What your family can do to stand for orphans

Using our gifts for the good of others

August 6, 2020

“Mom, can we PLEASE do a lemonade stand today?” begged the kids. They had been wanting to do one for a long time. So I reluctantly agreed to do a stand that hot day in May, 2015. We got a poster board, some lemonade, a table, and headed down to a park in our neighborhood. Although we profited about $20 that day, the Lord birthed an incredible idea in the hearts of our children. 

While we were sitting there doing our lemonade stand, ideas began to pop up, one by one. One child commented that they wanted to give the money we raised that day to Lifeline Children’s Services, the domestic and international ministry that reaches out to vulnerable children through adoption, orphan care, foster care, and the gospel. It’s also where my husband, Herbie, serves as president and executive director. Wheels started turning, and ideas were being blurted out fast and furiously.  

“Let’s not only give this money to Lifeline but let’s encourage other kids to host their own stands and give the money to help kids around the world.” 

“What if we asked a donor to match all the money raised this summer up to a certain dollar amount?”  

Later that day when Herbie got home, we bombarded him with all our ideas and then asked if we could call Rick Morton, Lifeline’s vice president of Engagement, to share our ideas with him as well. That night we bought the domain names standfororphans.com and standfororphans.org, and Stand for Orphans was made official.  

Engaging our children in orphan care 

As a family, we have spent many hours in orphanages around the world in places like China and Colombia. The sights and smells are like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Seeing the orphan with my own eyes most definitely spurs me to do something for them. It took the simple idea of selling lemonade to bring to fruition what had been stirring in my heart for years—a means of engaging children here at home to do something tangibly to help children around the world.  

From a young age, we have tried to teach our children that life is not about them. “Stand” is a great way to demonstrate this. They use hard work and determination, not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of others. Nothing makes me more excited than to see my kids’ passion for helping children around the world who are just like them.  

There are 153 million orphans worldwide that need our help.

Many times as the church, I think we have the mindset that serving is reserved for adults. However, I strongly believe that the more we involve children in thinking about and serving others, the more likely it will become a natural part of their lives. Thus, serving others will be carried into adulthood and throughout their lives. The values of generosity, serving others, hard work, determination, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship are taught through Stand. Aren’t these values that we all want for our children? Stand is a perfect way to engage your kids at an early age in caring for others—even those that they may not see with their own eyes. Stand was created by kids for kids.  

There are 153 million orphans worldwide that need our help. God commands us in James 1:27 to care for the orphan and the widow. While adoption is certainly one way to care for the orphan, the reality is that less than half of 1% of all orphans will actually be adopted. Consequently, that leaves millions of precious image-bearers languishing in orphanages around the world. While you may not have room at the table in your home to make another orphan a son or a daughter, we can all do something to care for the fatherless.

You can stand for orphans in simple ways

Even though this moment in 2020 may look totally different than any other year, there are still millions of vulnerable children that need our help. If it works in your community, now could be a great time to have a lemonade (or cookie, bracelet, slime, hand-made craft, etc.) stand. You can download a free kit at Standfororphans.org.

Or you could gather up the kids, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents to take a socially distant Stand for Orphans® by heading to social media. Grab a lemon, and take on The Lemon Challenge — take a video eating a lemon and post it to social media with #standfororphans. Then, challenge three friends to also eat a lemon and give a donation to Stand for Orphans. 

Or you may want to take to the stage and showcase your talent (serious, silly, or hidden). Post a video of your talent to social media with #standfororphans and challenge three friends to donate.

This is the perfect time to let your kids be creative with how to raise money for Stand for orphans. Just last week, my daughter posted on social media that she is selling cookies and muffins for Stand this year. She raised over $350 in just two weeks by baking goodies. Another friend is selling leather earrings that she makes. And yet another friend is making stationary to sell. My son has a pressure washing/pet-sitting business, and he has decided to donate a portion of his profit to Stand. The options are truly endless. 

Talk to your kids about the global orphan crisis and how they can be a part of the solution. I guarantee you they will surprise you with their innovative ideas. Find out how the Lord has gifted you and your family, and use those gifts to glorify him this summer. 

Having a lemonade stand as a kid seems like a right of passage. Why not make it count for something other than ourselves?

Ashley Newell

Ashley is the co-founder of Stand for Orphans. She is married to Herbie, and they have three children. Read More by this Author

Article 12: The Future of AI

We affirm that AI will continue to be developed in ways that we cannot currently imagine or understand, including AI that will far surpass many human abilities. God alone has the power to create life, and no future advancements in AI will usurp Him as the Creator of life. The church has a unique role in proclaiming human dignity for all and calling for the humane use of AI in all aspects of society.

We deny that AI will make us more or less human, or that AI will ever obtain a coequal level of worth, dignity, or value to image-bearers. Future advancements in AI will not ultimately fulfill our longings for a perfect world. While we are not able to comprehend or know the future, we do not fear what is to come because we know that God is omniscient and that nothing we create will be able to thwart His redemptive plan for creation or to supplant humanity as His image-bearers.

Genesis 1; Isaiah 42:8; Romans 1:20-21; 5:2; Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Timothy 1:7-9; Revelation 5:9-10

Article 11: Public Policy

We affirm that the fundamental purposes of government are to protect human beings from harm, punish those who do evil, uphold civil liberties, and to commend those who do good. The public has a role in shaping and crafting policies concerning the use of AI in society, and these decisions should not be left to those who develop these technologies or to governments to set norms.

We deny that AI should be used by governments, corporations, or any entity to infringe upon God-given human rights. AI, even in a highly advanced state, should never be delegated the governing authority that has been granted by an all-sovereign God to human beings alone. 

Romans 13:1-7; Acts 10:35; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 10: War

We affirm that the use of AI in warfare should be governed by love of neighbor and the principles of just war. The use of AI may mitigate the loss of human life, provide greater protection of non-combatants, and inform better policymaking. Any lethal action conducted or substantially enabled by AI must employ 5 human oversight or review. All defense-related AI applications, such as underlying data and decision-making processes, must be subject to continual review by legitimate authorities. When these systems are deployed, human agents bear full moral responsibility for any actions taken by the system.

We deny that human agency or moral culpability in war can be delegated to AI. No nation or group has the right to use AI to carry out genocide, terrorism, torture, or other war crimes.

Genesis 4:10; Isaiah 1:16-17; Psalm 37:28; Matthew 5:44; 22:37-39; Romans 13:4

Article 9: Security

We affirm that AI has legitimate applications in policing, intelligence, surveillance, investigation, and other uses supporting the government’s responsibility to respect human rights, to protect and preserve human life, and to pursue justice in a flourishing society.

We deny that AI should be employed for safety and security applications in ways that seek to dehumanize, depersonalize, or harm our fellow human beings. We condemn the use of AI to suppress free expression or other basic human rights granted by God to all human beings.

Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 8: Data & Privacy

We affirm that privacy and personal property are intertwined individual rights and choices that should not be violated by governments, corporations, nation-states, and other groups, even in the pursuit of the common good. While God knows all things, it is neither wise nor obligatory to have every detail of one’s life open to society.

We deny the manipulative and coercive uses of data and AI in ways that are inconsistent with the love of God and love of neighbor. Data collection practices should conform to ethical guidelines that uphold the dignity of all people. We further deny that consent, even informed consent, although requisite, is the only necessary ethical standard for the collection, manipulation, or exploitation of personal data—individually or in the aggregate. AI should not be employed in ways that distort truth through the use of generative applications. Data should not be mishandled, misused, or abused for sinful purposes to reinforce bias, strengthen the powerful, or demean the weak.

Exodus 20:15, Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:13-14; Matthew 10:16 Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 John 1:7 

Article 7: Work

We affirm that work is part of God’s plan for human beings participating in the cultivation and stewardship of creation. The divine pattern is one of labor and rest in healthy proportion to each other. Our view of work should not be confined to commercial activity; it must also include the many ways that human beings serve each other through their efforts. AI can be used in ways that aid our work or allow us to make fuller use of our gifts. The church has a Spirit-empowered responsibility to help care for those who lose jobs and to encourage individuals, communities, employers, and governments to find ways to invest in the development of human beings and continue making vocational contributions to our lives together.

We deny that human worth and dignity is reducible to an individual’s economic contributions to society alone. Humanity should not use AI and other technological innovations as a reason to move toward lives of pure leisure even if greater social wealth creates such possibilities.

Genesis 1:27; 2:5; 2:15; Isaiah 65:21-24; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-16

Article 6: Sexuality

We affirm the goodness of God’s design for human sexuality which prescribes the sexual union to be an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage.

We deny that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is a justification for the development or use of AI, and we condemn the objectification of humans that results from employing AI for sexual purposes. AI should not intrude upon or substitute for the biblical expression of sexuality between a husband and wife according to God’s design for human marriage.

Genesis 1:26-29; 2:18-25; Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Thess 4:3-4

Article 5: Bias

We affirm that, as a tool created by humans, AI will be inherently subject to bias and that these biases must be accounted for, minimized, or removed through continual human oversight and discretion. AI should be designed and used in such ways that treat all human beings as having equal worth and dignity. AI should be utilized as a tool to identify and eliminate bias inherent in human decision-making.

We deny that AI should be designed or used in ways that violate the fundamental principle of human dignity for all people. Neither should AI be used in ways that reinforce or further any ideology or agenda, seeking to subjugate human autonomy under the power of the state.

Micah 6:8; John 13:34; Galatians 3:28-29; 5:13-14; Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:10

Article 4: Medicine

We affirm that AI-related advances in medical technologies are expressions of God’s common grace through and for people created in His image and that these advances will increase our capacity to provide enhanced medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions as we seek to care for all people. These advances should be guided by basic principles of medical ethics, including beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice, which are all consistent with the biblical principle of loving our neighbor.

We deny that death and disease—effects of the Fall—can ultimately be eradicated apart from Jesus Christ. Utilitarian applications regarding healthcare distribution should not override the dignity of human life. Fur- 3 thermore, we reject the materialist and consequentialist worldview that understands medical applications of AI as a means of improving, changing, or completing human beings.

Matthew 5:45; John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:4

Article 3: Relationship of AI & Humanity

We affirm the use of AI to inform and aid human reasoning and moral decision-making because it is a tool that excels at processing data and making determinations, which often mimics or exceeds human ability. While AI excels in data-based computation, technology is incapable of possessing the capacity for moral agency or responsibility.

We deny that humans can or should cede our moral accountability or responsibilities to any form of AI that will ever be created. Only humanity will be judged by God on the basis of our actions and that of the tools we create. While technology can be created with a moral use in view, it is not a moral agent. Humans alone bear the responsibility for moral decision making.

Romans 2:6-8; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Peter 1:5-8; 1 John 2:1

Article 2: AI as Technology

We affirm that the development of AI is a demonstration of the unique creative abilities of human beings. When AI is employed in accordance with God’s moral will, it is an example of man’s obedience to the divine command to steward creation and to honor Him. We believe in innovation for the glory of God, the sake of human flourishing, and the love of neighbor. While we acknowledge the reality of the Fall and its consequences on human nature and human innovation, technology can be used in society to uphold human dignity. As a part of our God-given creative nature, human beings should develop and harness technology in ways that lead to greater flourishing and the alleviation of human suffering.

We deny that the use of AI is morally neutral. It is not worthy of man’s hope, worship, or love. Since the Lord Jesus alone can atone for sin and reconcile humanity to its Creator, technology such as AI cannot fulfill humanity’s ultimate needs. We further deny the goodness and benefit of any application of AI that devalues or degrades the dignity and worth of another human being. 

Genesis 2:25; Exodus 20:3; 31:1-11; Proverbs 16:4; Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 3:23

Article 1: Image of God

We affirm that God created each human being in His image with intrinsic and equal worth, dignity, and moral agency, distinct from all creation, and that humanity’s creativity is intended to reflect God’s creative pattern.

We deny that any part of creation, including any form of technology, should ever be used to usurp or subvert the dominion and stewardship which has been entrusted solely to humanity by God; nor should technology be assigned a level of human identity, worth, dignity, or moral agency.

Genesis 1:26-28; 5:1-2; Isaiah 43:6-7; Jeremiah 1:5; John 13:34; Colossians 1:16; 3:10; Ephesians 4:24