There’s nothing better than gazing straight into eyes sparked by love – whether love they’ve just received or love they are now passing forward.
But a close second to that joy is to hear the stories of such love. And that’s the great pleasure that all of us who help encourage and strengthen a vision for the Church & orphan care around the world get to experience time and time again.
We hear the stories of love newly received: a deepened grasp of God’s deep love for each of us. And we hear the stories of love being given as God’s people act in response to His care for the orphan.
Here’s one of those stories, described by Jodi Jackson Tucker. It’s just a glimpse from one of the 64 countries that celebrated Orphan Sunday this year. The story also reminds of the kind of giving love that is at the heart of Christmas itself:
This report comes from our new volunteer coordinator for Botswana, who is aptly named, Pastor Beauty BogwasPastor Beauty organized the first observance of Orphan Sunday in that nation, and it found expression through the church members going into the community to bless and serve local families caring for orphans.
The church collected items such as clothing and school supplies to share with these children, and had the most needy families identified by a local social worker.
After a service focused on the meaning of James 1:27, a team from the church went out with the worker and visited families, including a family where the mother passed away in 2010 leaving five beautiful girls to be raised by their oldest sister, age 16. Along with the girls is also a little brother, now age 5, who was only two weeks old when the mother died.
Beauty explained, “They get a food basket from government but they have no clothes, and some of them walk barefoot.”
Another family the church visited consists of a brother and sister who are living inside a bar during the day, exposing them to a host of dangers.
In total, the group from the church visited six families, including widows and orphans. This very tangible expression of Orphan Sunday, ministering directly to orphans right in the community, provides a compelling example of James 1:27 in action, not just words.
Beauty summarized it this way: “Celebrating Orphan Sunday opened our eyes to the true gospel of Jesus Christ and showed us how we can be relevant as the feet and hands of Jesus. It also taught us how cheap talk is. It helped us know our community better and take steps to participate in the community…. As a church we are going to be helping these families in the best possible ways. Thank you Orphan Sunday for a great vision!”
No, thank you Beauty for your servant leadership. And to all of our hundreds of coordinators like Beauty around the world, we say thank you also. Your faithfulness is our inspiration!