What difference does orphan care make? What difference can you make? How could taking one orphan under your wing really matter in the long run? Well, it mattered in Persia many years ago. In fact, it saved a nation from the evil plans of their enemies.
Imagine losing your parents, being torn away from your homeland, and carried into captivity by the enemies of your people. You have nothing. You are young and afraid and feeling lost. You don’t know what to do or where to turn. And then…your cousin shows up. You may or may not know him well. He is older than you, but he is a godly man, and he takes you in as his own child. (Esther 2:7)
If the story stopped there, the comfort and hope Mordecai offered would have been tangible relief to Esther. It would have guided her through the rest of her life and made a difference in every day that she lived. It’s definitely the makings of a good feel-good movie, but that’s not the end of the story.
Mordecai did more than feed and educate his young niece. He brought her up as his daughter. He loved her, trained her, and instilled in her the importance of obedience, responsibility, duty, faith, worship, and courage. Without these things, the story would have been very different.
The fact that Mordecai took Esther in as his own did not change the fact that they were captives. His wisdom in guiding her placed her in a position to prosper within that captivity. His counsel to keep her nationality to herself likely helped her rise to the position of queen. His willingness to expose the plotting of the king’s chamberlains illustrated both his loyalty to the king and his courage to Esther—which she would later emulate. In short, Mordecai’s investment in Esther’s life, set up an orphan to be the means of deliverance for her entire nation.
So I ask again, what difference does it make? It could make all the difference in the world. When I think of children like those I have met in orphanages, children’s homes, foster care, or even in my own church who, like Esther, have faced the fears, struggles and pain of loss, I wonder, “Could it be that God has a plan for them, a plan to bring hope to the world around them?”
The three ministries we support each year through the Green Bean Project are (combined) reaching out to more than 500 children. Not all of those are orphans, but many of them are. Many of those who are not orphans come from destitute homes. The couples leading these ministries have taken these children in as their own to love, guide, instruct, and point to Jesus. Who knows, perhaps, they are raising the next Esther.
Let’s do our part to make a difference.