Orphan Sunday challenges churches to step up and help families

14 people gather for a group photo on a span of green grass surrounded by palm trees

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Like at this Coming Home celebration in the summer of 2021, when communities come together, families grow stronger.


Megan Rose | November 4, 2021

For centuries, when children lost their parents, it was the church that stepped in to help. Government-funded foster care programs didn’t come about until the early 1900s in the U.S. Since then, the church’s role has dwindled dramatically. Today, the Christian Alliance for Orphans aims to revive that role and encourage the faithful to help orphans and children in foster care.

This weekend, churches around the world mark Orphan Sunday, a day created by the alliance to raise awareness of the orphan’s plight and what churches, families and faith-based organizations are doing about it.

Better Together helps the church return to its traditional role of caring for modern-day orphans and widows.

Our government’s $9-billion-a-year foster care system is failing. It’s stretched beyond capacity. Reports of children experiencing harm in the foster care system are too common, and its 47% success rate of reunifying families too low. Every step of the way further traumatizes these already vulnerable children.

Every child belongs in a safe and loving family. In America, that should be the reality. With an abundance of resources, empty guest rooms, and 380,000 churches across America, we could dramatically reduce the need for foster care by taking back our historical role of caring for vulnerable children and families.

It most certainly won’t be easy. It’s going to take the church and people like you rolling up your sleeves and taking a more active role in caring for the vulnerable in your community, living out the phrase “Love your neighbors” even when it’s messy, inconvenient and challenging.

We’re already doing it in Florida. Better Together has helped more than 3,200 children with a 98% success rate of reuniting families. Together, we can make a life-changing difference for thousands of children throughout the country.

Our model builds family-like relationships between those who want to help and those who are hurting, building a community and deeper relationships that bring about better outcomes.

Imagine if every church and neighbor stood in the gap, being there for families before it gets to the point a child has been abused or neglected and needs foster care? Imagine showing love, genuine compassion, biblical hospitality, and care for vulnerable children and families. It would be a glimpse of heaven. It would change our society.

Jesus showed us this. He drew marginalized people to him, people who were often pushed aside by society. He listened. He took action. He met needs. The church can do this today. If the people of the church take a greater role in helping families in crisis, we can prevent the need for government to get involved.

Better Together provides the connection to those who are hurting, the professional support, and a go-to person who can help the church and volunteers make a real kingdom impact in the lives of vulnerable children and families in their community.

We’re grateful for the churches raising awareness for Orphan Sunday, working every day to preserve families, prevent child separation and ensure the essential adult nurturing that every child needs. On November 7, we’ll join congregations throughout Florida to highlight this great need, and we look forward to coming together.

And Jesus took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking the child in his arms; he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me. . .”
Mark 9:36-37

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