Orphan Sunday 2013

Yesterday churches across the globe participated in Orphan Sunday, a day to raise awareness and aid for orphaned children around the world. Orphan Sunday is very new event in the history of the Christian church, but orphan care is not. I love this day because I believe God uses this day to move in the world. He moves on behalf of children in need and he moves in the hearts of believers, who are called according to his purposes. What is his purpose for us? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly in our faith with him. 

I've always "had a heart" for orphan care. From the time I was a child myself, I have been deeply moved by the plight of children who were forced to somehow navigate this cold world without the warm embrace of mom and dad. When we adopted Arie, however, that compassion I previously felt turned into something bigger. This famous William Wilberforce quote says it all for me: “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know." 

Now that I've seen a child, once orphaned, blossom before my very eyes, I am devastated by orphanhood. It is almost impossible for me to reconcile my son's reality with his future that almost was, save for God's amazing grace to our family. I am grieved and outraged that there are not just a few but millions of children in the world living without parents and with substandard (and sometimes horrific) care. I am passionate about the intersection of my faith and orphan care and I am determined to use my life to make an impact in this area. 

I could say a hundred things about the role of orphan care in the Christian faith, but my husband said it all yesterday. As you can imagine, I've heard my husband preach a lot of sermons, but I think this one surpassed them all to be my favorite. Maybe it is because it's about something he's so passionate about. Maybe it's because it's about something God is so passionate about. Probably both.

I invite you to listen to his Orphan Sunday message and ask how God is calling you to do something for the very least of these.

Enjoy! I hope you come away not only convicted but deeply inspired. (Sermon starts at minute 6.)

"Orphan Sunday" November 3, 2013 from Harderwyk Ministries on Vimeo.


  1. Julie Mentor11/05/2013

    Hi Jill, your husband's sermon was such a blessing to hear. I'm a 'kangaroo mom' (caring for babies, one at a time in our home, before they are placed for adoption) from Cape Town, South Africa. Please thank him for his words of encouragement from me. I've been reading your blog since you were waiting to bring Arie home and I just wanted you to know I'm praying for you, your precious family and your journey to baby no.2 today.

  2. Julie it gives me chills to think that God could use a sermon preached in Michigan to encourage a kangaroo mom in Cape Town! Crazy. I've heard that being a kangaroo mom is a job of pure servanthood and I admire you so much for doing it. What a blessing to the world and those precious babies. Thank you also for your prayers for me; I treasure them!


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