Parents play a powerful role in society, so what happens when they’re gone?
Studies reveal that fatherlessness devastates children tangibly, contributing to 63% of youth suicides, 71% of teen pregnancies, 71% of high school dropouts, and 85% of youth in prison. Although the effects of motherlessness are not as well studied, there are indications that growing up without a mother causes significant social and emotional dysfunction, manifesting as the inability to form close relationships, depression, heightened stress, and anxiety.
Now, what if neither parent is present?
Orphanhood impacts every shard of a child’s life, ripping away provision, protection, and love at a most vulnerable time. Still, they are not abandoned. No child is separated from God’s love, and he calls his people to transformative action (James 1:27 ESV).
What is Orphan Sunday?
In the early 2000s, the AIDS crisis in Zambia had reached a fever pitch. One doctor on the frontlines reported that 20% of adults had HIV, 60% of fifteen-year-olds would die of AIDS, and life expectancy had fallen to a mere thirty-seven years. The U.S. Agency for International Development predicted in 1999 that 600,000 children would be orphaned by AIDS within the decade.
Witnessing the desperation of these orphans, one pastor in Zambia pleaded passionately with his congregation, calling on the members to give whatever they could to care for these children. These congregants weren’t rich themselves, but that day they gave money, food, and even their own shoes to these little ones, sparking a movement of compassion throughout Zambia that the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) brought to the United States.
Each year in our churches, we set aside one Sunday in November to remember orphans and vulnerable children around the world, praying for them and stepping up to fill their needs through sponsorship.
How can my church get involved?
This year Orphan Sunday falls on November 13th; there is still time to get involved!
To celebrate the launch of our two newest GlobalFingerprints sites, we are encouraging churches to host sponsorship events to help children in Nagpur, India, and Manilla, Philippines. Both of these countries rank in the top five countries for highest orphan rates, and the needs there are great. Hosting a sponsorship event, however, is easy!
1. Register your Orphan Sunday event on our website.
2. . You receive a Sponsorship Event Kit in the mail two weeks before your event, as well as coaching and support from our team. You can also check out our free event resources, including bulletin inserts, social media announcements, and videos here.
3. Share about the needs of orphans and vulnerable children and how God is using the ministry of GlobalFingerprints with your church on November 13th.
What if my church isn’t hosting a sponsorship event?
- You can sponsor a child yourself! Text “sponsor” to 22999 or meet your child https://app.globalfingerprints.org/.
- Spread the word about Globalfingerprints and encourage your friends and family to join you in making a difference in the life a vulnerable child.