National Adoption Awareness Month isn’t just about retelling adoption stories, even though, trust me, I love telling ours. These days also give us a chance to think about how to help some of the least of these, just as God asks us to do: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. —James 1:27
Perhaps you don’t feel called to adopt a child permanently in your family. No worries. I certainly believe God gives us different ways to serve him and other people. No every family is called to adopt. But there are other ways you can help a child all through the year. Not just this month.
- Donate items your kids have outgrown to families in your community who need the extra help.
- Partner with local ministries who serve underprivileged children right in your neighborhood.
- Volunteer with a homeless shelter, pregnancy crisis center, or other ministry that serves an orphan population.
- Support someone else’s adoption. You can do this with your time, words, prayers and money.
- Participate in Christmas collection projects for families in your community.
- Pack shoe boxes full of treats, toiletries and school supplies for Samaritan’s Purse to dispute as part of its far-reaching Operation Christmas Child ministry.
- Sponsor a child through Compassion International.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” —Matthew 25:31-40
By choosing to do something, you’ll make a difference in at least one child’s life, giving him a story to tell for the rest of his life and probably encouraging him to help someone else when he has a chance. This month, consider adopting a mentality to intentionally serves those children near you and across the globe in ways that bring a piece of God’s kingdom into someone else’s life.
What others ways have you helped a child?
This is the third in a series of posts this month in honor of November being National Adoption Awareness Month. You can read my past adoption-related posts here. Want more? Subscribe to get “Insights” in your inbox. Or follow me on Twitter.