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Nov 17, 2015

Every year, children around the world are exposed to poverty, disease, war, and violence, and approximately 144 million are considered orphans. Many have only known life in an orphanage with a series of caregivers.

While orphanages can provide emergency food and shelter, they cannot provide the stability, security, or permanency a child needs—but a loving family can.

Children thrive best in families; we know this. In countries like Ethiopia, where so many of the world’s orphans are found, a stunning cultural paradigm shift is taking place. Churches are joining efforts with governments, NGOs, and businesses to bring sustainable transformation to the way orphans and vulnerable children are being cared for in their communities.

Bethany is working to spread the message that every child deserves a loving family. In-country adoption and foster care are growing, and more than 115 children have been placed in loving Christian families in the last 12–18 months.

Building on this success, we hope to introduce and grow this model in Haiti, Zambia, and South Africa. We already have partners in place there who share the vision to provide permanent homes and loving families for orphans—right in their own communities.

Each country where Bethany is at work has unique needs—some are close to being ready to implement in-country adoption and foster care; others have deeper infrastructure needs that must first be met. This is an exciting, long-term, turn-the-world-upside-down opportunity, and we believe God is going to do more than we can ask or imagine on behalf of waiting children.

If you'd like to join in this movement to help find loving families for waiting children here are a few things you can do:

  1. Pray. "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people" (Ephesians 6:18 NIV). "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful" (Colossians 4:2 NIV).
  2. Donate. Our Caring Connection and These 400 funds help families who have been called to adopt afford the cost of adopting a child with special needs. Or if you're looking to purchase a meaningful gift this holiday season, check out our Gift Catalog for more giving options!
  3. Sponsor a Family. At Bethany, we strive to help bring families together as well as keep families together. Families all over the world are struggling to stay together. Poverty, hunger, and sickness are common and in some cases, parents are confronted with the unimaginable decision of having to place their child in an orphanage as they can no longer afford the basic necessities to care for them. When you support a family through the Bethany One Family Sponsorship ministry, you directly impact the entire family. Your sponsorship of just $30/month provides food, water, medicine, education, counseling, microloans, and parenting and business resources and learning opportunities for a family in need. Or, if there is a child without a family, your sponsorship can help bring a family and the child together through in-country adoption. 
  4. Adopt. Is God calling you to adopt? Visit our Adoption page to learn more about the different types of adoption.
  5. Get Your Church Involved. Although orphanages fill a real need, Bethany believes the best place for a child is in a loving family. Our consulting services can help your church or organization develop programs for family-based care around the world.
  6. Raise Awareness. November was National Adoption Month, January is Sanctity of Human Life Month, and every month is a good time to spread the word that there are millions of children who are waiting for a family. Check out our church resources for opportunities and resources to help raise awareness in your church and community.