Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Grace for Orphans

This past Sunday, our church launched a new ministry called Grace for Orphans. It is a ministry that was birthed out of a passion by several people in our church. Check out the website, where you can watch some videos and find out more about the ministry. This is the purpose of Grace for Orphans: According to our biblical mandate to defend and care for the fatherless, we purpose to imitate our Heavenly Father's adoptive love through an orphan care and adoption culture at Grace Bible Church (Isa 1:17; Jas 1:27). It is a ministry to orphans. It is a ministry to those who cannot take care of themselves. My heart breaks every time I see a child who is fatherless or in need or hurting. I am praying that God does amazing things through the hearts of those at Grace Bible Church.

In preparation for this, we ordered several books to have on hand to suggest to people to read. I wanted to take a minute and point out these books. The only unfortunate thing about this list is that they are primarily all books on adoption. We have been very careful to point out that the ministry we have launched is not exclusively an adoption ministry. While we hope and pray that many will eventually adopt children, it is our hope and prayer that all are involved in orphan care in our city and the world. That being said, I hope you understand that these books, while dealing with adoption, only hit one aspect of orphan care ministry. Yet that one aspect is greatly needed. Maybe you will pick up one of these books in due time and read it and be moved to help those who cannot take care of themselves.

Adopted for Life by Russell D. Moore is one of the best books I have read this year, maybe at some point, I will do a full review of this book. If you have not read it, you should. I think it is a must for anyone who is a believer in Jesus. It is not just a book on adoption, it is a book on theology on what it means to be adopted in Christ. The back cover of the book gives an adequate summary as to the importance of adoption in light of the gospel: "The gospel of Jesus Christ means our families and churches ought to be at the forefront of the adoption of orphans close to home and around the world." Please pick up this book and read it, it might just change your life.

 
Fields of the Fatherless by Tom Davis is a book that I greatly look forward to reading very soon. Of all the other books on this list that I have not read, this one is at the top. At the very beginning of the book, Davis writes, "In this world you are an orphan-eagerly anticipating your adoption as God's child. In this world you are a widow-longing for reunion with your Bridegroom. In this world you are a stranger-a pilgrim waiting to become a citizen of heaven. And in this world, God has called you to care for the orphan, the stranger, and the widow. Fields of the Fatherless is a journey that brings you back to what Christianity is really about: Giving yourself to others, Being Christ to a hurting world, And living for the one that comes next." Sounds good, doesn't it?

Heirs with Christ by Joel Beeke is a great little book on what the Puritans believed in regards to our spiritual adoption. This is a theology of our adoption and should be the basis for why we would want to care for those who are not our own and can't help themselves. The theology helps shape our thinking so we are not just benevolent people, but people with a plan that flows from the heart of God. One publisher comment on the back of the book states: "This little book lets the Puritans speak for themselves, showing how they recognized adoption's far-reaching, transforming power and comfort for the children of God." As someone who has read many puritan writings, this book is not for the light of heart. But the journey will really be worth it.

Speaking of theology and adoption, Adopted into God's Family by Trevor Burke is a theological treatise on this issue. The general editor of the New Studies in Biblical Theology, D.A. Carson has this to say about this book: "Not only the importance of God's family, but also the enormous privilege of belonging to it, are powerfully underscored by Paul's understanding of what it means to be the adopted sons of God. With such themes in view, a wide array of pastoral implications soon springs to light. In other words, this volume not only probes a neglected theme - it also edifies." Got it? Well, maybe there are some of you who read my blog that are really into the deeper theological mysteries. This is the book for you.

Successful Adoption: A Guide for Christian Families by Natalie Nichols Gillespie is probably the most practical book our Grace for Orphans team has recommended for those looking to adopt. This book includes everything that you might think about in regards to adoption: Do I adopt locally or internationally? How much is an adoption going to cost? What are some of the blessings and hardships of adoption? What is the process like? What is life going to be like after I adopt? If you are interested in adoption, then grab this book.

1 comment:

  1. I passed this onto the Penners, but Steven Curtis Chapman was on today's "Focus on the Family" radio broadcast talking about adopting his daughter from China. They mentioned a grant/scholarship opportunity for couples interested in adopting.

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