What Can I Do to Help? Part 4: Promote a Culture of Care
Jan 7, 2014 by fosteringhope
Without question, the foster child’s greatest temporal need is to experience permanency in a loving and stable family. Such a need demands a marked increase in the number of families who are willing and able to serve as foster and adoptive parents. I strongly believe many more Christians can and should serve in this way-and, I am optimistic that they will! At the same time, many Christians, for a variety of good reasons, cannot, and even should not, foster and/or adopt. Undoubtedly, this includes some of you reading this post right now. This then begs the question: “Beyond prayer, are there concrete ways to serve the children in care for those who cannot foster and adopt?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
This question actually gets to the heart of our vision at Fostering Hope. While an increase in foster and adoptive families is vital, our collective vision must rise far higher. We must not be satisfied with mere pockets of increased engagement; rather, we must long for a “culture” of orphan care to pervade the entire church community. Miriam-Webster defines a culture as “a way of thinking, behaving, and working that exists in a place or organization.” In other words, part of the “way” we “think” as Christians ought to be both a keen awareness of the children in crisis who are living right in our “backyard” and a shared commitment to serve them in their place of need. For some, this will manifest itself through foster care and adoption. For many others, however, this Spirit produced mindset will evidence itself through any number of wrap-around or “support” ministries.
As a disclaimer, we are not intending in any way to portray foster and adoptive care as the “tail that should wag the dog”, so to speak. We are simply convinced from Scripture that the indwelling Spirit will compel people of authentic Christian faith to care for vulnerable children in crisis—and that, consequently, God’s people should respond to these Spirit impulses. Fish swim in water. Birds fly in skies. Authentic Christians love those in need. It’s just the air we breathe—miraculously, by the grace of God, and increasingly, by the progressive sanctification of the Spirit within us.
Lest this post get too long, I will wait until my next post to begin fleshing out some “other” ways by which we can bless not only the children in foster care but also the entire foster care community.