Well, this is my first blog entry. Yes, the first ever! And what a wonderful topic to kick off with…orphan care. This week, Focus on the Family hosted over one hundred organizations on our campus to discuss how we, as the Christian community, can do more to help children. Do you know that Christians have a rich tradition of being involved in community outreach?
The most vivid example for me was during the Roman Empire, when a small group of Christians, numbering about 3% of the population, began to save babies from the river. Women with unwanted pregnancies dealt with the situation by giving birth and then discarding their babies into the river. Christians would stand along the reeds and snatch these babies from certain death and raise them as their own. I have heard that these Roman Christians were accused of growing their numbers by taking these unwanted children. That their motivation was simply to grow the church, not compassion for the children.
Some things never change Well, a reporter from the LA Times hit me with a similar question. In essence, she said, “Do you think it is appropriate for these (Christian) families to adopt a child and then force their faith upon the child?” What a ridiculous question! I responded by saying, “I was an orphan, after losing my mom and dad at a very young age, and Christian men mentored me to make good decisions in life.” Her comment suggested to me that Christianity was a disease to be avoided, even if you are an orphan in need of a home!
Well, let me just say, thank you Lord for your compassion expressed through YOUR people for others and for me. Christians were the first to start hospitals, hospices, orphanages and many other social efforts. I am not ashamed of being a Christian and following the wonderful example of those that have gone before me. Nobody can force Christianity upon another person. One must believe in Jesus Christ with his or her heart. It is a choice that God provides to us. Reaching out and helping someone is not “evil” as some may want you to believe…it is Christian.
We are hoping that we can help families consider adoption, foster care or mentoring as a means of reaching out from the river banks to catch a child from the current of life. Being there for someone, valuing life and helping those around us is what Dr. Dobson has done, and continues to do, here at Focus on the Family. Visit our web site at focusonthefamily.com