Churches across the nation this Sunday will raise awareness of the world’s 143 million orphans as part of a concerted effort to promote adoption among believers in the pews.
"Orphan Sunday is an opportunity for believers all across America to speak for those unspoken for; those the world has forgotten,” says Vicki Mullins, director of Orphan Ministry for East-West Ministries International, in her endorsement of the annual event. “There are millions of orphans in the world. It is clear in Scripture that Jesus loved and cared for these children – how can we do any less?
Through a network of more than fifty state volunteer coordinators, the coalition behind the Orphan Sunday campaign has been helping churches, organizations and lay-leaders across the nation organize their own distinctive local events – ranging from sermons, Sunday School classes and prayer gatherings to concerts and service projects – to highlight the call to “defend the cause of the fatherless” and what ordinary Christians can do in response. more >>
The Salvation Army and JC Penney launched on Tuesday an online Angel Giving Tree program that will allow customers to adopt and then shop for needy children and seniors this Christmas.
Until Dec. 14, people can search for an Angel they would like to adopt by location, age range and gender. An Angel who matches the criteria will be e-mailed to the customer along with a list of needed items. The e-mail will also include a link to nearby drop-off locations and ship-to addresses for online orders.
FedEx Ground is supporting the effort by shipping gifts purchased through the Web site for free to any of the 1,200 Salvation Army collection centers nationwide. more >>
A Christian ministry launched an ambitious initiative this week to cut homelessness on Los Angeles’ infamous Skid Row by 90 percent within three years, and completely end homelessness in the nation’s second largest city within 10 years.
Union Rescue Mission, a Christian ministry that serves the poor and homeless in Los Angeles, announced Wednesday its new “You are the Mission” movement. The initiative focuses on changing the hearts of those who are not homeless so they will help advocate for those who are on the streets.
“At this time when poverty is at an all-time high and homelessness, especially among families, is at an all-time high in Los Angeles, I think it is appropriate time to ignite a movement to end homelessness as we know it in Los Angeles,” said the Rev. Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission, at the launch of the movement. more >>
Instead of helping poor people with charity that will eventually run out, it is more effective to lift people out of poverty through microfinance, says a Christian poverty expert.
“If we give individuals food for today, what will happen tomorrow? They’re going to be hungry. If we give individuals clothes for today, they’re eventually going to wear out,” said Peter Greer, co-author of the new book The Poor Will Be Glad, to The Christian Post Monday.
“So that is why we believe charity, there is a time for it and a place for it, but it always runs out. It’s always going to be temporary.” more >>
The current food crisis was preceded by more than a decade of losses in the fight against world hunger and reached new depths as a result of last year’s food crisis, reported the United Nation’s anti-hunger agency.
While the world turned its attention and opened its pocketbooks to funding aid areas such as emergency relief, debt reduction, and improvement of government practices, it had been reducing investment in agriculture, explained the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
“In the fight against hunger, the focus should be on increasing food production,” FAO director-general Jacques Diouf told The Associated Press. “It’s common sense…that agriculture would be given the priority, but the opposite has happened.” more >>
Stop the Traffik and the United Nations are looking to mobilize young people in the global campaign to end human trafficking.
The Start Freedom campaign was launched at the U.N. headquarters in New York on Monday to help young people make a change for trafficked peers.
It offers resources, including lesson plans, that teachers and students can use to explore the issues surrounding trafficking and what they can do to help put a stop to it. more >>