Most Americans, from devout Christians to non-believers, know the ageless story about how the family of a baby destined to change the world couldn’t get even an “economy flat at the local Airbnb,” but instead was provided with the equivalent of a pack ‘n play that was purposed for animal feed.
It’s been more than 2,000 years since the magnificent birth of Jesus Christ. Yet today, children made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) – more than 400,000 in America – are waking up and going to sleep in temporary placements outside their “home” because, unfortunately, “home” wasn’t safe, it wasn’t secure or it wasn’t stable.
In Florida, DCF had to intervene in the lives of more than 21,000 children last year due to findings in investigations of abuse, abandonment or neglect – meaning there were hundreds of opportunities each week, just in the state of Florida, for Christ-centered homes to be a beacon of hope for a child enduring trauma.
The problem is there are not enough licensed Christian foster parents to meet the demand.
It’s not that there are not enough people and families committed to the well-being of children – just look at our 2016 annual report for evidence of lives being transformed through the gifts and resources of many.
Simply put – it is a burden that many people have not yet considered as a possibility as their family’s personal adventure into ministry. Many, if not most, of the people who read this, could make room for an extra child or two in their home, and put back in the third row of their SUV for the trade-off of making an immediate and eternal difference in the life of a child.
A lot of people just do not recognize that they are already well-appointed to be an answer to the incredible needs of children in our state.
The Great Commission in Matthew 28, where Jesus declares that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him and therefore we are to “go and make disciples of all nations,” is not a narrow, targeted call to action – it is a cry to go and use our God-given talents and resources, regardless of the status, location or age of those we disciple!
That includes the 13-year-old boy who has helped raise his three siblings while his parents were in and out of jail; that includes a 2nd-grader who has been enrolled in five schools and has no one to swing with at recess; and that includes the parents of every child in foster care, who like every one of us, has made mistakes and needs someone to come alongside them and show them light when darkness have overwhelmed them.
Foster care is a messy, meaningful, adventurous ministry where faith and resilience are necessary and it is a God-ordained way to start making an impact of the life of One More Child today.
At Florida Baptist Children’s Homes we are ready to help you make room in your family for children who might feel like the “No Room at the Inn” sign is a regular occurrence in their life.
We have informational meetings around the state where our expert staff will answer your questions, we get you enrolled in comprehensive training to equip you for what’s to come and we are a cheerleader, friend and prayer partner to you every step of the way.
We cannot tell you if the first child who comes into your care will like extra cheese on their pizza or how many times you will need tissues or chocolates during your journey, but we can tell you with confidence that children need you and that God is masterful when it comes to taking care of his children.
“For God is greater than our hearts and he knows everything.” (Romans 3:20)