How does God ask us to respond to poverty and injustice?

It’s the fifth day of ‪#‎AskBetterQuestions‬. As we prepare for CAFO2015, we want to engage the families, churches, leaders and influencers in a conversation about adoption and orphan care. Today on the In Defense of the Fatherless blog, we have a guest post from Mary Hoyt.

Mary adopted a child from DRC in 2011. Today she is a passionate advocate for alternative care and leads More than Enough, a ministry that serves alongside local leaders in DRC empowering them to care for vulnerable children and families in their communities.


Although I have always had a heart for missions, I used to think “orphan care” was outdated. Looking back, I think I was afraid of the overwhelming needs. But as we began to research adoption, my heart broke open for vulnerable children around the world. Our family adopted from DRC in 2011. Soon after, I knew I was on a life-long quest to do what I could.

I immersed myself in research – and I began to ask questions.

Where did the kids growing up in orphanages come from? Why weren’t extended family members able to care for them? Who was running these orphanages and why? Is it morally okay to adopt a relinquished child whose parents would like to care for her if they could afford to? Is it right to stand in line to adopt a child if you thereby contribute to a “demand” that can add pressure to unethically create a “supply” in a country with little infrastructure to protect children?

One question led to another – and soon, instead of just being passionate about orphan care and international adoption, I became passionate about adoption ethics, family preservation and family reunification. I likewise became passionate about getting kids out of institutions and advocating for indigenous foster care and adoption.

As I continued to ask questions, my journey pointed in one direction. All of my researched suggested that poverty reduction is the key to preventing unnecessary family dissolution: most families love and want to care for their children.

I remember thinking, “But God! I just wanted to care about all the cute, little orphans of the world! And now you’re asking me to care about all of the billions of people living in poverty? That’s too much!”

Yet the research was clear – trying to address the “orphan crisis” in isolation would inadvertently create more orphans – read Sara and Amanda’s book to learn more on that!

In Defense of the Fatherless is the book I’ve been dreaming of for years! This is the first book I know of that has been written by Christian orphan care insiders to comprehensively communicate the research and best practices on global orphan care and adoption in a scriptural, direct, and yet gracious way.

So how does God ask us to respond to poverty and injustice?

As I prayed and cried and often tried to carry the weight of the world’s suffering, the Lord kept whispering, “It’s not your world to save.” He kept reminding me of the tried and true story of the fish and the loaves. God’s not asking us to be Jesus in the story. He’s just asking us to be like that boy – to be brave, to be willing to look at things holistically, and be willing to offer “our lunch” – our time, talents, and money – again and again and watch Him do the miracles.

Ready to #AskBetterQuestions?

Where are you in your unique journey of bravely asking questions? We would love for you to join in the conversation by leaving a comment or by tagging your posts with #AskBetterQuestions on Instagram or Twitter.

Mary Hoyt

Mary Hoyt leads More Than Enough, a ministry supports indigenous leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to serve vulnerable children and their families. Mary educates and coaches missionaries, churches, and donors on best practices for implementing Alternative Care. Mary and her husband Adam adopted from DRC in 2011 and live near Atlanta, Georgia.

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