Every year, our family sponsors a couple of local foster kids for Christmas. Not only is taking care of orphans biblical (James 1:27), loving on them in their distress and time of need helps teach my kids to count their blessings. We have donated luggage so foster kids don’t have to travel from home to home in garbage bags (happens all the time). We have also bought school supplies for foster kids as well. I want my kids to know, “It is better to give than it is to receive” (Acts 20:35). That’s why we are monthly sponsors of kids around the world. My kids have sponsored kids their same ages for years, even writing them letters back and forth. One year, we felt our kids were just spoiled rotten and limited their gifts in a way that bought clothing and books, but also made them give up a gift to a foster kid. While we may have gone a little overboard at the time, our kids actually like getting clothing for Christmas presents now. However, the book gift is still a little lame, even for a book nerd like me. But one thing that has never seemed bad to them is giving to foster kids at Christmas.
For a couple of years, I was a foster kid. I was eventually adopted about age 3 by my foster parents. I’m thankful I don’t remember any of the abandonment experience, and that God blessed me with loving Christian parents. There are usually over 4,500 kids in foster care in Arkansas at any time. There are hundreds of kids waiting to be adopted right now in Arkansas. Organizations like www.arkansasfamilies.org can help you become a foster parents and support foster families. Project Zero (www.theprojectzero.com) can help you find your child who’s been waiting on their forever family. Scripture says, “God sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6). I’m so thankful the Bible says God is our Father (Matthew 6:9), we are brothers and sisters in Christ (Mark 3:35), and are called God’s children and family (Ephesians 3:14-15; 1 John 3:1). The church is God’s family and should defend the fatherless (Psalm 82:3). The Bible even says God adopted us (Galatians 4:5-7; Romans 8:14-19; Ephesians 1:5). This is all made possible through Jesus coming to this earth, dying on the cross for our sins, and resurrecting from the grave!
Questions: How can you support foster and adoptive families this Christmas? Here’s an eternal question: Are you in the family of God? Have you surrendered your life to Christ?
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.
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