What do Ray Charles, Andrew Jackson, Nelson Mandela, Ella Fitzgerald, Marilyn Monroe, and Edgar Allen Poe have in common? They were all orphans.
An orphan is a person whose parents have died or whose parents have permanently abandoned them. Poverty and lack of educational opportunities make them especially vulnerable. World statistics show there are almost 140 million orphans, of which 95 percent are over the age of five.
It is reported that in the United States, there are more than 440,000 children in foster care. Psalm 82:3 tells us to “defend the weak and the fatherless.” Deuteronomy 14:28-29 directs provisions for the fatherless to be made every three years; tithes and offerings are to be given and distributed to those in need. These and other verses in the Bible indicate God’s love and concern for orphans and their needs. In line with His directives in Scripture, WMU® provides an avenue for ministering to orphans through WorldCrafts℠. This compassion ministry develops sustainable, fair-trade businesses among impoverished people around the world.
WorldCrafts’ vision is to offer an income with dignity and the hope of everlasting life to every person on earth. Any individual or group can host a WorldCrafts benefit for their local Baptist children and family ministry or LifeLine Children’s Services and its adoptive families. Twenty percent of all sales generated by benefits go directly to the host’s selected children’s ministry. The Baptist Children and Family Ministries that are currently participating are located in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. More information is available at worldcrafts.org.
The stories of orphans in fiction --- Oliver Twist, Anne of Green Gables, Annie --- touch our hearts. How much more should we be moved when we hear about the issues real-life orphans face? Ask a partner or your group to help you minister to orphans by providing new clothing, school supplies, special celebrations, or tutoring. Demonstrating God’s love through touch, compassion, and action is a reasonable response to alleviating the plight of orphans.
Reprinted from the July 2020 issue of Missions Mosaic, Woman’s Missionary Union, Birmingham, Alabama. Used by permission. To receive this issue, or subscribe to Missions Mosaic, call 1-800-968-7301.