Why The Orphan Crisis Is Everyone’s Problem

The Honestly Adoption Podcast - Season 9, Episode 83

We hear it often: hundreds of thousands of children are without families, and homes, all over the world. Whose problem is this? What does that really have to do with us and what can we do about it?

On today’s episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, we talk openly with Think Orphan’s Phil Darke about why the orphan crisis is everyone’s problem. If you’ve ever wondered how you can be involved, beyond or in addition to foster care and adoption, this is an episode you won’t want to miss!

Listen Now:

Notes and Quotes:

Think Orphan is a part of Providence World which is an organization that exists to inspire and equip others to love orphaned and vulnerable children with excellence.

“We are really trying to help people understand the breadth and scope of this massive crisis…how they are all interconnected and how we really, practically, can get involved.” -Phil Darke

So how can we practically get involved in this global crisis?  Can you break that down for us?

  • Read OrphanologyKnow Orphans, and Orphan Justice
  • Foster and Adoptive Parents:  ASK for specific help, so others are invited into what you are experiencing.
  • Offer practical help to foster and adoptive families (ie: mow their lawn)
  • Be a resource to other families who are struggling (come alongside a single parent, mentor, etc…)
  • Work towards poverty alleviation
  • Disciple people in their identities
  • Church planting

“Some people are called to foster and adopt and others are not…but everyone is called to love orphans and vulnerable children in their affliction.”

“Orphan care starts in your home, even if you don’t have any children.”

“Alleviating the orphan crisis starts with preventing the breakdown of family because if we can {do this}, if we can strengthen families that exist right now, there is less work involved.”

If we could simply disciple males to be men of God, we would alleviate most of the orphan crisis and most of the human trafficking around the world.

You can’t do everything.  Dive into the space that the Lord puts on your heart.  See it as interconnected.  We aren’t competitors, we work together on this journey.

Can you talk more about pre-emptive family strengthening and discipleship?

Discipleship is a word that means “training up” to understanding.  It means walking at the feet of someone – an active training.  It is to enter into others lives, to not just tell but to show them.

Mentoring is important, BUT…

If you are going to mentor, make sure you can commit to being involved, in some way, for the long haul.  Don’t commit and then bail on that kid.  It is just one more example to them of people loving them and leaving.

Pre-emptive family strengthening is the idea of responding before the problem happens, not just reacting when it is already a crisis.

“Every child is one caring adult away from being a success story.”

We want to show them, because how do they know what it is if they aren’t shown?

“I tell foster and adoptive parents, ‘Listen, you’re changing the world and you’re never going to be celebrated like celebrities…but the kingdom of heaven is moved and the world is changed by what you are doing.'” – Mike Berry

What would you tell someone who is feeling hopeless today?

  • At the end of the day, what you are doing is having a much greater impact than what you can see.
  • You are doing something that matters.
  • God loves these kids more than you ever will.
  • We get to be a part of changing lives!

Resources and Links:

Meet Phil and Becca Darke

Think Orphan Podcast

Providence World

La Providencia Orphan Care Homes in Honduras

The Refresh Conference

Road Trip for Dads

Recommended Books:

In Pursuit of Orphan Excellence by Phil Darke and Keith McFarland

Orphanology by Tony Merida and Rick Morten

Know Orphans by Rick Morten

Orphan Justice by Johnny Carr and Laura Captari

Question: Do you have any questions or comments for Phil about how you can be involved more in orphan care?  Contact him at pdarke@providenceworld.com and/or leave a note below. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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