Why We Should Care About Foster Care
In Jeremiah 29 God spoke to the newly exiled Israelites, urging them to seek the welfare of the city they were just exiled to; “for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” God tied the prosperity of His people to that of their captors! Why did He do that? Because God cared about the Babylonian people! This is a radical thought since, in the history of mankind, there has never been a culture more bent on the hatred of God and His people than Babylon… seriously.
To give you a better picture, the Babylonians carried off the ark of the covenant and other temple items. They paraded them through town making a mockery of the Israelites’ god. Can you imagine the daily bitterness these exiles must have felt as they walked the streets of their urban prison, quietly praying to themselves that God would pour out wrath on His enemies, and vindicate His name?
But He didn’t. At least not at first. He wanted His people to be the transforming presence in the city of their captivity.
So what does this have to do with today? What does God want from His people, now? The exact same thing, He wants compassion. He wants us, His people, to seek the welfare of our city. There are limitless ways in which we can do this, but this post is about just one: Foster Care.
So why should Christians care about Foster Care?
The system needs an interruption.
In my city, Duluth, there are over 600 children in Foster Care. Many of these children will pass in and out of the system as their parents struggle throughout the years. These children frequently grow up, have children, and consequently watch their children enter and exit the system. It’s a merry-go-round of brokenness, and it needs an interruption.
600 children. Tomorrow it will be more. 10 years from now? More still. And do you know what’s crazy? If the Christians in my city decided to mobilize, we could care for ALL of these children tonight. Isn’t that a staggering thought? Within ONE generation, we could see an overall reduction in the number of children needing Foster Care in the future. Why? Because giving 600 children even just ONE example of a healthy adult will have a transformative effect, not to mention giving them access to a family shaped by the gospel! I can’t even guess what God would do in my city if 600 Foster kids heard the gospel and watched it displayed in the lives of loving families who welcomed them into their homes!
The church is losing it’s prophetic voice on “the family”.
In the last decade we in the church have become decidedly vocal and upset about the state of the family in our culture. And why not? The divorce rate is atrocious! Finding a college Freshman who doesn’t have some kind of wound from their family is like discovering a unicorn. That being said, the prevailing culture is watching us, the church, and feeling less and less like we have something helpful to say. We have obsessively Facebooked about trendy hot button topics, but have stood by while marriages have disintegrated in our own churches. I understand this is complex, but if what we were selling was working, we wouldn’t be having such a hard time getting the world to buy it. I don’t think our goal is to be popular or “relevant” or merely attractive to the world, but I DO think that one of the ways in which God works to reach a culture is by wooing them into systems that give life and promote human thriving. When Christians do Foster care, they give a broken and hurting people a window into what family CAN be like. When we do that, we slowly regain a voice in the broader conversation about what is good for humans. Right now, we are increasingly excluded from that very serious conversation.
The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
In Luke 18:16, Jesus says “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” God loves the least of these, and children in the foster care system are the least of these. God cares about them, and so should we, as His people. When we promote the welfare of Foster Children, we promote the welfare of our cities, and that’s good for everyone!
It may seem like a big leap to get involved, but let me remind you that God cares for the littlest, the vulnerable, and the dejected. If we are to love like Christ, sometimes it takes sacrificing our money, time, comfort, you name it! Where would you and I be if Christ didn’t make the ultimate sacrifice to reach out to us when we had nothing to offer? Foster care won’t fit every family, but I encourage you to pray and eagerly seek what God would have you do to support these children, and your city!
If you want to know more about the process of Fostercare, or just want to figure out if it would work for your family, the links below will send you to your county’s foster webpage. If yours isn’t listed below, please feel free to email the station and we can help you get connected to the right people!!