Local Stories as Orphan Sunday Campaign Poised to Launch

Last year, more than 1,000 local churches held Orphan Sunday events.  Here are reports from twenty-five to get your wheels turning.  How will you lift a torch for the orphan this year?

  • We did the “Day in the Life of an Orphan” simulation as an all school Sunday school event, culminating with a cornmeal breakfast. It was really exciting to see people of all ages involved, adults experiencing it through the eyes of the children in their groups. (Faith Baptist, MN)
  • Showed the Orphan Sunday video and led the congregation in prayer.  Simple but meaningful. (Central Presbyterian, Merced, CA)
  • We had a slide show celebrating the 80 children who have been in our church this year through foster care…which was a direct result of our Orphan Sunday event of 2009. (College Heights Baptist, Casper, WY)
  • Our youth got together on their own and had a bake sale to raise money for orphans.  They have other plans to visit our local children’s home. (Atlanta Chinese Christian Church NW)
  • Our church dedicated 14 children that have been adopted this year (internationally and domestic).  We also celebrated with a family that our church has partnered with to build two bedrooms so they can complete an adoption for a sibling group.  (Grace Covenant, Cornelius, NC)
  • We had about 200 people attend the luncheon after the service. Already one of those couples have started the process to foster to adopt! Others are very interested in Safe Families. We’re going to keep it going!  (The Moody Church, Chicago, IL)
  • We raised $893.25 for Food for Orphans. (Crestmont Baptist, Burleson, TX)

  • 20 additional children sponsored in Ethiopia!

  • For our first, city-wide Orphan Sunday Concert we had at least 600 people show up.  We were encouraged by the turnout.  We had 20+ orphan care and adoption organizations at the event and many people visited each table and received information from child sponsorship to adoption.  We pray that God continues to work and call more families in Austin towards caring for orphans!

  • During the service, we periodically had children bring shoes to the front, placing them in a pile on the communion table. By the end of the service, there were 140 pairs of shoes (280 shoes) overflowing off the table and down the stairs. Each shoe represented one child that would be orphaned during our 70 minute-long service–VERY powerful!
  • A new Compassion ministry formed in our church!  My pastor said he would like to do this every year.
  • 120 kids and adult volunteers in our church participated in a food packing event with Change This World, and filled 4200 meals!  At night, we had a “Dare You to Move” Concert with Kristin Orphan and The Finally Home Band attended by 600 people.  I have never seen people linger so long after an event.  There was a lot of enthusiasm and excitement wrapped around the idea of caring for orphans in our community and around the world.  You can see some of the pictures here.
  • We took roughly 10 minutes during each service following the message to pray for orphans, waiting children, families and the Church.  And in both of our services, once our allotted time for prayer was over, we still had groups praying for these children.  Since last Sunday, several couples have spoken with our staff wanting more information about how to become foster or adoptive parents.
  • I had several families pledge to sponsor children that had never sponsored one before – praise God!!
  • For Orphan Sunday in San Luis Obispo, CA we held an awareness walk with close to two hundred people to pass out flyers on the streets.  I believe great seeds were sown and it was privileged to be a part. You can see a little video of it here.
  • …There has never been any teaching or preaching from the pulpit about orphan ministry or adoption, and little interest in Orphan Sunday events.  [But] this coming Sunday…Edgewater Christian Fellowship will have its first Orphan Sunday Event that is fully endorsed by church leadership and actually given platform time during a Sunday morning service.  Here is a video produced for it.
  • God used Orphan Sunday as a time of greater awakening in our church to His heart for the fatherless, the plight of these children, and the call to believers to care for them.  Just yesterday, a week after Orphan Sunday, someone came up to me at church and shared that they had three families to their home the previous week (at separate times) and talked with them about what God was showing them regarding the fatherless in large part due to Orphan Sunday.
  • Lots of interest in adoption and we were able to sponsor 12 orphans in Africa.
  • Mark Marshall, our pastor, was 110% on board and decided that his sermon would be about orphans and what God’s word says about caring for them.  His sermon was UNBELIEVABLE!!  We took our normal offering and in addition took a “love” offering which was above and beyond anyone’s normal giving.  We were hoping for $10,000 but weren’t sure if we would quite get there.  We have about 2,000 members.  We have been blown away by the funds that have come in already.  The number keeps going up, so who knows when it will plateau!
  • We had 45 individuals or couples sign up to join our Orphan Care ministry!
  • One lady was looking at ways to give financially and has started giving to 3 different [orphan homes] as a result.
  • We had a great response leading up to the event, and our nearly 4,000 members heard “God’s Heart for Adoption” in our morning services, and then we held our “Answer the Cry” event in the evening…
  • Our church is now raising $6000 to provide a clean water well for a village, and we are conducting a food drive a local children’s home.  Also, our senior pastor’s family had been praying about adoption.  This event has confirmed for them that they need to move forward.  They made the announcement on Orphan Sunday.
  • God had been moving on a number of families in our congregation with regards to orphan ministry and adoption and this event helped to galvanize the group. Through our time of intercession God solidified His calling on our people. We have now formed a group that is launching an orphan ministry in our church and establishing an adoption agency to serve our church network here in the MPLS/St. Paul area.
  • I have been involved in orphan advocacy for several years. It is predominantly a place where women speak and advocate. I was thrilled to see that, though I had asked adoptive families to share testimonies, except for one single woman, all the presenters were the dads. This was an exciting time to hear them speak up for children!