2009 National Foster Care Prayer Vigil

The National Foster Care Prayer Vigil is calling followers of Christ together across the country during the week of May 17-24 to cry out to God on behalf of children and youth in our nation’s foster care system, their families, their workers, and the church as it responds to the needs of those involved in the foster care system.

Is God calling you to be the voice for your city? See the map for a listing of vigils already scheduled.  See the links to the left to learn how you can become equipped to add your city to the map.

Gather together.  Pray for the kids.  Watch God work.

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Foster Kid Jokes

I just stumbled onto this video. I wasn’t sure about it at first but in the end it struck me as powerful. Please take the time to watch.

Here is a description from the folks at Foster Club who did the video –

These foster kid jokes have been circulating underground for the past few years. Regularly at national child welfare events, where foster youth and young alumni assemble, these jokes have become a tradition of sorts. Some of the jokes are shocking, some are tragic, but they have all been created by youth who lived them. Some foster youth view it as a way to use humor to deal with the past. Others feel the jokes unveil a universal bond between people who have shared the experience of life in foster care. These jokes are shared with you today to raise awareness about the issues faced by young people in foster care. One last note: Many of the jokes seem very hard on biological parents. That is not the intention. At FosterClub, we understand there are complex systemic problems leading to foster care, including extreme poverty, mental health, addiction, and more. The jokes simply illustrate “how things are” from a young person’s point of view.

Dr. Karyn Purvis & The Connected Child

Many adoptive and foster families have been greatly helped in better loving and caring for their children by the the insights, guidance and practical tools of Dr. Karyn Purvis.

Her book, The Connected Child, is a wonderful starting point for any adoptive family, especially those who have adopted or are fostering older children or those who came from difficult circumstances.

Our friends from the Tapestry Ministry at Irving Bible Church have compiled a wonderful list of links to resources, articles, audio and video on their site.

Watch Dr. Purvis keynote from the 2008 Tapestry Adoption & Foster Care Conference, on “Better Understanding Our Children: An Overview of Common Challenges Faced by Adopted & Foster Children”.

Congregations for Kids

picture-36Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the Congregations for Kids Annual Celebration for our county Department of Social Services. A year ago they began to seek out partnerships with local churches in order to recruit foster and adoptive parents for the 1000+ children in this country alone. Today they have a partnership with over 30 churches, a majority being African American churches!

We heard a testimony from a ex-foster child who now works for social services. She shared how God used one of her foster homes that she was in for a brief time to reveal to her the love of Christ. It was a great reminder that you never know how deep an impact you will make in the life of a child who seems like nothing is getting through.

I was also very encouraged by the host church who started their foster/adoption ministry a year ago with a vision to serve the surrounding counties and to make a difference in the lives of these children for God’s glory. Over the past year they have helped 10 children that they know of, and they feel this is only the tip of the iceberg! Praise God for churches with big vision!

The senior pastor shared a few things that I couldn’t agree with more:

  1. If we are going to be passionate for God then we need to be passionate about the things God is most passionate about. And God is clearly passionate about the care of the fatherless. He calls Himself the “Father of the fatherless” (Ps. 68:5)
  2. If that were not enough, it is the command of Scripture that we care for the orphans (James 1:27)
  3. It is the responsibility of the church to care for these children who have no family. No other organization on earth has been commanded and commissioned with such a responsibility.
  4. Fostering and adopting is one of the most powerful ways we can make an impact in the life of a child.

He encouraged folks that were attending to be persistent in bringing this important ministry and mission to their church leadership. He said, “keep knocking on their door until they come around to seeing that it is God’s passion and the churches responsibility to do something!

For other examples of church’s that are doing big things for the sake of the foster children visit The CALL and Project 1.27

________________ Alliance for Orphans

Yesterday morning I had the joy of attending the first meeting for the Carolina Christian Alliance for Orphans (Upstate South Carolina). The goal of the group is to gather evangelical churches, ministries and organizations with a heart for orphan care, adoption and foster care and to encourage more to happen!

I am so encouraged by this and the formation of other groups like this around the country. On my way home I talked to an adoptive mother from Maryland who said she is apart of a similar group.

I know of other Alliances in Dallas, Houston, Nashville, Kansas City, Delaware, Minneapolis, Little Rock, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and Charlotte.

It makes me ask two questions –

1.) I wonder how many other’s there are around the country?

2.) Might God be calling you to be the spark to pull together a group like this?