Why we do what we do? The simple truth is every troubled child is only ONE caring adult away from becoming a success story. This is why we need you! When we build programs to engage our church family with orphans we significantly increase a child’s chances of connecting with a person who will champion their story. You are reading this because God wants to make you a part of His next success story! Come out to the next JAMESone27 meeting and see where you can make a difference in a child's life.
IN OUR COMMUNITY: ORPHAN CARE
Right now, there are at-risk families in your local area. In many ways, they are just like your family. The parents want their children to be safe. They desire to have a home that is stable and loving. The children want to come home from school knowing that things will be okay when they get there. However, many of these families are facing such hard circumstances that their children are in the custody of the State of Maryland.
These families need time, resources, and help with their kids while they work toward making the changes that are needed for their children to return home. We can meet these needs in our area by providing families who will foster children within their own counties and school districts. JAMESone27 families know that these kids already face enough challenges being removed from their parents—they shouldn’t have to be uprooted from their schools and communities as well.
The greatest need is for families who can foster:
School-aged sibling groups of two or more
Children and students with special needs
Children and students who are medically fragile
Virtually none of the children who are in foster care prefer their foster homes to their own birth families, regardless of their past circumstances. That’s hard to believe, isn’t it? More than 70 percent of the children who come into foster care will one day return to their original family or another member or their extended family. Therefore, it’s imperative that we do everything we can to encourage those birth families to get the help they need.
With your help, the JAMESone27 Ministry can be part of the solution.
Our families can make a difference!
HOW TO END THE GLOBAL ORPHAN CARE CRISIS
WHAT EVERY CHURCH CAN DO
(This article by Global Orphan Care Director Elizabeth Styffe originally appeared in Ministry Today
God’s adoption plan provides the church with the perfect ministry model
At the heart of orphan care at Bayside Baptist Church is the desire to end the orphan crisis. We believe every child deserves a loving, lasting, legal, lifelong family of their own—and we believe this is doable. If every church empowered their members to care for orphans in ways that helped and didn’t hurt, the orphan crisis could be over.
Unfortunately, though there are still more than 163 million orphans and vulnerable children in the world today, little has been done yet to help orphans stop being orphans. As a culture, we’ve spent years trying to put Band-Aids on the orphanage institution. But children need more than food, shelter, clothing and education. We don’t want children to just survive, but to thrive—and children thrive in family.
At Bayside, we began asking ourselves, “How can we end the orphan crisis, and is there something every church can do?” Here are what we believe are the answers to those questions.
Orphans stop being orphans when they become sons and daughters. At Bayside, we’ve been challenged to change everything about how we care for orphans and how we engage members to care. We have two goals: (1) to end the orphan crisis; and (2) to get every member on mission, caring for orphans locally and globally by helping them find a family of their own.
Family is God’s remedy for orphanhood. The church doing for orphans what God has done for us is His solution. Because of this, we believe that if more Christians would do physically for orphans what God has done spiritually for us, the orphan crisis would be solved.
When we were orphans, God adopted us. Scripture teaches that the reason God made the world was so He could adopt (see Eph. 1:4-6). Our triune God, who needed nothing but wanted a family of His own, allows us through the blood of His Son to share in the rich communion as His sons and daughters (see Eph. 1). When God adopted us, He made us part of His permanent family, so we would no longer be orphans. Even though we were not His bloodline, He grafted us in through adoption, giving us permanent security and a family, and meeting our need to belong. His adoption of us is a legal process that cost Him everything. It gives us an inheritance and the right to call Him Abba, or “Father” (see Gal. 4, Rom. 8). As a result, at Bayside we are in the work of reconciling people to God through adoption (spiritual adoption), and helping children stay in their families, be reunited with their families or find a new family through adoption (physical adoption).
Church and Family
There are 163 million children at risk in the world today but 2.4 billion people who claim the name of Jesus. This means the solution for every child is a church where all the members are caring about orphans. Churches can help orphans find a new family through adoption. They can help them remain in their current family if it is safe. Or they can help them reunite with their families if they are separated (since most children in orphanages have families in the communities but need the church to help the family become safe, healthy, and financially and emotionally ready to care).
JAMESone27 at Bayside empowers ordinary believers to help orphans and vulnerable children locally and globally, and it also focuses on helping children find families. On the local level, this could mean doing several things: volunteering to serve children recently removed from their home (fostering) and respite care, adoption awareness and support, giving financially to someone who is adopting. Even if you can’t adopt (and not everyone should), you can help someone who is adopting or fostering.
Six Things Every Church Can Do
So what can you do to help eradicate such a global problem?
Open your heart to God’s heart for the orphan.
Recognize your responsibility to find permanent families.
Prevent children from being orphaned.
Help orphans in ways that move them out of orphanhood.
Affirm loving, legal and lasting families by preservation, reunification, or adoption.
Never forget the local church is key.
The church’s approach to orphan care has changed dramatically from what it once was. Let’s continue moving closer to God’s heart for adoption, as found in His Word. He’s given us the perfect ministry model, so let’s embrace it. By working together, churches can end the current worldwide orphan crisis
CHILDREN OF THE WORLD... DID YOU KNOW?
In the world today there are 143 million children who have lost one or both parents. That is almost one half of the population of the United States.
Every 14 seconds an Aids death leaves another child orphaned.
Every year 12 million children become orphans.
87.6 million Orphans live in Asia.
43.4 million Orphans live in Sub-Saharan Africa.
12.4 million Orphans live in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In Ukraine and Russia 10%-15% of children who age out of an orphanage commit suicide before age 18.