Do you have a heart for orphans residing in Ethiopia?
OCE (Orphan Care Ethiopia) is an MBC ministry equipping the local Ethiopian church to protect, restore, and intercede for orphans.
The Orphan Crisis in Ethiopia
The current population of Ethiopia is estimated at over 100 million of which 50% are at or under 25 years of age. According to a UNICEF report published in 2014, five million of this population are considered orphans (Huffington Post). They live on the streets, are trapped in child labor or sex trafficking rings and/or under-equipped orphanage. The cause for such a high number of orphans is attributed to poverty, HIV, and the lack of empowerment programs for women.
International adoption was one of the ways used to reduce this large number of orphans. However, NPR reports the Ethiopian Parliament ruled to ban international adoptions. Thus, due to a lack of international funding many private orphanages have ceased operations. The number of children now needing care has put an immense strain on the remaining orphanages.
MBC in Action
In this crisis McLean Bible Church jumped in to help find a local solution.
The Bible tells us that "pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress...” (James 1:27a). Our hearts break for these abandoned children who are also, sadly, ignorant of the love of Christ. Orphan Care Ethiopia (OCE), through MBC’s God-given resources, has developed a plan to equip Ethiopian pastors, caregivers, volunteers, and mentors to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of these abandoned children. We pray this leads to the Gospel being enacted and spread throughout Ethiopia.
- To launch mentoring programs. (OCE has paired older orphan boys/girls with spiritual dads/moms to help integrate them into the working world once they age out of the orphanages.)
- To arrange Pen Pal programs from within the MBC student ministry.
- To encourage financial giving within the local Ethiopian community so that adoption and foster care becomes self-sustaining.
225 MBC congregants leave to serve several Ethiopian orphanages; to address the needs of street children caring for their physical, emotional, and spiritual struggles; and to further the training of local pastors and church membership about adoption and the Gospel of Christ.
What Can I Do?
1. PRAY: to see an orphan-free Ethiopia through the equipping of the local church; that the church may rise to the Gospel challenge and care for their orphaned children in the name of Christ; that local adoption and foster care is promoted and accepted; that through the OCE vision we can help reduce child mortality and the inherent suffering of orphans of all ages.
2. GIVE: All MBC congregants are invited to go to the MBC website “Orphan Care Ethiopia Ministry” to give or serve in one of the requested areas this week and beyond. Take part in the Team supporting OCE initiatives both here at MBC and in the heart of Addis Ababa the capital of Ethiopia. Donate here
For more information, contact Naomi Haile today.