“What Exactly is Orphan Sunday?”
Excerpts taken from Greg Norwine of EFCA.org article
God birthed Orphan Sunday through the generosity and compassion of His people in Zambia. In 2003 during the height of the AIDS crisis, a Zambian pastor pleaded for his congregation to care for the AIDS orphans in their community. The members of the church were poor themselves. But as the service ended, one after another stepped forward with money, food and other goods. Some even removed their own shoes and placed them in the offering for orphans.
This movement to care for orphans spread throughout Zambia. In time it reached the United States where the Christian Alliance For Orphans (CAFO), an alliance of churches and Christian organizations caring for orphans and vulnerable children, began promoting Orphan Sunday in the U.S.
Today, hundreds of churches around the world unite on the second Sunday of November to remember the orphan and to encourage their people to care for them in Christ's name.
How is the Evangelical Free Church of America involved?
GlobalFingerprints was launched in 2006 to help the Evangelical Free Churches of the Democratic Republic of Congo respond to the overwhelming number of AIDS orphans.
Today, GlobalFingerprints serves nearly 3,500 children in 10 countries. When a child is sponsored, GlobalFingerprints ensures their educational, medical and nutritional needs are met. Even more importantly, they make sure the children learn about Jesus and are connected to the local church.
What makes GlobalFingerprints unique is its connection to ReachGlobal, the Global mission of the EFCA. GlobalFingerprints not only helps children in great need, it also helps plant and strengthen churches. In some cases, GlobalFingerprints provides church planters access to areas they could not reach otherwise.
Why should our church partner with GlobalFingerprints on Orphan Sunday?
One important aspect is discipleship. The Bible instructs His people to care for orphans and the poor.
James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction......
Proverbs 14:31 Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors Him.
Our congregation has faithfully supported several missionaries that work through ReachGlobal/GlobalFingerprints in the Congo, India, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and most recently Spain. Sponsoring children through GlobalFingerprints is one way to help the poor and orphans. You have also supported missionaries in Bangladesh and Japan.
By sponsoring a child you have a connection with what God is doing in another part of the world. When you pray for and support the child financially, their heart for the world will grow. Your involvement in Orphan Sunday will transform the lives of children. Most importantly, they will learn about Jesus and be connected to a local church. What a privilege and joy to be part of God's work in transforming children!
When you sponsor these children you have the opportunity to change their lives. Also you can exchange letters, get to know them, learn about their country, and their relationship with Jesus. It's a very rewarding relationship! You have the opportunity to change the life of a boy or girl without a family for just $35.00 a month. If you multiply $35 times 12 months and divide by 365 days it's only $1.15 per day to support one child. You will be amazed how grateful and appreciative they are to know someone loves and cares about them. It is very humbling.
With your sponsorship you could be saving some of these children from human trafficking. What a blessing that would be for that child. Some of these children will be coming from the area where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar which meet at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong Rivers and is called the Golden Triangle. Most of the world's heroin came from the Golden Triangle until the early 21st century when Afghanistan became the world's largest producer. Myanmar is the world's second largest producer of illicit opium, after Afghanistan.
Please take a moment to pray and consider sponsoring one of these orphan children.
Submitted on behalf of the Mission Committee by Maria Farris.