All posts in "Orphan care"

Divine Shelter Schools and John Waller!


Cross International has had the privilege of partnering with well-known Christian Recording Artist, John Waller (Fireproof Movie Soundtrack) to help raise support and awareness for the Divine Shelter Schools in Haiti. The schools provide educations and nutritious meals to devastatingly poor children. Check out some of the pictures from the trip! For more information on the Divine Shelter Schools, visit Cross International


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Photos of our God providing


Working day-in and day-out for a non-profit, I come across photos and stories that normally I would never see. Stories of families moving from small, makeshift shanties into sturdy concrete homes. Stories about children receiving food at school, and how that one meal is all they’ll eat that day. Stories about children being saved from cholera thanks to a new water system being put in place. I don’t say this to boast about the work that we’ve done, I say it to remind myself that the world is so much bigger than the small problems we face in our lives on a day to day basis. And our God is mighty and awesome, never letting anything happen without his permission. Check out some of these photos of God providing, and celebrate with me the power of our God.  – Briana B.


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The Gospel, discipleship and orphan care


Care for orphans is mercy at its most poignant, no doubt. But every act on behalf of the orphan also proclaims the Gospel, revealing to a watching world the heart of the God who “sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:5-6); it re-tells the story of the God who pursued and adopted us when we were destitute and alone. A passion for orphans also plunges believers into discipleship as well.   To care for orphans in any meaningful way most always requires personal, sustained involved in the life of a child.  In the process, we are drawn beyond a comfortable religion of self-actualization to a costly but vibrant faith; and there we encounter Jesus Christ as never before in the need, sorrow and beauty of the orphaned child. – Jedd Medefind, President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans via CatalystSpace.


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The concerns of child sponsorship


Good input from Chris Horst of Hope International on the pluses and minuses of sponsoring children overseas. Since you are reading this, I’m assuming you know the positives. Here are some concerns: Child sponsorship can undermine the role of parents. Child sponsorship can have the same impacts of a bad welfare system. Child sponsorship can inadvertently send the wrong message and yield an unhealthy relationship. Many of these programs are wrought with fraud. These programs can foster jealousy and encourage dependency. The points are fleshed out more here. Full disclosure:  Cross International does NOT have a child sponsorship program.


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Adoption caution, part 2: More than good intentions


Here’s a follow-up from an earlier post, illustrating that compassion and good intentions are not sufficient elements in helping the poor: PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – A group of 10 American Baptists were being held in the Haitian capital Sunday after trying to take 33 children out of Haiti. The church group, most of them from Idaho, allegedly lacked the proper documents when they were arrested Friday night in a bus along with children from 2 months to 12 years old who had survived the catastrophic earthquake. The group say they were setting up an orphanage across the border in the Dominican Republic. Full AP story (via OneNewsNow) here. Cross International has many years of ministry experience in Haiti, and works with churches and missions (and orphanages) already on-the-ground. For more about our efforts, go here.


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Adoption caution: Haitian orphans


Good word here from Together for Adoption about Haitian orphan adoption: Given the current situation in Haiti, here is my question to those who are interested in adopting a child from Haiti: “How long are you willing to wait to give a Haitian orphan a home?” My concern is that our compassion for Haiti’s orphans, our desire to give them a home, won’t have the necessary patience (endurance) to see it through. What Haiti’s orphans need once adoption opens back up is Christians who have gospel-endurance. Also see the very fine book When Helping Hurts (Moody). Wisdom should guide our compassion and actions, all of which should bathed in prayer and washed in God’s Word.


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What orphans need


Borrowing from another good post by Dan Cruver of Together for Adoption over at The Gospel Coalition blog. In short, orphans need Christians who fully understand that God’s pleasure in them is equal to the pleasure He has in Jesus: When Jesus was about to go public with the mission of God, his Father declared over him, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). As Scripture makes clear, Jesus had been sent to fulfill the Father’s mission to redeem humanity and renew creation—which includes, by the way, the removal of the word “orphan” from the human vocabulary. The Gospel writers tell us that God’s Son went forward with the mission of his Father in the strength and knowledge of his Father’s delight (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22). What orphans need are churches that are full of people who wake up each morning hearing and rehearsing these amazing words that are declared over them. “You are my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased. Yes, you were once without hope and without God in this world, but I have brought you near by the blood of Jesus. I have embraced you in the Beloved. Live in my love as you move out in mission.” Full post here and worth the read.


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A sense of exile


Dan Cruver of Together for Adoption has a good series of posts on why the gospel is central to caring for the widows and orphans in their affliction (James 1:27). His conclusion from “Caring for Orphans While Soaked with a Sense of Exile“: The gospel takes those who are marked with a deep sense of exile, frees them from the “need” to self-medicate, and moves them out to serve the orphan, the widow, and the marginalized. Only by the power of the gospel can we do the self-sacrificial work of caring for orphans while soaked with the sense of exile. Read how a ‘sense of exile’ is crucial to adoption from the whole post here. Thoughtful and worth the read.


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Day of Hope – WFRN Radio, Elkhart/Indiana


Would you please pray for me the next few days? I’m planning to be on-air in Indiana (Elkhart/South Bend) at WFRN Radio raising awareness and funds for Cross International. Our focus will be providing for critical care orphans and children in Mozambique, Africa.  Only $68 provides food, clothes, preventative medical care, educational expenses, or other basic needs of one child for an entire year. Many of these kids have been orphaned by the African AIDS epidemic. To stream WFRN live during the broadcast (Tuesday & Wednesday), go here. Read the story here of 16-year-old Sandra and her siblings – ages, 12, 10, and 6. To support one child for an entire year for $68, go here. Thanks.


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Free benefit concert – this weekend!


If you’re near Tallahassee, Florida this Saturday… …please come out to the Cross International Benefit Concert hosted by Fisher Creek at Grace Baptist Church in Crawfordville, FL. Three bands, no tickets or cover charge, with food available for purchase. All donations support African orphan partners of Cross International. Details here. Facebook event page here. MySpace page here.


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