The national radio program BreakPoint tomorrow centers on Orphan Sunday and the growing orphan care movement — featuring an interview with CAFO President Jedd Medefind.
Here’s the start of the well-written article from BreakPoint co-host John Stonestreet:
This Sunday is Orphan Sunday. But caring for orphans has been a part of the Church’s DNA from the very beginning. And it’s one of our best Gospel witnesses.
It’s hard to imagine a more precarious existence than that of a newborn child in the Roman Empire. Infant mortality rates were so high that parents avoided becoming attached to their children until it became clear that they would survive infancy. Well, at least those children whose parents weren’t hastening their deaths in the first place.
In Roman households, the oldest living male, known as the paterfamilias, Latin for “father of the family,” literally held the power of life and death over newborn children. After a child was born, the midwife would place him or her on the ground. If the paterfamilias picked up the child, he or she lived. If not, the child was subjected to what was called exposure, left outside to the elements and animals, and abandoned.
Of those who were abandoned, the fortunate ones were saved from death and made slaves. The others died.
This was the brutal world into which Christianity was born—and Christianity brought this brutal practice, and many others, to an end.
This weekend on BreakPoint This Week, I’m joined by Jedd Medefind, president of the Christian Alliance for Orphans. Jedd reminded me that Christian solicitude for the fatherless is as old as the Bible itself. To cite only one example, Isaiah 1:17 exhorts the people of Judah to “defend the cause of the fatherless.”
And so one of the things that distinguished the early Church from its pagan neighbors was the way it cared for children—all children, both newborns and orphans….
You can read the full article and stream the interview on the BreakPoint website, or hear it on the many radio stations that carry BreakPoint.