For the Christian community, every day is a good day to pray for orphaned and vulnerable children. Yet there is one day on the calendar that uniquely reminds us of that invitation – Orphan Sunday, which is being recognized on November 13 this year.
Orphan Sunday started through the invitation of a Zambian pastor to his congregation as a “...call to care for orphans in a community that had been ravaged by AIDS and poverty. Members of the church faced deep needs themselves. But as the service ended, one after another stepped forward with money, food, and other goods."
Thousands of churches and organizations worldwide observe Orphan Sunday each year. Friends from the Christian Alliance for Orphans are providing helpful materials, and World Without Orphans partners from many countries are involved in this prayer initiative annually. "God sets the lonely in families" (Psalm 68:6) and we are invited to have our part in His plan.
In a world impacted by a pandemic, turmoil, floods, poverty, and conflicts - children are the most vulnerable. This year, the reality of war in Ukraine shocked us all. According to the National Social Service of Ukraine, more than 4,500 children have been left without parental care as a result of the war.
Since 2011, thousands of Ukrainian churches have participated in Orphan Sunday. The face of this year's All-Ukrainian Day of Prayer for Orphans is a little girl, Vikusya.
Christians from a local church in Kyiv began to pray for Vikusya six years ago as part of the "One Church - One Child" program. Vikusya was only a year old back then. She had been born with a severe disability and her mother refused her immediately after birth. Her name means "victory", and the fact that she's alive is already a victory.
For more than 4 years the entire church prayed for Vikusya and people visited her in the orphanage. When she was 5 years old, Vikusya was welcomed into "Happy Home", a loving, caring place where she experienced rehabilitation. It was a great joy for the local church community to see how God answered their prayers for healing and a better life for her. Vikusya´s health has improved in this caring environment with the support of a Christian community, but she still needs our prayers as she waits for an adoptive family.
Amid the trauma and pain of war, Christians in Ukraine are going to pray together again on Orphan Sunday this year for orphans and all vulnerable children. Let's pray with them for children like Vikusya in Ukraine and around the world.
Orphan Sunday is an invitation to all World Without Orphans partners and friends. God hears the prayers of His people, and when we intercede together, our hearts are united with His heart. Could you invite your church, friends and family to join in prayer for vulnerable children in your country and community? Let us pray together to see a world without orphans and all children growing in loving and caring families.