God’s Heart for Orphans

We appreciate all of our friends who help us to care for hundreds of precious children through Harvest Ministry’s orphan outreaches in East Africa and in India.

The Lord has such a heart for orphan children . . . and so do we!

God calls us to care for orphans…

  • Learn to do good; Seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:17, NASB)
  • Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27, NIV)
  • When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. (Deuteronomy 24:21, NASB)
God’s justice will cover the orphans…
  • Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. (Exodus 22:22-23, NIV)
  • He executes justice for the or phan and the widow.(Deuteronomy 10:18a, NASB)
  • Woe to those who…rob the poor of My people of their rights, so that widows may be their spoil and that they may plunder the orphans. (Isaiah 10:1a-2b, NASB)
  • Do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow. (Jeremiah 22:3b, NASB)
  • Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against…those who oppress…the widow and the orphan. (Malachi 3:5a, NASB)
The Bible says evil men take advantage of orphans…
  • They drive away the orphan’s donkey and take the widow’s ox in pledge. (Job 24:3, NIV)
  • They slay the widow and the stranger and murder the orphans. (Psalm 94:6, NASB)
  • Others snatch the orphan from the breast, and against the poor they take a pledge. (Job 24:9, NASB)
littleo31God promises His love and protection for orphans…
  • Leave your orphans; I will protect their lives. (Jeremiah 49:11a, NIV)
  • I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:18, NIV)
  • You have been the helper of the orphan. (Psalm 10:14b, NASB)
  • You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror. (Psalm 10:17b-18, NASB)
  • For in You the orphan finds mercy. (Hosea 14:3c, NASB)

God blesses those who are obedient to care for the needs of orphans…

  • When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. (Deuteronomy 24:19, NASB)

For when the ear heard, it called me blessed, and when the eye saw, it gave witness of me, because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the orphan who had no helper. The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me, and I made the widow’s heart sing for joy. (Job 29:11-13, NASB)

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    These verses were compiled from the facebook group, “A Heart for Orphans.” Photos from Harvest Ministry’s orphan work in Uganda and S.E. India.

    See our “N.E.T.S. Ministry” Brochure

    Through Harvest Ministry’s National Evangelism Team Support outreach, we can work together with anointed national ministers of the Gospel to reach a harvest of SOULS for Jesus Christ.Click to access – or to PRINT – a PDF file of this current Harvest Ministry N.E.T.S. (National Evangelism Team Support) information brochure.

    Raising Missionaries – by Laurel Diacogiannis

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    “We didn’t make a plan to raise up missionaries; we made a plan to raise up children who joyfully love and serve our Lord. Whether He calls them to the military, to missions, to teaching, to the pastorate … it doesn’t matter. Really … ALL we have wanted for our children (career wise) is for them to love and serve the Lord in whatever they might do. And, that’s exactly what they are doing.” – Laurel Diacogiannis


    Raising Missionaries


    We are honored to feature this guest article, written by speaker and writer (and good friend) Laurel Diacogiannis of A Journey of Faith. Jim & Laurel Diacogiannis are mission-minded homeschooling parents of a dozen children, including two adopted children from Ghana, West Africa.


    Recently, someone asked me how I have raised up 3 children who have chosen to live overseas in service to the Lord.  (I have one child serving the Lord in Argentina for the next 2 years; one in Jordan for the next 2 years; and one currently in India as part of a 6 month missions outreach.) This woman went on to say that it is exciting when even one child from a family chooses such a personal journey … but for 3 to choose a similar journey was quite unbelievable for her.

    No, we did not tell our children, “When you grow up, you should be a missionary.”  We did not focus all of our homeschool curriculum on missions (which would not at all have been a bad thing, it just wasn’t something that we thought of).  So, what did we do?

    1. We demonstrated an active, everyday, personal walk with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The heart of a true missionary must come from such a daily, vibrant relationship with the Lord, that they absolutely know, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are called into missions work.
    2. We trusted God for financial provision, when having 13 children and a teacher’s salary don’t match up on the budget spreadsheet. Our kids know that the Lord will provide for their needs.  They grew up learning how to pray, and how to trust God for the outcome.
    3. We talked about and read about missionaries … ordinary people doing extraordinary things for God. One year, each of the children that knew how to read (7 kids that year, I think), read the Trailblazer Books or Christian Heroes Then and Now series (both from YWAM Publishing) for their homeschool history course.
    4. We watched videos of missionaries. The Gladys Aylward story (The Inn of the Sixth Happiness) was our first, I think.
    5. We went to hear missionary speakers. Cassie told us at age 10 or 11 that she wanted to go to India, after hearing (and meeting) K.P. Yohannan.  (And, that dream came true when she was 21, after previous trips to Haiti, Senegal, and The Gambia.)
    6. We supported missionaries. (We have supported Gospel for Asia, K.P. Yohannan’s ministry for over 15 years.)
    7. We took our family on Mission Trips. In 2001, we took all 9 children to work in inner-city Los Angeles for 10 days.  We weren’t afraid to take them to the ghetto, to work at a church there.  In 2006, we took all 10 children to New Orleans for 2 weeks.  Just the other day, Elijah (who was only 4 at the time) asked me, “Mom, do you remember when we went to New Orleans and gave all the presents to the kids there?”  We didn’t buy our children any Christmas Presents that year, but not one ever complained … they were filled with joy to be giving presents to the children in New Orleans.

    Seriously, we didn’t make a plan to “raise up missionaries.” We made a plan to raise up children who joyfully love and serve Our Lord.  Whether He calls them to the military, to missions, to teaching, to the pastorate … it doesn’t matter.  Really … ALL we have wanted for our children (career wise) is for them to love and serve the Lord in whatever they might do.  And, that’s exactly what they are doing.

    While we have 3 young adults serving the Lord overseas, we also have 3 young adults serving the Lord here on the homefront.  And, we have 7 younger children, still at home, that we are raising up to follow the Lord, follow their dreams, follow their passions, and to be excited wherever it may be that the Lord leads them.

    This article is an excerpt from “What Does the Future Look Like for Our Children?” — originally published on Laurel’s blog – “I’m Ghana Adopt.”


    For more about raising mission-minded children, and having a mission-minded family:

    The Mission-Minded Child – Raising a New Generation to Fulfill God’s Purpose

    The Mission-Minded Family – Releasing Your Family to God’s Destiny

    FREE – The 40-Day Mission-Minded FAMILY CHALLENGE

    Preparation for KAGADI, UGANDA!

    Kagadi, Uganda

    Right now, Harvest Ministry is getting ready for our next evangelistic outreach (in early October, 2010) to KAGADI, a remote and spiritually needy city/village in Western Uganda, near the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

     

    This area has a reputation throughout Uganda for being involved in deep witchcraft and for continuing to practice human cannibalism. Kagadi has a few small and isolated churches and some local believers who are praying hard for their community, but as far as we know, it has never had an evangelistic outreach to openly proclaim the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. It is a region desperately in need of God’s salvation and the power of His Holy Spirit to penetrate the darkness.

    Advance preparations, advertising, and government permissions have been underway for some time, and we are believing for a mighty harvest of SOULS.

    Our greatest need for this upcoming mission outreach is POWER, spiritually and physically: we need fervent PRAYER support for God’s anointing and for spiritual freedom for theses people…and we also need a new GENERATOR (as our faithful and hard-working old generator finally “bit the dust” after years of rugged missionary service).


    Photo: Harvest Ministry altar call in Southern Africa (with Jon Dunagan)

    What an exciting time!

    Please keep our family and the city of KAGADI in your prayers, as we ALL joyfully live to expand God’s Kingdom!

    In His Harvest,

    Jon & Ann Dunagan (& all)

     

    “Sympathy is no substitute for action.” — David Livingstone

    “Expect great things of God. Attempt great things for God.” — William Carey

    “You have one mission on earth — to save souls.” — John Wesley

    “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel…” — Jesus Christ

    Be sure to also see:

    >> KAGADI: Day-by-day Kagadi updates & photos
    >> KAGADI: God’s Protection During Flight Emergency
    >> KAGADI: 4-minute MISSION VIDEO from KAGADI, Uganda

    Combating today’s “Me-First” Culture

     

    Interview on “He’s Alive” Radio

    Our kids need to know that there’s a world beyond ourselves; there’s a world beyond our house; there’s even a world beyond our local city. The whole world desperately needs to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, and our children need to hear about this need and God’s bigger perspective.

    In this audio file, you can listen to Ann as she talks about having a  The Mission Minded Family, and some practical ideas to combat today’s “Me-First” culture. As Christian parents, we need to focus our families on God’s Great Commission . . . and live for eternity.

    7 FREE Mission-Minded Family Resources!

    At Harvest Ministry, we want to motivate your family for world missions – and help get you prepared, with your bags “packed-and-ready” for whatever God has planned! Here are 7 FREE Mission-Minded Family resources. MAY YOU BE BLESSED!!!

     

    (Also, be sure to see our Mission-Minded Books and Family Resources!!!)


    Freebie #1

     

    Take the 40-Day Mission-Minded FAMILY CHALLENGE!

    FREE online mission class with Ann Dunagan – Click here!

    In just 4-5 minutes per day you and your family will be encouraged to focus on God’s Great Commandment (to love God and love others) and God’s Great Commission. Progress a lesson a day – Monday through Friday – for eight weeks, or your own pace. Or gather a few families, and encourage others in the challenge!

    “It’s eight weeks to becoming more effective . . . for eternity!”


    Freebie #2

     

    MAPS for KIDS! – Missions Adventure Preparation School 

    FREE Vacation Bible School Curriculum – Click here!

    Take a week of the summer to train your church kids for missions! Your missionaries-in-training will “travel” on M.A.P.S. for KIDS International Airlines (with their own “passports”) and through customs officials to learn about the world and famous missionary heroes. They’ll taste international foods, experience daring adventures, make fun crafts, learn how to share the Gospel and pray for the lost, and get ministry training in perhaps puppetry, worship, drama, or how to use the EvangeCube!

    “Missions is not just for missionaries! God’s call is for all!” 


    Freebee #3

     

    Teaching With God’s Heart for the World

    FREE One-year, day-by-day, homeschool unit study curriculum – Click here!

    While your kids are young (during a year when most of your children are older elementary age), devote a year of your homeschooling commitment to establishing a life-long foundational family commitment to God’s Great Commission. This one- (or two-) year study presents a whirlwind tour all-throughout-history and all-around-the-world. You will learn the importance of developing a personal devotional life with the Lord and how to develop more of God’s heart for the world and the lost.

    “Impart God’s Heart . . . for the World!”


    Freebie #4

     

    Homeschool Folder-Charts!

    FREE tool to help kids be self-motivated in homeschool – Click here!

    This helpful organizational tool is designed for use with the Teaching With God’s Heart for the World Curriculum (although it can also be used with your own curriculum). The feature article includes insight, based on 19 years of first-hand experience, about how to continue in your homeschooling commitment for the “long-haul” (if that’s what God wants for your family) by encouraging your children to become self-motivated and self-disciplined.

    “Get your kids organized and self-motivated!”


    Freebie #5

     

    Mission-Minded “Passports”!

    FREE craft project – to make “Mission-Minded” Passports – Click here!

    A great learning tool for children. FREE PDF files and how-to instructions to make fun passport crafts to encourage children in missions, with a link to FREE coordinating international flag stickers.

    “Mission-Minded Passports — Just for fun & just in case!”


    Freebie #6

     

    Sample excerpt from The Mission-Minded Child!

    FREE sample of The Mission-Minded Child. Download a few chapters — Click here.

    Learn more about “Raising a New Generation to Fulfill God’s Purpose.” Your children are God’s arrows, designed for an eternal impact; aim each one for God’s destiny.

    “Raise your kids for God’s purposes!”


    Freebie #7

     

    Sample excerpt from The Mission-Minded Family!

    FREE sample of The Mission-Minded Family. Download a few chapters — Click here!

    Whether of not your family is called to “fulltime” international misssionary work, you’re called — as followers of Jesus – to live a fulltime mission-minded life. Learn more about “Releasing Your Family to God’s Destiny.”

    “Get your family excited about expanding God’s Kingdom!”

    When I grow up . . .

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    A mission-minded child may want to become a missionary–or a teacher or a doctor or a newspaper reporter or a state governor or a pastor or a businessperson or an airplane pilot or an author or a florist or a mother–as long as its what God wants.

    Photo: For 12-year-old mission-minded Caela Dunagan’s first MISSION TRIP (to Uganda, East Africa), ministry highlights included updates/checkups on hundreds of children at Harvest Ministry’s orphan ministries, sharing at several village churches, and ministering at an African Women’s Conference.

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    The following excerpt is a highlight from the introduction of The Mission-Minded Child – Raising a New Generation to Fulfill God’s Purpose (Authentic, 2007). Hope you enjoy it!

    So, what is a mission-minded child?

    A mission-minded child . . .

    • dreams of fulfilling God’s destiny.
    • prays for that next-door neighbor.
    • A mission-minded child may want to become a missionary–or a teacher or a doctor or a newspaper reporter or a state governor or a pastor or a businessperson or an airplane pilot or an author or a florist or a mother–as long as its what God wants.
    • is not a picky eater!
    • takes home a photo magnet from the visiting missionary family and puts it on the kitchen refrigerator.
    • is healthy, active, and adventurous.
    • spends a summer night sleeping outside on the trampoline, gazes up at a sky filled with twinkling stars, and realizes God’s plan is infinitely bigger than his or her own backyard.
    • imagines rollerblading on the Great Wall of China!
    • recognizes the names of David Livingstone, Amy Carmichael, Hudson Taylor, and Loren Cunningham.
    • knows how to use chopsticks.
    • has a reputation for thoroughly enjoying the Bible sword drills and memory verse contests at church.
    • puts extra money in the monthly missions offering and feels extra good inside.
    • thinks it could be fun to sleep in a mud hut in Africa!
    • reads all the way through the Bible by the age of ten (or eleven or twelve)–and is excited to start again!
    • stares at the photos in the new geography textbook or magazine and imagines climbing to the top of that Egyptian pyramid, snorkeling in those tropical-blue waters, and giving a new outfit to that poor boy with the ripped-up shirt.
    • befriends the new kid at school.
    • thinks beyond the “box” of what’s merely expected and hopes to do something big, or something little, for God.
    • wants to obey (even when no one is looking).
    • loves Jesus!

    For Christian parents and teachers, “world missions” is not just an extracurricular subject to teach our kids, it’s the core of our curriculum. Let’s raise the next generation to have a passion for God’s Great Commission. As Hudson Taylor (a famous missionary to China) often said, “The Great Commission is not an option to consider, it’s a command to obey.”

    And how about adding to our list!!!  How are you raising your children to have God’s heart for the world and His Great Commission, and in your childrens lives (in day-to-day routines and in your “where-the-rubber-meets-the-road” reality) what is it like to be a genuine mission-minded child in your experience?

    Now it’s your turn:

    A mission-minded child . . .

    Are you called to GO, or to GIVE?

    You may have heard this common statement in regard to missions: “Some are called to go, but others are called to pray, or to give.”

    I believe this is true — and that all of us as Christians are equally called to do our unique part in helping to fulfill the Great Commission.

    offeringAs we train our children, we need to emphasize that God has blessed each of us for a bigger purpose than merely to satisfy our own wants and desires. Like Abraham, God has blessed us to establish His covenant on the earth. If your part (or your child’s part) in helping to fulfill His Great Commission is to support world missions financially, then you need to trust God to meet your needs, and you need to begin to expand your desire to help others.

    If you or your child is called to be a “giver,” then begin to think (and dream) about what your money and future financial resources could do for God.


    Instead of browsing through department stores, catalogs, and eBay, be on the lookout for projects and people that God may want you to support. Of course, we must provide for our personal needs and prepare for our future, but as stewards of God’s Great Commission we must be willing to abandon our dreams for God’s dream!

    Whether we are called to go or to pray or to give, the level of commitment to God’s purposes should be the same for all of us; and this is a vital principle to instill in the next generation.

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    This article is excerpted from from Ann Dunagan’s book, The Mission-Minded Child – Raising a New Generation to Fulfill God’s Purpose (Authentic, 2007).