This month I was thrilled to attend the eighth annual Summit, hosted by Christian Alliance for Orphans. The Summit is held in a different city each year and this year it took place right in our own backyard (at Saddleback Church). Last year I flew to KY to attend The Summit, and next year I hope to travel to Nashville for The Summit IX. For more information on Christian Alliance for Orphans or The Summit, visit:
Christian Alliance For Orphans
I was extremely honored to attend an all day, pre-Summit training on attachment led by world-renowned attachment specialist, Karyn Purvis and marriage/family therapists Milan and Kay Yerkovich. I loved learning about the hope of healing in the midst of trauma through brain development and trust-based relational intervention. One of my favorite quotes from Karyn was that "Science catches up with God." It was incredible to grasp how certain foods, sensory activities, appropriate touch and connection can actually heal the brain of a traumatized child.
Rick Warren challenged us with the fact that if one person in one out of every four churches in the US adopted out of foster care, foster care would no longer exist in the United States. Wow! We learned that 80% of the men in prison in the US lived in foster care as children. He also challenged us with the fact that the Church is the only answer to the orphan crisis. Why? He listed the following reasons:
(1) We have the largest participation (2.4 billion Christians)
(2) We have the widest distribution
(3) We have the longest track record
(4) The church has the fastest expansion (60,000 people come to Christ every day)
(5) We have the highest motivation - LOVE!
(6) We have the strongest authorization - THE GREAT COMMISSION!
(7) We have the simplest administration
(8) We have the greatest conclusion
There are many stories, thoughts and experiences that I continue to process after attending The Summit. One thing is for sure, I can't wait to get on a plane to El Salvador this Saturday and love on the precious children who we sadly call "orphans." They have been forgotten, abandoned and abused. But our team will bring hope, joy, laughter, loving touch, gifts and the reminder that their Heavenly Father loves them. He has not forgotten them. He is right there in their midst. And that's what it's all about!