Monday, June 4, 2012

Speaking Up and Praying For

A few nights ago I was sharing photos of our recent trip with some lovely ladies in our small group from church.  Horrific stories of human trafficking and orphaned children became reality as they listened to all we had experienced in recent weeks. A persistent thought played over and over in my mind...."do not forget these little ones!"  As we looked at the faces of children, I was reminded to pray, pray and pray some more.  Give, give and give some more.  Reach, reach, and keep reaching - "speaking up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute...speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." (Proverbs 31: 8,9)  

Jesus said in Mark 10:14-15 to "let the children come to Him, do not hinder them...the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."  Innocent and needing direction and protection.

Weeks ago when I came away from holding, laughing and playing with the children in an orphanage we visited, I was struck with the harsh impact of "what I just saw and experienced is a microcosm of what is in the world.  The fatherless and motherless children of the world....a drop in the bucket of humanity."  This was not the first orphanage I had visited in my lifetime...there have been others...and each time my heart is broken over the lack of family experienced by these little ones.

Webster's defines an orphan as "a child deprived by death or abandonment of one or both parents; one deprived of protection."  UNICEF states that today there is approximately 143 million orphans worldwide (between 140-190 million roughly estimated).  As I viewed on a website dealing with orphans, to put this into perspective, if all the orphans were to stand shoulder to shoulder, they would reach around the 10,913 mile perimeter of the United States four times, or reach around the world two times.  UNICEF also estimates that by the year 2020, the orphan population of the world will equal 200 million, roughly 2.8% of the world's population.  These are real-life children without mothers and fathers.  I applaud, respect and honor the orphanage workers worldwide who give of themselves to provide love and care and a semblance of "home" and "family" to the hundreds and thousands of lives they touch daily.  

For those of us/you out there who are mothers and fathers, who hope to be mothers and fathers, who have a heart (I think that pretty much includes all of us) we pray for daily for the multitude of needs that surround us, remember Lamentations 2:19 and pray those children who do not have praying parents...

"Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.  Lift up your hands to Him for the lives of our children, who faint from hunger at every street corner."

I want to share some dear hearts with you....not in any way to publish or exploit them, but to ask you to PRAY for their future....pray for their hearts....pray for a family, a hope and a future for them. I don't have names for all of them, but God KNOWS their names...

Could I ask you to do me a favor?  Would you please intercede for these children, and the staff and ministries who selflessly provide for them?  At the age of about 15, children are "released" from orphanages, given a bit of money and taken to the bus station - to go begin a future somewhere.  Often times, human traffickers are waiting their for them.  Someone approaches them in nice clothes and offers them opportunity for a future.  And they are led away believing they are about to enter a good life, instead of the labor and sex industry they are being sold into. PLEASE pray for children to be rescued from this.  Many ministries are providing "transition homes" for those leaving the orphanages to live for a time, learning life skills, occupations, and being given the tools and awareness they need to enter into society. Pray for these ministries.  When you look at the above photos of these sweet innocent children, please lift up their hearts, souls and lives to the King and Father who loves them and CARES DEEPLY for their future.

"And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them."  Mark 10:16
WE can be His Hands.....


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