by Alex Hardt, Associate Pastor – Youth and Young Adult
EVERY DAY 1,200 KIDS ENTER FOSTER CARE IN THE UNITED STATES.
– Together We Rise
Imagine for a moment being taken from your house by strangers and put into another house with strangers. You don’t know where you are, what just happened, or who to trust. Everything moved so fast, your head is still spinning. You look around for something familiar, someone familiar and yet everything is oddly out of place. For 1,000 kids each day this is what they experience as they get taken from their home and placed in another. Many times, because of safety or the situation, kids are not given the time to collect their belongings except for a few things tossed in a trash bag. This is not a planned event where they have their bags packed and their things in order. For the last couple of months our youth and young adult groups have been partnering with an organization called Together We Rise to provide resources to foster kids. Each week we collected money, wrote cards of encouragement, and prayed for foster kids in our community. Through this process we learned a lot about foster care, the displacement kids feel in the process, and what God says about them. Below are a few thoughts on what God says about the orphan.
40-60% of Foster Youth in San Francisco become homeless *(number fluctuates based on year)
– City Team San Francisco
God is Loving
The first thing we learned is that our God is loving. He cares for each of us in a way that no one or anything else could. Children without a parent, orphans, lost, and kids in foster care all have a Father who loves them dearly. Our Heavenly Father has not forgotten about them. Psalm 68:5 says, “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows, is God in his holy habitation.”
God seeks Justice for His Children
Psalm 10:14 says, “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted. You consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.”
Justice is a core part of who God is. God seeks justice on our behalf even when we can’t seek it for ourselves. It was amazing to hear about how many people work on the behalf of kids in foster care. Organizations like City Team and Together We Rise are gathering thousands of volunteers and resources in order to aide those kids in need. To God, that even one child does not know the love of a family is a great injustice, and there are millions of children living in this reality.
Deuteronomy 10:18 says, “He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing.”
God promises protection and help for those who cannot protect themselves, and he redeems injustice through his mighty love. He also asks us to do something about it.
God desires His people to care for His Children
God is not passive nor absent from the situation. God is working on the behalf of the lost, the broken, the orphan to bring about redemption. And the crazy thing about God is that He invites to participate in what He is already doing. In another words, we were not meant to sit on the sidelines. As our hearts our cultivated towards God our hearts will be wrecked for His children.
James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
- Pray for the orphans, the lost, those in foster care.
- Donate/serve at organizations that work with foster kids. There are local organizations in almost every city.
- Pack a bag through Together We Rise or write letters of encouragement.
Deuteronomy 14:29 says, “And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.”
Resource // TogetherWeRise.org