This is Abby. She has access to health care, sleeps in a warm bed, and eats three meals a day (even if her diet does consist of an inordinate amount of Little Caesar’s Hot ‘N Ready pizza). She officially begins kindergarten this fall and will probably choose to go to college someday. She regularly hears her parents preach the gospel to her. She is our beloved daughter.
This is Aster*. She is an orphan in Ethiopia. She is only one of 5 million orphans in that country alone. Though her caretakers do the best they can, food, education, health care, and sometimes even beds are severely limited. And they are not her family. When she ages out of the orphanage, she will likely be forced to live on the street. She may or may not ever hear what Jesus has done for her.
Everyone of us was born into a hostile world of sin and suffering–our pain an inheritance from the first two people to ever set foot on this earth. We were orphans, helpless, unable to crawl out of a pit of sin that simply became deeper with each passing day. But there was one who took pity on our state. And this, even while we were far from being as cute as Aster.
He desired to have a relationship with us. And not just any relationship. Not simply that of an employer and an employee or a master and his slave. Not simply a friend or a teacher. Through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has given us “the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”, (Romans 8:15).
Our God is the One who declares that he has “plans to give [us] hope and a future,” (Jeremiah 29:11). He has also called out for his own glory a body of believers who are to demonstrate that hope. We are to emulate him by giving generously to those who are in need, loving the refugees among us, and providing families for the fatherless. We are to do (through his power) on earth what he has already done for us spiritually.
There should be no difference between Abby and Aster, but because we live in a world crippled by sin, there is. And with only a slight change in timing and location, my daughter could be found facing the same circumstances. But because our God is a God of redemption, and he is changing me to become more like him, I can open my home and my heart to an orphan and make her my daughter, too.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are,” (1 John 3:1). So we are.
(*I don’t know this little girl personally and have given her a name for the purpose of this post. Top photo from Erika Chambers Photography. Bottom photo from For His Name Photography.)
If you would like to help support our Ethiopian adoption, please consider purchasing a bracelet or another fun item from our Etsy shop. Thanks!