Thursday, October 25, 2012
All are invited
East Side Baptist Church
Mountain Home, AR
Sunday, November 4th
An exciting Foster Care Church Initiative has rapidly emerged as churches are joining together with an unprecedented level of support from the top levels of leadership of the Arkansas DHHS’ Division of Children and Family Services. This Christian non-profit is named The CALL -- Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime -- because of God's call on the Church: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." James 1:27.
Why did we form? There is a desperate need for more foster, adoptive and respite care homes for children in the Arkansas foster care system.For instance, there are about 7,000 children in foster care in Arkansas within a year, and there are only about 950 foster families available to care for those children! Plus, there are over 500 children and teens available for adoption through foster care in our state. Those numbers alone are an indication that this situation is in crisis. We must find more loving homes for these hurting children.
To educate, equip and encourage the Christian community to provide a future and a hope for the children in foster care.
To have no waiting children in Arkansas foster care, but instead to have waiting, Christian families ready to take them in!
This is truly a God-sized vision. God is moving as things continue to fall into place quickly and barriers from the past have been overcome. It is nothing short of miraculous!! It is obvious that He wants these hurting children cared for…now. As Christian families responded to "The CALL" in Pulaski County, this model is now being applied in various counties statewide across Arkansas!
The CALL is unique because it provides the opportunity for prospective foster, adoptive, and respite care parents to go through state-approved training WITHIN a church setting. They will have an automatic “support group” as they go through training with other Christians. Plus, The CALL will walk them through every step in the process, easing the burden on these prospective foster and adoptive parents. We have a church liaison within the state agency who will help in making sure these homes are opened in a timely manner. Then, once they have invited a child into their home, The C.A.L.L. encourages support from their local church family.
Your prayers are greatly needed for this initiative -- that God will move in the hearts of His people to step out in faith and care for the hurting children in foster care. It is clear from James 1:27 that He calls us, as His followers, to reach out to them in love.
BE PART OF THE SOLUTION
God does not call every Christian to serve as a foster or adoptive parent, but He does call each of us to care for the orphans in our community in some way. The CALL encourages you to use your gifts and talents to serve children in the foster care in our county.
· Organize a prayer vigil
· Get your church involved- hold an information meeting and/or have a steering committee member speak of the need at your church
· Volunteer to conduct home studies
· Support your local CALL with a tax-deductible gift
Local statistics: Around 35 children in foster care in Baxter County and we have only FIVE foster families. That means around 86% of OUR kids are being sent out of county to receive care! It is TIME for the church to step up and meet the needs HE has called us to meet!