A Heart for Foster Care
As followers of Christ, we are called to care for the most vulnerable amongst us. At theHeart, we have a growing number of families who are living out this call by providing a safe place for children and young people in our community through foster care. Pastor Graham Aitken shares more of the story below.
By Graham Aitken, Pastor of Mobilization and Outreach
At theHeart, we seek to follow the example of Jesus in standing with vulnerable populations throughout our community. With this in mind, it has been such a joy over the last couple of years to see more and more people within our church family stepping into the realm of foster care.
Throughout Western North Carolina, there are hundreds of children within the foster care system who are in need of love and support. In addition, the families of these children are often facing enormous challenges that require robust demonstrations of Christ’s love.
We recognize that foster care and all of these related concerns are complex. It can be physically, emotionally and spiritually costly. And so we as a church family want to do all that we can to support those who are directly engaging this incredibly important part of our communities.
As of mid-summer 2019, there were 11,700 children and teens younger than 20 in the North Carolina foster care system. According to the N.C Department of Health and Human Services, that’s a 20 percent jump from just five years ago.
Though theHeart is just at the beginning of this journey, we're excited to take these initial steps together.
It's a Start
We have developed a web page on our website and mobile app with various resources for foster care families. These tools also provide an easy way for us to communicate emergency needs that may come up with a last-minute placement or unforeseen circumstances.
As we gain momentum with this new and exciting initiative, we hope to gather our foster care families together on a regular basis for a time of prayer, encouragement and learning together. And we’re excited to see how God will continue to direct our path over these next months and years.
Watch this short video for more behind the story.
Though serving as a foster parent is perhaps the most obvious way to engage this overall effort—and we encourage everyone to consider it— there are so many other ways to get involved.
From accompanying children to court cases as a Guardian Ad Litem to spearheading fundraising efforts to praying daily for a foster care family, there is a place for you in this collective effort. If you're interested in getting involved or simply want to know more, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll help get you plugged in.
To all of our current foster care families, thank you for being such a powerful expression of Christ’s love for His children. It is a gift to walk alongside you. May we all encounter the love of Christ at a deeper and deeper level as we seek to share that same love with those around us.
Whether you are a foster parent or someone who wants to play a supportive role, there is a place for you in this community- wide effort. Visit our website or download our mobile app for helpful resources and more information as we work to support foster care families at theHeart.