/ 2016 speakers
Jedd Medefind serves as President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans.
Prior to his this role, Jedd served in the White House as a Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, leading the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. In this post, he oversaw reform efforts across the government to make community- and faith-based groups central partners in all Federal efforts to aid the needy, from prisoner reentry to global AIDS. As described by the Harvard Political Review, these reforms “fundamentally changed the government’s strategy for improving the lives of the downtrodden…”
Previously, Jedd held a range of posts in the California State Legislature. He also helped establish the California Community Renewal Project, which strengthens nonprofits in some of the state’s most challenged communities. He has worked, studied and served in more than thirty countries, with organizations ranging from Price-Waterhouse in Moscow to Christian Life Bangladesh.
Jedd has written many articles and four books, including Upended and Four Souls. His most recent book, Becoming Home, offers a short yet meaningful exploration of how families and communities can embrace vulnerable children with wisdom and love through adoption, foster care, mentoring and more. Jedd Medefind and his wife, Rachel, live in central California with their five children.
WWO Interview with Jedd
As a participant in the upcoming Global Forum for a World Without Orphans to be held on February 11-14, 2016 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Ronnie Mosley interviewed Jedd about his heart for orphan ministry.
WWO: How did God open your eyes and heart for the orphan?
Jedd: God always weaves together experiences in our lives to prepare us for the unique roles that he has called us. For me there were a number of experiences; one was being raised in a Christian family that loved the Lord and instilled within me a desire to live for His Kingdom more than anything else. Another was the year after I graduated from college, I had the privilege to spend time with faithful believers in many parts of the world who were living out Christ’s call in their own cultures: Guatemala, Russia, southern Africa and India. Many of these people were involved in caring for orphans, seeing their faithfulness and meeting many of the children that they were loving, hearing the stories of the street children in Guatemala, the children in orphanages in Russia and seeing the babies in baby homes in India. This wedged deep in my heart and stayed with me even during all the years I was engaged in business and in the political realm, it couldn’t be shaken. Years later my wife and I decided to adopt and this became yet another thread God used to weave within our hearts a passion for orphan care. Every night when we tucked our little Eden into bed, we were reminded of all the other little Eden’s who had no mom or dad. So God used the faithfulness of my own parents’ witness, the commitment of other believers around the world to care for orphans and our own adoption journey to weave within my heart a passion to care for orphans.
WWO: What are three things that every Christian leader should know when it comes to caring for orphans?
Jedd: The bible speaks a great deal about the plight of the orphan, the fatherless and how much God cares about them. To God it is about more than just another good cause. The biblical focus on the orphan reveals three things:
First -The vulnerability of the orphan, that a child growing up without parents is the most vulnerable being on our planet. God calls his people to step in between all these things that would degrade and destroy these children and come between the children and that evil.
Second - It reveals Gods heart to the world; it’s not just a mandate to the church but it is a mirror of God’s character. When He calls us in Isaiah to defend the cause of the fatherless, long before in Deuteronomy, he says that HE defends the cause of the fatherless. When we see his power and his grandeur set alongside that tenderness for the most vulnerable it shows us the heart of God like nothing else.
Third - It reveals Gods desire for each of us. Loving the orphan is a beautiful journey but it can be a very painful journey and that is the life that God invites us to here on earth. To enter into the beauty of his redemption and enter into the pain of redemption as well.
WWO: What is your message to the global church in one or two sentences?
Jedd: Adoption and other forms of orphan care reflect God’s heart like nothing else in the world. When we choose to love children the way that we have first been loved, we make the heart of our God visible in a way that words never can.