Could it be you?
Could it be you?
Have you ever been on a mission trip? That feeling that washes over you as you do the work God intended for you, is almost indescribable. It is the great commission in action and living the new commandment: Love God, Love People. Sadly, it always comes to an end. We come home, we go back to work and the day to day grind. We know God has us where he needs us, but our hearts long to go back and crave that feeling again. So we commit to another week next year, because that is what the mission field looks like for us as Americans.
I have struggled with this way of life for years. I am not called to full-time missions, but yet I still want to live on mission. My church tells me to love my community, to bloom where God has planted me. But if I am being honest, I don’t know how. I didn’t know where to start. So we donated food to pantries so we could feed the poor. We packed Christmas boxes for children so that they could learn more about Jesus. But, my soul needed more.
So what was I missing? The answer was relationships. Because, at the heart of all of this is a relationship. I can read my bible everyday and do amazing deeds and be one of the greatest “Christians” ever known, but without a relationship with Jesus, it is only filthy rags.
So what is the next step? How can I develop these relationships? It seems so easy, but this part is tricky to put into action. Did you know there is a system already set in place? You don’t have to find people who need served, they are already asking for your help. It has been around since our nation was founded and was more formalized over one hundred years ago. With a heavy heart, I fear it has been neglected by the church for far too long. This mission field exists in our nation’s foster care system.
Before you stop reading because you can’t be a foster parent, let me reassure you that God may not be asking you to play that role. His word says:
But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
1 Corinthians 12:18-20
Once again, you ask. How can I help if I am not fostering? Over fifty percent of foster parents will quit within their first year alone. But ninety percent will stay with much needed support. Locally here in Jacksonville, Florida, Fostering Hope stays busy daily meeting needs. We need your help. Because, honestly, we can’t continue without you. The needs are just too great. And there are foster care ministries all over this country that feel the same. You can be the hand and feet of Jesus when someone needs you the most and build relationships where the Holy spirit leads you.
Every day, Karen and I wake up and we say, “God, where will you take me today? What are your plans?” This is the very heart of living missionally. Some days we are hoisting car seats and diapers into a dump truck, because the woman who drives it took her nephews into her home to keep them from going into the system. Can you imagine, waking up one day and going to work as usual, then getting a knock on the door with a one and two-year-old standing there needing a home?
Some days, we just cry with people on their doorstep.
Everyday, we pray… a lot. We even prayed for you today. We prayed that God would raise an army to love the marginalized and vulnerable in our society. Because in a city the size of ours, it is going to take an army. We get requests almost daily for tangible items that are needed. Can you donate gently used clothing to a foster closet? We can’t keep cribs or car seats because they go out as quickly as they come in.
What if my children are grown and I no longer have these items? When Susie Foster Mom picks a newborn up at the hospital, we can provide the diapers, formula, and some freezer meals to sustain them until they can get situated and get to the store. We need people to drop them at their door. The look of relief on her face will say it all. And, chances are, you will want to help again tomorrow. Because loving others in Jesus’s name changes everything.
Maybe you truly don’t have the time, but the Good Lord has blessed you financially. There is a grandmother across town who needs minor home repairs so that she can take her grandchildren. God designed the family. It is His heart to keep it intact. Could you help keep this family together? We can help make that connection for you.
Statistically, if ten percent of churches are involved in some sort of foster care ministry, there will be more than enough beds for foster children in your town. There will be more than enough adoptive homes for every child who needs forever. God is stirring his Bride. I can feel it in the air. If God is moving in you to start a foster care ministry in your church, we would love to share ideas and support you. Even if it starts small, God will multiply the work of those who desire to care for the orphan and the widow.
The mission field is here and the harvest is plenty. We just need some good workers.
Could it be you?