By Janey DeMeo
VISTA, CA — Imagine a world without orphans; a world where every child belongs to a family who loves and nurtures them. That sounds like Heaven right? But how could such a world this side of Heaven come about? A World Without Orphans highlights how this can happen. Through real-life stories, the film shows that if we all do our part, whatever part that may be, it is possible.
I was first introduced to A World Without Orphans at the Christian Alliance For Orphans (CAFO) 2016 Summit in Orlando. (Orphans First is a member organization of CAFO.) Since we, like other likeminded organizations, strive hard to get children into families, this film really caught my eye — and my heart!
In fact, I would go as far as to say that producers Dianne Becker and Brittany DeVries, together with Steve Saint from I-TEC*, the son of the late missionary pilot, Nate Saint, one of the five missionaries killed by Waodani Indians on January 8, 1956 in Equador, have captured God’s heart and shown a glimpse of it through this heart-touching film.
Experience and statistics prove that children thrive best in families. For those of us who have kids or grandkids, we can’t imagine what it would be like if they didn’t have us. Right? The key, therefore, is to find families for orphans and foster children. And the best place to find them is within the church community which can also provide a concrete support system for those who take children in. (We’re talking about spiritual, emotional and physical support—not just a paycheck.)
In Africa, for example — and I know this firsthand — most children have at least an extended family relative who could take them in if there was a solid support system to help them. Where there is no extended family, there may be neighbors who genuinely care for the children. And when the local church wraps around them to provide physical, spiritual and emotional support, there is a recipe for success. (Not that it is easy. Life with kids is always messy. But it can be done and, as depicted in A World Without Orphans, children can live wholesome, happy lives.)
A World Without Orphans is both inspiring and challenging. It calls us to consider the biblical mandate to take care of orphans and to seriously probe our hearts as to what we can do to make this happen. Not everyone can take an orphan into their home, but everyone can do something to help someone do this — beginning with prayer.
I believe in the message that this film propagates. Our Orphans First children’s homes in India are “homes” not institutions—and they function as Christ-centered families. I’ve seen the difference in the lives of our kids as they grow up and know they are loved by house-parents and the local church. Many have gone on to serve Jesus and have families of their own. In Mexico, we support some extended families who have taken in children whose parents have been killed through bad drug-deals. In Siberia, through our local church partners, we try to bring children in to foster homes. Local churches and their families provide hope and stability to orphans.
Imagine what could happen if every church showed a screening of A World Without Orphans. It could become a reality. If you would like to host a screening at your church, contact A World Without Orphans via their Facebook page: aworldwithoutorphansdoc. Please be sure to “like” and follow them on Facebook to create more buzz and to receive notices of upcoming grassroots or festival screenings. You will also find great articles of interest related to the cause.
If your church has an orphan ministry, this is a great place to hold a grassroots screening to start a conversation and spark interest within the congregation. (If your church does not have an orphan ministry and you sense God wants you to start one, find all the materials and help you need here: https://cafo.org.
The movie can be purchased and downloaded from www.christiancinema.com. Please keep checking the website, there will soon be subtitled versions available in both Spanish and French.