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May 31, 2017

15 Ways to Be a Foster Care Friendly Church

foster-friendly-church

Foster kids need the church. Foster families need the church. At the close of National Foster Care Month, here are 15 ways to be a foster care friendly church– Teach Educate, educate, educate. Host informational meetings for would-be foster parents, but also for members of the church family who simply want to learn more about foster care. Add foster care discussion to existing (paid/volunteer) staff training. Many children who come from hard places have unique challenges and behaviors that require extra love and patience from those in authority. Host foster care licensing opportunities on campus. Open these classes to church families and members of the community. Not only is this decision helpful to the local foster care agency, but it sends a clear signal to foster families that your church will support their efforts to foster. Provide Organize meal trains for new placements. If your church family provides meals to new moms, be sure to include foster parents … Continue reading

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May 24, 2017

Carried by God: National Foster Care Month

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May is National Foster Care Month. Last year The Forgotten Initiative (TFI), Lifesong for Orphans’ foster care ministry, started something new with the launch of The Forgotten Podcast. Their goal with every episode is to bring voice to the foster care community. Jami Kaeb, Founder and Executive Director of TFI, has the honor of interviewing individuals who minister to the foster care community, serve on the front lines, or who have spent time in foster care as a child, like Nicole Argo. Nicole’s story At age seven, Nicole witnessed her mom being severely abused by a boyfriend. At this tender age, she already felt exhausted from life. In that moment, she wanted it to be over because she didn’t want to hurt anymore. She sat on the ledge of an open window in her apartment, dangling her feet outside. She remembers hearing God’s voice–even before knowing who God was–saying to … Continue reading

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May 3, 2017

17 Things to Pray for the Fatherless

pray for the fatherless

It must grieve the heart of God that the line of fatherless children world-wide is 30,000 miles long. Truth be told, God’s heart would be broken if there were only 1 orphaned child in the world. So here is how we can pray for the fatherless who are already close to His heart– 1. Lonely children. Ask God to comfort, protect, and provide for children who feel forgotten. 2. At-risk homes. Ask God to supply mentors and resources for families in crisis. 3. Foster children. Ask God to comfort the hundreds of children who will enter foster care today. Every two minutes a child enters the system. 4. Aging-out youth. Ask God to protect and provide for youth in foster care, specifically young adults preparing to age out of child welfare. Ask God to provide families committed to love and welcome them. 5. Willing parents. Ask God to raise up new foster and adopting families willing to stand in the gap. 6. … Continue reading

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April 26, 2017

Life Touching Life: How to Create a Culture of Commitment

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The statistics are sobering. 75% of foster parents no longer foster after their first placement, and as many as 1 out of 4 adoptions dissolve or disrupt. Fostering and adopting is hard work, plain and simply. But our relational God made us to be relational, and created a way for families to be encouraged while doing the hard, daily work of loving the fatherless and vulnerable. His solution?–the Church. When a church family wholeheartedly commits to its fostering and adoptive families for the long haul, children are best positioned to succeed. But it often begins with an organized, committed adoption/foster care ministry within the church. Here are 3 specific guidelines for creating a culture of commitment in your adoption/foster care ministry– 1. Connect. Foster and adoptive parents cannot thrive in isolation. Goal: Create an environment where families feel connected–connected to the adoption/foster care ministry, yes, but more importantly, connected to each other. The only thing that grows well in the dark … Continue reading

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April 24, 2017

Grief and Grace | Liberia Update

Countries- map

Grace is a girl who lives up to her name. Though she has experienced trauma, loss, grief, and great uncertainty in her young life, her eyes are filled with light and her smile is radiant. She has grown into a lovely young woman with hopes and dreams. She lives in God’s promise to be near to the brokenhearted. Her father, who was a pastor, contracted the Ebola virus while ministering to others who were sick. He passed away after four days in the treatment center. After that, Grace and her young sister were not allowed to interact with anyone in the community. They were truly desolate when the Lifesong team reached out to them. They know what it is to grieve and mourn, to have to adjust to new everything. The heartbreak was overwhelming at times. These days, there is a new spirit about Grace. She was our first high … Continue reading

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April 12, 2017

Hope on the Horizon: Remembering Dr. Karyn Purvis

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1 year ago today, Dr. Karyn Purvis–internationally renowned child development expert, popular speaker, author, and passionate advocate for vulnerable children–went to be with the Lord. On August 20, 2014, several of foster care’s leading thinkers met in Oklahoma City to share ideas that are making a difference. Dr. Karyn Purvis–with her trademark compassion and her hair cut short from the effects of cancer–shared many thoughts with the group. Here are a few highlights– God has a plan. We serve a God of extravagant love. It’s the God of extravagant love that we see in the Gospels when parents bring their children to Jesus. He scoops them up in His arms and He holds them and He blesses them. And He gives them all that He is. That’s extravagant love. This God that we serve also has an extravagant plan. And even when we don’t think the plan worked, there’s still a plan. This is the God … Continue reading

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April 5, 2017

How to Breathe Life into Your Church Adoption Culture

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Adoptive families crave authentic, supportive community, and there should be no better place to find it than in the local church. Plain and simply, when families step into foster care and adoption, they enter the pain and suffering of another human being. In doing so, they often become the brokenhearted. In taking on the burdens once belonging solely to the child in their care, parents become the weary, discouraged, and overwhelmed in need of a timely word or helping hand. The church, by its very definition, exists for hurting people and should be the safest place for families to find the hope that exists in Christ. Here are 3 ways to breathe life into your church’s adoption culture– 1. Encourage truth. The “How are you? —Fine” scenario is cliche in our culture, but it shouldn’t be the pattern in our church family. As foster/adoptive parents bring wounded children into the church assembly–some of whom … Continue reading

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