Book Review for God’s Heart for Orphans and Widows: by Becca Harbert
It might seem odd that I’m reviewing my own book as my first book review. Or perhaps it even sounds self-absorbed. Well, the truth of the matter is, if I don’t review it and endorse it, no one else will.
I have been working with the cause for orphans since about 2002. By that, I have been researching, interviewing, writing, aiding in starting and expanding of orphan organizations, teaching children, going on mission trips, studying, etc. all related to the cause for orphans for over the last decade. The Lord has enabled me to speak with and interview most of the leaders of nearly every well-known organization based in the United States caring for orphans all over the world. I have heard the advice from the experts, as well as the challenges they face on a regular basis. I have seen the “orphan movement” change from being many separate entities to the church trying to work together as one. Largely, this is due to Dennis Raney’s talk at the Christian Alliance for Orphans in Fort Lauderdale in 2008. He encouraged people at that conference to leave their “egos and logos” at the door. It’s a phrase that has long since been quoted among the orphan community as an encouragement to work together.
Yet one thing this movement lacks and the weariness on those involved can vouch for it. This movement lacks a lasting theological motivation to carry them through. What does that mean, you ask? Well, it means we cannot motivate people to adopt or care for orphans through merely emotional means. We cannot even point out boatloads of passages from the Bible to “convince” them to get on board. No. In fact, it’s not even up to “us” to get others to “join the movement” to care for orphans and widows. It’s up to the Lord.
Becca Harbert’s book God’s Heart for Orphans and Widows simply and brilliantly points out what God’s Word says about caring for orphans and widows. This is done with three sections. The first and very theological section goes into depth with the famous passages in the Bible about caring for orphans and widows. Yet she explains them in their proper context and how they fit into the life of every Christian. Next, she goes into depth tracing the lives of how God used specific characters in the Bible who were orphans or widows. This section would be especially helpful for someone who is an orphan or widow. Or perhaps for an adoptive parent to be able to reference and point out to their adopted child how God used specific orphans in the Bible. Then the last section of the book gives very practical answers for how to “solve” or address this issue of caring for orphans and widows. Yet all of this is done in such a guilt-free matter of fact way that, every Christian will benefit from learning more of what God’s Word says on this topic and why.
While this book has plenty of modern-day examples of people being used of the Lord today to encourage you, it’s main motivation is theological. You will be blessed by this book beyond just caring for orphans and widows. You will feel as if you know your Bible better. Not only that, but you will feel more equipped to do all the Lord has called you to do. Amen!
One last thing about this book. Many who have thought about adopting or doing foster care someday, stopped waiting and started the process immediately after reading this book. God’s Heart for Orphans and Widows definitely tells the truth about orphan and widow care not being easy. But it also provides the necessary tools outlined through the Bible to equip one to stay in this cause for the long haul. The book itself may not move you, but the Lord has used this book to move others to act on His behalf for the cause of orphans and widows.
I am giving this book 4 out of 5 stars because it has new/unique information and is extremely Biblical. As a first-time author and publisher, I think that shows slightly in the layout and the writing style of the book, hence why I am only giving it 4 stars. (Yet if I perfected that, it would have never gone to print!)