My wife and I have always prayed for our kids to make the right friends. One day our son told us about his friend David (not real name) that he met at kindergarten. We got to meet David and when his parents came over with David for a play date, we realized they didn’t look like David. David was adopted into a loving Christian family.
Our kids became and are still good friends. One day I watched David and my son play and I started to tear up. I was amazed by how David’s little life was forever changed because someone had set their love on him and adopted him into their family. They showed love by choosing to love David in his need. I thanked God for providing a family for David and giving our son a new friend.
I came from a broken home, with my parents getting divorced when I was young and I never had a great relationship with my dad. When I heard the gospel in 2000 and believed in Jesus, I was struck by the amazing love that God has for us in saving us and in making us His children. There was this awe, a delight, and a new sense of belonging. I could now call God my Father. I was adopted into His family. I remember meditating on 1 John 3 for days! “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God…” Understanding the love the Father has for us really changes the way we think and live. I had a new identity as a child of God; and it is this love that God has for us that motivates us in our love for the fatherless and vulnerable. Children needed to be cared for and loved the way that I have been loved by God.
When I was still at Central Baptist church serving as a youth pastor, I always enjoyed visiting Bethesda. Every time I did, I saw the great work that God was doing through Bethesda in the lives of orphan and vulnerable children – I saw the gospel in action.
At the end of last year, I joined Bethesda Outreach to assist with orphan care development (OCD). My role at Bethesda is to assist local churches in finding specific ways that they can care for the orphan and vulnerable children in their community and at Bethesda. The CORONA outbreak limited my contact with pastors but has helped me to look for new ways to grow and make people aware of God’s heart for the orphan.
I am getting to know the Bethesda staff and families, who are amazing and committed people who love Jesus- or, as I am sure they would say, they are just ordinary believers who said “yes” to God’s call to care for the vulnerable. God uses people with various gifts to care for orphans. Though we might not be able to do everything to meet the great need of orphans in the world, we can all do something to make a difference.
So far, my time at Bethesda has been spent learning from others who have a heart for the vulnerable. I still have a lot to learn; but in seeing the huge task, I am reminded of my weakness and God’s power and that God is looking for our faithfulness. I can just joyfully come and serve Him openhandedly with what he has given for His Glory.