“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress…” – James 1:27
Question for the day: Who is an orphan?
God, as the ultimate Father, has a special place in His heart for children and others who have no parental care. As I look around our world, I ask myself, “Who is an orphan?” We might deceive ourselves into thinking they are simply those young people without parents. But what about the children in our community whose parents are still there, but neglect to care for them? Aren’t they orphans too?
Unfortunately, I believe there are more of those children than we are aware of. That is why I am so thankful for the agencies of the United Methodist Church that seek to care for these forgotten ones.
One such organization is Dream Garden, a part of the Restoration Mission United Methodist Church here in Birmingham. Run by the Lewis family, Restoration Mission seeks to care for those that society has left behind. Dream Garden is the unit that provides after-school and summer care for children that would otherwise be left at home alone.
Dream Garden provides a safe and nurturing environment for children that face challenges that would shock most of us. They provide food, tutoring, safety, and stability to some of the most vulnerable. AND, THEY DO IT ALL ON DONATIONS from other churches – like us.
I am thankful to our Women’s Ministry Team leaders that took it upon themselves to do a fundraiser last month for the children at Dream Garden. For $100, a child can attend the Dream Garden Summer Camp program for the entire summer.
Think about it, for $100, a child can be fed, loved, safe, and learn about Jesus every day while out of school. I think that is amazing. I am thankful for all the ladies that participated in that event that covered the cost for 5 children to attend the camp.
I ask myself, “What else can I do?” School is just around the corner, and the needs will continue. I guess that is a question for God to answer.
I give You thanks and praise for those in ministry at Restoration Mission. I thank You for their compassion. I thank You for their dedication. I thank You for their leadership in this mission that is so critical to our calling as Your followers. Please bless them, each one, and provide for their needs as they strive to provide for those in need of care.
I pray, Lord, that You know the needs of this mission and these children. And I pray that You will continue to meet those needs in generous and bountiful ways. If You have a plan for me to be a part of this mission, Lord, please reveal it to me. Show me how best I can be a servant to the least of these. Show me what gifts, graces, and resources I possess that would be a blessing to them – and then show me how to use them for Your glory.
Thank You, my King, for being the ultimate, loving Father; for me and everyone else in this world.
In Jesus’ name I pray,