Caring for Orphans & Widows
Orphans are children without fathers and also those without both parents, who are often found in life threatening circumstances because they are our most vulnerable people. The very most vulnerable are in hostile poverty stricken third world cities without either parent, where even children with their parents can be commonly sold into slavery or kidnapped. A widow’s vulnerability is determined by her age, health, financial resources, absence of friends & relatives, and relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Since orphans and widows are the people most vulnerable to various kinds of abuse, poverty, sickness, harm, and death, our heavenly Father told His people not to trouble them in Exodus 22:22, and later warned us in Mal 3:5 about His possible swift judgment for those who oppress them. But evil people do not normally care for any orphans or widows (Isa 1:23), only God’s people of integrity seem to care for them (Job 31:16-18; James 1:27).
Are we as committed Christian followers of Christ not told to meet the most urgent needs of people in Titus 3:14 NASB? This would surely appear to cover caring for the orphans and widows. The present existence of 163 million orphans globally indicates our state of spiritual fallenness. Matt 25:40 says that our level of care for people is in fact our level of care for Jesus Himself. Luke 16:10, Acts 10:35, and 1 Jn 3:7 suggest only those who do righteousness are righteous, which would seem to include loving our own people, very likely the orphans and widows first – not last.
If we can’t love an orphan, can we really love anyone? When we are living for Jesus, cooperative, and have God’s help, yes we can love everyone we are called to love in ways that make a real difference for them and us. Heb 10:26-39 NASB suggests we as Christians are to live by faith, be willing to suffer for Christ and others, and to not shrink back from doing so during our lifetime. Many Bible verses suggest we should be willing to sacrifice and suffer for other people just as Christ gave us example of doing (Isa 58; Matt 16:25; Mark 13:13; Luke 14:27; John 6:54; 10:15; Rom 12:1; 13:8; 2 Cor 5:15; 1 Pet 4:13).
Many Christians once knew that new testament disciples of Christ for some time both sold and shared their surplus possessions of most things to the point that they had some degree of equality in most of the physical things they possessed because they did not consider these things as belonging to themselves but as belonging to our Lord (Luke 14:33; Acts 4:32-37; 2 Cor 8:5-15; Phil 3:8). So we have gathered enough truth herein in these scriptures to give us some real tools to use in learning how to care for our orphans and widows, to also care for one another, and then be blessed accordingly.
There are three primary ways of taking care of orphans found among orphan care Christian ministries globally. They are institutional dormitories or orphanages, staffed group homes, and family managed homes. The family managed homes include adopting homes, foster care families, and employed family models. One combination model constructs dormitories onto local church facilities that it has fostered, and places five orphans with each widow it houses in the dorm creating family nurturing environments. When the dorm is both physically and spiritually attached to or in communion with a local church body, it can establish an example of Christian living in many ways.
Child sponsorship ministries have raised extensive orphan support globally for many years. When this is done with only one sponsor per child, it has been highly damaging to orphans when the single sponsor drops out and is not immediately replaced by a new loving sponsor. Using three sponsors for each orphan can solve this and allow each sponsor to care for three orphans at once. Each child can have more care, and any dropout sponsors can be rapidly replaced with less harm. The widows with orphans model could even accommodate 10 orphans per two widows or per two widowers in one adequate residence. Sponsorship like infrastructure produces too much human care and financial support to be abandoned.
True Christian spiritual community remains more valuable than ever for learning to live out our faith in Christ during these last days. We as children of light can be caring solutions in using our dedication, infrastructure provision, innovation, sustainability, and combined strategies. Contact RMS Ministries for any information beyond what is found on our web site.
[email protected] or at 319-830-1809. www.rmsm.org