When Bishop Aaron Blake, a pastor and foster/adoptive father, left his breakfast table for church on the second Sunday in November of 2004, he had a sermon prepared … and it wasn’t about foster care:
“I had prepared a sermon to preach that morning that I had worked on all week. I stood up to bring the message when the breakfast table image of our boys came back to my mind. The faces of our sons seemed to multiply in my emotions as I recalled the image from the breakfast table earlier. I knew then that God was prompting our church to answer the call to care for children and broken families.”
Without explanation, Bishop Blake said to his congregation, “Brothers and sisters, there are about 30,000 children in the foster care system in Texas and nearly a half a million in the U. S.”
He then asked this one simple question (and he wasn’t expecting a verbal answer):
“Who will stand with me to defend, care, and support abused, abandon, and neglected children in our community?”
After a brief moment of silence, one lady in the back of the church stood up and simply replied,
“Pastor … I will.”
Like a tiny smoldering ember dropped in a pile of thirsty pine needles, her voice began to multiply. To his amazement, Bishop Blake watched as one family after another stood up and joined their voices to hers. As a result of that day, this church and the surrounding community has cared for and adopted hundreds of children in foster care over the last 12 years. In fact, their county actually has more than enough foster families to meet the need there.
Each year since 2004, the church has celebrated that second Sunday in November. We are thrilled to announce that this year, for the first time, these two efforts will merge – Orphan Sunday for the purpose of inviting the church to care for orphans worldwide and Stand Sunday for the purpose of calling the church to stand for children and families in U.S. Foster Care.
There are now foster care-specific posters, post cards, PDF’s, videos, partnership packages, and more available to help you and your church stand for children in foster care. To see all that is available, simply click here. We invite you and your church to STAND with us … until there’s more than enough in every county in the nation.
This post originally appeared in our Foster Roster e-newsletter which is delivered each Friday. We try to keep it short and sweet and fill it with practical articles, videos, blog posts and other tools for leaders like you working to help kids and families in foster care. To sign up, go to http://bit.ly/1rwn6eO.