Some of you out there may have seen this video on how University of Georgia football coach Mark Richt and his wife adopted two children from the Ukraine. (Click on the link and you’ll be taken to a page that hosts the video–click on the video there to watch it.) The story is quite moving and will not fail to inspire you. It is a beautiful thing to see people catch a vision for adoption. Certainly one of the best ways we wealthy Western Christians can care for the orphan (James 1:27) is by taking a chunk of our earnings, spending it to adopt needy children from across the world, and bringing those children into our families as a visible testimony of the gospel.
Christians have been adopting children for years now, but it’s particularly exciting to me to see a groundswell of young families reaching out to the orphan through adoption. My friend Zach Nielsen, who runs an excellent blog called Take Your Vitamin Z, has thought extensively about the importance and implications of adoption in the local church. I would recommend you give his post a read and, if possible, contribute to his family’s adoption fund. In addition, notable theologian Russ Moore will soon publish a full-length treatment of a Christian approach to adoption. Finally, check out musician Steven Curtis Chapman’s website, Shaohannah’s Hope, for further information and assistance.
Perhaps in coming days, we’ll see churches flooded with children from around the world worshiping the living God, the One who cares for the poor and needy (Psalm 140:12). Once abandoned, once destitute, perhaps we’ll see a great movement of children who now know not only warmth and care, but love in its most extreme form, the love of God in Christ as preached and lived out in the local church.
Were this to be true, we might see that all tribes and tongues of the earth may discover the gospel not simply through missionaries who go and stay, but missionaries who go and bring back. That is, couples who could spend their money on a bigger home, or a faster car, or yet another expensive vacation will catch a vision for investing their hard-earned money in the salvation of the lost through adoption of the orphan. Maybe you don’t have to be sent through a foreign missions board to be a missionary; maybe you can be one by the simple but life-transforming act of adopting a child or two (or three or four).
Couples could do this when past the child-bearing years, as well. Have some money and extra time? Maybe adoption–or support of the adoption efforts of other families–is for you and will be a better way to pass the time than still more perfection of one’s golf swing or enhancement of one’s wardrobe. There’s nothing wrong with these things in moderation, but there seems to be a higher cause to serve with one’s time in later, more comfortable years.
It is difficult to estimate the difference we Christians could make if we wholeheartedly bought into this mission. How much would we bless lonely, isolated, suffering children by adopting, and how much would the Lord bless us in our decision to deny ourselves yet another material pleasure and to spend that money as a missionary and an agent of mercy to the lost?