Historically, an orphanage was a residential institution, or group home, devoted to the care of orphans and other children who were separated from their biological families. Examples of what would cause a child to be placed in orphanages are when the biological parents were deceased, the biological family was abusive to the child, there was substance abuse or mental illness in the biological home that was detrimental to the child, or the parents had to leave to work elsewhere and were unable or unwilling to take the child. The role of legal responsibility for the support of children whose parent(s) have died or are otherwise unable to provide care differs internationally.

4 Things the Bible Says About Orphans

1. All Waiting Children Have a Father
God is the great protector and loving Father of all children living as orphans. Psalm 68:5 says, “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows, is God in his holy habitation.” He who numbers the hairs on our head will certainly not turn away from the children living as orphans, and this should inspire us to act.

2. All Children Living as Orphans Deserve Justice
Deuteronomy 10:18 says, “He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing.” Also, Psalm 10:14 say, “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted. You consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.” Justice is a fundamental part of God’s character, as we are shown in the Bible. That even one child does not know the love of a family is a great injustice, and there are millions of children living in this reality. God promises protection and help for those who cannot protect themselves, and he redeems injustice through his mighty love. He also asks us to do something about it. God invites everyone to play their part in working toward justice.

3. The People of God Will Care for Orphans
James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” The words of the Bible call God’s people to actively pursue meeting the needs of children living as orphans, and a great place to start is through prayer. Show Hope features a prayer focus child from one of our Care Centers in China every month. We have great resources available to help you get involved in caring for children living as orphans. Your actions matter and you can help make a difference, whether you are a prayer partner, an advocate, a Show Hope sponsor or even a prospective adoptive parent.

4. The People of God Share Their Resources with Orphans
The following verse comes from a passage in Deuteronomy where God is instructing his people about tithing. Deuteronomy 14:29 says, “And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.”People are called by God to remember children living as orphans in their giving. Show Hope provides creative ways to give to the work of orphan care. You can become a Care Center sponsor, donate to Adoption Aid, or start a fundraiser! Learn more about giving by clicking here.As you consider how God may be calling you to care for children living as orphans, take heart. He who calls you to this work will be faithful to equip you for the work he has called you to.

“For the God who calls you are faithful, and He can be trusted to make it so.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:24