One ministry that learned of our work has started to send me their periodic updates via email. When I received this newsletter, I wanted to share and highlight what they have been learning and the impact they’re having on the world around them with you. At Romanian Orphan Ministries, they have been learning about the importance of a correct understanding (i.e. a biblical worldview) of work for success in working with the local orphans. Here is what they had to say:
. . . [P]eople are realizing that God knew what He was doing when He led Paul to write the third chapter of 2 Thessalonians, where he says, among other things; “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (vs. 10b). Why does Paul say that? Why so harsh? Because laziness breeds sin and hard work develops character. We have seen both of these truths among our orphans who have had everything handed to them for 18 years growing up in an orphanage.
Now, granted, the orphanage is a horrible place to live and it’s not like they were given great things there…but, they were not taught how life really works. There they could be lazy all day and not work at all. All of a sudden, out of the orphanage, in the real world, things don’t work like that. Nobody gives them a thing! Nobody cares about them. Nobody is there to take care of them. They are handicapped by this mentality and unable to survive in the real world. They wind up on the streets. They are easy prey for sex traffickers and pedophiles because they are easily lured into other countries where they are then enslaved.
This is horrible! The knowledge of this situation is what motivated us to begin working in Romania in the first place. What could possibly be the solution? The third chapter of 2 Thessalonians is the solution. They must learn how to work. They must learn how society really functions. They must learn to take responsibility for their lives, shed the self-pity, stop the entitlement mentality, and move forward. This is not a problem specific to Romania, it is everywhere.
So, through all of my reading I learned about many groups who are ministering to people by creating jobs for them. Orphans in Africa making soap. War widows making jewelry. Businesses started with all profits going to ministry. I was surprised to see how many people are doing this. I was also surprised to see that this is not something new. John Calvin himself, 500 years ago in Switzerland, felt that the best way to help the poor was to create businesses and hire them. The down and out are being given an opportunity to work, creating dignity and self-respect!
So God has led us to do likewise. Our girls are engaged full-time in making greeting cards. There are several challenges to this: 1) Teaching orphans to make greeting cards is not easy! 2) Starting a new business in this economy is not easy! 3) Beginning a new business, putting all the pieces together, and making it work is not easy! But this is the point, it is not easy! It is hard work. And that is exactly what our orphans need.
Please pray this month for the girls and staff involved in this new endeavor!
When the hard times come, orphans are used to quitting. Some of them have. Some have stuck it out. They just need a lot of prayer, praise, mentoring, love, and good old fashioned hard work. Please pray that they will stick it out!
-Tim C. Williams