Statistics can be overwhelming.
6808 Unreached People Groups (meaning 4.2 billion people with little or no access to the life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ).
3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation and hygiene-related causes, 99% of those are in the developing world.
153 million orphaned children around the globe, not even including institutionalized children, children on the streets, or children who are at risk, neglected or abused.
But statistics can also lead to action:
- what if we try to reach just one unreached people group with the gospel?
- what if we bring clean water to just one village in need?
- what if our family adopts just one child into our family?
That was my family's story: motivated by God's adoption of us into His family, broken by the realities around the world and seeing an opportunity to do something about it, we began the adoption process in December of 2012 and brought Lizzie into our family in July of 2014. But something else happened in that process: we learned a lot more about the global orphan crisis, and the more you learn, the more you realize the depth and complexity of the darkness.
We learned that of the 153,000,000+ orphaned children around the world, only 0.5% will have the chance for international adoption. Whether because of the country they live in, their age, special need or other circumstance, most of these kids will grow up as orphans, "age out" of the system, and then hit the streets without a family, support network, or skill set for life.
As you might imagine, a heartbreaking majority of those who "age out" like this end up in horrible situations, some taken advantage of by evil men, most just doing what they can to survive - the end result is most often prostitution, drugs, gangs, homelessness, prison and early death.
As I said before, statistics can be overwhelming, and this is no exception. BUT, as I said, they can also lead to ACTION, which is why I wanted to tell you about one of my favorite ministries: (un)adopted.
(un)adopted exists to reach orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) with the hope of the gospel and equip them with the life skills needed to bring about community transformation. They seek to holistically care for these children in their physical, emotional, spiritual, and social needs. Through their efforts, lives are transformed, stories are redeemed, and the Gospel is the foundation of it all.
Essentially, (un)adopted exists for the 99.5%. They exist to give a fighting chance to the kids whose lives are simply one statistic followed by another. They exist to change statistics, and they do it by helping these kids develop life and social skills to prepare them for adulthood in the real world. And we have a chance to help.
This Saturday, I want to invite you to join us at Oconee Veterans Park for a casual group run and a quick information session about this amazing ministry. By signing up, you get a cool t-shirt and you support this great work. By coming, you get to run with your friends and learn more about (un)adopted. Sounds like a win-win. We can't help everyone, but we can #runforone. Here's the details:
We will be hosting a "Run Where You Are" right here in Watkinsville! This is a family friendly, casual, group run at Oconee Veterans Park. Bring the stroller, the dog, your child's favorite tricycle. We can all get a little exercise while raising awareness about vulnerable children around the globe. Don't like to run and still want to learn more about (un)adopted? Great! Come eat a popsicle and hear more about the awesome work this organization does!
See you at Oconee Veterans Park at 6:30pm on August 20th! Click here and register. The cost is $25, and each runner will be mailed an official Run for One t-shirt.