I have found myself busy the past few weeks. Not with a heavier workload or more chores around the house, but with opportunities to help those foster-care kids I wrote about in my previous post.
It is a wonderful experience but I feel I’m just getting started and there is so much more to get done. I’m encouraged because many have come forward in this endeavor and share my excitement. There’s an overwhelming number of people from my church who are pitching in with their time, talent and treasure to ensure these foster-care kids in our community will experience the love of Jesus.
Now as of today, I have yet to meet a foster child or witness their situation. I have not met a parent of these children, biological or otherwise. However, I have seen a team emerge from our church determined to make a difference. With this team, I see what a committed church can do for the needy in their community (James 1:27).
What We Are Doing
So far, we have given the Child Protective Services of our communities some valuable help by donating items which they desperately need. When meeting with the CPS director of one county, he told us they needed receiving blankets for newborns. A problem they face too often is these infant children thrust upon them without warning. This issue catches these agencies without the proper items necessary to provide optimal care, and the one item they lack consistently is these blankets.
One of our team members is on staff at a local hospital and was able to procure 50 blankets for free. We brought these blankets along with several diapers, baby wipes, new bottles, clothing, jackets, and other items to fill their stock. I had the honor of delivering these items and witness these government workers get excited about what we are doing.
In my four decades as a Christian, I have never seen a ministry come together so quickly. Also, I have never seen results appreciated by others so much. Perhaps I’m witnessing the full meaning of being Christlike as its better to give than to receive.
What We Will Do
When we started this ministry, our first idea was to have a Fall Festival specifically for foster-care kids. We met with two CPS districts, and they sent flyers to each foster-care family in their area. We are expecting at least 227 kids this weekend from one county and are awaiting results from the other. These kids and their families will be able to experience the same festival our church puts on for our members each year, but this will be separate and exclusively for them.
They will enjoy pony rides, carnival-style booths and games, a hayride, train ride, face painting, cotton candy and over 40 volunteers from our church. Also, each child will receive bags filled with treats and prizes to go along with all that fun. Let me say I’m excited to see what God will do this Sunday with our Foster Care Fall Festival. It will give me a chance to see these kids up close and personal, something which goes beyond a donation or a fundraiser.
Something More Personal
In a meeting with Child Protective Services in an adjacent county, their director informed us she was under a court order to provide more supervised visitations with foster children and their biological parents. They didn’t have the staff or the funds available to comply and wanted help in this area. I see an opportunity for me to involve myself and see first hand the dynamics of this problem in our society. CPS will train me, and hopefully, I will be supervising these visitations soon. I promise to share these experiences with you on this site.
I also look forward to sharing our experiences from this weekend and ask for you to pray it’s a great success.