White House: Christians Express 'Vibrant Love' for Orphans

WASHINGTON – The White House praised a Christian campaign that seeks to raise awareness and stimulate church involvement in the orphan crisis this week.

"It is with pleasure that I express my deep appreciation and respect for the Cry of the Orphan Campaign," wrote Jay Hein, director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, in a letter dated Monday. "It is nothing less than faith expressing itself in vibrant love."

The Cry of the Orphan campaign kicked off Monday and will use the popular radio programs and websites of prominent pro-family Christian organizations to encourage Christians to respond to the needs of the 143 million orphans currently in the world.

Prominent groups such as FamilyLife, Focus on the Family, and Shaohannah's Hope – founded by award-winning CCM artist Steven Curtis Chapman – are part of the unified orphan campaign.

"The number of children worldwide without families to love and care for them is overwhelming," said FamilyLife president Dennis Rainey in a statement. "It will take the collaborative effort of churches, ministries and individuals to reach the millions of orphans crying out for help."

Popular radio hosts Dennis Rainey of FamilyLife Today, Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, and Howard Dayton of Money Matters are devoting their daily broadcasts this week and utilizing their organizations' resources to inform millions of listeners how they can respond to the orphan crisis.

"By waking Americans to the needs of orphans and the challenges and joys of serving them, you are undertaking work that will carry impact far beyond our own brief lifetimes," Hein wrote.

In the United States alone, 514,000 children live in the foster care system, and approximately 115,000 of them are waiting to be adopted, according to the White House.

"Without parents, children are often deprived of the love and protection they need and are often susceptible to abuse, illness, poverty and other injustices," Hein noted.

Cry of the Orphan has led to the creation of the Christian Alliance for Orphans – a formal coalition of more than 75 churches, ministries and orphan-related organizations working together to make an impact on the orphan crisis.

"May your efforts continue to bring new life and hope to orphans, as well as to the families that welcome them home," the White House letter concluded.

On the Web: www.cryoftheorphan