There’s much talk and debate about orphans and what’s best for them after the recent earthquake in Haiti, We heard the same discussions after the tsunami a few years ago. In our house we are discussing several core issues on how we can best be used to illustrate God’s love for the poor. Some of the questions I have asked myself include:
- If they do allow them to come to US, should we try to help one? Why?
- What age is best? Why?
- What will be the financial impact to us? Can we afford another child? Why?
- Would we be better using those financial resources to support children left in Haiti through Compassion International? Why?
- Would it be better to focus on the One vs. the Many? Why?
- Are we really begin called to help a Haitian child (or children)? Why?
None of these are simple questions. There are no right or wrong answer, and what you feel we should do is irrelevant. What matters most is what God directs us to do.
For me the most important question above is: WHY? Why are we choosing to help in the way we do? What is behind our decision? I have to constantly check against pride. I have to make sure my motives are pure. You’ll notice that no matter what we end up doing, there is no wrong answer – only wrong motives. By being prayerful, honestly answering these questions, openly discussing how we all feel, and seeking counsel I am sure that God will provide the answers for us. They may not be the same answers for you. What’s important is that we help “the least of these” in a way that honors God.
How are you going to help Haiti’s orphans? Why?
The below article is a little bonus to helped give me some perspective.
Thomas Hale’s article titled True Religion.:
Rejected by his Nepali villagers, nine-year-old Krishna asked surgeon Thomas Hale to allow him to stay at the mission hospital.
I thought of the precedent it would set. We would be deluged with orphans the minute the word got out. Up until now we had been very careful not to get involved taking in unwanted children. Wasn’t it enough to have come to this place, to care for the sick until the y recovered, to feed them if they were hungry, and to pay their bills if they had no money? Did our Christian duty demand adopting them as well?
“Krishna, you must go home. Now.”
He burst into tears.
My decision had been right, but I was wrong. Krishna cried for a long time. Along with his tears, he poured out his heart to me – his fears, his loneliness, his longing for a hom and for affection. My mind went back to an evening some weeks earlier when I had haltingly tried to explain the meaning of James 1:27 to our Nepali Bible class: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” That passage, I learned, is (one of only two places) in the New Testament where the word “orphan” is used. The versa had not impressed me then; in fact, I had been unable to figure out why James defined, “pure and faultless” in such odd terms. As I sat there listening to Krishna, however, the verse began to take on a new meaning for me. It meant that if I were not ready to care for orphans in their distress, then there was something very wrong with my religion. Not being content with my exegesis of this verse, God seemed further to be asking me, “If you are not ready to care for this orphan in his distress, who are you ever going to care for?”