The following article is printed by permission of 21st Century Christian Magazine taken from their October 1993 edition.
At the age of ten, most children live carefree and happy lives. They have relatively few worries. This is the way it should be. But what a stark contrast to ten-year-old Nathan, who sat in my office one afternoon after school. His mind wasn’t on playing games or having fun. Instead, he wanted a family.
I’ll never forget the look in his eyes as he pounded the wall in frustration and, with tears streaming down his face, said over and over, “I want a family, I just want a family.” Ten year olds shouldn’t have to be in Nathan’s position, but they are.
Christian child care services seek to heal the hurts of children like Nathan. We seek to be a family for those without one. God consistently rose to the defense of the fatherless. It was his nature. David proclaimed, “A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, (Psalm 68:5-6). As the people of God, we should have that as our nature as well.
God makes a home for the lonely! What a beautiful image of God’s fathering nature. Because God’s compassion extends toward troubled children, we develop a heightened awareness of the light of these children.
Children can be without a family, even when their parents are still living. Dysfunctional families exist all around us. Many children who come through our children’s homes have never seen or experienced a good family model. Their perception of “family” is molded by the realities they have experienced firsthand. Realities such as sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Realities such as drunkenness and drug addiction. Realities such as abandonment and neglect.
Such realities challenge all of us who love children and support Christian child care. We can model Christian families before troubled children. We can incorporate the lonely into a caring family unit. We can expose them to the teachings of Jesus. We can give children hope for the future.
While visiting a church service recently, I met Larry, a man who spent nine years of his youth at a children’s home. He is now active in the church, happily married, and the father of two beautiful children. The cycle of our work begins by taking the Nathans of this world, and through the nurturing environment of a home, producing people like Larry.
Our present generation has been blessed by the benevolent work of Christians who served thirty and forty years ago. They saw the need to care for children and pioneered many Christian child care agencies. We need to carry their vision into the 21st century.
If we join hands in the work, we can help troubled children and their families. The Nathans of this world are counting on us!