global state of the orphan - tom davis

speaker: @cthomasdavis first of all, two years ago, russ & i tuned in online to some conference named "idea camp" to support our friend charles lee. seven idea camps later, all tackling topics like sex and community and social justice, we meet to discuss orphan care. i can't say enough about the idea camp community. if you aren't familiar, check out the livestream here:

Here's my notes from session 1 - they will certainly be scattered, but I wanted to share what stuck out most to me during the session.

God threw him into the whole "orphan crisis" - kept coming across verses in the Bible dealing with orphans. At the time, statistics said there were only 80 million orphans. Now? over 150 million.

Beginning research on orphan care, came across a Bono study:

How many Christians are doing something about the AIDS crisis? = 3% How many individuals not affiliated with faith based groups? = 7%

[if 7% of Christians involved themselves with orphan care, the orphan crisis would cease to exist]

Shame Study:

We, as a culture, don't know what it means to be vulnerable or in pain. We also are the most addicted, most overweight, most in debt than in any other decade. These are numbing mechanisms. We hedge our bets.

To be fully human, you have to be fully alive.

If you live in brokenness, you will only go so far. [ie: beautifully constructed churches filled with people wearing masks] We become busy so the truths of our lives will not catch up to us. We choose busyness over vulnerability and reality.


Jesus' ministry was centered on compassion.

Compassion = to suffer with [orphan care HAS to mean we force ourselves to suffer with those who are suffering]

Isaiah 58 - face my people with their sins...they are busy, busy, busy with their worship.

He tells us clearly what to do - but it takes us being vulnerable: inviting hurting & suffering into our homes. It's more than something we tweet about. It can't be "a something" it has to be all encompassing. When we're able to face this brokenness and embrace it, it will be the greatest life we ever lived.

The problem isn't that there aren't enough Christians to take care of orphans. The problem is compassion. The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy...he is in places the church is not. We have to accept the question: what might you ask me to do next?

Everything will change if we hear the voice of God and, filled with compassion, allow ourselves to say yes to Him.

WE are what the world needs. God is not shocked by the orphan crisis. He knows it's because of the brokenness of the world - and He's already sent an answer. Us. Me. You.

So what do we do?

1. act justly - justice means we act and we go. regarldess of the distance 2. accept vulnerability - allow compassion to overrule you. 3. find like-minded and like-hearted people - move through life together so we can see God do great things through us for the cause of the orphan

Posted on February 25, 2011 .