles in drawing pastors and other church leaders together for this event.  The gathering highlighted how Christian churches, families and other institutions could play the central role in emptying Ukraine’s orphanages.  The conference also served as a launch pad for a Ukrainian Alliance intended to help lead this effort on ongoing basis.  You can seem more about what’s happening in Ukraine through this video.