One of the major initiatives of Summit Church is the Every Child Initiative, which exists to envision, equip, and empower disciples of Jesus to have gospel impact in the lives of vulnerable children.
Each year, we set aside some time to look to the Father and ask Him to intervene on behalf of these children throughout the world, but also to show us how He might have us as a church and as individuals step deeper into joining Him in caring for them.
It’s that time of year again. This week, November 12th, is global Orphan Sunday and we will join hundreds of churches and thousands of believers throughout the world crying out to the Father on their behalf.
Read more about Global Orphan Sunday from of our partners here at http://lifelinechild.org/orphan-sunday
Just consider some of the statistics. Right now there is an estimated 140 million orphans throughout the world. In the US there are approximately 400,00 kids in the foster system with over 100,000 of them waiting to be adopted. In Florida alone there are upwards of 22,000 kids in the foster system with over 500 of them being here in SWFL. In fact, in southwest Florida alone we need over 100 new beds to meet the current needs of our region so kids don’t have to be sent to different counties and so siblings don’t have to be separated. And these numbers are just scratching the surface. They don’t take into account child labor, human trafficking, and babies facing the prospect of abortion.
The needs are immense, but our God knows them all and is able to meet each one. One of the ways He has purposed to meet those needs is through us, the church. There is no way around it. God, the Father, cares about the fatherless and as His people with His Spirit inside of us we get to care about them, too. And because we are convinced by what the Word of God says, there is no way to wiggle out of it. The question for each of us is how will we join Him in what He desires for us and for them. Not everyone is called to bring a child into their home, but every child of God is called to imitate their Father by stepping in.
So what does it look like for you? Some of you know right now that the Lord is telling you to adopt or foster or something like that and we want to encourage you to be obedient to what He is saying. If you’re married, talk about it with your spouse. Maybe He’s telling them the same thing. That’s actually what happened with us. Seven years ago on Orphan Sunday, we felt the Lord calling us to be a foster family. That fall, we stepped out in faith and seven years later we can look back and see how the Lord has grown our faith and changed our family. We are so grateful for the opportunity that the Lord has given our family to step in on behalf of the vulnerable. That was the call on our family. What about you? Maybe God isn’t telling you to bring a child into your home, but you can still be actively engaged. You can be a part of our wrap around ministry. You can be a court appointed advocate. You can volunteer with one of our partners. Or maybe it’s something else. Let’s seek the Lord in this matter and let’s be faithful to do whatever He tells us. We are asking you to be intentional in asking the Lord how you can and should be involved. Make it a priority to gather with us on Sunday evening at our University Campus for a night of prayer and worship specifically focused on these issues. Seek the Lord this week to see what He has for you leading up to next weekend. This week during our services, some of our partners will be present and able to answer any questions that you have about what they do. Pray through what the Lord might be saying to you in relation to those partnerships.
Summit, we praise God for you and the way you serve your community and world. Let’s keep going.
Jamin & Vicky Stinziano