November and Children

It’s amazing that it is November 2014. I really enjoy November.

It’s Thanksgiving. For the Eide family that means getting together with extended family for lots of fun food and football.

It’s the start of basketball season for most teams.

It’s also when we start thinking towards Advent and Christmas.

There might be some snow which means snowmobiles and snow blowers…ok not as fun but still very pretty when it comes. :)

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Makenzie, Teshome, and me

One thing about November that is close to the heart of Eide family is that it is National Adoption Month. It’s a month to pay extra attention to needs of orphans and the power of adoption.

As most of you know our Makenzie is adopted from Korea and our son Teshome is from Ethiopia. I never have enough passion to express what an amazing gift and privilege it is from the Lord to have them in our family!

When I write about these subjects, the comment I get is something like “We are not an adoptive family so this is a bit irrelevant to me.”

I get that.

But I believe I speak for our family and for a lot of other families when I say that orphan care and adoption is a team effort.

Even more so it is a need that still warrants more attention. It can easily fly under the radar because adoption seems like a parent thing or that orphan’s thing or foster care is for those amazing people who have a heart for that.

Would you be willing to hear me when I say caring for children in need is a believer in Jesus thing?

James says it’s true religion when we take care of those who can’t help themselves.

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27 (NLT)

Why does Jesus talk so much about taking care of orphans, widows, the sick, imprisoned, disabled, and so on?

I think because He knew in our fallen world it would be a huge issue and because those people are His sons and daughters.

Yet it’s easy to forget.

Me and one of our sponsored children Ziana in Uganda

Me and one of our sponsored children, Ziana in Uganda

Can we do something this month to fight for the children in poverty, orphans, families in adoption, and families willing to be foster care families?

Being blunt my friends, if you say you love Jesus, then this challenge involves you and your love for your Savior. Scripture is clear. It’s not a duty; it’s an act of being a follower.

So for this month here are some ideas for you, my friends, to engage in the lives of children in need this November.

1. Find a family you know in your community that is adopting or has adopted and ask what they need. Don’t assume what they will say. Every family is unique. They will appreciate it more than you could imagine. Believe me: it will be a blessing.

2. Find an agency that deals with adoption/foster care and call them/email them and ask what needs can be met. It’s not just about money. It would be awareness, Facebook posts, clothes, volunteers, etc.

3. Sponsor a child in a third world country with Compassion International. You have heard me say a hundred times but it works and once you engage in it, your life will be more filled for it and a child in need can meet Jesus in a real way through your sponsorship.

There are 30 days in this month to do something. Please don’t say “I’ll do it later.”

When Jesus said when we reach out to the least that that is Him, He meant it for real.

You might be amazed how God uses your willingness to help a child to actually draw you closer to Jesus Himself.

Let’s make a significant impact this November.

Thanks for reading.

God is good all the time,

Peder

A simple phrase from Summit 9

Earlier this month I was honored to be the host and lead some worship for Summit 9. It’s a two-day conference presented by the Christian Alliance For Orphans. Ministries that specialize in adoption, orphan care, foster care, and advocacy for children in need are all part of the event. People associated with these ministries along with families who are considering adoption, foster care, or being a part of orphan ministries all attend. 2500 people from 49 states and 25 countries all descended on Brentwood Baptist in Brentwood, TN.

"That's What Family Does" at Summit

Leading worship at Summit
Elvis Guay copyright 2013 used with permission

It was an amazing, overwhelming, emotional, fun, and heart-filling two days. So much passion, dedication, and commitment to reaching and serving those cannot help themselves.

It affirmed and reignited the fire Sherri and I have burning inside us for ministries like Compassion and the blessing of our adoption. Even more so an ever-clarifying focus on helping son and daughters, moms and dads become more deeply connected through worship.

So why am I giving you an update on the event and our experience? It probably is sounding like a state of Peder Eide address.

With Nicole C. Mullen

Chatting with Nicole C. Mullen
Elvis Guay copyright 2013 used with permission

It’s because of simple phrase Jedd Medefind, President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, said a couple times. It’s not profound nor a fancy lyric. It wasn’t a little, unknown verse that is rarely recited but a phrase is deeply rooted in scripture.

The phrase that came up each time Jedd would speak was: “we need to act.”

That’s it.

No big ooohs and awwwws. Just that phrase.

“We need to act.”

It strikes me because it seems so much of ministry time is spent in having more conversations, discussions, online get-togethers, and so on. Not only does time get wasted but our heart fire and desire starts to fade.

Hear me clearly: being planned, focused, and organized are right and I am not advocating we become reckless in our actions with no sense of outcome or consequence.
I am however believing that we can become so caught up in studying needs, discussing understandings, and seeking more information that we could actually become emotionally convinced we’ve done enough without ever acting.

Thats What family Does at Summit 1

Singing “That’s What Family Does”
Elvis Guay copyright 2013 used with permission

The following verses seem pretty clear to me:

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. I John 3:17-18 NIV

It’s why we advocate for Compassion children. It’s why we adopted. It’s why we try to be rescuers as best as we can with what we have.

Acting doesn’t make you more righteous than someone who does not. No. Never.
It does, however, take you from an observer to a participant.

Remember: life is better caught than taught.

I needed to hear this, Jedd.

Thanks, Summit 9. Thanks, CAFO. Thank you to all who act.

It works.

What do you need to act on?
If you were at Summit 9, what was your one take away?