Editor’s note: This week is the annual Cry of the Orphan campaign and FamilyLife hopes you’ll become informed and involved. Listen for special broadcasts this week on FamilyLife Today. Say hello again to Kristin Swick Wong a welcomed repeat guest blogger!

by Kristin Swick Wong

An adult education class this fall at our church is focused on orphan care, foster care, and adoption. Nearly every week, the class has listened, riveted, as people from the congregation have shared their stories. Kathy has made several trips to Zimbabwe to train women who are house mothers in orphan homes. Jim and MaryLee are living in an empty nest after raising the four children they adopted from foster care. Tim and Julie are chasing after their active toddler Jessica, adopted from Haiti, and Bill and Cindy just returned home with their son Achira, from Thailand.

As these families have told their stories, I’ve thought of the words “do the next thing,” from the refrain of a poem a friend gave me years ago. Those four words have helped me through many times when I’ve been overwhelmed, tied up in confused knots, or just plain exhausted. I can nearly always take the next small step; beyond that I don’t need to worry:

Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, guidance, are given.
Fear not tomorrow, Child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus,
Do the next thing!

So it has been with everyone around us who has cared for vulnerable children. Kathy didn’t understand, one summer, why books about orphans and Africa kept coming to her attention, but she did the next thing and read them—when she was later invited to go to Zimbabwe, her heart was prepared. MaryLee admits that she had no intention of foster parenting, but agreed to go to the first meeting. Then she said she’d try one more meeting … eventually she decided to fill out the paperwork, still not confident this was for her, but doing the next thing, step by step, until she has now accomplished the monumental work of raising four children, and fostering others. Tim and Julie’s adoption paperwork was interrupted by other life demands. But they did the next thing in front of them, and when the way opened to continue their adoption work, they finished it—this resulted in perfect timing for Jessica to come on a medical visa. Bill and Cindy did the next thing even when they didn’t know where the money was going to come from, and saw the Lord provide as they moved forward.

One step at a time. And the results of all those little steps, all the “next things,” are amazing stories of orphans brought into families.

Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing,
Then as He beckons thee
Do the next thing!