Our Missions Week in January focused on Defending the Fatherless, and many of us were challenged to face the gigantic world-wide problem of orphans and at-risk children and respond to this issue. Speakers and experiences forced our youngest students to those about to graduate to face the plight of so many children who do not have the incredible opportunities for education and care that we enjoy. Promoting Orphan Sunday (https://cafo.org/orphansunday/ or http://domingoparaelhuerfano.org/) is just one of the options we were given to personally do something to help those not having a parent or both parents to support them.
We all need to figure out how to bring a huge global issue down to a level where we can personally do something. I have some items checked off on my Missions Week commitment card, as far as Defending the Fatherless, but the biggest heart-tugger for me is supporting our daughter as she and her husband open their home to foster children. I am learning to be a long-distance grandma to children who need extra love and support. It is not easy to assimilate the complex situations of the children who are my temporary or more long-term grandchildren, who have been removed from their homes for a variety of reasons. The messy hurts of these children is not easy to comprehend, but loving them and supporting our daughter and son-in-law is part of my role now in Defending the Fatherless. Sometimes, it is giving advice about a discipline situation or encouragement, as our daughter seeks to love the children who have been placed in their home. Sometimes, it is listening to a nine-year-old’s poem or asking about his day over WhatsApp. Though the number and faces of our grandchildren change regularly, today we have five: one biological and four foster children. Each precious foster child has a story that forces me to pray, ask for healing, and hope for a brighter future.
As Christians, each of us needs to respond to the needs of the fatherless in our world, but our responses will vary according to our particular situations, personalities, stages in life, resources, etc. Just as all of our students and staff were challenged this past month to DO SOMETHING, I would ask: What is YOUR response to Defending the Fatherless? What can YOU do? What WILL you do?