I was blessed to be born to faithful Christian parents. I grew up in a small Arkansas town where some of my fondest childhood memories were going to worship “every time the doors of the meeting house were open.” It was an era in which many Christians were still wrestling with questions involving how the church was to spend its money, and many of the sermons were focused on those issues.
It was well-taught that James 1:27 instructs individuals – not congregations – to support the widows and orphans. There were no orphans attending that congregation, and the widows were well-supported by retirement earnings, insurance proceeds, and social security payments. This seemed to provide no opportunity.
Even after moving to Oklahoma City, the congregation there did not experience members dying and leaving orphans. I recall talking with a friend who attended another congregation supporting orphan homes from their treasury. When I explained how James 1:27 was written to individuals, he asked what we were doing to assist orphans. I told him that if the congregation had any orphans, we would assuredly support them.
I first heard of Sacred Selections when we lived in Kansas City. One of the couples who regularly attended a Monday night Bible study in our home adopted a 4-year-old girl through Sacred Selections. I watched her progression from a child who had never really been acquainted with a father into one who had an obvious deep love for both her father and mother. Still, though, I saw this adoption as a rare circumstance pertaining to a couple seeking a child.
Several years after we moved to Dallas, our daughter and son-in-law in Fort Worth learned from another member there of an opportunity to adopt a yet unborn child. To assist with expenses, they asked me to write a recommendation to Sacred Selections. After receiving my letter, Dana Carrozza called me. In our conversation about the impending adoption, Dana also mentioned that the DFW area has not been very active with Sacred Selections. Later we attended our first Sacred Selections event. I was brought to tears by Dana’s recounting of the lives that have been changed through adoption.
Since then, the DFW area has come to be extremely supportive of Sacred Selections. We have now seen multiple families within the Campbell Road congregation adopt a child through this fantastic organization, and several other young families work countless hours to organize events. A young man from the Ukraine adopted by one of the families was introduced to Christ and has now given his life to Him. That 4-year-old girl in Kansas City has grown up and become a Christian. The other adopted children here are obviously being raised by godly parents who are teaching them about Jesus Christ. I see the way our granddaughter is being raised to love the Lord and sometimes reflect on what her life would have been without this adoption.
In 2020 we were blessed to be invited to a small group dinner with David and Dana. There they spoke of their desire for Sacred Selections to live on even after they are gone. They told of plans to begin a Future 500 group to help support this. We did not hesitate to sign up – even before Future 500 was finalized.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that James 1:27 does not just apply to orphans within the congregation I attend, and through Sacred Selections I have become aware of more and more opportunities to practice “pure and undefiled religion” by supporting orphans. Further, I see these children being placed in homes with godly parents who are raising them in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord”.
Think about it…. contributions to Sacred Selections can help to reap eternal benefits. What a tremendous return on investment!