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Archive for the ‘Orphan Care’ Category

In celebration of November as National Adoption Awareness Month, Show Hope and Steven Curtis Chapman, along with Focus on the Family and FamilyLife, helped to lead the charge this past Sunday, November 8 – also known as “Orphan Sunday” – for a live event in Nashville with one goal: raising awareness of the more than 140 million orphans worldwide.

The webcast is now available here. Take some time to watch it and let us know if God is touching your heart to be part of what God is doing in Central Texas or around the world to care for the “least of these.”

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Our good friend Jason Kovacs (@jasonkovacs on Twitter) of Abba Fund (@abbafund on Twitter) recently did a post on their blog with updated global numbers regarding the orphan population.

True numbers are hard to get as there are many different definitions of what makes one an orphan. But at the end of the day, I’d rather not use the word orphan. To me, that dehumanizes the situation much like the word fetus does to an unborn child. These numbers represent little boys, little girls. It is someone that has been created by God. He or she has been created to do great things, God has great plans for them — until sin got in the way and disrupted those plans.

Here are a few of those statistics. Click over to Jason’s post for them all.

  • The most recent estimate is that there are approximately 145 million orphans in the world (UNICEF 2008). For this number, an orphan is defined as a child who has lost one or both parents.
  • More than 15 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS, over 11.6 million of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • In 2007 67.5 million Children in South Asia and East Asia had lost one or both parents due to all causes.
  • Included in the 2008 estimate of 145 million orphans are more than 92 million that have a surviving mother—-with whom they most likely live.
  • Approximately 15 million children are “double” orphans—growing up without either mother or father.  That’s about ten percent of the whole 145 million.

Each year, an estimated 20,000 young people “age out” of the U.S. foster care system. Many are only 18 years old and still need support and services. Several foster care alumni studies show that without a lifelong connection to a caring adult, these older youth are often left vulnerable to a host of adverse situations:

Outcomes
Earned a high school diploma         54%
Obtained a Bachelor’s degree or higher     2%
Became a parent                 84%
Were unemployed                 51%
Had no health insurance             30%
Had been homeless                 25%
Were receiving public assistance         30%

What’s your role in changing these numbers? It can be overwhelming to look at the 145 million number. I don’t think we can help 145 million children but we can look into the eyes of ONE child and say, “what can I do for you?” or to come alongside a young couple and say “how can I help you adopt?”

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This video was shown at the recent Catalyst Conference. Grab a tissue.

Catalyst 2009 Compassion Moment from Catalyst on Vimeo.

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I recently came across a blog post by Shaun Groves on the topic of God’s will for adoption entitled For The Few Or Almost Everyone?

You may remember Shaun as he joined us for a Sunday morning several years ago. He’s a singer/songwriter who is also a strong advocate for the fatherless and adoption.I just added his blog to our blogroll.

His post discusses God’s universal will, those commands that apply to everyone, the entire church versus God’s individual will, how He calls each of us uniquely. And the ultimate question Shaun asks is this: where does adoption fit? Is everyone called to adopt? I don’t believe so. Is everyone called to support those who adopt? Again, I don’t think so. (Shaun’s blog has a pretty big following as more than 50 people weighed in with their thoughts on the topic.)

But, is everyone called to live out James 1:27 is some form or fashion? I believe we are but would add that this can look dramatically different to each person.

Some will care for the single mother in their neighborhood, watching her children, bringing her meals, fixing her home. Others will go on a mission trip to provide care and hope to the fatherless in other countries while sharing the ultimate hope of the gospel. Others will financially support those who go. Others will bring a foster child into their home. Some will support someone in their small group who is adopting. And yet others WILL adopt.

To me, a member of Hill Country Bible Church, the question is this: are we, as a body of Christ-followers, characterized by our desire to broadly and individually support adoption and orphan care?

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The KidSave Summer Miracles program brings orphaned children from foreign countries to the United States to enjoy a five week summer visit with a family. These are older children, ages 8 through 13, who have little or no chance of finding adoptive parents in their own country.

Austin is currently hosting seven children (five girls and two boys) from Columbia. Click here to read more about these children. The Austin KidSave blog gives up-to-date information on their summer visit so far. While the boys are already in the process of being adopted, the girls have not yet found families. Listed below are several upcoming events that give prospective families an opportunity to interact with the children. For more information please contact Stephanie Karasick at stephaniekarasick@sbcglobal.net.

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Saturday, July 18, 11 am – 3 pm
Westlake Beach on Lake Austin   
Kidsave 10th Anniversary  Celebration – We especially hope previous host families and Kidsave invloved families can join us for this celebration
www.WestLakeBeach.com
This will be a bring-your-own meal and beverages event. Admission fee will be $8 for adults age 12 on up and $5 for children age 1 to 11.

Sunday, July 26, 2 pm – 4 pm
Bowling Event, Dart Bowl, 5700 Grover Avenue (512) 452-2518 (west of Lamar Blvd and just south of 2222).
Please RSVP to make sure we have enough lanes! Shoe rental donated by Dart Bowl and reduced Kidsave event rates of $7.50 per person for 2 hours of bowling.

Sunday, August 2, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Austin ‘s Park and Pizza, 16231 North IH-35 (Grand Avenue Parkway exit, near Pflugerville)
Video arcade games, miniature golf, go-karts, bumper boats, tea cups, Rio Grande train, laser tag, batting cages, indoor and outdoor climbing walls, pizza, pasta, salad, and soft drinks.

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