Last year, I had the honor of endorsing Johnny Carr’s new book, Orphan Justice. If you care about the gospel, orphans and justice, you need to read this book. Below, Johnny answers some key questions about the book.
Oh, and if you want to win a free copy, see below.
1) Why did you write the book?
I felt like we had unique idea and approach that might cross over and expand the idea of orphan care to be more than just an area of ministry for a fringe group of people. I wanted to show the connection between orphan care and so many others areas of everyday life. When I first started learning these things for myself, I realized that I could not separate the orphan’s plight from so many social justice issues. Then I realized that I had never really taken these issues seriously because I chalked them up to issues that “liberals” dealt with. I saw it as an “either/or” scenario instead of “both/and”. It is clear from Scripture that we should care for orphans, what I am hoping to show in the book is that caring for orphans means that we also have to care about these social justice issues that we conservatives have not dealt with effectively in the past.
2) What are your thoughts on international adoption?
I have adopted two children through international adoption. I can’t imagine my life without my two kids that came to us from another country. I also can’t imagine what their lives would have been like had they not been adopted. I consider myself to be a very strong advocate of international adoption.
Most people are now aware that international adoption has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. Now, the vast majority of children adopted internationally are older or special needs children. Many of these kids will have significant challenges. However, the challenge of growing up without a family will be far greater than the challenges that come through adoption.
But, international adoption is only part of the solution when looking at the global picture. For kids that need a family, we need to be just as passionate about promoting adoption within their own country. This will include everything from preaching and teaching, addressing cultural issues, training, and supporting domestic adoption. In some cultures there will be significant issues to address and may take a long time to really see culture change. We must be committed and we must be convicted to seeing this type of change all the way through. Working through the local churches, we can see this happen.
3) Do you hate orphanages?
Yes and no (I should have been a politician). I am thankful that many of orphanages are feeding, clothing, providing shelter, and sometimes even providing spiritual nourishment for children. I recognize that it is better for child to have these things than to live on the street. I know that there are many orphanages that do good things and are run by good people with pure motives.
However, what I do hate is the fact that we have seen orphanages become a long term solution for children and that we (as the Church) have become satisfied. I show a lot of research in the orphanage chapter about children who live their lives in orphanages. Beyond the secular research, as Christians, we should be appalled that children are not living in a family. It’s is simple biblical principle that children belong in families.
Orphanages are built as a reaction to a problem. Family based and community based care is built on the principles of being proactive. It’s not easy and it’s not done overnight. I don’t think churches should leave an orphanage without support that they have been supporting. I am hoping that Orphan Justice will start a new conversation about how we do orphan care and the role of orphanages.
To answer your question more directly – I don’t hate orphanages. I do hate the fact that the must exist. I also hate the fact that so many of us have become satisfied with them being a long term solution for children.
Free Book Giveaway
Thanks Johnny for taking time to share and also for writing this book. I hope and pray it challenges readers to care for orphans on a much deeper level. You can buy the book here. (Affiliate Link)
Johnny is also giving away two copies of his book. All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered to win. I will select a winner next Tuesday.
UPDATE: Congrats to Melissa Baldwin and Crystal Rucker for winning Johnny’s book. Email me (see comments) your address. If I don’t receive an email by this Tuesday, I will choose another winner. Thanks to everyone for leaving a comment. I hope you purchase a copy of the book.