Sunday, September 18, 2011

Aging Out of the Orphanage

At the young age of 16 years old, many orphans "graduate" from the orphanage and are given nothing but their few worldly possessions and a bus ticket.  They say goodbye to friends.  (All photos provided by New Horizons for Children)

And head out on their own, having no idea what lies before them...

They leave, with no training in how to live in the world and no mom or dad to call when they run into problems.  And problems they DO run into.  One out of 5 will commit suicide within the first year of being out of the orphanage.  Two out of 5 girls will end up in prostitution.  And many will resort to a life of crime just to survive.

Please don't look at these children, feel sad and then do nothing.  Someone has to stand in the gap.  Someone is needed to PRAY for these children every day, laboring behind-the-scenes in agonizing wrestling prayer on their behalf.  Someone is needed to step forward to adopt.  Someone is needed to give of their financial resources.  Someone is needed to advocate for a child until he is adopted.  Someone is needed to go to these orphans and work alongside them.

You are needed.

I cannot help but wonder who it was that was supposed to step forward to keep this lonely teenager from the street-living that is ahead of him.  Are we indifferent to his life simply because it's not in our own backyard?

God, forgive us!  Do we really believe You when you say that when we refuse to help these children, we are really refusing to help YOU?  This is YOU walking down this road, and we refused to take You into our home...

"Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, 'Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons!  For I was hungry, and you didn't feed me.  I was thirsty, and you didn't give me anything to drink.  I was a stranger, and you didn't invite me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me no clothing.  I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'

"Then they will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?'  And he will answer, 'I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'  And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life."  ---Matthew 25:41-46

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