Let’s just be honest, hosting an orphan is hard.  It requires a lot.  It’s a huge commitment to take in a child for 5 weeks and to parent them and love them as one of your own children. 

handsIt takes time.  Not only the 4-5 weeks of hosting but several weeks and moths beforehand to prepare bedrooms, compile a wardrobe, plan outings, and attend training.

It takes money. Yes, yes, I said it.  It’s quite common to find yourself spending thousands of dollars before and during hosting.

It takes heart.  Your heart will break.  It starts when you read their stories and see their faces on the computer screen, continues when you finally meet them and get to know them, and lasts far beyond the time that you must send them back on an airplane to an orphanage or foster home on the other side of the world.  A piece of your heart will forever be with your host child. 

You find yourself constantly giving and striving to give more than you ever have before to these children who have never been given anything good out of love. 

People around you will see your heart and committed passion for ‘the least of these.’  Some may be shocked and awed by all you are willing to give.  All that you have sacrificed. 

At least that’s what I can say from my experience.  Many people were ‘impressed’ that a grad student would do so much for Sasha, when I could be doing so many other things with my time and money.  Honestly, the complements and ‘pats on the back’ I received were a dime a dozen… what really meant the most to me were the people who were inspired to do something similar. 

I mean, I was grateful for people’s kind words and commendations but more than that, I was somewhat disconcerted.   I do not want people to get get warm fuzzy feelings about someone they know loving an orphan, I would so much rather you be willing to take on the challenge, and personally experience the joy and honor it is to love these children for yourself.

Why is it so hard to believe that someone in my situation would give in such a way?  What has happened to true sacrifice and giving with a joyful heart?  Why is it so rare to see ‘Christians’ really step out in faith and really do something?  When did we decide that giving needed to be effortless?

Nothing annoys me more than this trend I see of ‘easy giving.’  Churches have websites where you can pay your tithe online with a credit card.  TV commercials make claims that you can change a starving child’s life by giving only 5¢ a month.  People are given a pat on the back with a big smile when they decide to give a few extra dollars because they felt like it

OK, so those are all exaggerations, but I hope you see my point.  Doing big things for God is not made to be easy.  I will always remember a quote my super-super-supervisor at work, Alton Garrison shared “The hole you give through, is the hole you receive through.”  When you give little, you will get little in return.  When you give much, you will receive more than you can imagine.  As it says in Luke 6:38 – “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” (NLT) 

And for me, I have received abundantly from orphan hosting, just in the blessing and joy it has been to be involved in our host boy’s life. 

So to you, I say Give Big.  It does not have to be for orphans in Eastern Europe.  It can be for homeless people in your neighborhood, African children stricken with AIDS, abused animals, our neglected environment, an abandoned girl in an Asian country, a city demolished by a tornado… anything!  Whatever God leads you to, do not hesitate to pursue that calling and give it your all.  Don’t be afraid of what He might do through you!

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.
Romans 13:8