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We often hear and read that the most Biblical way to care for orphans on the mission field is church planting. We agree. Orphaned and abandoned children are a tragic result of sin. The Gospel is the answer to sin. More churches are desperately needed everywhere. No argument there. (Matthew 4:23; Matt. 11:5; Mark 13:10; Mark 16:15; Luke 4:18; Acts 3:6;Romans 10:15; Ephesians 3:6)
However. If the answer to an orphan problem is church planting, then why are so few churches willing to assist the orphans of the world, or even those in their own countries? How is this crucial point of Christianity being so badly neglected?
Any church that is content to allow government and false religions to care for the fatherless, is a church that misunderstands the Gospel and everything it stands for. It is a church with a gaping hole right in its heart. (Matthew 19:21; Matthew 22:38-40; Matt. 25; Mark 10:21; Luke 17:2; James 1:27)
I would go even further and say that if a church is allowing Godless institutions to do the job that was given by God to Christians, it is enabling the orphan problem, and allowing it to grow.
A church plant may be thriving, but if it is at the same time ignoring a generation of fatherless children, it is, without even trying, raising up a jaded, bitter, broken generation that does not know nor care about Christ or his Gospel. It is cutting itself off at the knees. (By the way, this is as true in the United States as it is in foreign countries.)
We cannot claim that the church is the answer to the orphan problem unless we actually believe it, and actively put it into practice. Not every Christian is called to do this in the exact same way, but every Christian is called to do it in some way. If you are a Christian, consider yourself called. (Psalm 82; James 1:27; James 2:14-20; Proverbs 21:13)
Yes, the Gospel IS the answer! The hungry and fatherless need the Bread of Life more than they need physical comforts! But, how can we say we care about their souls, if we are willing to let their bodies starve?
We must also give them bread.