Orphan Sunday Prayer


Dear Father, On this Orphan Sunday, we join with Your people across our country and beyond to pray for orphans. We know that love for these precious children begins not with us, but with You. You pursued us when we were wayward and alone. You adopted us as your children. You invite us to address you as Daddy and to live as Your sons and daughters. Truly, we love because You first loved us.

You tell us also that You are near to the downtrodden and destitute. Your heart aches for children that face the world alone. You champion the cause of those who have no one else to take their side. And You call us to do the same.

So we pray that You would rouse us to share your heart. We ask that You would stir Your people to passion and vision and action on behalf of children that have no family.

prayer11We lift up to You the millions of children in the world who have lost their parents to disease, to war, to addiction, to poverty, to abandonment. As You promise to do, place the lonely in families. Be their defender, their provider, their hope and peace. Help us to do the same.

We pray also for the children in our foster system in America. So often, they are bounced from home to home, knowing little love, consistency or true nurture. Please be their love, their consistency, their nurture. Help us to do the same.

We confess that we have often lived with little regard for these precious lives. Please forgive us. Lead us to take up their cause, not in guilt or obligation, but as a joyful response to Your great love for us.

As we do, we pray that You would use our humble response to transform. To transform the lives of countless orphans both physically and spiritually. To transform us as we encounter You in them. To transform Your Church as we lift our eyes beyond our own comfort and self-focused religion to live out the painful beauty of the Gospel. And finally, to transform a watching world as it catches glimpses of Your love made visible through the actions of Your people.

We commit all this to You, the One who is both our Father and a Father to the fatherless, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Photo credit

I was an orphan, so I will care for orphans

11x17poster-page-0As we celebrated Orphan Sunday this past weekend, we came to two powerful conclusions:

  • I was an orphan, but I was adopted
  • I was an orphan so I will care for orphans

Our first conclusion is based the idea that we are all prodigal children separated from our Heavenly Father. But as Galatians 4:4-5 tell us, Jesus redeems us making adoption possible. This is the gospel message.

 The second conclusion is where we are praying our church can lead the way. In our broken world there are vulnerable children who don’t know that Jesus promised to adopt them. So as a great caring network, we all have a role in loving the least of these. So the question is, how will you care for orphans? Locally and globally?

 Here are some ideas:

- Come on a mission trip to serve on the frontlines.

- Plugging in to our student ministries or kids ministries as volunteer.

- Getting your TLC involved in global orphan care.

- Sponsoring/supporting some of the projects are church has partnered with.

- Taking time as a family to pray for the global orphan crises. 

What I Wish I Could Tell These Children


What I Wish I Could Tell These Children

Part three of Pastor Rey's reflection after his trip to Kenya where he met many children, many orphaned. Even surrounded by terrible conditions he was reminded of God's love for each of them.

There are so many. Everywhere I go. Everywhere I look there are children. Beautiful children. Poverty, malaria and the HIV virus have left countless children orphaned in Kenya. As I have visited orphanages and schools, both in the city and in the rural areas, I keep hearing God's whisper in my heart - "I have compassion for these children."

As I said goodbye to these children, I have put my hand out to shake their hands. I was able to shake a couple hands but can’t reach all the kids. They all run after me, just wanting to shake my hand. There are so many. I wish I could do more. I wish had more time and resources. I don’t want these children, so valuable in God's sight, just to become a number or statistic. If I had time I would tell them all -



"Your are loved and valued. You can’t imagine how much God loves you. I want you to know you are the apple of your creator's eye. I want you to know you are God's work of art, fearfully and wonderfully made. I want you to know God has a plan for you. I want you to know God loved you so much he sent his own son to die for you. I want you to know God is the father of the fatherless. I want you to know that God will not leave you as orphans. I want you to know one day there will be no tears, no pain, and no loneliness. That there is hope."

That's why we are partnering with these amazing projects where many children can experience the love of God. Where these children can see that their Heavenly Father loves them, each in a unique way.

Like what you see but want more? Check out Washington Cathedral's website for more information

75% Survival Rate


75% Survival Rate

Pastor Rey recently returned from Africa where he had a chance to meet amazing people, to be reawakened in his faith. He was shown miraculous acts of God and was inspired by the people he met.

None of us would settle for those odds.  In almost any arena of our life, 75% is not good enough especially when it comes to our children.  I wouldn't accept a 75% survival rate for my children, family or friends.  That would mean 25% would not make it.  That's not good enough.  I'm sure anyone of us would do whatever was necessary to ensure the number increases so that our loved one would survive.

I met a man named Nehemiah who would gladly exchange a 75% survival rate than what he experienced in his childhood.  His mom and dad had 16 children.  Only 4 survived.  The other 12 children died of malaria, a preventable and treatable disease.  The cost of the medicine was a few dollars, but it might as well have been millions of dollars for Nehemiah's parents.  So Nehemiah being the fourth youngest buried his three younger siblings.  His family's survival rate was 25%, a tragic figure that is sadly common for many in Africa.

Nehemiah did survive, through many miraculous acts of God. As he recounted his story to us, tears flowed from his eyes.  He explained how as an orphan he felt powerless, vulnerable, and headed for a life of misery.  He saw it in his older siblings and in the children all around him.  What chance could he have to escape?  When he lost his father, he wasn't even allowed to go to the public school so he would sit outside by the window listening to the teacher 'stealing education.'

By the grace of God, he was able to receive a first class education in Nairobi, which led to a great paying job far away from the misery of his past.  But God called Nehemiah to return.  To start a school and several orphanages and to care for the children who are now facing what he faced as a child.




Now Nehemiah wants to serve God by changing the survival rate.  He wants children to experience the love of their Heavenly Father.  So he has started a school in the Soweto slums with 3 orphanages.  He has also started a school back in his village with 1 orphanage.  In total he is serving close to 2000 children.  And he is not settling for a 75% survival rate.  He is chasing after Gods best for each and every child.

Like what you see but want more? Check out Washington Cathedral's website for more information.