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Andy and Jill Lehman family
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Let's do this!

I was recently reading one of our "lifesong family's" blog and came across this great post which talks about how we are all called to care for the fatherless... ALL of us.  That's some scary terminology right there... "ALL".  It doesn't leave much space for translation, does it.  But here's the reality.  God tells us specifically that...

Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we MUST care for orphans and widows in their troubles...

side note: this is NLT... i chose it cause it sounds the most urgent :) ...and rightly so!

Wow.  Now, I know we use this verse a lot in the orphan care scene, but stop. and really think about what that means?  Obviously we can't all adopt, but we can ALL come up with creative ways to advocate for orphans.  Brothers and sisters, it is what we as Christians are CALLED to do!  It is the purest form of our faith.  If we as Christian's don't rise up and change the way the world cares for its orphans... who will?  Boy, that's a scary thought, isn't it?

But how do we go about finding ways to advocate for orphans?  We do it through collaboration... through working as the body of Christ was designed to work.  We do it together.

In fact, (wink, wink) I even have something you can do now!  It doesn't involve thousands of dollars or a lifelong commitment to parent a child.  It doesn't even involve any planning or a lot of time!

Here's what you do... share with us your ideas.  Leave a comment... maybe about a ministry your church is involved in... or a family you helped support financially to adopt.  Maybe you have this aMAZing idea that has been just waiting to get out and be put in action.  Here's your chance!  Let's inspire each other to rise up on behalf of orphans!

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Reader Comments (33)

i know for me, i recently committed to sponor a child in aftrica that involves letter writing. it's so great to have a face and name! love the concept of us each playing our own individual part as we help build God's wall to defend the fatherless...

October 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterelizabeth

thanks, elizabeth! what a great and practical way to get involved!

a friend of mine came up with a really creative way to get involved. sadly we weren't able to do it this year (this one takes quite a bit of planning), but maybe next… the idea was this:

"Christmas in July"

So basically we wanted to get a group of local artists and restaurants to come together and donate some pieces and food to sell… set up booths… play christmas music… maybe some frozen hot chocolate with marshmallows :) then all the money raised could go to one of Lifesong's orphan care programs to give the kids a little out of season Christmas. fun, right?

as an artist AND a lifesong fan, i was really excited about this idea and hopefully will be able to use it sometime in the future!

Being a grandmother to 6 by blood, 2 by adoption, and 3 by foster care, I find that by supporting the mothers, I can do my part in caring for "orphans."

October 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma of 11

Good point, Elizabeth.

I hope a lot of people participate on this post because it would be really great to get some good ideas.

I have friends that have adopted and I think just being a support to them in spreading the word about the blessings of adoption.

Also, we often underestimate the POWER of prayer, but this is so important - even though it doesn't "look" like much :)

October 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah F

We have a precious lady in our church, (she will be 70 next year) who was recently convicted by James 1:27, as well as, other verses commanding care of the orphan. She asked me to find pictures of 40 foster children in our area and print them on a card with 10 sample prayers that could be prayed for them daily. Then she took those childrens cards to our churches "Keenagers" (senior citizens group) and asked them to begin praying daily for these children until they died. She told them their prayers would change these childrens lives and possibly even their destinies. She ran out of cards and we had to print some more. She calls this "heart adoption".

October 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBecky Lloyd

We are in the process of adopting. We have done two main fundraisers. One was a rummage sale that everyone is familiar with. A lot of people helped by donating but three people made a huge difference to us. One lady, Olivia, showed up on the set up morning and helped, one man, Jack, showed up and went and put out signs for us and one lady, Robbin, helped by showing up at the end to help pack up and haul off things. She worked so hard too. Those three meant the world to us! Even those who came to shop were wonderful encouragement to us.

The second fundraiser was a bowl-a-thon. Our current kids and some friends got sponsors and came and bowled with us. It was important to us to allow our kids to participate in raising the money for their new brother and sister. Most who came to bowl did not get sponsors but just came to encourage us. With the few who got sponsors we still raised $1,500. People helped us by sponsoring our kids or friends or coming to bowl. This helped us so much to feel encouraged and supported.

We also have several who have come to us to help us with our kids who will be staying in the U.S. while we travel. Helping with transportation or just phone calling or hugging them while we are gone is a huge help.

Challenge to others is to find a family adopting and see what ways you can help them get the word out or volunteer or donate. May our helpers be blessed beyond measure!!

October 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSonya

great ideas!

grandma of 11, i love the simplicity (though in reality i'm sure it's not easy!) of being available to the adoptive parents. what a ministry.

sarah f and becky l, it is so easy to underestimate the power of prayer, isn't it? but you're both right... prayer does change things. if only we understood how much, we might utilize this resource a little more. and what a cool thing for the lady in your church to begin... i love the power of generations praying for each other... young and old. she is leaving a powerful legacy!

sonya, isn't it amazing to see the body of Christ come together? what a great idea to have a bowl-a-thon to let the kids get involved... and fun too!

I love this...our pastor recently preached on this and put together a list of ideas FOR us which I loved. One of the things I started recently was "Shopping For A Cause". Not everyone can adopt, but everyone can support it. "Shopping For A Cause" is a list I put together of adoptive family fundraisers and different ministries that support widow and orphan care. My hope is that many families will use it to create their Christmas "wish lists" or to shop from for their friends and families. Not to mention, its nice having all your options right there in front of you ;)

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

We are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, and actually just this weekend had our BothHands service project. :)

I am actually trying to come up with ways to bring orphan advocacy into more of my community and friend's lives. I have been talking and praying with a friend about starting an adoption ministry at her church. Perhaps just having meetings every month or two with people to tell them more about adoption, and other ways that they can help.

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim Young

Leslie, I had to chime in when I imagined you saying the last post in a Bob Barker voice. :) I also wanted to say GREAT JOB on the "Adopt an orphanage" video.

I am actually really praying about a tangible way that the twins and I can raise money for orphans and widows. I was really feeling bummed one night that I am not "crafty" because I have seen a lot of people use their sewing or crafting ability to raise funds. However, God did bring to mind something I am good at...making GUACAMOLE and SALSAS. (So random, I know). I am currently pursuing fair trade items and researching local farmer's markets and hope to do this with my girls this coming Summer. All proceeds off the fair trade items willl go towards helping orphans and widows. The guacamole proceeds will go towards funding others adoptions. :)

I am having a hard time coming up with a catchy title for the business though. :) "Guacamole for Adoption" just doesn't cut it. ;) I would welcome anyone's creativity.

and I would love a LS t-shirt. ;)

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Gerst

Come to my blog to see what I'm doing:

Please check it out, and remember-- every little bit helps! I really want to help these kids!

Thank you!

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKit

Thank you for spurring others on to good deeds! Having been adopted from an orphanage myself, it's not surprising that we have chosen to grow our family through adoption as our first and only choice and are in the process of our fifth adoption. We don't fundraise or anything for our own adoptions. However, we do LOVE to give to other orphan ministries. You should see our boys clamor for the gift catalogues put out by World Vision, Samaritan's Purse and Gospel for Asia and the comments, "Dad, come on, just one more clean water well in India, please, please, please!" Of course we do the obvious, sponsor children through Compassion and World Vision, and fill up shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse Christmas campaign. Our children collect change to help friends pay for their airfare to pick up their adopted children. Our oldest son, 10 years, is in his second year of candle making. All year long he saves money to buy the wax (and other supplies) and each fall he chooses a project. He spends HOURS making candles. 100% of the candle sales go to that project. This year he's chosen the Africa Children's Choir and his goal is $1,000. We live in a small town but he's already managed to sell over $700 worth of candles and his project doesn't end until Christmas. The Africa Children's Choir themselves is a wonderful example of other ways to care for the orphan and widow. Widows, often ostracized in their culture become housemothers to a small group of orphans on the compound and the children are educated and empowered to remain in their country to give back and make a difference. We don't neglect the poor in our own community either. We give food and toys each year to the Salvation Army for distributing right here in our community. I am the volunteer coordinator for an outreach that provides baby supplies to teen mothers in our community, as well as toiletries and warm clothes to women in crisis. There's so much more but I'm beginning to think this is becoming more of a rant than actually inspiring others to good deeds so I'll stop! Many blessings on you and everyone who are Jesus' hands and feet to the world, Jennifer

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjennifer

This is totally not my idea, but my adoptive mom friend, Kelly. She did a fundraiser called "A Dollar for Hope and Joy" which was raising money for two older, special needs girls she was adopting. The idea was for people to give just $1 (though many of us gave more) and with all the people out there in the adoption community, church communities, family and friends, each giving a dollar, a huge amount of money can be raised to bring an orphan home. And what's a dollar to most of us? A cup of coffee at the local quick mart.

Another idea that's not mine comes from Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity ( Linny does these "Crazy Love" challenges every month or so. Some times, we are praying and fasting for orphans, for families in the midst of challenging adoptions, or other specific prayer requests. Sometimes, like just the other day, those of us who are adopting were giving the opportunity to link up and post our fundraising needs so that others could participate in our fundraisers if they felt led. There are some great fundraisers going on right now that can make good Christmas gifts AND help bring an orphan home.

For me, we are adopting again. #4. I use my blog to share not just my sweet little "Dumplings" but to advocate and post prayer requests for certain orphans that touch my heart. I just wish I had more than 15 readers so more people would see these sweet kiddos. :)

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKimberlie Meyer

If every church would sponser a child, or an orphanage, or even a whole city we could make a huge difference in the lives of orphans for Christ!

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

We are beginning an orphan care ministry at our church this month for the first time and pray that God opens hearts towards His children. As we introduce this idea to many Christians that have honestly never thought of adoption before we hope to begin with orphans in our own community. It is our desire to support our CPS workers and children in state custody as well as sharing our testimony about international adoption and the miracles we have seen God work in our lives through the adoption journey.

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuzette

We are currently on the waitlist bringing home 2 orphans from Ethiopia! Please pray for us financially and on this journey! Thanks and many blessings!

November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjill

We support a little girl in Ethiopia and having her picture printed out is such a reminder of how we can do with less to give her more. My kids have a glass jar and any change they collect goes in there for her. It's amazing how personal it becomes when you have a sweet face to pray for.

November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJackie mullis

Thanks so much for the great ideas! We are currently waiting for adoption laws to pass in Sierra Leone, West Africa, so that we can continue the process of adoption there. In the meantime, we are making trips to visit the orphanage and helping them financially as much as we can. We have been selling things in our house we don't need and racking our brains trying to figure out the best way to raise more funds. It will be a miracle from God when all of this comes together - we sure can't afford to do it on our own! :) I love it when others are supportive and practically serve those who are adopting and fostering. I think that even though raising money his hard - the real hard times come after the little ones come home and the new family needs ALL the help they can get. Providing needed furniture, clothing, car seats, helping with medical bills, providing dinners so mom can focus on kids instead of the kitchen, prayer, mowing their yard, getting their groceries....anything to give them extra time and a break!

November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJodi Widhalm

One way to help is to become a sponsor for a child in Africa. Adoption or helping to fund other adoptions is also a great way. Think about joining (or starting) an Orphan/Widow care ministry at your church.

November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah King

I think the best way to help an adopting family is to just be there for them. Ask them their needs, encourage them. However, I also know that the financial aspect can frequently be the biggest barrier.

There are a couple things that come mind. One of the families at our church is adopting a girl from Ethiopia and recently had an raffle of sorts. She asked for donations from people (mostly crafty, homemade design folks) and created bundles of items. She posted each bundle in a separate blog post and you could buy a 'ticket' by donating to their adoption fund and then you placed your 'ticket'(your name and info) in the comment section under whichever bundle you wanted. She did a random number generator and picked winners at the end of the week. They raised a good amount of money for their adoption. You can see the full explanation on her blog here:

I also assisted my brother-in-law and his wife in their adoption of a baby girl from Ethiopia. I had received a small inheritance from my grandmother's passing. Since the money came from a death, I wanted it to go to a life. So I gave it to soon-to-be niece's adoption fund. Making my brother-in-law speechless (which never happens) is only second best to that little girl's smile when she comes home. :)

I've also heard of people selling ad space on blogs, selling t-shirts (some of which are really cute!), selling services (i.e. photography)or crafts, and connecting with companies who will give them a cut of the profits to benefit their adoption fund (i.e.

November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

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