Christianity Today carries a fascinating article on giving trends among evangelicals—a theme previously noted on this blog. Along with other highlights, it describes the way that adoption and orphan care have risen dramatically in recent years as a vibrant expression of Christian giving. It’s further confirmation of the expanding response to God’s call to care for the orphan, and evidence of how the united efforts of all of the members of the Christian Alliance for Orphans are ultimately growing a true movement. The article describes:
And not all small charities are facing shrinking donations. While [some] saw decreases, ECFA noted significant increases in giving to child sponsorship (up 24.3 percent), orphan care (up 20.5 percent), and adoption (up 14.7 percent) in 2010. [The ECFA’s Dan] Busby believes the changes are due to the varying levels of promotion such causes received among churches and nonprofits. Giving to specific causes usually parallels awareness, he said.
I believe there’s a far great catalyst of this reality than advocacy alone. It is God, rousing His people to the “pure and faultless religion” described in James. But it is also heartening to see the good fruit that comes when Christian organizations–instead of working in competition with each other–join together as they do in the Alliance to inspire and equip the Church for a compelling, biblical vision: to care for the orphan in distress.
To be clear, we should never pit one biblical calling against another—the Church should be at the forefront of addressing all areas of brokenness, from prisoner reentry to global disease. (It should be noted that most all such issues, in fact, are related in some way to the plight of the orphan as well). Yet it thrilling to see the Church increasingly re-capture a unique identity it has had since its earliest days—as a people who take special care for the orphan.