I recently listened to a podcast called Foster Care and the Gospel and discovered that May is National Foster Care Month. I spent some time thinking about and praying for the families within our own congregation that are welcoming children into their homes and showing them the love of Christ and the power of the Gospel. I also thought about and prayed for the ones beginning the process to become caregivers and the ones that sacrificially give their time and support to help the families currently providing foster care.
I’d like to invite you to take some time this month to think about foster care. A brief web search on foster care will break your heart with the sad statistics and stories. It is a dark, difficult, painful reality that no one really wants to think about, and yet, it is right on our doorstep and these children desperately need the hope of the Gospel.
There are several families in our church responding to God’s call to offer care to children in need of a temporary home. Opening their hearts and homes, they are willing to serve for the sake of His name. This brings disruption, inconvenience, exhaustion, and difficulties. It also opens the door for a child to know love, care, safety, comfort, and an opportunity to hear the Gospel and see a compelling, visible expression of God’s love. Consider this quote from Darren Carlson, “The gospel of being an adopted, blood-bought child of the living God has been light and heat for many who care for orphans. Foster care provides daily reminders of our need for the gospel. Foster care, like many things, provides a window into my soul, and the picture is one of need. I need Jesus. These children are little image-bearers that do not need me to be their Savior. There is one far greater than I am.”*
Not all of us are called to offer full-time care for foster kids. But, all of us are called to love each other, to bear each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2-10), to spur each other on to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24), and to live out what we believe (James 1:22-27).
I’d like to challenge you to do a little research. Let the stories and statistics break your heart and send you to your knees. Pray and ask God how you should help. Pray for Child Bridge, an organization our church partners with to help equip families to provide foster care. Find others in the trenches of foster care and pray for them, encourage them, send a note, make a meal, buy a pizza, spend an hour reading stories to fidgety kids, get training to give respite care, be a support. The list is endless, you get the idea.
I’ve included some links for you to check out and consider where the Gospel and care for the broken around us intersect. We, too, were broken, sick, needy, unable to do anything for ourselves, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved.”
May the Lord break our hearts for what breaks His.
Peggy Sue Miller
*Desiring God Foster Care as the way of Christ
John Piper on adoption, the heart of the Gospel
Risen Motherhood podcast Foster care and the Gospel
Jason Johnson Blog, resources for equipping the church to care for vulnerable children and families