As we’ve recently highlighted, one of the most exciting elements of Orphan Sunday 2011 is the way it is springing up in countries around the world, from Kenya to the Philippines to Guatemala. What an amazing catalyst for a global orphan movement! A report I just received from Cristi Slate and our good friends at the CoMission for Children at Risk just moved my excitement up a few more notches. Here it is:
I just wanted to take a moment to share with you some encouraging testimony of how God is moving in Russia and Ukraine. I love Eastern Europe– I met my husband in Russia, lived there for years, and am hoping to move back and raise my children there. That said, Eastern Europe can be dark and discouraging place to work (as I’m sure those who have ministered there can attest!). Because of that, I feel like it’s all the more important to share glimpses of light and encouragement when we have them! I love the phrase from CS Lewis, when he says “Aslan is on the move” in Narnia. I feel like we’re seeing God on the move among nationals in Ukraine, Russia, and other parts of Eastern Europe right now, and just wanted to take a minute to share with you and to encourage you to join Him!
You may have heard of the Orphan Sunday movement in the US (www.orphansunday.org), where local churches across the US have set aside Sunday, Nov 6th as a day to pray for orphans (many have a sermon on orphans, do a meal after church with the donations going to serve orphans, etc.) There’s also a national event that is live-streamed online and people can watch from wherever they are.
This year, national believers in Russia and Ukraine have caught the vision for Orphan Sunday and are running with it. Over 1000 churches in Russia and Ukraine are expected to spend November 6th focused on praying for and caring for orphans. Churches of many different denominations are joining together in a unifying desire to care for the orphans within their own countries.
I don’t know about you, but I believe that the true solution to the orphan crisis in Eastern Europe is going to have to come from national churches catching a vision to care for orphans in their own communities. A handful of national churches have already been doing a great job at this, but Orphan Sunday is a chance for far more churches to really catch the vision of God’s heart for orphans, and His desire for their involvement.
I’ve been so encouraged to see this grass-roots movement grow and expand, and I hope you have been too. I wanted to ask you if you’d consider two things:
1) Would you pray for the national church in Eastern Europe, that God would break their hearts for the fatherless.
2) Would you contact your national friends and partners in Eastern Europe and encourage them to participate in Orphan Sunday? Since Orphan Sunday is less than 2 weeks away, time is of the essence! So please take a moment to email or call them today.
Orphan Sunday Ukraine’s website and Resources for Ukrainian churches to use.
Orphan Sunday Russia’s website and Resources for Russian churches to use.
If you or any of your Eastern European friends do decide to participate in Orphan Sunday, please write me and let me know how it went at firstname.lastname@example.org!