The Need for Foster Care

Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2014 in Orphan Care

John 14:18 – “I will not leave you as orphans…”

There are a number of things to consider about these words of Jesus. They imply that to be an orphan is not desirable to our Lord and by consequence should not be the desire of a child of God. When we consider the context of Jesus’ words, we begin to understand the need for orphan care. These are words of comfort to the apostles. Jesus had told them on three different occasions that He was going to be separated from them – by the hands of godless men to be crucified. The announcements stunned the apostles, men who had left family and jobs and home to follow Messiah, their Deliverer. And now He tells them that He is going to die, rise again, and go to be with His Father to prepare a place for them – with the promise to them (and to us who know Him) to return and take them home! Good news – but bittersweet at best.

Why? Because the announcement still meant that they would be separated from their Master with no certainty of how long the separation would last. Might I use a theological term to highlight the importance of this – BINGO! And just as the Apostles were separated from the one whom they loved, a separation that was both unjust and terrible (though necessary), so too are these that we call orphans. The children are whisked off in the middle of the night or picked up at school and taken away from an unsafe environment, separated from their loved ones, with no certainty as to how long. And the call for orphan care means that you become their Jesus. You become the mediation for the words, “I will not leave you as orphans.”

With the separation comes all sorts of emotional turmoil and confusion. Fear, uncertainty, anger, embarrassment, resentment, hatred, the list goes on.  These are children that simply do not understand what is happening to them – and they shouldn’t have to. Their entire world as they know it is disrupted and, just like the Apostles, they don’t know what to do or what to say.

So, for those who are indeed called to foster care, you are to bring order.  And you can as you are empowered by God to carry out the words of Christ, “I will not leave you as orphans.”

Orphan care, whether it be adoption or foster care, is a journey to bring order out of chaos begins. It is a journey that seeks to protect, nurture, and restore (to borrow the motto of Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries). Orphan care is about children, it is about families, it is about Christ. Why? So that there may be no more orphans! Love them, protect them, provide for them their spiritual needs as well as their physical and emotional needs. And may God give you strength to those who are in the journey.

 

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