Regardless of the state you live in, I’m certain you have seen a headline about the ‘foster care crisis’ in your community, in your state and our country. The number of children needing homes far outweigh the families willing to care for them. In Arkansas we have 8200 children in the foster care system every year with only 1600 families available to care for them. However, we have 5900 churches with more than enough families to meet this need. Churches who read the Book that holds the key to the ‘foster care crisis.’ The Book that commands followers of Christ to ‘visit the widows and orphans in their distress’ in James 1:27. The Book that commands Christians to share the Gospel, care for the poor, visit the prisoner… So do we have a ‘foster care crisis’ or do we have a faith crisis? An obedience crisis?
I am frequently told “I would love to be a foster parent but I just couldn’t…” Is it ‘I could’t’ or ‘I wouldn’t?’ I wouldn’t trust God with my
Emotions– that the Holy Spirit will comfort us, strengthen us, calm us in the midst of difficulties or loss?
Finances– that He will provide enough to care for additional children? Or He has given us enough that we could help support a family who is struggling to feed and clothe their children or a family who has welcomed children through foster care or adoption?
Family– that He will strengthen and protect our family as we become a safe and healing environment for children who have experienced trauma?
Time- to discern and prioritize our time to have an impact on God’s Kingdom instead of our own earthly kingdom? To volunteer, to earnestly pray, to care for another child?
As Christians we have the Provider of the resources we need to care for the broken families, the hurting children, and the overworked government system that had to step in the gap that we left when we stopped living out His commands. The Church is the answer to the ‘crisis.’
What if the Church walked out of our doors and into our neighborhoods to seek the families who are truly in crisis and surrounded them before their children were taken into custody by the state?
What if the Church supported the foster and adoptive families through encouragement, meals, help with childcare and transportation, and marriage support?
What if experienced parents would fill their ’empty nest’ with teenagers who would benefit from an older & wiser parent to guide them into adulthood?
What if our local Department of Human Services had enough volunteers to help with filing, transporting children to appointments, and showing appreciation & lightening their burden that they could spend more time focusing on the children?
What if you took time today to pray for wisdom to utilize the gifts He has given you to volunteer, foster or adopt, or to support a family?
What would happen to the ‘foster care crisis’ if we first solved our faith crisis?
After prayer, what is the next step? If you live in Arkansas, visit The CALL and find the next information meeting in your community. Or contact your local Department of Human Services.
Also check out upcoming events with The CALL in Saline & Perry Counties: