Hall County is in desperate need of foster homes, because families in crisis need our community support. I see several charitable efforts within our county, but there is one need that I believe is sadly overlooked by many. I am not altogether certain that people even know that we need more foster parents. I am optimistic that once the wonderful faith-based community of Hall County learns about this need, it will rise to the challenge.
I sent out a request to 10 different churches offering, as a private citizen, to testify about being a foster parent and to encourage others to pick up a cross and bear it. This was my effort to begin communications with the faith community. Only one church responded.
This reminds me of an event that is detailed in chapter 17 of the Book of Luke: Jesus healed 10 lepers. Only one of them came back to thank him. I feel that this passage is relevant because lepers were often thought to be unclean. The entire passage forces me to think about the way I once viewed, or more accurately (and sinfully) judged, parents whose children were in foster care. I thought of them as unclean, unfit to raise the blessings of God. I am ashamed to say that this used to be what I believed. I am proud to say that I know better now.
Parents with children in foster care are often wonderful people who have made poor choices. Many times these parents may have sat in the pews with me and may have shared my unclean beliefs. A few unfortunate events coupled with poor choices have thrown great families into chaos.
Are we willing, as a community, to try to be like Christ and offer healing to those we mistakenly called unclean? Are we willing to do this knowing that it is possible that while 10 families will be thankful, perhaps only one will express it?
The Department of Family and Children Services is planning to offer its last foster parent training class of the year in August. Please consider, pray and listen to the spirit about how you can faithfully serve the least of his brethren. Call 877-210-KIDS and sign up to attend the training class. I would personally be honored to serve with any and all of you.