Last year we showed the movie Rescued: The Heart of Adoption and Caring for Orphans (Wintons Motion Pictures and Hedrick Brothers Productions) in our home during a night of encouragement and prayer for friends who are adopting. I knew the movie would be a great blessing to them as they embark on a new chapter in their lives, but I did not expect to be so powerfully impacted myself.
The movie combines interviews with several adoptive families and teaching about “caring for orphans and widows in their distress”, the definition of true religion in James 1:27. I was challenged in three ways as I watched the movie.
First, I realized as I watched Rescued that adoption is a valid way to participate in the Great Commission.
Jesus said to “Go and make disciples, baptizing them….and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” When Jesus gave that command, he never said that we couldn’t bring the nations home to us! As a former missionary, this was a profound revelation for me.
Next, I was challenged that adoption is not an act of charity, but an act of spiritual warfare.
Many orphans will never hear the Gospel, nor even meet a Christian. This is particularly true in foreign lands, where Christians are few and far between. Orphans want homes, love, families, medical care, and other earthly needs met, but their greatest need—like ours—is salvation. Their temporal losses will be nothing compared to their eternal suffering if they don’t put their trust in Christ. And “how can they believe in Him of whom they have never heard?” (Romans 10: 14). When purposeful Christian families adopt, they invade the enemy’s territory, and that is an act of war.
Finally, I grasped for the first time that adoption is something Christians do out of their love for others and their love for Christ–not in order to fulfill their own needs.
As a mother of five children, I have no sense of “felt need” to adopt a child for my own sake. However, our family has many spiritual, emotional, and material resources to offer. If true religion is caring for orphans and widows in their distress, what am I doing about that? As a Christian, I know that children are a blessing from the Lord, be they adopted or flesh of my flesh. When Christians adopt, the Lord blesses both the child and the family in unforeseen ways.
This film makes it clear that not all Christians are called to adopt, just as all Christians won’t be called to the mission field. All Christians must be involved in the missionary cause, however, and likewise we should all be involved in caring for orphans through prayer, giving, and offering support to other Christians who are adopting.
My calling to the mission field was not an overly-emotional experience of “sensing God’s Will.” I simply heard someone preach about fields white unto harvest and the great need for workers to go out into the harvest field. I offered myself to God with Isaiah’s words: “Here am I. Send me.” If the Lord had a use for me, I was willing to go. Rescued opened my heart to see adoption in a similar light. That must always be our attitude as Christians: to ask what the Lord would have us do and to be willing to do it for the sake of the Gospel.
Rescued received 5 stars from the Dove Foundation and was a semi-finalist in the 2012 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, competing for a $101,000 “Best of Festival” award alongside other high profile films including “Courageous” and Ray Comfort’s “180 Movie.”