Yesterday, Heath and I had the opportunity to spend some time with 3 African pastors who are championing the cause of the fatherless in their countries and beyond. Pastor Billy (South Africa), Pastor Daniel and his wife, Erica, (Uganda) and Pastor George (Kenya) are leading their churches, as well as, equipping thousands of other pastors and churches in Africa to care for orphans. In fact, Pastor Billy is person who first had the vision from God to start Orphan Sunday in his church. Now, thousands of churches around the world set aside one Sunday a year to focus on orphan care. Graystone has been a part of Orphan Sunday the last 3 years.
God moved in many people’s hearts this past Orphan Sunday (November 2, 2014) at Graystone to do their part in orphan care. Several Graystone families felt lead by God to become foster parents. One of those families, good friends of ours, went through all of the Impact Training, and few weeks ago they became certified foster parents. And within days, 2 girls (ages 6 and 10) were placed in their home. The need is great.
I am so proud of this Graystone family who has made the sacrifice to open their home for the least of these. Both parents in this family work, and they have 2 high school kids of their own who play HS and travel sports. This family is just as busy as the rest of us, but they are doing what is takes to meet the great need of caring for foster kids in our community. In fact, they have inspired Jennifer and I to get re-certified so we can help them as respite foster parents.
Pastors Billy, Daniel and George were asking me for advice when it comes to leading a church to care for orphans. I told them that they were way ahead of me in orphan care and that I needed to learn from them. When I see all that these pastors and their churches are doing for orphan care (I.e. Pastor Daniel and Erica have 13 people living at their house right now (4 biological kids, 3 adopted kids, and I’m not sure who the other 6 people are?), it makes me think that we are doing very little. But Graystone is taking baby steps and have come a long way in the past 3 years.
I am thankful for David and Lisa Hennessey who are so passionate about equipping churches to care for orphans. They along with others are helping lead the cause at Graystone. David serves with Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO), and God is using him to have a big impact on Pastors Billy, Daniel, and George who in turn are impacting pastors and churches in the southern part of Africa. It’s another example of the importance of investing in a few (life on life discipleship) and committing to the process of multiplication…but that’s another post for another day.
Graystone peeps, let’s continue to take baby steps and become a “Church That Cares for Orphans”!