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ORPHANS

The best model-of-care we have seen for orphans is the model employed by Liv Village in South Africa.

Their Mission Statement is to:

Rescue a child

Restore a Life

Raise a Leader and

Release a Star

The LIV model is long term cluster foster care, where children have a sense of belonging in a supportive community, modelling an African village lifestyle. They place orphaned and vulnerable children into a family environment with a trained foster mother to love them, a school to educate them, and where they receive spiritual discipleship, care and nurturing.

There are many pitfalls to establishing an orphanage and, no doubt each orphanage faces its own challenges.

Some of the more obvious obstacles include:

What is plainly obvious is that because of sin, wars, famine, natural disasters, poverty, sickness and death there are millions of children in the world who are homeless, and who have never experienced what it is to be loved.

These same grow up without God, without any understanding of God’s love and without any semblance of what it is to live a normal, healthy lifestyle.

We believe this is a primary area for our intercessors as the enemy has wreaked havoc on poor, defenceless minors and deprived them of moving into God’s Divine purposes for their lives.

CHILDREN’S DESTINIES

Liv Village has on it’s staff a truly amazing lady who manages what they call ‘Abba’s lounge’ (literally a prayer room).

Children visiting ‘Abba’s lounge’ are taught to hear from God and to seek the Father’s will for their lives. Together with their mentor and prayer partner, both parties pray for revelation on the child’s destiny. Whatever they ‘hear’ is recorded in their own personal journal which is kept securely in a locked filing cabinet. This journal is updated every time they visit ‘Abba’s lounge’ and then turned over to them on their 18th birthday.

Each child is monitored, both by their ‘House Mother’ as well as by their teachers in the school. The staff discuss the child’s progress and focus on any natural abilities that begin to surface. Once identified, these abilities are ‘matched’ with any revelation the child or staff at ‘Abba’s lounge’ may have received regarding the child’s destiny.

As the child’s destiny begins to unfold, the curriculum is adjusted to ensure that the teaching emphasis is in line with the child’s giftings.

GOD’S LOVE FOR CHILDREN

We include some scriptures that remind us of how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit regard children.


Matthew 19:14King James Version (KJV)

14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

2. He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Little wonder that the enemy is attacking these precious little ones!

WIDOWS

The Defender of Widows

Fundamentally, God is the kind of God who keeps a careful eye on the widow. He is profoundly concerned for her, together with the stranger and the fatherless. He is righteous and protects them for he is “a father of the fatherless, a defender of widows . . . in his holy habitation,” (Psalm 68:5).

The incarnate Son of God is like him. He cared for his widowed mother (John 19:25-17), he raised from the dead the son of the widow of Nain and returned him to his mother (Luke 7:11-17), and, in the spirit of the prophets, condemned those who took advantage of widows (Matthew 23:24).

Called to Imitate God

In line with this, God commanded that the nation of Israel care for widows, being diligent to not isolate them or take advantage of their vulnerability. Deuteronomy 16:11-14 shows how God provided for widows so that they were not excluded; instead, they enjoyed full participation in the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles.

However, when the nation of Israel turned away from serving God, they also turned away from his commandments. Who suffered when that happened? Widows were among the first casualties. The Old Testament prophets reproached those who wronged widows and called the nation back to its God-given responsibilities (e.g. Isaiah 10:1-3, Jeremiah 22:1-5, Ezekiel 22:6-7).

The church is called to be God-like, imitating his example and obeying his commandments. The early church cared for widows (Acts 6). In fact, the task was so important that seven men of good reputation, full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit, were selected to be responsible for the matter.

What's more, Paul laid out clear instructions in 1 Timothy 5 about how widows were to be regarded and treated. James did not mince his words in James 1:27. He said, in effect, “Let’s be clear about the nature of real religion. It must be visible and practical. It visits widows and orphans in their trouble as well as maintains moral purity in an evil world.”

 The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

Matthew 18:1 (NIV)

1. At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”