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A few days ago, I was in the mountains overlooking Port-au-Prince with about a dozen people from our church.
We were close to the village of Fermathe.
Our church recently sent two teams to help a local ministry – God's Littlest Angels (www.glahaiti.org) – in Haiti.
Twenty-three people went in total, including my oldest son, Caleb It was great to serve together.
The team had a dual role: ministering to more than 90 orphans (babies and toddlers); and helping build a permanent location for their orphanage.
They are, at present, renting three large homes for the ministry. But they have a great piece of land and they are building for the future.
However, the reality is that it will take years to finish their permanent home. And the greater reality is that there is a never-ending stream of Haitian orphans that need a permanent family.
Our connection to the ministry is that one of the families from our church adopted a daughter from this same orphanage a number of years ago. And that family traveled with the team.
Adoption is a great thing for a whole host of reasons. The Bible teaches that "God is a Father to the Fatherless." He is a Father to the orphan.
All of us have a dad. But for some, this is painful to even think about because we may have been abandoned, abused, or neglected by our father. Perhaps we are even an orphan.
Yet of all the words that could have been chosen to reveal God, "Father" is the one that Jesus chose more often than any other. In fact, Jesus even teaches his followers to pray: "Our Father in heaven."
Now let's suppose there was a child who was abandoned, abused, and neglected. Perhaps that child was an orphan. Perhaps he or she was like one of the orphans in Haiti, where I was a few days ago. And one day, a loving father comes to that child, and with a big smile says, "I've chosen to adopt you. I love you. You will inherit all that I have. We have a family that can't wait to meet you. They love you too. I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. I will never abandon you. I will love you with a never-ending love."
I think that child would eventually be changed by that father's love. And that's what happens to everyone that's adopted into God's family.
Brad Warner is associate pastor at Burnett Fellowship.