We had a great time yesterday with Jon Reid (executive director of Fostering Hope New England). During our Adult Sunday School time, Jon laid out the vision of Fostering Hope and practically laid out ways in which churches can be actively involved in the care of foster children.
The PLUS 1 initiative seeks to raise up (at least) one more family from each church community visited that becomes licensed to care for foster children. With the more than 1,800 children in the Maine foster care community alone, many families are needed in order to accomplish the goal of getting down to zero foster children in "the system."
Although the need is great, the reality is not every family is called or ready to take on the care of foster children; however, within the Christian community, we should all be willing to reach out and care/assist for the families who are involved. Foster families are heavily involved in Great Commandment and Great Commission ministry on a daily basis, and who better than their Christian friends and families to assist them as they minister? FOUR4ONE seeks to bring four families in the church community alongside the one family raised up through PLUS 1 to bring a respite, a meal, babysitting for a date night, prayer, etc.
During our worship service, Jon preached from Ephesians 5:1-2 and challenged us to "imitate God by walking in love." In light of Ephesians 1 where God's adoptive love has been expressed to all of us who are in Christ, how can we not follow after him, together, walking in love?
May God help us in this great work and produce in us a great desire to fill the need.