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Ideas to Help Children Care for Widows and Orphans

by Mitzi Eaker

God instructs us in James 1:27 to care for widows and orphans.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”—James 1:27 (NIV)

God often uses children to open the doors to these ministries. So how can children, along with their families, care for these vulnerable people?

The key to caring, for both orphans and widows in our own community and around the world, lies in building relationships.

Here are a few tangible ways for children to build and strengthen ongoing relationships:

1. Be a friend. The best way kids can care for orphans in their community is to be a normal friend to them. The same is true for widows. Most widows would welcome having a child or two come to visit them. During these visits why not share stories, sing together, play a game, or do a craft?

2. Be thoughtful. A little gift can go a long way. Help children bake some special goodies and take them to widows in your community weekly or monthly. Or make a homemade craft. Just a little something to let them know that someone cares for them. Teach your kids to be kind in word and deed to children who may have recently joined their school, church, or community through foster care or adoption.

3. Be generous. Consider giving money to a family that is adopting a child. Kids can have a lemonade stand or cookie sale to raise money for adoption. In addition, consider sponsoring an orphan through a child sponsorship program. This is a great way for kids to encourage and minister to children in another country through writing. Be generous to a widow and make sure they have gifts on special occasions. Simple handmade gifts or art from kids will make them feel special.

4. Be prayerful. Pray for and with orphans and widow every chance you get! Pray for families going through adoption or serving as foster families. Pray for individuals that provide services to widows like nurses, health aids, and social workers. Pray that our churches will respond to the needs of orphans and widows in our own communities.

5. Be open. Be open to how God wants you and your children to use your specific gifts, talents, and resources to minister to widows and orphans. He may want you to open your heart, hands, and home to care for widows and orphans in a special way.

Mitzi Eaker is an author, wife, and mom who shares her journey and ideas at She has written Mission Moments 2: 52 Easy-to-Use Missional Messages and Activities for Today’s Family.

Scripture marked (NIV) taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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