One hundred and fifty three million.
This is the number of orphaned children living all over our world today. I’m not sure about you, but when I hear this number, my first reaction is to think, “well, there isn’t very much I can do to change that.” However, this past week, I attended the Christian Alliance for Orphans Conference in Nashville, Tennessee with over 2,000 people who have committed their lives to seeing orphaned children brought into the arms of parents who love and cherish them. For some orphans, this means being adopted into a new family because they do not having living kin able or willing to care for them. However, what many people don’t realize is that there are orphanages all over the world filled with children who have a living parent or relative that desires to care for them, but cannot, due to the stronghold poverty has on his/her life. In fact, of the 153 million orphans in the world, only 18 million are considered “double orphans,” children whose mother and father have both died.
In a strange way, this news is refreshing and affirming. The reason I say that is because the majority of VisionTrust projects around the world are serving families whose children still live at home, but are at a high risk for being abandoned, sold or placed in institutionalized homes because their parents just cannot make ends meet. By coming to our schools and Learning Centers, these children receive food, clean water, health care, educational support and spiritual guidance, all of which help increase their quality of life and enable their families to spread their resources a little further.
So when individuals and churches are a part of VisionTrust, they don’t just partner with our domestic and international staff members. They partner with thousands of mothers and fathers all over the world who desperately want to see their children happy and healthy.
At the conference, one of the speakers said a phrase that I can’t get out of my mind. He said, “with is a powerful thing.” His words are so true. Since I began working with VisionTrust, I have witnessed firsthand the power of partnering together with others to transform the lives of children. But what I have seen more than anything is the power of partnering with God in bringing hope and love to these precious children. Ephesians 3:20 states, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
One hundred and fifty three million is a big number. But we can ask and dream with confidence, because our God is SO much bigger.