“But we’re not leaders!”
This was the response 2 years ago when I invited Harold and Wendi Park, from Canada, to join our first Collaborate forum for global leaders. But after some discussion, they agreed to join about 75 other orphan care advocates from around the world, gathering to discuss how local church-led movements help local orphans become sons and daughters.
And God moved!
In the last 2 years, the Parks have left their jobs to focus themselves on connecting and equipping adoption and fostering advocates across the Canadian provinces. Receiving coaching and guidance from CAFO’s Global Movements Initiative, they’ve traveled many miles and drank many cups of coffee with passionate adoptive and foster parents, nonprofit leaders, church pastors and lay leaders, and government officials. Masters at “connecting the dots”, the Parks are uniting all of these advocates through a Canadian network, Forever Families of Canada.
Just a couple weeks ago, 25 Canadian leaders gathered in Vancouver for “Collaborate Canada,” a forum designed to developing key strategies for engaging Canadian churches and foster/adoption nonprofits, and launching campaigns like Orphan Sunday in each of the provinces. I had the pleasure of facilitating the workgroups as they contemplated serving vulnerable children within the unique Canadian culture and across the vast geography of this beautiful country.
The entire group joined current and potential adoptive and foster parents, along with ministry leaders, for the Together for Adoption Canada conference, with almost 150 in attendance. It was extremely humbling and exciting to serve those on the forefront of a movement of Christians across Canada.
For years, organizations like Focus on the Family, Family Life, Abba Fund and others have been forging the path of adoption and fostering in Canada. Leaders from each of these organizations, and more, joined together with the Parks to officially launch the network of Forever Families of Canada at the final session of the Together for Adoption Canada conference. Each attendee held a red balloon – another “dot” that was connected – as this new network was commissioned in prayer and celebration.
Please join me in praise to the Father of the fatherless as He continues to move in the great country of Canada, and as His church rises to care for the 30,000 children currently waiting to be in families there.