Camels are part of the landscape of Israel but I never got used to seeing them while I was there. Why? Because
they aren't part of the world I live in in Gainesville, Florida. Jesus would have been very familiar with camels in His day.
I believe God must have a sense of humor because of the assortment of unusual creatures He has created here. So why do I have
a picture of camels on my website? To jar you awake to the unfamiliar. Our home in heaven will have many things we are
familiar with here, but because we only see a small portion of God's creation in this world now, our home in heaven
will probably seem "out of this world." Indeed, it will be.
Perhaps this picture will awaken a curiosity about the world that awaits us in heaven. Our
adoption by our heavenly Father promises us an inheritance. A new Jerusalem that will come down from
heaven. Jesus will walk with us, as He did on the road to Emmaus with the disciples. The adoption of Joy and Manisha
has given me an even greater longing for the heavenly home that awaits me. For as I prepared for the arrival of my children,
God is now in heaven preparing to receive me. And you. He longs to have a relationship with us, to call us His
children. What greater love can there be? God loved us so much that He died for us, not only to save us from
our sins, but to adopt us for all eternity.
|Manisha's Referral Picture
Why Are Americans So Afraid of Orphans? Why do the marketers of the movie “Orphan” think it will
In this country alone there are over 500,000 children in the foster care system. Worldwide, the
U.N. estimates there are more than 145 million orphans. To put this into a number easier to understand, my oldest daughter,
Manisha, now 18, was adopted from Nepal when she was three. The estimated population of Nepal is around 28 million. That means
there are over four times as many orphans in the world as there are people in her native country.
another way, the population of the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of July 21, 2009, is 306,969,874.
That means the number of orphans in the world equals half the population of our country.
the word “orphan” is searched on Google today, the first two listings are for the movie “Orphan.”
What a lost opportunity to speak the truth in love! The Wikipedia definition is third: “An
orphan is a child permanently bereaved of its parents.”
The real horror is not that the movie portrays
orphans as monsters. The number of children that will be hurt by this message is disturbing. The movie "Orphan"
is only going to reinforce in the hearts and minds of individuals that orphans are damaged goods at best, monsters at worse.
Those who have thought about adopting may have second thoughts, plagued with fears and doubts. Children and
teenagers who have been adopted and hear about or see the movie might be tempted to question their own self‑worth or
value. Orphans who might have been adopted may not be because of the ill‑conceived notion, perpetuated by this movie,
that they are “bad.”
is a sad commentary on Hollywood, our society, and a tragic statement of the culture we live in. A world where money is the
bottom line and sensationalism tickles the ears of gullible listeners—let it not be at the expense of those who are
the least fortunate. Instead, as in the words of flight director, Gene Kranz, as portrayed in the movie “Apollo 13,”
when everyone doubted that the space program would be able to bring those doomed astronauts home, he stood up and said, “With
all due respect, sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.”
I challenge every American, particularly
those who are Christians, to look beyond the movie at the real horror—the little one who has no one to call mommy or
daddy; the baby who goes to bed at night with a protruding, empty belly; the 145 million children around the world who, through
no fault of their own, have lost their parents to AIDS, malnutrition, poverty, and violence.
Although all orphans have needs,
some more than others, they are not monsters. They are children with beating hearts, sticky fingers, and minds full of unleashed
potential. They just need to be given a chance. They are children made in the image of Christ and loved by the heavenly Father.
Rather than attacking the movie, let's join together and rewrite the script of “Orphan.” Give
an orphan a chance to worship in our church and synagogue. Invite one to sit down at the dinner table. Help all of them
to be educated in schools. Let us change the negative image of an orphan one life at a time. Let us encourage them to
dream big dreams and become everything God created them to be. Most of all, let us show the world that they are loved, just
as Christ loved us.
If it were not
for God's unconditional love, we would all be orphans. If we unite, we can send a far different message to Hollywood. We can
speak for those little ones that sit in overcrowded orphanages and wait. And hope.
Through God's love, let us love until we feel their pain. Only then
can we make a difference. Let us not let Hollywood have the last word. Truly, we can become the hand of God as we touch one
of His own. Let it begin with me. Orphans Deserve Better. Let this be “our finest hour.”