Posted: July 6, 2008 in Orphans
Tags: , , ,

There are 143 million orphans in the world today.

It would take thousands of words and blog posts to explain all that has been happening in my heart this year with regard to that one sentence. I have felt like an observer at my own operation: watching God-the-surgeon peel back layers of my heart and cut away the calluses so that I can feel what He feels for the fatherless and mom-less children of the world. I appreciate the surgery, but it’s been painful in ways I didn’t anticipate because those things that God removed? They weren’t bad, they were just in the way. I’m left now with a heart I don’t know as well as I knew the old one. I can say that I love His house more than ever, but I’m less passionate in my opinion about “how church should run” than ever. Volume of music? Don’t care. Contemporary or traditional? Both are great. Seeker-sensitive or believer-focused? Fantastic. I’m finding that on the issues that the American Church keeps hashing and re-hashing, I just don’t have a dog in the fight .

Having said all that, I ran into a scripture this morning that did me in. I’ve never read Hosea in the Message before and – wow – it’s pretty explicit. But Hosea 2, one of the most beautiful chapters in the Bible, is especially breathtaking in this translation as it details the process of God calling back the lost and broken one. Read it and weep:

“I’ll plant her in the good earth. I’ll have mercy on No-Mercy. I’ll say to Nobody, ‘You’re My dear Somebody,’ and he’ll say, ‘You’re my God!'”

I’ve been to Africa and I’ve seen how orphans live. In terms of rescue, I can’t imagine a better plan than this verse. To be planted, to have mercy and to be noticed and known by God Himself…that’s big stuff. And I wonder, if God was going to say to a child, “You’re My dear Somebody,” who’s voice would He use? I bet it would sound a lot like yours. And mine.

For His dear Somebody’s,


P.S. Here are a few of the Somebody’s living at Kings Kids Village in Nairobi, Kenya. They will get to stay at KKV until they’re ready to make homes of their own. Isn’t God just so fantastic?

  1. Ann Dunagan says:


    And how does one go about having the Lord expand our heart for these precious little ones . . . without worrying or coming out of God’s joy or getting overwhelmed?

    Just yesterday, my college-age daughter and I returned from Uganda where we were checking up on an orphanage we started a bit over 2 years ago (with 160 kiddos and 33 adults). And then we were assesing a second orphan situation . . . that is so huge. It’s really totally beyond us. Hundreds of orphan children, no outside support, so many buildings needed, and on and on . . . and precious children we met and held in our arms (currently being fed and taughr by some of our dearest long-time minstry coworkers). We’re trying to seek God’s will for us. To stay in faith. To be obedient. To be unity as a husband and wife . . . and to hear God’s voice.

    These somebody’s are really pulling on my heart.

    I love you Bo.

  2. bolovesjoe says:

    I know exactly what you mean, Ann…I’ve been thinking many of those same thoughts myself. I guess what I’ve been feeling is that the way you tackle anything with overwhelming odds is the same way David tackled Goliath: pick five good weapons and let at least one of them fly. I keep going back to the bottom line that I can only do the specific thing He’s asking me to do – and that causes me to better recognize and appreciate those around me who can do the MILLION things I cannot. I’m thankful for purpose that’s over my head, though…and I’m praying and believing for miracles for your orphans.

  3. Ann Dunagan says:

    Thanks Bo.

    When you talk about purpose that’s “over my head” . . . it reminds me of that older Steven Curtis Chapman song, Dive, and the phrase, “I’m diving in, I’m going deep . . . in over my head I wanna be.”

    Diving in the deep end is fun, as long as a person doesn’t drown or fall on the rocks (second-guessing like Cassie did last summer cliff jumping at the pocket.)

    I seriously value your friendship so much, Bo! Your praying and believing for us means a lot. The idea of taking on more orphan kiddos could be so exciting, but Jon and I need to know if we’re supposed to radically “dive” in, or not.

    Did David ever hear an audible “word” from God to go against Goliath, or did he just know that God’s anointing was with him, God’s people were being attacked by the enemy, and SOMEONE needed to stand up for God. He’s just known as the little guy that God was able to be BIG through. And maybe our little “rocks” don’t have to be anything special. Someone has to glorify God and RUN to that giant.


    May God show us.

  4. Jenna says:

    Bo, I can relate to that unusual peeling back that the great surgeon does. He has birthed something in me in the last year that literally took labour and about 10 months and it is all wrapped in His love for those orphans. I felt like in the midst of that painful peeling back and stripping away of so much He revealed His heart in me. That’s what’s left-His raw,compassionate, merciful, loving heart beating so deep in me that sometimes I can hardly breathe. I feel exactly the same as you said once, these dreams HAVE ME, not the other way around. It is so amazing to sense the sliver of God’s value and hope that He aches to convey to these countless orphans. I am so thankful my Spirit has been awakened in this way that it leads me to that “pure religion” that the Word talks about. I would love to chat with you more sometime, for your heart blows on the already burning coals in me.

  5. bolovesjoe says:

    Ann & Jenna – I can hear in both of your hearts, the heart of the Father who loves His own. I wish the answers were easier or more apparent…I wish more people were willing to tackle the impossible…but I know that what is happening in each of you will be beautiful and powerful and life-changing for many. Exciting days ahead…I just know it!

  6. […] she’s become dear to my heart over the past few months.  Her name is Judy and she is one of “God’s Dear Somebody’s” at Kings Kids Village in Nairobi.  Judy came to KKV two years ago and she has quite a story.  Her […]

  7. […] I LOVE Costco! Your summer? Filled with vision. Love someone? Yep.  My family, friends and 143 millions others.  With all my heart. Your favorite color? Red (but currently kind of an orange-y red)! When is the […]

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