Post written by Jenni Ramsey
Last Sunday our church (The Village Church of Irvine, CA) celebrated Orphan Sunday along with thousands of churches in twenty-two nations. Mike and I were honored to share about our adoption journey during the service. It was a thrilling morning as we celebrated many of the ways that God is moving through our church community in orphan care.
Mike did an awesome job preaching on God's heart for adoption. He brought Hailey onto the stage at the beginning of his message and it was priceless to hear him speak about adoption with Hailey in his arms.
To listen to Mike's message, click here: Mike Ramsey's Orphan Sunday message 2012
One of the highlights of the morning was interviewing the Skelly family. Last year God spoke to the Skellys during our Orphan Sunday service about the foster care crisis in the US. This fall they received their first foster placement of a precious baby girl. It was so exciting to pray over their family with their foster daughter in their arms.
We also welcomed the Steele family home from Ukraine. The Steeles participated in a hosting program last summer through Nightlight Christian Adoptions. They met Nadia during the program and fell in love. After a grueling year of paperwork, they finally brought Nadia home just three days before Orphan Sunday.
It was a privilege for me to introduce families in our church who have been touched by adoption. There are approximately fifteen families in our body who have experienced the miracle of adoption and each story is powerful. We asked all of those families to stand with their "Adopted"signs. At the end of our service, our lead pastor, who has an adopted son, spoke about how believers are adopted by God. Adoption into God's family is the heart of the gospel. We organized a "flash mob" of people to hold up "Adopted by God" signs. It was powerful!
We are so grateful to be part of a church that is passionate about the orphan crisis. Our church partners with Lifesong for Orphans in providing adoption grants to families and has participated in two blood drives (through Blood for Missions) to raise funds for grants. We send three short-term teams every summer to serve orphans in El Salvador and Africa. Mike and I look forward to encouraging families in our church as they follow God's calling to foster care, adoption or orphan care through short-term trips, advocacy and beyond in the years to come.