Saturday, April 16, 2011

There's something for everyone to do.

Let me start by saying, the adoption seminar was great on Friday. We were so encouraged by the response! Focus on the Family wasn’t sure how many people to expect, but there ended up being around 110 people in attendance for the seminar portion. We had some conversations with people that are really excited to get an orphan ministry started at their church. We are believing for a growing network of people that have the needs of the orphan on their heart. Part of this ministry will involve connecting with people at different churches that want to start something, but aren’t sure of the next step. We want to create a model at Southgate Church, that could be adapted and tailored to the needs of any church. We want to walk people through what a proposal to their elders might look like, what their next steps could be and what their ministry could look like. We feel there are many people that have a passion to start something at their church, but just aren’t sure where to go with that passion. If that’s you, get in touch with us!
Now, the next question might be, what if I’m not someone who can or who feels called to start something at my church? Well, don’t worry, we still have something for you! One of the biggest revelations that we’ve had throughout this whole process, concerns the Biblical mandate for ALL Christ-followers to care for orphans. The Bible is clear that as a follower of Christ, there are many ministries that we can dedicate our time too, places we can serve and ways we can serve our church and community. However, when it comes to the orphan, we are mandated to help them. The Bible even goes as far as to say that “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself  from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27). That’s a pretty serious call! We know that not every Christian can or feels called to adopt. So what does this look like for those that aren’t going to adopt? One of the reasons for starting this ministry is the passion we have to see the whole church engaged in this crisis. It is possible and we’ve heard the stories of where it’s being done.
The churches of Colorado have started something called Project 1:27 where their vision is “no waiting children in Colorado.” When they started in 2005, there were 875 children waiting to be adopted out of the foster care system. Today there are only 365 waiting children. The most amazing thing is though, that the whole church has committed to this! Not everyone has adopted a child, but as a church family, they are committed to gathering around these adoptive families to offer what they can. Some provide finances, some pay for the needs of the children, some help with life expenses. Others are builders and have offered services to adopting families. A group of construction workers said they would renovate the basement to add extra rooms for any family adopting. Others offered babysitting services so parents could have a night out together. Others helped with shopping, yard work or house maintenance. Basically, the church said, if you’re going to adopt, we’re going to offer our wide variety of skills and abilities to make your life easier, so that you can focus your attention on the child you’ve provided a home for. Does this sound possible? Of course it does! I could take 5 minutes and think of about 50 different abilities of people I know at our church. We can do this church! One of our dreams for the future is to have a point person in our ministry that just connects people wanting to serve, with adoptive families.
This topic is big and I’ll spend some more time next week on some more thoughts. Please mark Friday, May 13th at 7:30pm on your calendars. We are having a dessert evening at Christian Life Assembly in Langley (21277 56th Ave.). It is not a fundraiser, but it is for anyone who is stirred in any way about the plight of the orphan. We want to connect with potential adopting families about how we can help, churches that may want to start an orphan ministry, individuals that feel they want to help, or just anyone who feels they may have a part to play in the orphan crisis. Come hear what we’re doing and how you can be involved. You’ll be inspired for what God is doing!

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