Tony Merida’s talk at The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference applied James 1:27’s plea to care for orphans (listen above or download mp3). After laying out a compelling biblical case for adoption (that skillfully worked in references to both the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Nacho Libre), Merida shared 21 ways to care for the fatherless. I hope they challenge you as they did me to prayerfully think of how to care for the least of these.
1. Pray. “Father, what do you want me to do?”
2. Start small. Don’t think you’re going to solve the orphan problem this year.
3. Support good organizations.
4. Speak up for those who have no influence. Orphans are both powerless and voiceless.
5. Be alert and practice hospitality.
6. Consider adoption.
7. Consider fostering.
8. Consider sponsoring.
9. Care for the functionally fatherless. (Children who may have parents but are essentially fatherless.)
10. Provide care for adoptive parents.
11. Help fund adoptions.
12. Be alert to needs and provide for them as they pop up.
13. Train leaders.
14. Plant churches in hard places.
15. Promote in-country adoption that is much cheaper than international adoption.
16. Consider moving so you can better help orphans.
17. Visit to help those who are on the ground.
18. Provide transitional assistance for orphans age out of orphanages.
19. Use your vocational skills.
20. Fight trafficking.
21. Promote orphan prevention.
Father, help us be advocates for the fatherless and thus share your Fatherly love with them.
In Jesus’ name and for His sake, Amen.