By Pastor Chris Johnson
Faith is a hope that is placed in something that cannot be seen or understood. Hebrews 11:6 defines it this way: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It is confidence in the fact that there is someone who is greater than one’s self who has a purpose and a plan for each life; however, faith is more than just mental assent to a body of facts. Genuine faith will move an individual to action. How strong is one’s faith if it cannot be put to the test? The only way to demonstrate a trust in this unseen evidence is to step out of what is comfortable or easily explained.
Every day, right here in our community, people put their faith in action by answering the call to foster and adopt children who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected. They are opening up their hearts and their homes to provide love and support for young people who find themselves in difficult situations through no fault of their own. They are reaching out to the relatives of these children to provide direction, encouragement, and resources to help preserve these families. They are navigating the court system and working within governmental rules and regulations to fight for what is in the best interest of the ones under their care. Often times, they are not able to clearly see the results of their efforts, but they are confident in their call to live out their faith by caring for those in need.
For those with deeply felt religious beliefs, one of the greatest opportunities to put their faith in action is to provide a home for children in need, especially for those who are care for brothers and sisters or teens. Whether it be for a limited period of time in a foster care environment or for the rest of their lives as a part of a forever family through adoption, these young people need to know that their lives have meaning and purpose. What greater reward could there be than knowing that you helped restore faith in a child who has lost all hope for his future, or that you have helped to repair a broken family that was lost in despair?
Those of us who are a part of the faith community must understand the Biblical mandate to care for others, especially children who find themselves in a place of distress. Our faith compels us to love and nurture those who have nothing to give in return. This mandate is not defined by age or life situation and includes children who may be older or may seem to be more challenging. Not everyone is called to do the same thing, but if our faith is strong, it will drive us to consider what role we must play in meeting this great need. Maybe God is calling you to open up your home; maybe He is calling you to wrap around a foster or adoptive family to encourage and help them; maybe He is calling you to advocate in the court setting for those in need; maybe He is calling you to mentor a young person or a set of parents. Whatever the call may be for your life, allow your faith to compel you to action. The rewards are more than you can see or comprehend!
Are you called to foster or adopt? How can you come alongside and provide support for those who are called to foster or adopt? What role are you called to play?