Have you heard of Orphan Sunday? On Sunday, November 6, numerous events nationwide and across the world were held to advocate and lend voice to the needs of orphans. These events were locally-led by churches or individuals, varying from sermons and small groups, concerts and prayer gatherings, to shared meals and activities. The purpose of Orphan Sunday is to highlight God’s call to care for the orphan, and challenge us to consider what we can do in response.
You can find more info and links regarding Orphan Sunday here.
I hosted a small charity brunch to raise funds for World Orphans, during which we made Christmas cards. Given my usual state of disorganization, I didn’t get around to sending out invites until just 2 weeks prior. Nevertheless, there was a good handful of wonderful ladies who came and contributed. It was a simple and fun way to raise additional funds to go towards building a multi-purpose facility that a church in Nicaragua could use as a safe haven for children in the community to hang out.
As we made Christmas cards, I was reminded to look past the sparkle and glitz of the holiday season and focus on why I celebrate Christmas. To ponder hope, not just for me but also for the orphans. These cards remind me to “rejoice”. Do I really believe in the incredible salvation that comes humbly in the form of a baby in a manger? Or does my hope remain content within the comfortable confines of pretty lights and dressed-up gifts? If there is no hope for me and orphans alike, then I celebrate in vain.
Maybe I’ll get my act together and be a little more organized for next year’s Orphan Sunday. Or maybe there should just be more Orphan Sundays throughout the year. Such events do not need to be big and fancy. Even if each person held a small gathering amongst their own circle of friends to raise funds and awareness, the collective reach of the message and impact can be incredible. Take the chunk of money raised among just the handful of women that came together at our home yesterday and multiply it by 100. Hey, even I have more than 100 Facebook friends. That’s $20,000 that can be invested in the lives of others, simply by adding an additional purpose to something we enjoy doing together anyways. Like eating cozy breakfast foods, drinking coffee, and making Christmas cards.
Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
My friend, Joe Brandi, is the assistant pastor at the La Jolla/UTC branch of my church, Harbor Presbyterian. He works with World Orphans as the west coast director for mobilization. Check out his work here and here. I love his commitment and passion for these children. They need every voice they can get to speak on their behalf.
On a total aside, the delicious and totally bad-for-you french toast casserole I made for the charity brunch can be found here.
It’s only November. Nevertheless, I feel the urge to wish everyone Merry Christmas anyways!