|A Challenge to the Church!|
BARBARA R. | AIM November 2004 Issue
Father of orphans, champion of widows, is God in his holy house. " (Psalms 68:5) -"Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of all the down-and-outers." (Proverbs 31:8) -"Speak out for justice! Stand up for the poor and destitute!" (Proverbs 31:9).
Recently, I was teaching a group of students about Children at Risk and while doing so, I began to think about the magnitude of the problem worldwide, the enormous number of children at risk in many countries of this world. I was beleaguered at the exploitation against children. Do they have hope? If so from whom will they get help?
Millions of street children all over the world, are growing up in children's homes, where caring and loving seem to be strange and not well accepted by the children. So they grow up without experiencing the warmth of love and concern. What about the war stricken children, children at the refugee camps, the little child soldiers, the children left orphaned and homeless? These children had no opportunity of living in a family life.
There are other children working day in and day out in factories without proper school education, and children growing up in brothels, watching their mother facilitating to the client's pleasure. And what about the children dying of AIDS because of the sin of their father or mother, the AIDS orphans, left without parents, with only an older brother or sister or an aging grandmother to take care of them.
Sad to say, that we see children at risk not only in the developing countries but we meet more and more of them in our beautifully developed Western countries too. Children who have run away from a loveless home, who indulge in drugs at a very early age because they were not told how to live a decent and good life, with parents who often only think about the pursuit of their careers. Children hurt by families breaking apart, themselves unable to enter a lasting relationship.
These children and teenagers worldwide are our future. They are the adults of tomorrow. Will they be the ones that will influence society? Will they become leaders? Maybe or may not be, and certainly very often not in a good, godly way. Children who through experiencing war only got to know violence will resort to violence to solve their problems. Children who have never known love will not be able to show love and care to others, they have only learned to care for themselves and to take what they need.
Will we see an army of robbers sweep our lands, stealing and taking what they want, not shying back from violence? What future is there for all those children who have never learned to live a life of respect and decency? Street children produce street children, orphanage children become the future terrorist armies! The Romanian Dictator Ceausescu’s secret police was made up of children from the orphanages that never had learned what it means to live in a family and to receive love. They were ready to do anything for money and status.
Where will we all be in ten, twenty years? How will our societies look?
Looking at all those facts, it makes our future look scary and bleak too. But it is in our hands to do something. We can reach out to all these children before it is too late.
Because there is such a multitude of such children, we need an army of workers, reaching out to them. Some people may be called to reach out to many, some only to one or a few of those suffering children. Some may be called to go into the streets, the battle fields for many children, to reach out to the hurt and lonely with love and care and a lot of patience and understanding. Some will have to open houses for the homeless orphans, others clinics and homes for AIDS children.
Some might simply be called to open their house for one child that through adoption will find a new family. Some might just have to open the door of their house for the kids in the neighbourhood, being a friend to them, somebody who can lend an open ear and so helps prevent a child from going into drugs or unhealthy relationships. Maybe your involvement is 24/7 or only an hour a week.
Maybe it means to speak out on behalf of those, who have no voices, maybe to write letters to governments, to be an advocate for the helpless and hopeless of our world. Where ever we live, we can not close our eyes to the cry of the children. We are one world, we belong together. Nobody, no country is an island, untouched by what is going on in this world.
If you think of all this, considering, that God is a father to the fatherless and we are all called to be his hands, arms, feet and mouth to bring the message of his gospel to those who are lost and in pain, not just through words but through actions too and we have to act NOW.
No matter in what ministry you are involved, or if you are working in a factory or a business or as a housewife at home. Prayerfully carry out the task assigned to you. And at the same time coordinate with one another in networking, strengthening your faith in God to fulfil the task before you. Hear the cry of these needy children, who need your help, ask God where your place in this worldwide task is and then do it!