On May 2-3, 2013, two of Beloved’s directors, Catalina Chung and Mitchell Kim, attended the Summit9 conference, which was hosted by the Christian Alliance for Orphans, in Niashville, TN. The following is a reflection from Mitchell.
Among the many things we learns and the numerous ways we were benefited at the Summit9 conference, one thing stood out to both Catalina and myself. We noticed that many conferences are set for people who want to fuel a passion for God and be used for His glory. These conferences encourage people to spread the gospel, go out on the mission field, and to sacrifice their lives and aspirations for His glory.
However, at Summit9, we noticed that the 2,000+ attendees were not interested in getting involved with adoption, foster care, and orphan care. Rather, these were people who were involved and have given their lives, their time, and their resources to this calling for years and decades. These were people who attended the conference to get refreshed and encouraged for the continued work ahead.
Summit9′s schedule was littered with encouraging talks. There was the pastor of a low-income church who led an entire church body to become foster parents. There was the man from Kenya who grew up an orphan and now dedicates His life to promoting permanent homes for children in Kenya. There were the families who adopted five, six, and seven adopted children in the fear of the Lord.
I came away from this conference encouraged and excited to continue the work God has granted me through Beloved. I came away encouraged that the model promoted by Beloved, which is to find and support parents in Kenya willing to adopt children, was a worthy task. Others were encouraged to hear about Beloved and to learn that our model of orphan care could succeed in a third-world country. Mostly, I came away encouraged that the God in Heaven chose to show me love and to pay the cost to adopt me into His family.
The love of God was wonderfully explained by Summit9′s final speaker, David Platt (pastor of The Church at Brook Hills), who said as follows (this is merely a paraphrase): We are not rescuers, brothers and sisters. We care for orphans because we are the rescued. We were heading to an eternal hell and He saved us. And it makes sense for us to sacrifice ourselves to care for orphans because we know that this is how we’ve been loved.
Finally, Dennis Rainey (president of FamilyLife), made the following encouragement: “Go near the orphan; you will find the heart of God there.”
I hope that you will continue to partner with Beloved International as we draw near to the orphan just as God has drawn near to us.