"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed." Psalm 82:3
"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unsustained by the world." James 1:27
"Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause." Isaiah 1:17
"And the King will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'" Matthew 25:40
It is clear throughout the Bible that Jesus requires us to care for orphans and widows. How we are called to do that looks different for everyone ... adoption is certainly not the only way to do this. I'd like to share some other ways people can help if adoption isn't for them. But before I outline several ways to care for orphans and widows (and because we do have a heart for adoption), here are 10 interesting facts about adoption:
Kind of overwhelming, huh?
Here are several ways you can get involved in orphan and widow care that don't involve adoption (in no particular order):
1. Pray for orphans and widows around the world.
2. Make a donation to one of the many organizations that care for orphans and/or widows.
3. Sponsor an orphan.
4. Host an orphan in your home for several weeks through organizations like New Horizons or Welcoming Angels.
5. Support a local adoptive family through prayer or by helping with babysitting or taking them meals.
6. Find a widow in your area and help her with tasks that are difficult - house maintenance and upkeeping or just a simple trip to the grocery store are amazing gifts.
7. Find a local group home or women's shelter to volunteer your time with.
8. When shopping or buying gifts, shop with a purpose by patronizing organizations or businesses that donate a portion of income to orphan and/or widow care.
9. Visit orphans around the world with Visiting Orphans.
10. Consider becoming a Safe Family for emergency help to families in need to prevent more children from becoming orphans.
11. Support a local foster program with needed donations.
12. Become a foster parent.