Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Home For Good

I write a lot of songs about "going home" or "finding your way home". I know, for me, where that comes from - it took 10 years for me when I was a child to find a home that was truly a home. And while those first 10 years were difficult in many ways, I was never an orphan. I can think of nothing sadder than an orphan - to be abandoned on purpose or circumstantially - fatherless, motherless. The statistics are staggering in our modern world. Consider:

  • Every 15 SECONDS, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa
  • Every DAY 5,760 more children become orphans
  • Every YEAR 2,102,400 more children become orphans (in Africa alone)
  • 143,000,000 Orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home
  • Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…
  • Every YEAR 14,050,000 children still grow up as orphans and AGE OUT of the system
  • Every DAY 38,493 children AGE OUT
  • Every 2.2 SECONDS, another orphan child AGES OUT with no family to belong to and no place to call home
  • In Ukraine and Russia 10% -15% of children who age out of an orphanage commit suicide before age 18.
  • 60% of the girls are lured into prostitution. 70% of the boys become hardened criminals.
  • Many of these children accept job offers that ultimately result in their being sold as slaves. Millions of girls are sex slaves today, simply because they were unfortunate enough to grow up as orphans.
    Courtesy of the Home For Good Foundation

    My heart breaks to read these staggering statistics. So does the heart of God. 

    In a spiritual sense we are born orphans apart from God - because of sin. But there is a remedy for this:

    Galatians 4:4-5 (ESV) - "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons."

    John 1:12 (ESV) - "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God"

    And praise God for this:

    John 14:18 (ESV) - "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

    If you are a child of God, you are no longer orphaned. You are adopted into the  family of God and even made joint heirs with Christ. As adopted children of God we must share this message with the whole world - including the literal orphans all around us. And perhaps God would even lead us in time to adopt an orphan in this world and minister to their physical and spiritual needs so that they may know not only what it means to be adopted here and now, but also in the world to come. 

    Home for good.

    Thomas Kennington "Orphans" 1885

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