Unleash Your kingdoms power
Reaching the near and far
No force of Hell can stop
Your beauty changing hearts
You made us for much more than this
Awake the kingdom seed in us
Fill us with the strength and love of Christ
We are Your church
We are the hope on earth
(Rend Collective – Build your Kingdom Here)
We had a high schooler in our cottage who didn’t want to be here (to be fair, none of our kids want to be in foster care). He had lived on his own before after running away from his last foster home, and would rather be anywhere than in a group home cottage with 7 other boys, all at least 6 years younger than him. This all was after 10 years in the foster care system with 15 different foster families, a boarding school, inpatient treatment, and a potential adoption that was disrupted due to a medical emergency in the family. We had many conversations with him about living independently and we worked with him to develop his independent living skills, find a job, and get his learners permit. One day we were having a conversation about the future and he said something to the effect of “when I leave here I’ll live in some sort of slum, because that’s what happens to foster kids.”
Many kids in foster care feel this way, especially high school kids who are close to aging out of the system. They don’t have much hope for their future, and unfortunately, many current statistics support that. Kids that are aging out of the foster care system are much less likely to graduate high school or get a stable job. They are more likely to be homeless or incarcerated. Teen pregnancy is much higher among foster kids. Those are just a few statistics to tell you what you should already know: growing up in the foster care system is not an ideal situation for kids. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
We are the church. We are the hope on earth. When bad things happen, people always ask where God was and why he allowed it to happen. I don’t have an answer to the second question, but I believe that when bad things happen, God is in the church. God is in the men and women responding to the situation with a loving and helping heart. Rend Collective says here: “Jesus wants to set the church on fire, so the world can warm themselves around us and find life and safety.” We, the church, are called to be the light of the world so that when disaster happens, and all seems dark, there is a light that represents hope and warmth to all.
Whenever a child is abused or neglected, it’s a disaster. It’s the darkest times of that child’s life. It’s often something they’ve never experienced before and it’s completely overwhelming in the worst way. Foster Care brings light to the child so they can feel the warm love and acceptance of a family. They can feel the hope that things don’t always have to be as they had been. Psalm 10:17-18 says Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them. Mere people can no longer terrify them. That’s a hard thing to say in foster care, because sadly there’s always the chance that they will be sent back in to a situation where they may be terrified again. But we trust that God knows what he’s doing, even when it doesn’t make sense to us.
God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. (Hebrews 6:18-19)
Foster care is a lot of things. It’s hard, frustrating, fun, messy, and so many other things all at the same time. Ultimately though, foster care is hope. Hope for children who have never experienced it. Hope for a future that may not have been possible. There is hope for foster kids. There is hope for the foster care system. That hope is the church, and the people that strive to love like Christ loved. You have the chance to be an embodiment of the hope of Christ. You can be a strong and trustworthy anchor for a child who has never experienced a secure attachment. You can become a foster parent. You can support foster parents. If you have questions, please leave a comment or use the contact us section to send us a message.