Over the past several weeks, reports of Orphan Sunday around the globe arrived almost nonstop. Again and again I’ve found myself marveling at it all. Just a handful of years ago, Orphan Sunday was just a simple idea virtually unknown beyond its birthplace in Zambia. But every year since 2009 it has grown. This year, Orphan Sunday was celebrated in all 50 US states and more than 60 countries, from small prayer gatherings to massive events. You can get little glimpses of it all below.
What can one say but, “Thanks be to God”?
Of course, the acid test of what it all really means is what happens in the 364 days that follow. But seeing all the new awareness woken…the hearts roused…the vision spread, I can’t help feeling confident that God will grow the seeds planted on Orphan Sunday into trees larger and more fruitful than we can now imagine. Trees that will shelter and nourish orphaned and vulnerable children the world over for decades to come.
Please join us in praying for that future today.
Georgia was among several states with 5k Runs for Orphan Sunday to benefit orphan and adoption ministries.
Leaders across Uganda came together to celebrate Orphan Sunday in more than 1,100 churches.
History was made in Ukraine as the President and First Lady presided over a national prayer service for orphans that included the heads of the three major branches of the Christian Church.
Guatemala largest church – with more than 20,000 members – encouraged all Christians in Guatemala to wash the feet of orphans during November. Thousands of volunteers signed up to do so.
Churches across Philippines engaged concerts, prayer gatherings and special events, with a surge in participation this year.
Youth in Mexico came together to spend 30 days praying for orphans alongside projects to aid orphaned children.
In Benin, a simple meal of grain and fish put a smile on the face of many orphaned children.
At a local café in Massachusetts, all proceeds from breakfast after church services were donated to orphan care.
In Russia, a new Orphan Sunday site in Russian enabled many churches to access resources and plan events across that vast nation.
India was home to many special gatherings for Orphan Sunday, as community leaders renewed their commitment to addressing the needs of vulnerable children.
In Iowa, a Catholic Church held an adoption fair…and children were some of the most impactful volunteers.
In South Korea, events focused on the issue of abandonment and what the church can do to address the needs of these infants.
Latvia burst into Orphan Sunday for the first time with a nationally-televised prayer day that included the leaders of the Lutheran, Catholic, Orthodox, Methodist, and Pentecostal Churches and the Salvation Army…all making a renewed public commitment to be God’s answer for Latvia’s orphans.
Green Acres church in Texas hosted the reality-TV family The Duggars in their special services for Orphan Sunday.
In Zimbabwe, worship and prayer across numerous churches called families to foster and adopt.
One beautiful image seen worldwide this year was the Orphan Sunday ONE t-shirt taking shape in many languages and cultures. It reminded that amidst the world’s vast need, it only takes ONE caring individual to change ONE child’s forever.