Have you ever considered becoming a foster parent? Approximately 400,000 children are entering the United States foster care system at a time and there is tremendous opportunity to demonstrate God’s love through this ministry. There are areas in the Bible that directly relate to foster care, adoption, and the call that many foster parent’s experience that you have an opportunity to be involved in. Here are ways that you can build God’s kingdom through foster care ministry based on the book “Faith and Foster Care: How We Impact God’s Kingdom” by Dr. John DeGarmo. Discover how you can live out your faith through foster care and make a lasting impact on a child’s life.
Praying for Children in Foster Care
There are opportunities to lift up children in foster care through prayer and bring healing to their lives and the lives of those who are aiding these children. Dr. DeGarmo stresses the importance of becoming prayer warriors for foster children, praying for them on a daily basis. It’s also important that we pray for the caseworkers, who not only have a difficult task of finding the right homes for these children, but also have emotional ties to these children. The birth parents are also in need of prayer, despite the abuse, neglect, challenges and other horrors they and the birth families may have placed on these children. We as Christians are called to pray for mercy and justice, not only for the children but the parents also, even if and when it is difficult. You can keep the words of Micah 6:8 in mind when praying for the children and the parents:
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with Your God.
As Christians, it’s important that we remember to walk humbly with our God, and that we are sinners just like anyone else. If you are looking to pray for foster children, caseworkers and their biological parents, there are a number of points you can keep in mind. First, you can pray for these children in need to be placed with loving, supporting foster parents who can meet their child’s specific needs. Also pray for them in their transition as they face the emotionally confusing and traumatic experience of being taken from one family and going to another. Next, you can pray for structure and stability, that these children will not have to experience multiple disruptions or move from foster home to foster home. Ask God to support them in ways that will meet their daily needs as they remain in this home until they are reunified with their parents, find an adoptive family or placed in a forever home. These are just a few ways we can pray for our foster children and lift up their needs.
Answering God’s Call
When Dr. DeGarmo asked a group of foster parents at a conference why they became foster parents, many of them said they felt called by God to look after His children. For them, foster parenting was simply answering God’s call and living a life of faith that demonstrated God’s love for all. God may be calling you too to care for his children. Sometimes these children will keep you awake at night, sometimes they may challenge you, sometimes they may resist your attempt to care for them, and sometimes they may fight you. Yes, it can be a difficult task but these children need our love and care.
Dr. DeGarmo shares how Dan Shuttes worship song “Here I Am Lord” addresses God’s call to look after His children and hold these young people in our hearts:
Here I am Lord. Is It I Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go Lord, if You lead me. I will hold Your people in my heart.
God may be calling You to care for these children like He has so many others. Will you go if He leads you?
Living Our Faith
We are called by God to ease the suffering of children who are in need. The Bible tells us “To look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted from the world” (James 1:27). This means that we are to demonstrate God’s love in our actions. Though these children are not orphans, this verse still fits the call to be ambassadors for Christ by standing up for these children, in the same way that Jesus would stand up for us. Becoming a foster parent is an expression of our love for God and living the faith of Christianity in our actions. We can show our love for God by living out our faith through this ministry. When we show our love for these children, we can show God’s love for others. Another verse that speaks to this calling is Psalm 82:3-4 which says “Give justice for the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Children in foster care ring true to these verses; they are weak, they are needy and they need to be rescued. As a foster parent, you can provide a safe and stable home. You can clothe and feed them. You can provide them with safe beds and a safe environment. Most importantly you can love them, just as God would have us do for His weak and needy.
God is calling people of faith to enroll in foster care ministry, to support these children with not only housing, but also with love that as Christians we are taught to give. There are thousands of children in foster care who are in desperate need of someone like you to care for them. You can answer God’s call to care for foster children and make an impact on their lives that is beyond measure.