On Helping without Being a Fool

Helping people is complicated. It is always complicated, and becomes only increasingly so, when you are attempting to cross cultures. Now obviously there is a big difference between complicated and impossible. And as believers, we have tremendous advantages as we go to help people, in that we have a Word that transcends cultures, a God who is not bound by our culture, and the Spirit who speaks to people in all sorts of different cultures. But, we are going to have a difficult time really benefiting from those advantages, if we don’t at least acknowledge, that helping people cross culturally is complicated. In … Continue reading On Helping without Being a Fool

An Apologetic for Orphan Care part five

You sometimes get the feeling when you begin to talk about adoption with some individuals that they feel like you are talking about a lightweight doctrine.  Not so!  Adoption is one of the highest and most significant privileges the gospel reveals.  In fact, J.I. Packer once said if he were asked to summarize the New Testament message in three words his proposal would be “adoption through propitiation and I do not expect to ever meet a richer or more pregnant summary of the gospel than that.”  If you are able, we would love to have you come and explore why … Continue reading An Apologetic for Orphan Care part five

An Apologetic for Orphan Care part four

It is hard to believe Together for Adoption is less than two weeks away.  We are looking forward to a missions team from the United States coming at the end of this week, then a trip to Lesotho to help build a church facility and bang, the conference is here!  Please be praying that God will use this conference to encourage his people and to help fuel a movement. And oh yeah, if you haven’t registered yet, this is the week!  To motivate you, we have been working our way through James 1:27, trying to understand why James brings up … Continue reading An Apologetic for Orphan Care part four

An Apologetic for Orphan Care part three

Compassion that doesn’t flow out of knowledge of God doesn’t flow out for very long. It is a wonderful privilege to serve children who are in need, it is also hard work. This is part of why we are holding a conference called Together for Adoption in Pretoria on March 1 and 2. We want to provide a strong biblical basis for those who are energized for showing deep biblical love to those in need. In order to prepare us for the conference, I have been looking at several reasons from the Scripture orphan care is important for believers to … Continue reading An Apologetic for Orphan Care part three

An Apologetic for Orphan Care part two

It is one day closer to our first ever Together for Adoption conference here in Pretoria, South Africa.  We are hoping God will use this conference to increase our joy in our adoption and spark a theologically driven adoption movement here in South Africa.  I began yesterday working through several reasons we are convinced that it is vitally important we as believers reach out to orphans with the love of God.  The first reason had to do with the character of God.  Here are reasons two and three: ——————————————————————————- Second, a lack of concern for the orphan and widow is … Continue reading An Apologetic for Orphan Care part two

An Apologetic for Orphan Care part one

We are excited to be able to host a Together for Adoption Conference here in South Africa on March 1 and 2nd.  It is a great deal of work putting on a conference and is requiring a great deal of faith as well, trusting that God will make His name look great through our feeble efforts.  Over the next several posts, I thought I might share some reasons why we believe the way we respond to the orphan crisis in our midst is such an important topic for us to consider.  —– If you wanted to test the reality of … Continue reading An Apologetic for Orphan Care part one

It is good to do right

“It is nice what you are doing, but you need to be wise.” Have you heard that before? Maybe even you have said it yourself. Sometimes when someone begins thinking about putting themselves out for the good of others, there are individuals who will pretend to be looking out for their best interests and try to stop them by cautioning them to be careful. (Isn’t this actually what happened to Jesus in Mark 3?) The idea is that sacrificial love for the needy and hurting is a good concept, but it is a dangerous one. To a certain extent of … Continue reading It is good to do right

A coach, not a caretaker

Robert Lupton: “Personal responsibility is essential for social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. To do for others what they have the capacity to do for themselves is to disempower them. The negative outcomes of welfare are no different when religious or charitable organizations provide it. The struggle for self-sufficiency is, like the butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon, an essential strength building process that should not be short-circuited by ‘compassionate’ intervention. The effective helper can be an encourager, a coach, a partner, but never a caretaker.” Pride shows up in so many forms. One of its best disguises can even … Continue reading A coach, not a caretaker

On knowing and “mercy ministry”

One of the great obstacles to being of real help to others is our failure to know and understand the people we are seeking to help. I have often wondered in counseling whether I am counseling the real person in front of me or a pretend person they are presenting to me. I may be offering great counsel to the pretend person (or maybe not!) but if I am not actually talking to the real person that counsel is not going to be of much benefit. There are many different factors that keep us from really knowing and understanding other … Continue reading On knowing and “mercy ministry”

Linkable

Here are some interesting thoughts from a Christian Alliance for Orphans paper on Orphan Statistics. Priorities in Response to Orphan Need The Christian Alliance for Orphans affirms the historic Christian understanding— conveyed in Scripture and affirmed by social scienceviii—that God intended the family as the essential environment for children. We believe the ideal outcome for every orphan is to know the love and nurture of a permanent family. Our world’s brokenness at times makes this goal unattainable. Thus, alternative forms of care are sometimes necessary. This reality calls us to affirm two seemingly opposing truths at the same time. First, … Continue reading Linkable