Look After the Orphans

By Gai Gai Anderson

The month of November is Adoption Month. That in itself should make us think about James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

I can remember ten years ago when Angella and I flew back from Uganda, July 13, 2007, and she landed in the USA for the first time. God had answered many prayers through several years for that moment to happen. Small 2 ½ year-old Angella had become our daughter, to look after from then on. The adoption was finalized on November 17, 2007, on Adoption Day in Albuquerque.
Christians don’t often think of themselves as following a religion. After all, God calls us to a personal relationship with Him, not a religious experience or set of rules. James, the writer of James 1:27, had seen religious leaders flaunting their so-called spirituality in front of the masses. After seeing these leaders, perhaps there were Christians spread throughout the land wondering what God thought about religion. Am I supposed to be a religious person? What does that look like? James felt he needed to address the issue.
We have no problem with the last part of this definition of religion that says God wants us to keep the world’s views from polluting our lives. We know as followers of Christ we are to be set apart from the world and to be holy. In addition, our church serves widows by assigning deacons to support, encourage, and help meet their needs. Even those who are not deacons “love on” the widows in our fellowship.

Haven’t we forgotten the children? We are to look after orphans in their distress.

Every Christian couple and even Christian single adults should pray about adopting a child. Not so they can claim to be religious, but because God tells us to look after them. To some people this may be to sponsor a child somewhere in the world through Compassion International or World Vision. Some of you, no doubt, have been called to adopt a child from here in the States or from another country. To the Anderson family it looked like a precious, extra small, 2 ½ year old Ugandan girl who turned into a beautiful, tall, 13-year- old Ugandan-American.

Yes, keep yourselves from being polluted by the world and continue looking after widows; but pray about how “look after orphans…in their distress” is to be lived out in your life. Be a “religious” person in the true sense of the word.

A Heart and Home for Every Child

By LuAnn Edwards

Wendy was a pouter. She would stick her little lips out when she didn’t get her own way. When she smiled, however, she lit up the room.

Thirty-five years ago we added a second child to our small family through the foster care system. Wendy and our daughter Leah were both two at the time and caused all sorts of mischief around our house and supplied us with many blessings too.

Leah and Wendy became best buddies. I loved to dress the two girls similarly. People would ask if they were twins. My response, “No, they are four months apart.” That comment brought many raised eyebrows!

We attended a small church where the two girls would get up in front of the congregation and sing “Jesus Loves Me.” It was a precious time that hopefully made a positive impact on Wendy’s life.

After a year, my husband took a new job across the state. We were moving too far out of the area for the State to allow Wendy to stay with us. We inquired about adopting her, but it was not possible. Leaving her broke my heart. I felt I was leaving one of my daughters behind; it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. A week after our move, I called her new foster mom to check on her. She put Wendy on the phone, and I totally lost it when my little girl said, “Mommy, I miss you.”

I have prayed for her often over the years, placing her in the Lord’s care. I trust and pray that she has or will come to know the Lord as her personal Savior.

Although we could not adopt Wendy, God welcomes her into His loving arms. He accepts her as she is, cares for and loves her. If she has accepted Christ into her heart and life, she is an adopted daughter in the Kingdom of God and has become His little girl. That’s a much better future and inheritance than what she would have had with us (Galatians 4:4-7).

Foster care and adoption are two topics close to my heart. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there were 641,000 children served by the foster care system in 2013. Included in this number were 102,000 foster children available for adoption1.

May is National Foster Care Month. Please pray for the many children needing a place of refuge, a place of love. If you have room in your heart and home for a child needing a caring family, please consider becoming a foster parent. Many children are in need of a home that can offer them stability, nurturing, encouragement, and love.

For more information: