Monday, September 26, 2011

Elephant in the Room

"Elephant in the room" (as described by Wikipedia) is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is being ignored or goes unaddressed. It is based on the idea that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook; thus, those who pretend the elephant is not there have chosen to avoid dealing with the looming big issue.

One of those issues is the Orphan Epidemic. You've probably seen the pictures and heard the stories of their plight. The bad news is that it’s often easy for us to turn away from dirty, snotty, malnourished kids. The good news is that my middle son is addressing this particular “elephant in the room” through a non-profit organization called Patch Our Planet. He saw a problem that is largely underserved and felt compelled to do something about it.

According to most estimates, there are in excess of 140 million orphans worldwide. The population of Russia is slightly under 142 million people, to provide some context. Enormous numbers of children are in the streets of our countries each year, with no direction and no hope. Is it any wonder that sex trafficking, drugs, and homelessness enter into and profoundly affect these young lives?

My son founded Patch Our Planet with the belief that there is only one lasting solution, or patch, to the Orphan Epidemic, and that is through churches. There was a time when churches took the lead in this crisis. But at some point that church leadership diminished, while at the same time the orphan problem was growing exponentially larger. That is what Patch Our Planet has been chartered to do: to provide sustaining leadership. It exists to equip and educate churches to care for orphans here and around the world. It sees a world where every church in every community is caring for every orphan. That’s leadership! And that’s working toward a sensible solution to a large and seemingly intractable problem.

How exactly does it work? Patch Our Planet has developed two strategies for the local church. There is a Local Orphan Strategy (foster care) and a Global Orphan Strategy (world orphans). It works in collaboration with the leaders of churches to fit the strategy into the church's overall vision.

How can you help? You can imagine trying to start a non-profit organization in this economic environment. Launching any type of venture at any given time is a daunting task, so there must be a passion that underlies the organization. I see that passion in my son's organization. There is an elephant in the room and my son has chosen to step forward and do something about it. He can use your help, along with the millions of orphans’ lives he has been inspired to improve. Here are some ways you can learn more:
Follow on Facebook: Patch Our Planet

No comments:

Post a Comment