Christianity Today this month carries a brief but thoughtful editorial asking how Christians should respond in light of the painful complexity that is always involved in caring for orphans. “Four Powerful Ways to Solve the Crisis in Orphan Care” argues, “Despite fraud and scandal, resourceful evangelicals are meeting an urgent need.” It urges four specific responses which—although each deserves debate—serve as great jumping off points for thoughtful deliberation over how best to care for children who lack families.
The piece takes on one particularly controversial element head on: the place of orphanages in the spectrum of care for orphans. Both social science and Scripture affirm that God’s best for a child is a caring family. That goal should be our unequivocal priority. Yet the brokenness of the world puts family out of reach for some orphans, at least in the near future–which is all some orphans have if they remain on the streets or in abusive homes. Thoughtful observes may conclude differently than the article’s author on this issue, but its rare to find an article that seeks to affirm both of these seemingly opposing truths as this one does.