By Courtney Schreiner, Back2Back India Staff
Orphan Sunday is a day set aside each year in November for local churches and individuals to focus on the plight of orphans around the world. Recognized in several countries around the world, Orphan Sunday is more than just a day – it is a time to align our hearts with God’s heart for the orphan and to respond to His call to Christians to act on their behalf.
With additional Back2Back India staff and the new India Hope Campus, the timing was perfect to begin an annual Orphan Sunday service. To that end, we planned a special service to engage the children we serve and connect them to children living at the other Back2Back sites. We asked the children to pray in advance for our time together. Then, on Sunday, November 16, the Back2Back India staff and the children at the India Hope Campus gathered together to observe the day, learn, participate in interactive activities and pray.
We kicked-off the service by discussing the plight of the orphan worldwide, sharing statistics about orphans globally, as well as orphans living in India. After educating ourselves on this cause, we raised the question to the staff and Hope Campus children, “So what can we do?”
Multiple hands shot up from the children, each declaring in unison, “We can pray!”
So, that is exactly what we did.
Every staff member and child was given a photo to keep of a child from another one of the Back2Back ministry sites. Each of us committed to praying for the child on our photo. We “stamped” the back of the photo with our thumbprints in declaration that we would pray for orphans everywhere, and specifically for the children in our photos. We then spent time praying for the physical, spiritual, emotional, social, and educational needs of the child in our photo.
Once the service concluded, it was so encouraging to watch the children, as they shared the photos of the children with their friends. They were searching the map to find the country where their child lived, eager to locate Haiti, Nigeria and Mexico! Still, even a few days later, we are finding the photos of children from Back2Back Haiti, Back2Back Nigeria or Back2Back Mexico saved in drawers and tucked in Bibles, evidence that the children are being thought of and prayed for, by the children at Back2Back India.
Courtney Schreiner serves with Back2Back in Hyderabad, India, alongside her husband Michael. They are passionate about responding to God’s call to care for the orphan by serving together with Back2Back India.