“ORPHAN.” What thoughts and images does that word conjure up in your imagination? For some, it may be a whimsical figure out of a Dickens novel. For others, it may recall a destitute child in some remote, third world country. For many of us, “orphan” is a category that our minds conceive of as back then, or over there. It doesn’t quite hit close enough to home.
But one of the sad realities of living in a fallen world is that there are, today, here in Southern California, thousands of children who are growing up without a family. They remain mostly out of view because they are bouncing from home to home in the foster care system. For all the good it aims to do, the system often leaves these helpless children caught in the middle of challenging homes, bogged down in a congested court system, at the mercy of overburdened case workers, and unsure of where their next home will be.
These children present an opportunity for us, as followers of Jesus Christ, to imitate our Father’s love for the helpless—to follow in the footsteps of our Heavenly Father, who is a father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5). One of the most tangible ways to do that is to become a foster family. At its core being a foster family means committing to be a loving and safe home for children in the foster system. Many families here at Grace Church have become foster families, and some have even adopted through the foster system. Their uniform testimony has been that, although it almost always proves to be a stretching time, the experience has strengthened their dependence on and trust in the Lord and has been incredibly rewarding.
May is Foster Care Awareness Month. Next Sunday, May 13, there will be an information table on the patio to learn more about foster care and foster adoption, and on May 20 we will be collecting clothing donations at the table. In the meantime, please prayerfully consider how you may be able to care for these precious children.