Reeds of Hope.

Today I want to talk to you about family reunification and how you can — and should — play a small role in it.
family reunification
This isn’t going to be a blog about adoption ethics, because I’m hardly the authority on that (though if you do want to read about adoption ethics, I would encourage you to take a look at Jen Hatmaker’s excellent series on the topic). I simply want to state this: adoption SHOULD be a last resort. It should be the option for children who do not have birth parents, family, friends, etc. to care for them in country. (And adoptive families have a responsibility to make sure that they are embarking upon an ethical adoption with an ethical agency.)Adoption is also not the only way we have a responsibility to care for the orphans and vulnerable children of the world.Let me be clear: I do wish many more people would adopt. I truly do. But I also wish there was more zeal for in-country work being done to unite families.

And not because I’m so righteous and this has been my lifelong passion. Because let me tell you, when we began our adoption journey I was ZERO involved with caring for the orphan. Isn’t that awful? I had never really done much to educate myself, and — though an active member of many churches my entire life who had many noble and God-pleasing goals of neighborhood evangelism and Christian education at their church-run parochial schools — I had never been a member of a church with a focus on orphan ministry.

So basically, God brought me to my knees when we began adopting — for purely selfish reasons (wanting a child and all that) — and I realized I was not answering God’s command to “look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27).

I want my son to know to grow up knowing that his Mama loves his people and his country and is fighting, praying for, advocating and supporting them in many different ways.

So I’m here today to tell you about a way I want to do that. During our adoption process I met some amazing people through blogs, Facebook, etc. and one of them is Holly Mulford. She and her husband are doing some pretty cool stuff in eastern DRC through an organization they founded called Reeds of Hope. You need to go to their website immediately and check it out (like them on their Facebook page, too).

There’s two things I adore about Reeds of Hope. One is that they are doing God’s work in a part of the world that gets ignored by many organizations — because it is scary and war-torn and violent. The other is that their goal is family reunification. At the orphanage they work with, they provide temporary help and support for children in their early years until families are able to care for them, and then they help out with education of those children once they are reunited with family. How crazy cool is that?

Each year, our family makes a small donation to some type of charity project when our godchildren’s baptismal anniversaries roll around in the fall. This year we decided we want to do something really meaningful and close to our hearts. I’m super excited that we’ll be sponsoring the education of three kiddos’ in eastern DRC in honor of each of our godchildren once their baptismal anniversaries come up.

I’m telling you all of this because I want you to know about this little grass roots group. I want you to pray for them. I want you to consider sponsoring a child’s educational needs or a project at this orphanage. Or if there’s another project and people you’re passionate about, I want you to advocate, pray for and help them out — and get your church on board with it, too. This is the stuff of Jesus, people — which means it should be the stuff of us, too.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

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