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Insurmountable Orphan Odds vs. Our God

by Julie Kouri Published Jul 28, 2010

[Guest Post by Julie Kouri, co-founder and leader of Bridges of Grace Orphan and Adoption Ministry in Austin, mother of 2 Russian adopted sons, and expectant mother of a little Ethiopian girl somewhere.]

Sometimes God sets up impossibilities just so that the glory goes purely to Him when, after an unfathomable success, the world still has to step back and ask “How did that happen?” I believe that is the case with the current global orphan crisis, as it was with Gideon.

In Gideon’s time, the Midianites had taken over Israel.  Their harsh and cruel treatment of the Israelites left them to cry out to their Abba Father.  God heard their cries and chose Gideon, not the likeliest of fellows, to lead an infantry against the Midianites. The men in Gideon’s troop were small in comparison to the Midianite armies, but God wanted it so that no one questioned who would claim victory after the battle.  He pared down Gideon’s army from 32,000 to only 300 men.  He told Gideon to arm them with jars and trumpets, and then He proceeded to deliver the Midianites over to Israel.  It was abundantly clear that Someone was behind the victory besides Gideon and his small, defenseless army.

Sometimes I feel like Gideon when thinking on how we can possibly care for the tens (if not hundreds) of millions of orphans in the world.  And I’m reminded of the old starfish on the beach story, where a child is throwing one dying starfish at a time back into the ocean amidst thousands washed ashore by a storm. I feel like that child, determined to help this one, and this one, and this one. I cannot begin to help the millions, but maybe I can rescue one at a time.  And then I remember Gideon and what God can do.  God is not daunted by large numbers like I am. God is not limited in resources and time to serve in a small way.  God can create huge tidal waves that crash over the shore, rescuing all the starfish from their hopeless plight.

And are we not seeing this tidal wave forming?  Look just at the interest in orphan care now compared to five years ago, hasn’t the desire and love for the least of these increased vastly?  We can see it in our church’s ministry at Grace Covenant Church.  One year ago, I went with a team of Gideons to Zeway, Ethiopia to see if we could rescue a few of those orphans.  Within 5 minutes of arriving, we walked into a community meeting, spoke briefly about our call to serve orphans, and then dozens of community leaders (Muslim, Christian, and secular) stood and declared their commitment to serve orphans.  The tidal wave grew larger when several churches in Zeway began to adopt orphans that they once never noticed.  And now a year later, we are seeing the orphans gather together to support each other and create a family among themselves. (More to come on this initiative in my husband’s next two guest blogs here at T4A.)

From a few people who thought they could serve a few orphans to a wave of God’s love covering now 110 orphans, and we are only seeing the beginning.

The God we serve is glorified by insurmountable odds.  He can bless others and care for them where they are in ways we could never imagine. He launches a tidal wave of His goodness to show how deep His love is. And when He continues to do this for His orphans, I want to be standing on the beach watching and waiting to be swept away.

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