Orphanages The Role of the Church and State A New Telescopic View on Mission to the Poor in our Midst
Understanding the role and mission of the Church of Christ is most important in the new evangelization process of our time. It is not enough to understand the readings of theology and doctrines of the church, it is more important to actualize and effect the mandate of Christ to His Church “Peacebe with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you” Jn. 20 21 . What message exactly is Jesus talking about The message to bring the light to those in darkness the darkness of sinfulness, the darkness of timidity, the darkness of ignorance, and the darkness of poverty cf. Matt. 4 16, 17 . It is the message to bring back life to those who are dying in sin, to set the prisoners spiritual and physical free. Jesus unrolled the scroll and found where it was written “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” Lk. 4 18,19 . This is the same message Christ Jesus leaves with the Church, it is assignment which will continue as long as the world exists, it is a mission the Church sends her members all Christians, to be conscious about. The entire Bible is a summary of the readings of this message of God. The whole narratives of the Old Testament the Law and the Prophets are teachings and writings elaborating the message of love and redemption, it is a complete historic records narrating how the world got into bondage and suffering, for which God would send His begotten Son Jesus Christ, in the New Testament to redeem His people. And Jesus in the Gospels would not have exhausted all the mission of emancipation before His glorious death and ascension, so, a need to command his followers to continue this mission of love and emancipation, “I give you a new commandment love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jn. 13 34 – 35 . One aspect of this mission mandate, which characterizes the sum up of the Ten Commandments of God, is this message of practical Love, a Christianity in action, practical Christianity. A mission to revisit the conditions of the poor ones in our midst today. In our world today, everyone sees himself or herself as poor, even those who are very rich in the material things of the world. Yes, we do agree that everyone is poor in one special way or the other, however, the authors here are concerned about those who in the real sense of poverty, you may be far better. The authors are not concerned here also with the “poor in Spirit”, Rather we intend to address the issue of physical and material poverty the hungry, the physically challenged, the hospitalized, those in prison, the poor widows and widowers, the orphans, the poor fatherless or motherless children, those living on the streets, beggars, abused children, abused girls and girls teenagers , Refugees, victims of various circumstances such as war, communal conflicts, school dropouts, children outside legal marriages, etc. The authors believe there are much more the Church can do to find lasting solutions to these phenomena. Although the Church is very much pathetic about the situation and cries aloud like John the Baptist in the wilderness against the situation, and also acknowledging that the Church is recorded as the biggest humanitarian in the world, we here intend to further recommend a seemingly better ways the Church can be more practical in achieving this pastoral mandate. This work will be divided into volumes, volumes addressing these phenomena so outlined above and more. Therefore, this article is limited to discourse on the predicaments of the orphanage homes, their make ups, their observed situations, the involvement of the governments, the Church, and the general populace. A brief field visits to some Homes and interviews conducted within the area where the authors reside as at the time of doing this study are included. These Homes are just a very few selected to showcase a practical knowledge of what the authors intend to describe, it could therefore be applied to anywhere in Africa and other Regions in the world.
Orphanage, Mission, Church, Evangelization, mandate, Youngsters
Azebeokhai, Benedict Oshiokhamele