Small Act, Big Impact
When it comes to parenting, we often hear the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Perhaps this idea originated from the African nation of Egypt, where the story of Moses began.
Long before talking to burning bushes and parting seas, the background of Moses’ story began with a tragic family (and even national) crisis, a heartbreaking separation, and a wonderful welcome home. In many ways, these are elements still present in many adoption stories today.
One thing we see in every stage of his life, however, is God’s hand at work. Yet even before Moses was old enough to realize that, God’s providence came in the form of a community—or a village, if you may—that proved to be foundational to the fulfillment of his destiny. Before God launched him to create a big impact on history, it took people who created small acts to make a big impact on his life.
We believe the same in ROHEI Foundation. When we say that family is the answer, we recognize that while it does take an individual or a couple to adopt, it takes a community of committed family members and friends to lead and support children as they grow up to be the man or woman God has created and called them to be. Here are a few examples of small acts you can do that will surely make a big impact on generations.
“She opened it and saw the child—a baby crying! Her heart went out to him…” (Exodus 2:6)
When it comes to visiting orphans, there are generally two hesitations people have—to look down on it or look up to it.
To some, visiting orphans, especially going to children’s homes, has become a mere display of charity, where the more privileged go to the less privileged as some sort of detox. The result of this is damaging as it makes the visitor feel good but at the expense of the child, who is momentarily given the guise of having a family but still permanently left hoping for one.
To others, visiting orphans is a task reserved for those who are extraordinarily compassionate and religious. And since that makes up a very small percentage of our community, the result is equally damaging in that the rest of the world leave it up to them to do the work.
With these contrasting views on visiting orphans, it is worth revisiting what God’s design is. In James 1:27 it says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” Clearly, this verse gives value to the act of visiting orphans. The story of Moses gives us a picture of its importance.
The verse chronologically narrates Pharaoh’s daughter opening the basket, seeing the child, then hearing him cry. The result? “Her heart went out to him.” Human emotion proves to be so directly related to and dictated by the human senses. So perhaps the Bible is simply telling us that, like Pharaoh’s daughter, it is when we see and hear orphans that our hearts respond to them. In our many encounters with children, we find that our heart only grows each time. And just when you thought you couldn’t possibly love more, your heart increasingly expands to make room for each child you meet.
“Then his sister was before her: ‘Do you want me to go and get a nursing mother from the Hebrews so she can nurse the baby for you?'” (Exodus 2:7)
Now you may not have hesitations, but you have excuses that keep you from taking part in this mission to care for the orphans. “I’m too busy.” “I’m too young.” “I’m not the right person.” “Maybe she could do it.”
But God used people across all capacities and capabilities to save Moses. One key person is his own sister, Miriam, believed to be seven years old at the time. Way before Miriam became a prophetess and Moses’ companion in leading the Israelites from Egypt, she had already been by his side during his adoption. Miriam, in all her seven-year-old might and confidence, stood before Pharaoh’s daughter and volunteered to find milk for the baby.
Like Miriam, your contribution could be what a child needs most at that very minute. It could be as grand as approaching a potential adoptive family, talking to a birth mother, or getting milk donors. But more often than not, what is required is as simple as sharing a social media post, connecting the right people, praying for a child, taking photos, creating graphics, writing stories, or finding a social worker. To a child who’s abandoned, hungry, and in need of care, no loving act is too big nor too small.
“Pharaoh’s daughter told her, ‘Take this baby and nurse him for me. I’ll pay you…'” (Exodus 2:9)
Every cause has a cost, and we know this full well in adoption. We cannot deny that economic factors are a big consideration in committing to such a costly mission. And given the instabilities of our economy today, not a lot of individuals and families want to operate on a currency where the returns would not be immediate, much less certain. Regardless of this reality, what gives us hope is witnessing stories of generosity unfold right before our eyes as people selflessly and faithfully give resources for children.
One event that leveled up our faith in this area was our first fund-raising event organized by our friends from Giving is Social. It was a two-night intimate concert that also gave the audience a number of donation opportunities for the benefit of furnishing our children’s home. In just the first two hours of the first night, we were already able to fully furnish our children’s home.
“After the child was weaned, she presented him to Pharaoh’s daughter who adopted him as her son. She named him Moses (Pulled-Out), saying, ‘I pulled him out of the water.'” (Exodus 2:10)
The most radical act in this story, much like in any other adoption story, is seen when Pharaoh’s daughter said yes to taking the child in as her own son. Not only did she pull Moses out of the waters of the Nile, she ultimately rescued him from every other threat that loomed over the life of a Hebrew boy at the time—hunger, slavery, poverty, abuse, and even death.
The circumstances that surrounded Moses are neither ancient nor foreign to us. We need not look far back in history or far away in geography to acknowledge that the cities we live in today pose the same threats to children. Whether out in the streets or stuck in institutions, children who are orphaned, abandoned, and neglected await one response and one response alone—a family. And that family might be yours—the one you have now, the one you will have in the future, or perhaps the family of someone you know.
The call might seem great, but the answer is simple: It’s open hearts and open homes. Moses needed it then, and millions of children need it today. The people in this story were presented with the opportunity to change history, and it is a great privilege that the same opportunity is presented to us now. If you have never asked yourself about adoption, this is a great time to start by asking “What role do I play in God’s call to adoption?” And whether you feel compelled to visit, volunteer, support, or adopt, we believe that what to you may seem like a small act will surely have a big impact in this generation and the next.
Related Articles and Resources
Adoptees Talk Love, Marriage, and FamilyFebruary 14th, 2023
“To be loved unconditionally regardless of upbringing, skin color, [and other things] even in marriage has helped me see, appreciate, and give thanks for earthly adoption.” I’ve heard adoption being compared to marriage a handful of times. Sounds interesting, right? As a fresh graduate who isn’t planning to get married or build a family […]
War, Natural Disasters, and the Orphan CrisisFebruary 10th, 2023
This article contains themes related to death, abuse, and natural disasters As of the time this article was written, over 21,000 dead have been recorded in the wake of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Türkiye and Syria last February 6, 2023. The earthquake hit in the middle of winter for both countries, collapsing multiple buildings […]
How Your Church Can Respond to the Orphan CrisisDecember 20th, 2022
When the church gets involved in the orphan crisis, lives are changed. Just this December, three churches opened their spaces and resources to advocate for orphaned, abandoned, and neglected children and pregnant women in crisis. Based on their events, here are some ideas that can help your church respond to the orphan crisis. 1. […]