Let connect and Discuss about Orphan Sunday

This Year 2023 November 12th, a great Day the world observed the growth of Orphan Sunday! This is one day observation done by churches, friends, faith based organizations internationally gather together in prayers, share about the love of God for the orphan and the beauty of adoption. In Sierra Leone, this initiative means so much to us because our own nation faces a crisis of more than 2 millions orphaned and abandoned children.

According to estimates, 310,000 children in Sierra Leone group without their parents, many of them as results of the eleven years civil war. About 18,000 of them have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. The outbreak of Ebola epidemic, which started in 2014, left many more children without parental care. An estimations of 22,000 children lost one or more parents to Ebola during the 2014 West Africa deadly outbreak. Ebola orphans and children recovering from the virus in Sierra Leone are being cared for, and protected the government-run interim-care centers until they can be reunited with relatives or placed them in foster care.

Three Ways We Can Serve OVCs and Widows throughout the Year

If you’ve been in a Hope City Empowerment church for long, you’re more than likely familiar with our call and commitment to serving orphans, vulnerable children and widows. On November 12 this year, Orphans and Stand Sunday, Hope City Empowerment churches and member churches across the country will remember our mandate to practice James 1:27 throughout the year. Not only that, but November is Adoption Awareness Month. With such a large emphasis on serving orphans, vulnerable children and widows this month, here are three ways a believer can be mindful of them throughout the year.

1. BE CLOSE TO THE BROKENHEARTED

Scripture tells us clearly that God is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). Those of us who choose to imitate Christ know that we should be close to the brokenhearted as well.

The local church has the profound opportunity to be near to the brokenhearted over a long period of time. Whereas it is hard for one individual to carry the weight of being near all the time, there is strength and stability when a group of people dedicate themselves to those who are suffering, whether widows in our communities or children placed in foster care.

2. PRACTICE A LIFESTYLE OF SERVICE

Throughout the New Testament we are called to a lifestyle of service. Philippians 2:3–4 tells us that we’re to do nothing out of selfish ambition and are to look to the interests of others. Galatians 5:13 encourages us to not use our freedom for our flesh, but to serve one another humbly in love. And 1 Peter 4:10 says that whatever gifts we have should be used to serve others.

When we look at Scripture, it is undeniable that serving those in need is a critical part of the believer’s life. And so, we don’t merely give lip service to orphans and widows this Sunday; we find ways to serve them throughout the year and practice the biblical call to a lifestyle of service.

3. PRAY REGULARLY

“Thoughts and Prayers” has gotten a bad rap lately. It’s often used as a shallow condolence offered without any commitment to act on another’s behalf. And yet, for Christians, we know that one of the most powerful things we can do is to charge the throne of God boldly on behalf of one another.

People of prayer don’t merely offer thoughts and prayers as a condolence; rather, we commit ourselves to think about and pray for orphans and widows regularly. We pray for them with our families and friends around the dinner table. We ask God to give us eyes to see them in our communities, so that when we are praying we can name them by name and then act on the ways the Holy Spirit moves us to serve them.   Prayer is never an empty sentiment in the believer’s life. Instead, it’s a powerful tool to advance God’s Kingdom in our world, and so we pray big and audacious prayers over the orphaned and widowed. We pray boldly, “Thy Kingdom come,” with all its restoration and redemption, “on this earth as it is in heaven.”

EVERY DAY IS ORPHANS AND WIDOWS SUNDAY

Orphans and Widows Sunday is a great way for us to align our hearts with the call to practice true religion (James 1:27). But let us guard our hearts against relegating this to one Sunday a year, and let it serve as a reminder that our lives should always be poured out for the sake of the orphan and widow. In other words, may every day look like Orphans and Widows Sunday?

HOW TO CONNECT AND ENGAGE YOUR CHURCH?

How to Observe Orphan Sunday Raise awareness Share the facts about the situation with your family, friends, and coworkers, to raise awareness. Assist in making this one-day advocacy event the start of something bigger. By supporting one of many active fundraisers, you may invite communities you’re associated with to become a part of the solution.

Pray for foster youth, foster parents and biological families Participate in Orphan Sunday Preach from the pulpit about foster care Allow a few minutes for a professional from your church to inform and educate your congregation about the plight of children and the need for more homes.

 2023 ORPHAN SUNDAY AND STAND SUNDAY THEME:

’SIERRA LEONE FOR ORPHANS, VULNERABLE CHILDREN AND WIDOWS’’

Date: 12th Nov. 2023

Time: 12 (Noon) to 5:00 PM

Church:  Hope City Empowerment Church  

Venue: Kenema City

Visit Us: www.mamsl.org

Email:    info@mamsl.org