11 February 2009

Why GBI? - Part 2

Because equipping Christian leaders is the key to… ending the orphan crisis…

Uganda has 2.3 million orphans according to UNICEF and 13.4 million Christians according to the CIA World Factbook… out of a total population of 32 million people (2008 census)…

That means if 1 in every 6 Christians took in an orphan… or if 1 in every 3 Christian couples took in an orphan there would no longer be any orphans in the entire country…

Now this may seem absurd to assume that 1 in 3 families could take in a child but don’t think with a western mindset… In the US it costs over a quarter million dollars to raise a child from 0 to 17 and then you add college on top of that… no wonder people push their kids in sports!

In Uganda at the going sponsorship rates it costs $5000 to raise a child from 0 to 17…

In Uganda it is natural to raise other people’s children… Hillary knew what she was talking about when she said, “it takes a village to raise a child”… she was quoting an African...

So why does Africa have an orphan crisis… Is it possible that they are smart and they know the west will foot the bill? It’s pretty much the same as a missionary going out to lunch with a rich donor… you reach for your wallet out of courtesy but not with any sense of urgency…

Now I do not want to generalize all Ugandan Christians… this last month a co-worker at GBI and her husband who has been married for just over a year took in 4 orphans… talk about the honeymoon being over!

And the reason they did this is because they are part of a great church with a great leader who has taught them to care for the needs of others…

Now I know her salary because I sign the check she makes $250 a month working full-time and her husband isn’t breaking the bank either… but they are making it and actually living quite well in comparison to their peers…

I can also tell stories of many other Ugandan Christians taking in as many as 10 orphaned children… so again I ask… why is there an orphan crisis?

For me the only possible answer is that there are not enough strong churches with great leaders who are encouraging their believers to look after the orphans and widows in their distress…

I realize it is great sponsor a child for $30 a month… Christine and I have sponsored a child for a number of years so I am not judging those who do or saying that you shouldn’t…

But let me posse a question… if Uganda is a “Christian nation” with unlimited natural resources should the church in American be focusing on sponsoring their children or training their leaders to take care of their children?

Once again let me be clear on what I am saying…

Caring for orphans is important and biblical…

And I also believe that there would not be an orphan crisis if the Christians were equipped and trained to care for the children… that’s why I believe that the ministry of Gaba Bible Institute is an important step to ending the orphan crisis in Uganda…

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