Sunday, May 13, 2012

Orphans and Mother's Day

The past two weeks have been C-R-A-Z-Y for the Bergey Bunch.

Brent, Alyssia and I flew to CA last week for an amazing Orphan Conference (Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit VIII). 2,500 Christians united for the cause of the fatherless---all I can say is WOW.

We came home inspired, motivated, humbled, encouraged, hopeful, and convicted. To do more. So much more.

163 million orphans thought to be in the world today---What is the church doing to fulfill our responsibility to eradicate the orphan crisis, placing the children in loving families (or facilities, if absolutely necessary) where they will come into daily contact with the GOSPEL???

God, help us to SEE the need, RECOGNIZE our responsibility to help, and step out by FAITH in whatever areas HE reveals to us.

Today is Mother's Day. I celebrated with hugs, kisses, and "You're the bestest Mommy in the whole wide world!" declarations from my seven children. I'm sure most of you did, too.

But in every quiet moment of today, I ached way down deep in my soul for the millions upon millions of children who have no mother to hug and kiss them. For the children in Africa who died today from intense hunger. For the children in Sudan who were eaten alive by hyenas today after falling out of the tree they found to sleep in last night. For the teeenagers in Bulgaria who never grew past the size of an infant and spent today in the confines of their crib because of lack of nutrition and the most basic need, a loving human touch. For the children in Eastern Europe who got transferred to a mental institution (to spend their lives with the sick, mentally ill ADULTS) today, simply because they weren't adopted before they turned 5. For the little girls who were sold into prostitution at the age of 9 and whose bodies were used and abused 10 to 20 times JUST TODAY in Thailand. For the babies in America who got their limbs literally RIPPED from their tiny little bodies by medical professionals today, because somebody somewhere declared their life unwanted.

It may be Mother's Day 2012, but there's an orphan crisis in the world today.

Where is God in all of these atrocities?

He's waiting.

For His people to rise up, answer His call to care for the fatherless, and to get off their Sunday morning pew  and actively spread His love to a lost world! For us to stop saying "What can we DO about it?" and GO DO SOMETHING.

He knows our YES in on the table.

We will hold nothing back.

Our personal family motto has long been summed up in these two words: NO REGRETS.

We decided a long time ago that we did not want to look back on our lives someday and see a trail of regrets. The "American Dream" holds no claim to our hearts---we're just pilgrims on a journey, following the King of Kings!

And we want NO REGRETS.

If He wants us to move to a foreign land to work with orphans, we're willing to GO. If He wants us to raise money so others can more easily fund their adoptions, we're willing to STAY. If He wants us to adopt more children from hard places, we're willing to GROW.

But we're no longer satisfied with just keeping the status quo. God has stirred a fire in our hearts to reach the most needy, vulnerable, abused, over-looked, neglected, forgotten of the lost, and we will follow Him straight out of our comfort zone (He's done it before, remember?) without a moment's hesitation.

18 comments:

  1. Selina, you just shared my heart!!!! God bless you and Brentt.
    Mark and I are speaking in our church on Father's day. I'll definitely be sharing bits of your post today.
    Praying with you for our role in the orphan crisis!

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  2. Beautiful written and so how I feel! Will be sharing this!

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  3. Wow! I love this post and agree with you fully. I wish I'd known about this conference, I live in California.

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  4. What is being done for the orphaned, fostered, abused and poverty-stricken children in Powhatan and Cumberland? We need to reach them TOO! Sometimes we look at the WORLD and miss the needs in our own backyard.

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    1. Anonymous,

      Since you obviously know me personally, would you mind posting your name next time? It's much easier to put a face with a post! :)

      I absolutely agree that the need is great EVERYWHERE. We are certainly striving to work in our community as well. Powhatan doesn't even have any foster homes (because no one will step up!) so their foster children have to be placed out of the community. (We can't work in Powhatan as foster parents since we reside in Cumberland.) Brent and I just recently discussed beginning the process in Cumberland.

      We are working with the Special Olympics in June. We have contacted several children's homes in the area and discussed their need level. We are certainly wanting to help with our "backyard" needs as well as raise awareness of the global need.

      I will say this, however. No child in our area died of HUNGER today. NO child in our area slept in a tree for fear of being EATEN alive overnight. No child in our area is 14 and the size of a 3 month old from neglect.

      But are there local needs? ABSOLUTELY! There are over 400,000 children in the USA currently in foster care, with about 110,000 currently available for adoption. We definitely need more foster/adoptive parents in VA. Our country DOES have a working system in place to help our children. Many of the countries I referenced in the post above do NOT. Abused children in the USA are placed in homes. There ARE resources available to parents who cannot feed their children. They do not have to sell them into prostitution in order to get their next meal.

      This is what is breaking my heart: there are SO many needs. It can seem overwhelming. Yet if each Christian would follow whatever direction God lays on their heart, we could at least all do SOMETHING to help. Not every family can (or should) adopt or foster. Not every family can (or should) go overseas. But every Christian should continually be asking themselves---Am I doing everything I can to serve in the areas GOD has burdened me with? This will obviously play out differently in each one's day-to-day life. But I still think we could all (I include myself here!) do MORE.

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    3. The needs outside the USA are way greater than here in the USA. People ask me too why we did not adopt locally. Why not America? I think those people have NEVER been outside the USA in the back woods of a third world country or they would not ask why.

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  5. Awesome post, I had to share it to facebook. Everyone should read this and get off their pews!

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  6. The Chinese also have the seniors and mentally ill in the same place as the kids. It is why it is called the SWI. Not every one is co-mingled. Some have separate buildings on the same campus but I have friends that volunteer at one particular SWI and they said it was awful that the mentally ill adults are in with the orphans.

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  7. I do not have a problem with adopting internationally. I HAVE been outside the USA in the bush of several third world countries. MANY TIMES. I dare say that I have been to some backwoods places that are far darker than many who have been to the modern cities of China to adopt. I just see Christians in our churches totally ignore the spiritual needs of kids that live on their street and in their communities in favor of kids across the world. I have seen Christians with adopted children get annoyed at the neighborhood kids who come to Vacation Bible School and say "I have too many kids in my class". I do not think that kids around the world should be ignored, but I also do not think the kids in our neighborhoods should be ignored either. Our Lord himself ministered in his own areas. He took the neighborhood children on his lap and took them along side him and SHEPHERDED THEM! The needs may not be as obvious to you, but all children deserve to "hear the gospel" even if they get free lunch at school or are on welfare. The great commission compels us to reach people in our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria AND THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE EARTH. I think we should all support each other and not look down on people who feel called to also minister to the kids who live in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

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    1. Anonymous,

      Let me state again----since you know me personally (and I'm pretty sure I know who you are), please post your name with your posts.

      This sounds less like a discussion on the "Orphans and Mother's Day" post and more like a personal attack on me from someone who knows me. Please feel free to email or call me if you truly want to discuss these issues.

      I will say this. If a missionary is called to Africa, eats, breathes, and sleeps Africa, ministers to the needs in Africa, shares prayer letters, blog posts, and FB updates about Africa, talks incessantly about the needs of Africa, and raises awareness and funding for projects IN Africa----do we jump all over them for not meeting the needs in New York City?

      Of course not. As Christians we can respect their call of God and share their passion for Africa, even if only by prayer or financial support.

      So it is with the global orphan need. No one person or family can meet the needs in "Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, AND the rest of the earth". We must each listen and follow the calling of God on our lives. This is not a competition, but rather a call for unity in the body of Christ for the futherance of the gospel.

      You minister where/when/how God has led you, and I will continue to do the same.

      The purpose of the post above was to encourage thought and awareness of the GLOBAL need of motherless children. Our local community, while certainly needy, was not the focus because it is NOT overflowing with motherless children.

      As far as the statement---"All children deserve to hear the gospel"---I couldn't agree with you more. :)

      Selina

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  8. I want to weigh in on the comments from anonymous. I don't know either of you personally but I don't see his comments as attacks. I think anyone reading these posts can understand both points. I enjoy the blog but comments should be welcomed. I've seen lots of other
    anonymous posts.

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    1. The only reason I encouraged the anonymous poster to post their name is because they gave evidence in their posts that they live in my community and therefore know me quite well in "real" life. :) I found the anonymity therefore unnecessary.

      I have no problem with anonymous posting and I've always welcomed opinions, as long as they are expressed in the right spirit. :)

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  9. Pastor Thomas B. Alvis, Jr.May 16, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    We praise the Lord with you about the burden He has placed on your hearts. We will continue to ask Him to give you wisdom and direction.

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    1. Thank you. That means alot to me.

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  10. Hi Selina,

    We also live in VA and would love to know who you have used for your home study agency. We have adopted once and are looking to adopt again and may change agencies. I always enjoy your posts and willingness to be a light for Jesus!
    Thanks,
    Shauna
    www.ourjourneytoabby.blogspot.com

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  11. I'm just reading this now, so I realize that I am a little late to the party, but here is my .02. At first I thought just like the anonymous poster, why weren't the needs of the local children being met? Why overseas? Why babies form China and not crack babies from DC? But as I have read your blog and others I realized that as God has opened the eyes of America to the needs of European/Asian orphans, those same eyes are being opened to the needs of the local communities. How can a heart surrendered to God's will NOT see the needs of those around them?

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  12. God bless you and he shall reward you in heaven for spreading the right words! I have written an article for Mother's Day. Please do visit the link! http://www.orphans360.org/mothers-day-for-orphans/

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I welcome any and all comments as long as they are Christ-honoring. Please let me know what you think!