After months of anticipation, Orphan Sunday is upon us! It’s nothing short of amazing to hear about the countless events planned across the U.S.: families gathering around “The Orphan’s Table”…small groups watching the “Answer the Cry” DVD and discuss its implications… entire churches rallying on Sunday morning…as well as Heart Gallery showings…concerts…student events…and so much more!
I’m especially excited to be flying out tomorrow for Sunday evenings’ “LIVE from Kansas City” webcast. The program will draw together Christians from around the world in guided prayer and worship for the fatherless. We’ll be joined by David Platt, Jon Egan of the Desperation Band, and Christian leaders piped in from Africa, Eastern Europe and Central America—as well as local Christians representing both the U.S. and other parts of the world. We desperately need to keep this movement rooted deeply in prayer…and this event will help us do that together across the globe!
Finally, I’m honestly thrilled about the ways Orphan Sunday is taking root worldwide. As best we know, Orphan Sunday events will happen in at least 24 countries this year. The idea of Orphan Sunday initially came from Africa to the U.S., and is now echoing back across the seas! See below a few of the reports that have come in recently from friends around world:
Southern Africa: Twelve churches are partnering with [Alliance member organization] Forgotten Voices to put on Orphan Sunday events in Zimbabwe and Zambia. They are so excited and have been discussing this in their churches and communities.
Philippines: We have well over 200 Orphan Sunday events going in the Philippines now, and are well on our way to 300. The Southern Baptist Convention and the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church have both issued strong written endorsements for Orphan Sunday and Adoption Ministry in their member churches. Many at recent pastors’ conferences were in tears as they learned about this vision, asking why they’ve never heard of it before!
Ethiopia: With the grace of the Lord we also managed to mobilize some of the evangelical churches in Ethiopia so that they can celebrate orphan Sunday on November 6, 2011. So far we got 8 Evangelical churches that are ready to celebrate orphan Sunday on the same day having the same purpose in mind.
Ukraine & Russia: This year, national believers in Russia and Ukraine have caught the vision for Orphan Sunday and are running with it. Over 1,000 churches in Russia and Ukraine are expected to spend November 6th focused on praying for and caring for orphans. [See this amazing MAP on the Russian language Orphan Sunday site of planned events!] We here in Ukraine are astonished by what God is doing. [Often, there is real tension between protestant churches and other denominations.] Today we learned that Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine (one of the largest denominations here, especially in the Western Ukraine) had developed a 2-page letter (!) about the importance of serving orphans and adoption that has to be read in all their congregations on Orphan Sunday. It’s an incredible, Biblically based text.