God instituted festivals as spiritual appointments for His people to celebrate with Him. The Hebrew term for these special times is moadim, and I believe, in conjunction with the Passover celebration, this Sunday is perhaps our most significant collective spiritual appointment with God.
Blog - Bethany News
Each year, the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) hosts a Summit to “inspire and equip Christians to care for orphans with wisdom-guided love.”1 In my role as Bethany Christian Services’ president and CEO, I’m privileged to attend this powerful event each year that brings thousands of Christians from across the globe who are all dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children.
The Faith To Action Initiative is a coming together of like-minded organizations to raise awareness of best practices in orphan care around the world. The goal is to move the church from simply supporting orphanages to providing community-based care for those affected by extreme poverty. Their work—founded on research, Scripture, and biblical principles—is motivated by the fact that many children are living in orphanages not because they have lost their families but because their families cannot care for them.
Quite possibly the most notable day in February is Valentine’s Day. Those in Pennsylvania may disagree, but before Punxsutawney Phil breaks through his burrow at Gobbler’s Knob to predict spring’s arrival, mounds of candy magically appear in stores and jewelry and greeting card commercials bombard us with warm fuzzy feelings—and the proclamation of love.
In November of this year, Bethany will celebrate its 70th birthday, and for the months leading up to that event we want to highlight some of our most significant blessings. We think you, like us, will be inspired by what God has done for children through this ministry. And it all started with two women and a dream.
On January 13, 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation declaring the third Sunday in January as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. This date was chosen to coincide with the U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions in 1973 that legalized abortion. Now, thirty years later, upholding the sanctity of life is as crucial as ever. And at Bethany, we can think of no better partner in our efforts to do so than the local church.
As I look back over this past year, I’m reminded of some of the wonderful blessings that Bethany, and those we serve, have experienced in 2013.
One such blessing is through N.O.W. (No One Without) campaign launched in 2013, which is focusing on finding families for children who are currently in U.S. foster care. One of the barriers for bringing children and families together is distance. Through the N.O.W campaign, we are breaking down these barriers and making is easier to adopt across state borders.
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’” (Luke 2:11-14, NIV)
As Christians, today is a great day of celebration as we remember the most precious gift that has ever been given through the birth of Jesus.
I had the privilege of visiting South Africa in the final days of Nelson Mandela’s life. Even then, the overwhelming love and gratitude for this man was prevalent throughout the nation he dedicated his life to strengthening. We traveled along Nelson Mandela Way, discussing his legacy, his many acts of bravery, and servitude for the people he loved dearly. We were not surprised to see the many monuments which were erected in honor of a man who set so many free.
I gleefully trekked through the airport with my cherished treasure swinging by my side. Ever the optimist, I arrived at the security line certain it would make it through. It was, after all, what amounted to that of a child’s toy: beautifully wrapped chocolates in a vibrant encasement, each small door in turn carefully climbing through the days leading up to that faith-filled day: Christmas. So when the security guard told me I couldn’t take it through, I laughed. He was joking, right? Apparently not.