International (MNN) ― The Red Thread represents Chinese folklore, which tells about the connection of family members. The United Nations estimates there are 210 million orphans around the world without that family connection.
For many of these children, it's a struggle to survive without the support and protection of parents or the love of a family environment--a struggle that many don't survive.
Orphan Sunday is November 7. It's an event that coincides with the beginning of National Adoption Month--both of which point to both the plight of children without forever families and the solution.
The Christian Alliance for Orphans and the Cry of the Orphan partners seek to add a unified voice and coordinated effort in order to help raise awareness of the issues they face.
Bethany Christian Services is an Alliance partner. Bethany's John VanValkenburg says they're trying to encourage churches to participate because, "It's really a day for Christians to answer the call because we are called to care for orphans in James 1:27."
On November 7, there will be sermons and small groups, concerts and prayer gatherings--each rousing believers with God's call to care for the orphan and to consider what each person can do in response. "Just a heightened awareness of the plight of the orphan, that there are children in need, not only of parents, but just from basic needs, that daily life is a struggle for orphans. We want people to really answer the cry of the orphan."
Although the numbers are overwhelming and the needs seem insurmountable, participants are encouraged to do what they can to affect one life. One step at a time, one child at a time, and suddenly, the task is not so frightening. This is why Bethany participates. VanValkenburg says, "There are a lot of ways to help an orphan, whether it's through programs in the country, or through international adoption."
Although VanValkenburg readily admits that adoption isn't for everyone, there are still ways to take an active role. Some of those include prayer or supporting a ministry with time or funds. Why? It can be a life-changing moment for those on both ends of the Red Thread. "It is a mandate. If we look for answers in the Bible, how we can serve the Lord, we really need to look to the Gospel for inspiration and motivation."