Yesterday we joined with churches around the world in recognizing “Orphan Sunday.” God has given many individuals and families in our church body a heart to help meet the needs of the orphan within our community and around the world. And while God is not going to call every believer to adopt or foster a child, He does call all of us to share His heart for the orphan and to open our hearts and lives to the way He might compel us to be involved. Our Orphan Care team at MVC has served us well by putting together a list of 10 ways we can share God’s heart for loving kids from hard places. They are provided below.
The first item on the list is prayer. As we head out of this weekend, if your heart is moved then I would encourage you to begin with prayer. Here are a few links with ideas for praying for the orphan.
Another great way to engage your heart is to come to our informational meeting TONIGHT from 6-7:30pm in the basement. Our Orphan Care team will share experiences and introduce you to individuals and agencies in our own community who are working directly to preserve families and serve children in need. We hope to see you there.
1. PRAY for them
• Pray for a specific child in foster care waiting for their adoptive family. Visit www.coheartgallery.org or www.AdoptUsKids.org for list of current waiting children.
• Set aside a time each week to dedicate your prayer time for orphans around the globe.
2. SPEAK UP for them
• Be a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for a child’s court case - http://www.casaforchildren.org
• Carry a waiting child’s picture and show it to other believers. Ask if they, or someone they know, would give this child a home.
3. PROVIDE for their needs
• Call your local DHS office to bring gift baskets to foster children.
• Contribute to the CSU Fostering Success Program by providing resources for college students who have aged out of foster care and have no family support: http://supporting.colostate.edu/fostering-success/
• Connect with Foster and Adoptive Families of Larimer County (FAFLC) - a family support organization that strengthens foster and adoptive families through training and education, providing opportunities for networking among families and financial assistance for the special needs of children. https://faflc.org
• Give sacrificially to or serve in a reputable orphanage.
• Sponsor a Compassion Child. www.compassion.com
4. SUPPORT those who support them
• Bring a meal to someone who has just taken a foster child into his or her home. It can be as stressful as having a newborn.
• Get a list of supplies needed from a family taking in a new child. It can happen overnight in the foster care system.
• Support an organization like Bethel China Foundation which seeks to provide care, education, life skills and livelihood opportunities to blind and visually impaired orphans in China in order for them to live independently as dignified members in society. www.bethelchina.org
• Become a volunteer for Kids at Heart in their Fundango program. Fundango is a respite program for all children of foster and adoptive parents in northern Colorado. While we are playing, parents have an opportunity to take a break from parenting. http://www.kidsatheartfundango.org
5. PROTECT them from harm
• Become a Host Family through the Host Program at Matthew’s House. The HOST (Housing Opportunities Supporting Transition) Program is temporary housing, through volunteer HOST families, for youth and families in crisis. For more information contact Mary Beth Green at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Be a respite care provider. Respite care is care provided to a foster child for a short period of time by someone other than their foster family.
• Become a Foster Parent through your local county or a private placement agency
6. VISIT them where they are
• Serve in a reputable orphanage
• Visit one of Bethel’s orphanages in China with Tina Martin. Click here to contact us for more information.
• Take a meal to or spend time with a foster or adoptive family.
7. GIVE sacrificially to them
• Support reputable orphan care organizations on an ongoing basis.
• Contribute generously to a family seeking to adopt to help offset their adoption costs
8. ENCOURAGE them to press on
• Volunteer with The Matthews House in Fort Collins - a place where a caring community comes alongside unsupported youth and families. http://thematthewshouse.org
• Contribute to the CSU Fostering Success Program by providing resources for college students who have aged out of foster care and have no family support. http://supporting.colostate.edu/fostering-success/
• Mentor an adoptee in a transracial family
9. ADOPT them into your family
• Give a child a home through international, domestic, or foster care adoption.
• Check out Project 1.27, a nonprofit that recruits, trains, and supports parents from local churches to adopt or foster children in Colorado's foster care system. www.project127.com
• Adopt a young adult who has aged out of the foster care system.
10. MOBILIZE your church for them
• Be a part of the Orphan Care Ministry at MVCC as we Engage, Encourage, and Equip our body to discover and pursue the role God has for each of us in loving kids from hard places.