WHY AN ORPHANAGE?

James and Ellie Carr
After being on the mission field for about a year, James and I began feeling as if we could be doing more than we currently were.  We had been doing a lot of good and helpful things, but felt as if we had yet to fully dive into what the Bible says that we should be doing.  After many months of prayer, times of just listening for God's voice, and scouring scripture for answers, James and I came to the same conclusion.
As our Heavenly Father, God's love for
us is merciful and unending.  He even
created us in His own image!
We are still here to make disciples and share the Gospel with others- that is a non-negotiable command for all Christians no matter where they live or what they do for a living.  While reading the scriptures, however, we kept coming back to this theme of love God has for orphans and widows. God is referred to throughout scripture as both our Father and the Bridegroom of the Church.  Both titles are distinct examples of His unfailing and unconditional love for us.  Throughout the entire Bible we see this love especially exemplified in the form of God being a "Father of the fatherless and protector of widows."  This beautiful correlation is one that I continue marveling at.
As the Bridegroom, God loves us
unconditionally and for who we are,
not what we've done!
There are also various commands throughout the Bible to love, care for, and defend orphans (James 1:27, Exodus 22:22, Isaiah 1:17, and more).  God promises to be a Father to the Fatherless, but how can orphans experience His love and comfort unless they know Him personally?  While Romans 10:5-17 specifically refers to the message of salvation, I feel that verse 14 could also be fitting in this context, "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?"

Orphans obviously have very unique needs.  They lack parents to love, defend, teach, disciple, and even care for their basic physical needs.  Not only that, but in Guatemala, where we live, UNICEF has estimated that there are over 370,000 orphans.  To compare, the state of Georgia, which is significantly larger than Guatemala, has less than 2,000 orphans total.  To make matters worse, not quite ten years ago, Guatemala closed all international adoptions due to corruption creating all sort os new problems within the system.  So the need facing us is great, and it is right where we are.

For these reasons and more, we feel extremely certain of God's calling in our lives to work with orphans.  With guidance and direction, we took the position of Sub Directors at a Children's Home in Guatemala called Fundaniños, we served as both Sub Directors and Directors for about two years before moving offsite to focus on discipleship, and how we can effectively bring about change in the orphan care system in Guatemala.  The home we directly work with provides Christian care to between 40 and 60 abused, neglected, and orphaned children just outside of Guatemala City. More than anything we want to lead the children there to know and experience the love that our Father wants to lavish on them as His sons and daughters.
Part of the Fundaniños property.
"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 3:1a

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