Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Is this real?

Today worldwide:
400,000,000 abandoned children
100,000,000 street children
18,000,000 child refugees
15,000,000 trafficked children
2,000,000 prostituted children, raped on average 20/day
300,000 child soldiers
215,000,000 child labourers
(Stats from UN and UNICEF reports)
Your voice is needed. Your action is powerful.
These stats make me want to sit down and cry and give up on the world. How about you? They make me angry. They hurt even more when you have children of your own. Somehow it hits home a little more knowing these children were born into this world just like my little girl was.
I heard these stats during a seminar put on by World Orphans this weekend at the Together for Adoption conference in Phoenix. This seminar challenged me, but even more than that, it inspired me. The work being done by this ministry is incredible! Go to their site and check out what they are doing.
World Orphans makes a difference in the human trafficking crisis by “stepping in to prevent, delay and rescue orphaned children, and breaking these cycles to change more than just the number of orphans.” They pointed out that all of the stats at the beginning of this post have one common link, the orphan. The orphan is found among all of these tragic numbers.
They believe in adoption, but only about 1% of the world’s orphaned children are or ever will be eligible for adoption. The 1% is why Above and Beyond Orphan Ministry exists. For the other 99%, organizations like World Orphans work indigenously with local churches to build partnerships where the local church can work in their own communities. The local church can work with families to prevent them from abandoning their children. They can work alongside orphanages, so that when children age out, they know where to turn so that traffickers will not intercept them outside the orphanage doors.
The presenter told a story of an orphanage where human traffickers would wait outside the orphanage when they knew a child was aging out, so they could pick them up, trick them and sell them. So the churches started coming in vans to intercept the child before the traffickers could. After a while, the traffickers began showing up in self-made “church vans” to trick the aged out children. In this case, World Orphans worked with the local church to build relationships with the child before they aged out, so that they would know who to trust when they aged out.
Creative solutions for complex problems. It’s what we need and we love to tell the stories of those who are seeking God and finding a way to make a difference!

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