Years ago, a dear friend asked me to come along with her and her dad to Tanzania, Africa.

I was scared... but I said yes.  I raised the funds, went to meetings, packed my bags and eventually flew 9000 miles away from the place I've always called home.  My first time out of the country.  Little did I know I would leave this place calling it my home.

I sent letters asking people to please support my mission trip to Africa.  Or if they could not financially support me, that they'd support me in prayer.  It was crazy, looking back, to see the way God used people to send me to Africa.  Dear friends who gave money because they believe that it is not theirs.

On one of our free days, we went to the village and purchased things.  Jewelry.  These women made such beautiful jewelry.  I wish I would have photographed the sight.  A little market of sorts full of women selling beaded jewelry.  It was beautiful.

We had to negotiate.  We are Americans.  Naturally, to them, we are rich.  Things were sold for much more because they knew they could take advantage of the amount of $$$$ we brought to this foreign country.  I was searching for 17 bracelets.  17 bracelets for the people that gave money to me to go to Africa.  It took some negotiating and searching, but I left with 17 bracelets and some things for me to remember this country by.

I was just so fascinated by those women who knew we had money, so they tried to charge us more for their work.  Today, after going through an adoption and seeing the blessing of people financially giving to my family, I've realized that what these sweet women don't know is that not every American is generous.  Not every Christian is generous.  I didn't share a language with these women, but I knew that God was speaking through them to show me that we have a problem in the Church.

There is a huge financial burden in adoption.  It is too much to bear for one family.  Many people came alongside us and my life will never be the same because of that.  But also, many people didn't.  Many people still today think that if you are going to have a kid, you should be able to pay for them on your own.  Or they think that it is your responsibility, not theirs.  But they're missing something.

God's heart is for the orphan.

People always say that they want to be remembered as "a man after God's own heart."  But what they don't realize is that if you're after God's own heart, you have to realize that you must also have a heart for the orphan.

Too many people believe that adoption is just for certain people.  "It's not for me", they say.  "God just hasn't called us to that."  But that's not the truth.  There is a big difference, a huge difference, between adoption and adopting.

But I have good news.  Have you been adopted by Christ?  Have you been changed by the work of adoption through the cross?  If you have, you are called today and everyday to follow after the heart of God.  That can mean many things to every peson.  But know that one of those things is the orphan.  No matter where you are in your life or where God has placed you, you are called.

Friends!!!!!  What a beautiful thing!!!!  What a beautiful thing to be able to be called to such a beautiful thing as adoption and the orphan.  What a beautiful thing that we can all as believers share that in common.  Embrace it.  It is what you are called to do.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.  James 1:27  

Never take advantage of any widow or orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, you can be sure that I will hear their cry.
Exodus 22:22-23
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  Galatians 4:4-6
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father.  Romans 8:14-16
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.  Isaiah 1:17
And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.  Matthew 18:5
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.  Proverbs 31:8-9

(A dear friend that helped bring home Trey has been running a 5-part guest post on her blog.  It is called "Why I Gave a Boatload of Money to Adoption."  You should read them.  I think that it's just fabulous.)

Kara  – (February 7, 2013 at 12:33 PM)  

WOW! This is incredible and so encouraging!

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