5 Ways to Involve Your Family in Caring for Orphans

Because children learn best by example, there is no better way to teach them about God’s heart for orphans than by caring–as a family–about fatherless children.

Here are 5 ways we can lead our children by example.

1. Advocate

Let’s take every chance we get to demonstrate God’s heart for fatherless and vulnerable children. We can host a garage sale to raise money for children in need or start conversations that encourage others to think about the plight of the orphan. Let’s read books with our children about men like George Whitefield, who started an orphanage in 1740 for the express purpose of taking the Gospel and the love of Christ to fatherless children.

Basically, let’s choose to speak up and then encourage our children to do the same.

2. Pray

When we take time to pray with our kids before meals or at bedtime or during times of family worship, let’s remember to pray for orphaned children around the world–and not just in the most generic sense, though praying about orphans is always a good idea. If you’d like to add some specifics to your prayer or conversation, click on any of the 13 countries we serve to learn–at a glance–about the country and the children who live there.

Food for thought: Who better to talk to about orphans than the God Who promises to defend them?

Michael and Tiffany, a Lifesong family, recently brought their son home from China!

3. Mentor

As we care about kids around the world, let’s not forget to take interest in the fatherless children here in the United States. Though many (or even most!) of them are not orphaned, many of them still need the love and compassion of a family. On any given day, as many as 438,000 children sit in foster care around the country. Many of these precious children will spend years in foster homes or institutions. Along with them, our schools, churches, and communities are filled with vulnerable children who need a caring adult to take an interest. Let’s look for them and love them as Christ loves them.

Bottom line: Our children will take cues from us for how to love people from hard places. Let’s show them how it’s done.

4. Sponsor 

Let’s make sacrifices as a family to sponsor an orphan or vulnerable child. Sponsoring a child makes it possible for them to receive ongoing care in the form of food, clothing, medical care, and shelter–as well as Christian training, discipleship, and a quality education to provide a foundation for their future. See waiting children here.

Note: Adoption isn’t the only way to care for a specific child in need. Sponsorship is one of the greatest ways to support family preservation.

5. Give

Let’s give. We can designate a jar for spare change, or encourage our kids to host a lemonade stand or other fundraising effort. As a family, let’s donate the money to an orphan care ministry. Let’s reach out to local shelters or foster care agencies to see if they are in need of clothing or toys … and then encourage our children to give from what they have to help others.

Bottom line: Let’s encourage our kids to use their creativity to reach children in need. And then let’s pray that they take this compassion with them into adulthood where they can lead future generations to love the children who are closest to God’s heart.

“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.”

Psalm 82:3

Help another child become a son or daughter.