I read a statistic in our local newspaper yesterday that intrigued me:
A new report by an advocacy group says Alabama is worst in the nation for child homelessness...
I thought it was interesting and wanted to find out more, so Will and I did some exploring on their website, The National Center on Family Homelessness. We wanted to know what would actually classify a child in our country as homeless. Now, please don't misunderstand me. I know that there are thousands and thousands of children here in our country in desperate situations. I know that there are children who live on the streets, who have nobody to care for them, and this is a tragedy. The thing is I have a hard time believing that Alabama ranks #1 in the number of children actually living on the streets all alone. Trust me, this has nothing to do with my concern for Alabama's reputation. I just wanted to know how this particular statistic was calculated. I never found the direct answer to what I was looking for, but it seemed to have more to do with "family homelessness" - families that had to move in with relatives or friends in "overcrowded" apartments, families that have to move frequently, etc. The emphasis was on families that were facing stressful financial times. And, yes, my heart goes out to these families...
We are called, as the body of Christ, to not turn our backs on ANYONE in need. This includes the type of families this newspaper report documented, but it also includes the young children here in our own country and across the world who have NO FAMILY WHATSOEVER. How my heart breaks for these children like the one I just found out about a few minutes ago...
This young boy's name is Jonathan, and he has no family. His home is an Eastern European orphanage. I know nothing of his past, but I do know what challenges he will face in the next few weeks IF A FAMILY DOES NOT CHOOSE HIM...
I have been blown away the past month watching the stories unfold of the families who have chosen both Olga and Kolina. If you have followed this blog and these two stories you have seen how the Lord has moved mountains for these little girls and QUICKLY provided families for these little ones in desperate situations. Here is another opportunity for us to join together to pray on behalf of the fatherless...
I've copied the information below from another advocate's blog. Her words are powerful, and I ask that you will read about Jonathan and commit to pray that the Lord will raise up a family for him... Or maybe YOU are his family! PLEASE PRAY! He has a matter of days...
On December 31, 2011, Jonathan will turn sixteen. A huge birthday for most teens. But a dreaded day for this young man. Soon after the day of his sixteenth birthday Jonathan will be given the "gift" of his freedom. Together with a small bag which contains all of his earthly possessions and about $30 in cash, he will be set free--no longer to be taken care of by a state orphanage.
Unfortunately, most of the children like Jonathan who "age out" of the system literally have nowhere to go. They are left on the streets to fend for themselves. With nowhere to turn, and no one to turn to, many end up in the trafficking industry. The majority never make it past their teen years. It is the sobering reality of most orphans who are forced to leave the only place of safety they know. The statistics are staggering. It is one of the many reasons adoption advocates fight so very hard to get children out of orphanages before it is too late. They know.
Here's the thing...
Jonathan has a matter of DAYS to find a family. Mere DAYS!
In order for this boy to be rescued from a life that few of us can even begin to imagine, a family needs to step forward in the next few days and commit to him! I'm told that as long as there is a commitment and the I600 visa is applied for, he will be kept where he is, and the adoption can be completed later. That's the good news.
Right now what is needed is a family who has adopted internationally before. From the contact I have been given, "He needs a family that is married, can travel, and has a homestudy that can be used for immigration approval and is willing to apply for immigration in the next week. If a family is ready to apply they will work directly with the facilitator who knows him."
One week! A visa HAS to be applied for in the next week in order to save this boy!
Here's a little we know about Jonathan:
"Jonathan is apparently a very, very good boy. He has a great sense of humor which has been confirmed by other kids in his class and two children who were recently adopted to U.S. He loves to work on a computer, takes part in virtually all theatrical performances organized at the orphanage, just a great actor, very calm when not on stage, never gets in trouble, loves sports and plays soccer, played basketball and trained in light athletics, studies at good level. Jonathan is respectful to adults and older children. He is obedient and always ready to help. NEEDS A FAMILY to file for immigration ASAP, can adopt later. BEGS translator when he visits if he has found his family yet, desperately wants to be adopted. Can be chatted to on Skype as well as email."
Oh, God in heaven, surely someone can go for this precious young man before it is too late? Surely he can be rescued in time? My heart cannot even bear the thought of what the alternative is.
Many, many people have joined in to spread the search for Jonathan's family as far and as wide as is possible. Many are praying and interceding on his behalf. Will you please join in? Would you use your blogs and your social networks to share Jonathan's desperate need for a family? It is only going to take ONE family to rise up and say yes. Just one. Surely between all of us we can help one boy to be united with his family...and spared the future he is rapidly heading toward? I have to believe it.
I believe with all my heart that we serve a God who LOVES to show His miracle-working power through seemingly impossible situations. He loves to show His power, His glory, and His faithfulness when all the odds are stacked up against us and things seem so dismal. Of course He can do this!
Thank you so much for joining us in the search for Jonathan's family! I appreciate it more than you will ever know.
Please, I'm begging you to share his story wherever you possibly can! It is the only way his family will find their son.
If anyone would like more information about adopting Jonathan, please contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ah Lord God! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm!
Nothing is too difficult for Thee...